SEI employment pathways workshop: policy

Hear from environmental policy professionals in this workshop on career pathways from research into policymaking.

Students and researchers are invited to join this SEI workshop that will explore career pathways in the environmental policy sector. The workshop will be specifically aimed at current students and interested researchers. We will consider the kinds of roles available in the sector and the concrete steps that students might take during their candidature to position themselves competitively. We’ll hear from three panellists who have significant experience in both academic research and the environmental policy sector, including about their own journey, as well as their suggestions and advice on securing a job in environmental policy.

Please note this workshop is for University of Sydney students and researchers. This workshop is hosted by the Sydney Environment Institute and Sydney Policy Lab.

This workshop was presented online on Thursday 11 August 2022.


Lisette Collins is a Senior Associate in the Environment and Land Use Policy team at the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. She completed her PhD on Australia Climate Change Adaptation Planning in 2016, focusing on the work of local councils across the country. Since entering the public service she has worked on a range of policy including climate change, sustainability, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, water, land use, forestry, coasts, environmental contamination, biodiversity and the 2020 Bushfires Royal Commission. She’s a mother to two very young children who she hopes to raise as responsible climate-sensitive citizens, but is currently focused on getting them to stop pulling all the tissues out of the box.

Emma Calgaro is a human geographer and action-researcher specialising in systems thinking in the context of disaster risk reduction (DRR), vulnerability, resilience and social inclusion/exclusion. Throughout her research career, she has worked in close partnership with government, intergovernmental organisations, think tanks, academics, and civil society actors to better understand complex interdependent systems and codevelop impactful solutions that help us as a society adapt to some of the biggest challenges our society faces – environmental change and increased uncertainty. Her projects are highly collaborative and complex in nature and have directly informed targeted action, changed policy and processes, and had tangible impact in building stronger and more resilient communities in NSW, South-East Asia, and the Pacific.

Alice Simpson-Young has over six years of experience working in government and consultancy in the fields of climate policy, resilience policy and stakeholder engagement. Alice did her honours thesis at the Sydney Environment Institute on disaster resilience policy and environmental justice. Alice has worked in Local and State Government, including most recently co-authoring the resilience, net zero, and environmental sustainability chapters of the 2022 NSW State Infrastructure Strategy.

David Schlosberg (Chair) is Director of the Sydney Environment Institute and Professor of Environmental Politics at the University of Sydney. His work focuses on environmental and climate justice, environmental movements, sustainability in everyday life, and climate adaptation/resilience planning and policy.

Header image: Image by Gaurav Kumar via Unsplash.