The University of Newcastle, Australia

Floating down a river on a bamboo raft in Borneo, surveying the skyline on the tallest building in Tokyo, or watching a controlled ecological burn in Port Stephens weren’t experiences Kate could have imagined she’d get as part of her studies.

After an hour spent visiting the Callaghan campus, she knew it was where she needed to be.

“I can’t articulate exactly how I knew this, whether it was the people, the landscape or the vibe, I just knew I wanted to study there,” Kate explained.

During her first year of a Bachelor of Social Science degree (Human Geography and the Environment), Kate decided to swap to something where she could specialise more in the environment than geography.

“I realised how interested I was in the environmental aspect, and how humans interact with it.

“The Bachelor of Development Studies allowed me to grow my interest and passion reconnecting people and the environment and to think more broadly about ways forward,” said Kate.

Kate’s degree allowed her to home in on her interests in environmental sustainability while offering a multidisciplinary path including geography, tourism, Indigenous studies, politics and economics.

It also took her to Borneo on a study placement to learn about Mining and Land Rehabilitation.

“It was such an amazing experience and I really benefited from seeing both the environmental considerations to post-mining operations and the corporate social responsibility programs.

“It broadened my perception of what professional paths are out there for someone with my unique qualifications.”

Aside from a work placement with Port Stephens Council in the Natural Resources team, Kate also attended a two-week Study tour to Shohoku College in Japan.

“I was blown away by the kindness of the students and the friendships we were able to form. I still speak with my host sister and hope one day she can visit me in Australia!” exclaims Kate.

Aside from her studies, Kate worked as an International Engagement Assistant at the University of Newcastle Global Office, allowing her to interact with the international student community whilst developing professional skills.

She is excited about the competitive edge that her degree has given her.

“Its unique and multidisciplinary background allows me a greater agency in which path my career may lead.”

Study Development Studies at the University of Newcastle

Kate Mannell

Floating down a river on a bamboo raft in Borneo, surveying the skyline on the tallest building in Tokyo, or watching a controlled ecological burn in Port Stephens weren’t experiences Kate could have imagined she’d get as part of her studies.

The Bachelor of Development Studies allowed me to grow my interest and passion reconnecting people and the environment and to think more broadly about ways forward.