The story of an Environmentalist

Mehak Masood

The story of an

Mehak Masood

About Mehak

As an environmentalist from Pakistan, Mehak Masood came to Melbourne to undertake her Masters at The University of Melbourne.

The Graduate House helped her experience her ‘all-time dream’ of collegiate living while commencing her course as she has always been a day scholar prior to this.

Mehak Masood received the Bursary award in 2018 which will help her attend the Climate Reality Training 2019 in Brisbane.

Mehak’s Story

I am an environmentalist, not only professionally or academically, but at the core of my heart, as it runs in my legacy. My grandfather and father were environmentalists, so I have been born with this passion.

Given my love for the cause, I completed my B.Sc Honours in Environmental Sciences and M.Phil in Environmental Sciences at Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore, Pakistan.

I am fortunate to lead the environmental agenda in governmental and non-governmental organisations like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The British Council and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

My tenure of work has granted me the chance to display not only my technical expertise but also my non-technical skills like communication, advocacy, policy development, monitoring and evaluation. My communication work involves seminars, policy dialogues, workshops and awareness walks.

In my eight years of work, I have been an advocate for environment and climate change issues, with a wide-ranging audience that includes governmental officials, students, diplomats, academia, religious leaders, homemakers and rural populations on various social and technical topics.

    The following shows some of my global achievements:

    • May 2015, Amman, Jordan: Selected among 80 young leaders and represented Pakistan at the Mosaic International Leadership Programme.
    • September 2015, Miami, USA: Completed the Climate Reality Project Training by former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore.
    • February 2016, London, UK: My green social entrepreneurship project was selected and presented to HRH Prince Charles.
    • March 2017, London, UK: Trainer and Group Leader from Pakistan in the Prince’s Trust International Leadership Programme.
    • January 2018, Melbourne, Australia: Commenced my Master of Environment at The University of Melbourne, upon receipt of the Australia Awards Scholarship Program.

    I believe in being a smart, hard worker; networking; being vocal; breaking stereotypes; being innovative in my approach; being an out of the box thinker; and finding localised solutions to make things happen. In short, I’m a doer and a go‑getter.

    My Graduate House Journey

    When I received my confirmation and placement at The University of the Melbourne, my priority was to find accommodation near the university. So, in that search, I visited the Graduate House website and instantly made my decision to stay here. It’s my all-time dream, to enjoy the hostel life, since I have always been a day scholar all my life. Gladly, this wish came true over here. Also, the best part of staying at Graduate House is that you feel it’s like a home. The comfort and food are fantastic. The emotional support, networking, exposure and bonding that I received from Graduate House has made my Melbourne journey very beautiful and memorable.

    My best moments over here have been: participation in the Rotary International Women’s Day Breakfast; International Women’s Day Dinner; and winning the Graduate House Bursary, which will help me attend the Climate Reality Training 2019 in Brisbane. Also, being part of different committees has been an excellent learning experience.

    Australia was always my favourite country, and it was my childhood dream to live and study here. After Pakistan won the cricket World Cup in 1992 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), it was top of my wish list. During my studies, I have had the chance to explore the Australia National Emission Inventories and Environmental laws and regulations. My fondness for the country and for knowledge compelled me to apply for the Australia Awards Scholarship. This was my first attempt and I was fortunate enough to be selected from thousands of applications. Living in Melbourne and studying at The University of Melbourne has made me a more mature and stronger human being. I have had many excellent opportunities to exhibit my knowledge and skills, which include:

    • sharing my journey with my class fellows as part of my core subject, Sustainability Leadership and Governance;
    • working with The Climate Reality Project Australia;
    • being invited to be a guest speaker by BNP Paribas, in my capacity as a Climate Reality Leader, to deliver a lecture in June 2018, in Sydney. I addressed more than 300 corporate investment bankers on the reality of climate change; and
    • showcasing my story on social media on International Women’s Day.

    Each day here has been full of adventure, excitement, learning and knowledge. It has been the best time of my life. Melbourne, and I can say Australia, has so much to offer: cafés, food, activities, sports, beaches, festivals, diversity, wilderness and natural beauty.

    I must say that a part of my soul will always remain in Melbourne and at Graduate House. My relationship with this city and Graduate House is lifelong, and it will strengthen with time. Australia has given me the appreciation, respect and morale boost to fight and conquer all obstacles, to keep moving forward with my passion and high spirits. It is because of the positivity and the magic that prevails in the air of Australia.

    Thank you, Australia, Melbourne and Graduate House for everything.

    Other Awardees from Graduate House

    You can view the list evry person that has won an award in the form of a scholarship, bursary, National Student Leadership Forum (NSLF) nomination and more at the Graduate House Website.