Kate Hooper

Kate’s winding road to wind farming

11 November 2016

Kate Hooper started her career as a Chartered Accountant but it didn’t take long to realise it wasn’t for her.

Not knowing what to do next, she set off for adventures in Central and South America.

“During this trip I quickly fell in love with Bolivia - the landscape, the people, but there is a lot of poverty and a lot of environmental degradation,” said Kate.

Her time in Bolivia sparked a profound interest in environmental and developmental issues - and eventually led her to the Master of Environmental Management and Development (MEMD) at ANU Crawford School of Public Policy.

“I started with the Graduate Diploma, loved it, and then went onto the Masters component, with a five month environmental consulting internship in Jakarta in between.”

Kate’s passion for the program helped her secure the University Medal in MEMD, as well as the Tiri Tiri Prize of academic excellence.

“One of the best things about the program was looking at issues from different perspectives and considering new ways of tackling problems through effective policy.

“Environmental and development problems are complex, and multifaceted, so we need to employ multi-disciplinary perspectives to develop practical solutions,” said Kate.

Kate also attributed her success in the program to the interesting variety of research areas.

“There was enough flexibility in the courses to explore issues and topics that were of particular interest, which was great. I’ve got a few passions, scuba diving being one of them, so reef conservation became a common theme for research essays,” said Kate.

After a field trip to a wind farm as part of the course, she was inspired to work in the industry.

Kate now works at Windlab, an international wind farm development company.

“At Windlab I’ve been fortunate to combine both my finance skills and what I’ve learned in the MEMD program, and be working on issues I’m passionate about. Recently I’ve been analysing financing options for our Africa projects as well as looking at socio-political barriers and policy opportunities to large scale windfarm developments in Asia, particularly in Indonesia,” said Kate.

Kate is currently considering a PhD in renewable energy politics and policy to advance her work and interests in advocating for smooth renewable energy transitions in the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

Are you looking to advance your skills in environmental policy, management or governance but don’t have the flexibility to attend class while working full time?

You can now study the Master of Environment Management and Development from afar. The online degree gives you the flexibility to study when and where you want. Find out more.

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