On Sunday, 11 February, Central Highlands Water (CHW) observed the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Still, every day, women and girls play a vital role in chemistry, biology, engineering, data and environmental science to support the delivery of safe water and sewerage services to our communities.
Lisamaree, a Graduate of our Capital Delivery and Networks team, had early ambitions to be a princess or married with children. However, before long, her eyes were opened to all the career possibilities that were out there for her beyond what then societal norms led her to believe as a Grade 2 girl.
While women are under-represented in roles, research funding, and remuneration in science fields, more and more ambitious girls and women are leaning into the opportunities, inspiration and fulfilment that studying and working in the sciences can provide.
In Lisamaree’s case, a childhood filled with camping experiences developed a love of the outdoors and subsequent awareness of pollution encroaching on the places previously filled with happy memories. This sparked a deep passion for protecting and reversing the damage, inspiring Lisamaree to pursue a career in the environmental science field.
A supportive high school teacher and the offer of a scholarship for talented students from low socio-economic communities cemented Lisamaree’s belief in her capabilities. In 2023, Lisamaree completed her Bachelor of Environmental Science (Environmental Management and Sustainability) at Deakin University.
At Central Highlands Water (CHW), Lisamaree will work across a range of minor and major infrastructure projects, including the Ballarat Sewer Build, Daylesford Water Supply Pipeline, Beaufort Reuse for Recreation Project and the Ballarat North Truck Sewer Project. She will bring her scientific expertise to support the best environmental outcomes for these important future-proofing projects.
“We can all do our part to unleash our world’s enormous untapped talent – starting with filling classrooms, laboratories, and boardrooms with women scientists.”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Mentoring women and girls in science
Lisamaree will be mentored by CHW’s Head of Capital Delivery, Alison Pitcher, who will ensure Lisamaree is introduced to the many opportunities available for a science-based career that the water industry provides.
Pitcher highlighted that by entering the water industry as a graduate, Lisamaree will see a diverse range of areas where she can apply and develop her skills, getting the grounding to pursue a career in an area of most interest.
Lisamaree believes that by increasing the awareness of science career opportunities amongst girls, we’ll see an uplift in the number of women pursuing this field of study. Even after completing her degree, Lisamaree continues to be surprised by the many science pathways available and finds the industry extremely welcoming – she hopes more girls pursue a science career, resulting in a more diverse environment.
Lisamaree is dedicated to making a positive difference in the world, and her vision for the future is a community that aspires towards sustainable development and reversing the environmental damage that has been caused.
The theme of International Day of Women and Girls in Science is attuned to Lisamaree’s own view, focusing on the role of Women, Girls and Science as it relates to the Sustainable Development Goals, namely clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, industry, innovation, and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, and means of implementation.
Lisamaree’s teammates here at CHW are excited to join her on her environmental science journey and support her in her pursuit of sustainable development for our communities and our environment.
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