Elena Tjandra

I didn't know I wanted to study sustainability until my second year. While I had previously been involved in environmental activism, it was only when I started university that I began to understand its breadth. Sustainability kept popping up in all my subjects until I felt compelled to switch my degree to study sustainability science and development studies - I recognise the great privilege we have at university, to follow our fancies in this way.

Throughout my studies and now my work in environmental organisations, I've found that sustainability goes beyond conservation of the 'environment' and beyond simply tackling fluctuations in the climate. Sustainability is about equitable ecological and societal wellbeing, and it requires a fundamental shift in how our society conducts itself, and how we participate. The resources we use, the type of industries we prioritise, the activities we assign value and the type of society we want and can achieve all come under consideration.

This year I've enjoyed my time as the Sustainability Learning Community Ambassador. I'm looking forward to a bill of events that provoke us to view sustainability through a variety of lenses, and to see how it connects with differing fields of study and how it relates to us as individuals and members of society. It's an enormous topic. It'll be good to engage with sustainability intellectually and creatively, and to appreciate the opportunity to do so.

Elena Tjandra,
Sustainability Learning Community Ambassador.