consulting and professional work
It’s always been difficult for me to define what “I do”. For the past ten years my life has been a colourful collection of volunteer and consulting work, which has allowed me to travel the world and have countless experiences in diverse settings. I have always been guided by a few key themes; global sustainability, local and international development, communications and the arts, youth activism, and most importantly, people. I believe that inspired action can promote positive change and I want my life to make a contribution to the progression of our planet.
This has led me to do many things. I used to run local theatre groups in townships that focused on discussing social development. I then served as an organiser for an international youth group for the United Nations, holding training workshops internationally, negotiating policy, and promoting youth activism at local and global levels. I worked as a consultant for sustainable development with a focus on rural livelihoods, working in the areas of food security, climate change and capacity building. This work took me to Papua New Guinea where I was a consultant for community development on an multinational project, the largest of its kind in the country. As I fell in love with the people and the land, I started writing and photographing my experience, and began developing communications materials and publications with a sustainability focus. My photography then led me back to the United Nations, and I started working for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin as a photographer, and now help to document the global negotiations for sustainability. Sometimes I give lectures and run training programs for youth, and I head up a community organisation in my home town of Hout Bay to promote sustainability.
So what do I do? I try to live life to the fullest and here are some of the highlights.
If you would like to see my full CV, you can download a copy here.
Earth Negotiations Bulletin, International Institute for Sustainable Development
Photographer and Digital Editor
Member of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) team that provides daily information from multilateral negotiations on the environment and development. Main responsibilities include engaging within a diverse and multifaceted environment to photograph and document all negotiations, recording both the process and outcomes on the ENB and official conference websites and multiple social media platforms. Conferences covered include the Paris Climate Change Conference, the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions COP in Switzerland, the first United Nations Environmental Assembly in Kenya, and the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa, among others. A number of my photographs have been published in the Guardian, the New York Times, Rolling Stone Magazine, and other international press.
Project consultant and media editor
On-going work with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), serving as a project consultant and proposal writer as well as blog editor and workshop facilitator. Served as a mentor during the Young Leaders Conference in 2012, developing a youth-led declaration document discussing relevant sustainable development topics, facilitated by SAIIA. Worked within a diverse context of government, the private sector, academia and the diplomatic corps to discuss issues related to international affairs, predominantly climate change and sustainable development, education and UN Security Council reform. Responsibilities included aligning discussions with current outcomes from the recent Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development and giving keynote addresses to the learners.
PNG LNG Project, Papua New Guinea
Writer, Photographer and Materials Developer
As part of the Public and Government Affairs communication team for the PNG LNG Project, the largest investment ever undertaken in Papua New Guinea, I designed and produced the PNG LNG TokTok, a nationally distributed publication sharing photographs and stories from the field that reflect socio-economic activities undertaken by the Project. The development of the publication included extensive field work in remote villages, engaging within the most socially and environmentally diverse contexts in the world. Other publications included the Corporate Citizenship Report 2014 for the Project and various other communication materials. In addition to this work was the design, development and implementation of a corporate training program implemented across the entire company to instil corporate values within this diverse environment. This process included the development of training materials and programmes, facilitation of interactive sessions, various media communications and games development, systematically implemented over two years across a diverse network of business professionals throughout the company.
Key workshop facilitator for the First World Youth Sustainability Summit, an international conference run by German-based YouThinkGreen, a non-profit organisation that trains and facilitates youth to lead sustainability projects and initiatives internationally. Also facilitated the development of the manifesto outcome document for the conference, representing a youth-led position paper on sustainable development. On-going activities include providing high-level strategic focus and management development to the organisation, while assisting with communications and operations.
Organising Partner for the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY), one of nine civil society groups working within the UNDESA system to promote sustainable development internationally. As main coordinator, facilitated the mobilisation and participation of thousands of youth globally in the international policy development processes for the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). Served as Organising Partner for CSD 17-19, consistently as communications and training lead, working within a multi-national and stakeholder environment to facilitate youth development and contributions, through training and engagement on technological and social networking platforms. Served on the team of youth coordinators for the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development held in Brazil in 2012. Designed, organised, planned and implemented the Rio+20 Youth Blast, an international youth conference for over 2,000 international youth delegates from over 100 countries, working in partnership with the Government of Brazil and multiple UN agencies. Served as main coordinator and communications lead for the MGCY at Rio+20, responsible for the daily organisation of all youth delegates, including policy negotiations, media briefings and press releases, security and civil society actions, while working closely with UN Security, governments and other organising bodies.
Advancing Capacity to Support Climate Change Adaptation, South Africa
Community liaison, theatre for development facilitator and research analyst
The Advancing Capacity to Support Climate Change Adaptation (ACCCA) program, funded by the eThekwini Municipality (South Africa) and the United Nations and implemented by Golder Associates Africa, focused on the development of adaptation strategies for peri-urban communities in response to climate change. The project involved a detailed environmental and social vulnerability study, including livelihoods analyses and surveys, with a particular focus on the role and need for water and sanitation services. A key feature of the project was the use of theatre development techniques to both communicate climate change awareness, and to encourage local adaptation strategies. Developmental theatre techniques were used with a core youth group, who performed an original play about climate change, performing both within the community and at the South African International Climate Action Day event. Research from the project was also presented at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, 2009.
Capacity Building and National Environmental Management, Sudan
Training Program Designer and Stakeholder Liaison
In 2009, environmental management was at a crossroads in Sudan, with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and Sudan Interim Constitution making existing institutional arrangements obsolete and incapable of adequately managing growing environmental concerns. Golder Associates was assigned to contribute to improving Sudan’s capacity building within the realm of environmental management through the development of a comprehensive training program. The program, designed for national and stakeholder involvement, was based on a needs assessment conducted with environmental and educational institutions within Sudan, and included detailed course components for a two-year program of implementation.
Community-led Adaptation Measures in poor urban/peri-urban Communities, South Africa
Community liaison and facilitator
This project, funded by DANIDA and the eThekwini Municipality and implemented by Golder Associates, involved the preparation of a stakeholder-led response plan for climate change at a local level. The strategy determined appropriate mitigation and adaptation responses to the threat of climate change within a wide-range of sectors that will be impacted at the local level. A key focus was on food security and research included a detailed analyses of the impacts of climate change on food production, as well as food-related social trends and customs. The project aimed at identifying alternative crop and food sources that could be used as an adaptation strategy to climate change in poor urban and peri-urban communities.