As a graduate of chemical engineering at the University of Melbourne, Natasha was keen to follow her interests in water, the environment and agriculture. A chance ‘COVID lockdown’ project to help a friend set up a farm in Sri Lanka introduced her to RMCG.
“There was an opportunity to join the resource recovery team, specialising in recycled water and it was relevant to my engineering background,” Natasha said.
Natasha is passionate about decentralised and regional solutions, being in the field and working on a diverse range of projects to widen her perspective on wastewater management.
As part of her role, Natasha is often involved in recycled water Health and Environment Management Plans (HEMPS), annual monitoring of recycled water, and the development of recycled water strategies and domestic wastewater management plans. She also works with the team on development licences for wastewater treatment plants for businesses, helping clients to navigate Environment Protection Authority (EPA) legislation and approvals.
Clients can range from local governments and water utilities to private businesses, with many projects based in regional Victoria.
“Our work in the water industry is all encompassing – it touches on so many different areas, from living in a city to rural areas, irrigation, agriculture, urban water landscapes – it can be quite specific and broad at the same time.”
Earlier this year, Natasha joined the Australian Water Association’s Young Water Professionals Subcommittee in Victoria.
“For me starting out in this industry, I wanted to get as many opportunities as I could for professional development and training, and connect with others,” Natasha said.
“I joined the committee because I hope to see a water sector which is more diverse, more involved in the circular economy, gender equity and climate change discussions.”
As a member of the subcommittee Natasha helps to organise at least two events per year for all young water professionals in Victoria. These are usually presentations, but are open to new ideas.
“I’ve enjoyed it so far. It’s good to develop networks and you always learn so many things. You can also choose topics that you’re interested in but may not work on in your day-to-day job.”
Looking forward Natasha is keen to apply her experience to the environment sector, focusing on wastewater treatment and beyond on waterways and catchments. She sometimes thinks of doing work closer to home in the future addressing water, sanitation and hygiene in Latin America.
“Water is really the reason we’re all alive,” she said. “If you’re looking to get into the industry, it’s very achievable. There are lots of resources to learn from and if you have a group of people around you who support you it is a very rewarding and interesting journey.”
Natasha on-site to develop a concept design for recycled water use and EPA approval for a proposed resort in the northern Grampians (left) and biosolids sampling (right).
This article was published during National Water Week 2022.