Hi! My name is Paris and I am a second-year student studying a Bachelor of Sustainable Communities. I have a huge passion for sustainable development and I love learning. I’ve always had big dreams to make a difference in this world and that is exactly what I plan to do – so watch this space.
I started off my university career in Engineering, but I didn’t enjoy it at all. I felt like a tiny person in a cohort of more than 200 people and wanted more out of my university experience. I've had a great experience in my new degree. It has given me such a broad perspective on the world and has helped me realise that I can put my passion into practice. I have an ambition to work towards creating a more sustainable future, and the Sustainable Homes Challenge has given me a platform to explore this. Outside of my studies, I play AFL for UOW, I am on the executive team of the Human Geography Society and I work at Science Space as a Science Communicator. I also love surfing, travelling and adventuring.
The Sustainable Homes Challenge has been an incredibly rewarding experience so far. The opportunity to learn the module content, listening and learning from the guest speakers and getting to know my very experienced and knowledgeable mentor has been fulfilling. Throughout the remainder of the challenge, I want to build my own skills, knowledge and my connections with other students and academics. I want to learn as much as I can about the sustainable building industry, as I believe this is an area that would have a significant impact in the future. Having the opportunity to build a home that may contribute to innovative solutions for a more sustainable future is what drew me to the challenge in the first place.
The most challenging aspect of the Sustainable Homes Challenge has been navigating how my own skills and knowledge fits in with the rest of the team and the challenge itself. I came into this challenge skeptical of my ability to contribute to my team, who are engineers and architects. I have a lesser knowledge of structural design and engineering concepts, so my own place in the team was difficult to establish. With the help of my mentor and the encouragement of my team, I have been able to create my own tasks that will assist the team in the challenge. I have become so focused on the WHY of this challenge – why we need affordable housing, why we need the construction industry to be more sustainable, why the circular economy is so essential for the future, and most importantly, why we need to use the abundant waste we have been producing. As for the rest of my team, they are dealing with the HOW (thanks guys) and we have been bouncing off each other along the way!
This challenge has given me the opportunity to work with a team of incredible people with a range of different backgrounds. Learning their different perspectives on the challenge and the world has helped me grow as a person and exposed me to the excitement of working in a multi-disciplinary team.