Emma Peppler is a barrister specialized in local government, environment, and planning. She graduated with an Arts-Law dual degree, including a major in Geography and Environmental Science, around 2005. Emma was admitted to the Bar in 2010. She has also worked as a solicitor and community legal education project manager at the Environment Defenders Office (a community legal centre specialising in public interest environmental law), volunteered for Fitzroy Legal Service, undertaken an internship in Darwin at the Environment Defenders Office Northern Territory, and spent a year working with a non-government environmental organisation in Vanuatu, where she learned to speak Bislama, and pursuant to which she attended the 2009 international climate change negotiations in Copenhagen. We recently asked her about her studies in GES:
What attracted you to major in Geography and Environmental Science?
It is a discipline in which the theory and the reality about both the social and physical world around us all collide.
When did you finish your studies and what have you been doing since?
I completed my Geography studies in around 2005. Following that I became admitted as a lawyer, have worked in various legal roles, spent a year as an AYAD in Vanuatu, and then became a Barrister. I practice mainly in government, environment and planning law.
What are the most useful skills you’ve gained from your studies in Geography and Environmental Science?
The ability to assess matters from a broader perspective, alive to the multitude of push and pull factors surrounding a situation.
What advice would you give new undergraduate students about doing their majors in Geography and Environmental Science?
If you want to learn about, and learn to think productively about, the countries and people of the world, and how they interact with each other and their environment, especially in relation to social and environmental sustainability, then this may be the discipline for you. The GES School is also one which I found to be an encouraging and engaging environment in which a person can focus on acquiring knowledge not just for knowledge’s sake, but as a means by which you can learn how to best interact with and comprehend the world around you.
Tell us about your most memorable experience with the School of Geography and Environmental Science.
Definitely the South Africa field trip – a vital subject!