USC graduate works to save forests in Indonesia - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

USC News

USC graduate works to save forests in Indonesia

19 Sep 2016

A University of the Sunshine Coast graduate who last year received the Chancellor’s Medal along with her Environmental Health Science degree is now working in Indonesia for The Forest Trust (TFT), helping more companies to source responsibly-produced palm oil.

Ashleigh Morris, 27, formerly of Mudjimba, is a TFT project manager liaising with a large global producer and supplier of palm oil to improve the conservation of Indonesia’s rainforest from which the valuable oil is derived.

“In this role, I work with our team to apply procurement policies, implement responsible sourcing programs, build transparency and improve practices,” she said.

“TFT is a non-profit organisation with 15 offices and more than 200 people worldwide, and it focuses on raw material supply chains including palm oil, solid wood, pulp and paper, soy, stone and more. We aim to respect the environment while improving people’s lives.

“My role is challenging and can be heartbreaking, but the opportunity to work holistically with key stakeholders to conserve the incredible ecosystems of Indonesia is very rewarding.”

Ms Morris moved to Indonesia in January from Sydney, where she was pursuing her passion to rid the world of toxic waste.

She was an intern at the waste recycle organisation TerraCycle and completed Honours in Environmental Management Research at the University of New South Wales.

Her paper, published in the Journal of Environmental Management, found that Australia’s approach to e-waste recycling was ineffective and required greater compliance measures to prevent hazardous pollutants from ending up in landfill.

She has also received two major accolades: Environmental Health Australia’s Early Career Environmental Health Professional of the Year; and the ‘Aim for the Stars: Environment and Sustainability Scholarship’ from the Layne Beachley Foundation.

Ms Morris said her new job followed an initial visit to Indonesia in 2012 after she received a $53,500 Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Award while studying at USC.

The overseas study and work experience in waste management reinforced her career direction in environmental protection.

Ms Morris, who left school on the Sunshine Coast after Year 9, said enrolling in USC’s Tertiary Preparation Pathway program in 2011 had changed her life.

“I wanted to give back because I’m an example of how you can achieve whatever you want in life with the right support,” she said.

— Julie Schomberg

USC graduate Ashleigh Morris meets young villagers in a remote area of Indonesia.

Related programs

Related articles

Graduate making a mark on Moreton Bay region
9 Jul

Straight out of university, urban designer Mitch Tilly of Bribie Island is excited to already be helping influence and shape the future of the rapidly growing Moreton Bay region.

Graduate thrives in respiratory science career
7 Jul

Completing clinical placements and paid work at hospitals from Nambour to Robina has sparked an exciting career for USC Biomedical Science graduate Zoe Presley, who is now a senior respiratory scientist at the Gold Coast University Hospital.

OT graduate Chelsea-Maree Campbell
OT graduate helped people of South Pacific nation
29 Jun

A work placement in Vanuatu while at university has given new Redcliffe occupational therapist Chelsea-Maree Campbell an even wider understanding of community health care.

Contact the USC media team

Name Position Email Phone
Terry Walsh Manager, Media and Messaging +61 7 5430 1160
Janelle Kirkland Media Relations Coordinator +61 7 5459 4553
Clare McKay Media Relations Officer (Regional) +61 7 5456 5669

Search results for

Recent news