Last night I had the opportunity to attend the annual environmental law lecture at Macquarie University. It was delivered by Senator Mehreen Faruqi on Environmentalism: Rekindling the Flame. Addressing a largely young audience with high levels of enthusiasm about the potential for change, Mehreen inspired these young university students and academics to do what they can to influence decision-makers on environmental matters that they are passionate about.
With an education and career in environmental engineering Mehreen has worked in different levels of government, NGOs, and universities before being a politician, or doing public service as she prefers to call it. Her career included a period as the manager of Environmental Services at Mosman Council where her expertise contributed to building increased capacity around protecting our environment.
Mehreen posed the question to her audience about how we perceive the environment. Do we think of it as a place to have a bushwalk, somewhere to see wildlife such as the brush turkey, tawny frogmouth, bandicoot or bent-wing bat, or do we see it as a commodity to use for economic gain?
Her take home message is that it is time to get bold and more daring to protect the environment. In Mosman, where our environment is so beautiful, this is a message worth listening to.