Frasers Property Australia Sustainability Coordinator, Olivia Leal-Walker has been hard at work as our 2016 Future Green Leader. As we look to crown our next winner, she reflects on what the role has taught her over the past year.
Walk us through your role as 2016 Future Green Leader
It has been a phenomenal year! My role has been to meet and learn from young sustainability professionals and represent them through the Future Green Leader (FGL) Committee – and I have loved it. We have created a forum for young professionals in the industry to come together.
What has taking on a leadership position taught you?
Being in a leadership position has taught me to use my voice for the things that I care about. Winning this award taught me to believe in my abilities to positively influence the things that truly matter. Just as importantly, it has taught me to listen and support others. There is still so much to learn – I am fortunate to work with a brilliant team that supports me on this journey.
What have been some of the key opportunities presented to you through being our FGL?
FGL offers as many opportunities as you are willing to take. Some of these include presenting at Green Building Day, being part of the FGL Committee, influencing the direction of the program and receiving a mentor. It also offered me the opportunity to push myself, and my boundaries, to see what I could achieve, and I am very grateful for this.
What about the challenges?
Learning to channel my passion into particular projects. When you care about a lot of things, and are willing to help, this can certainly become a challenge!
What’s been the highlight of being our 2016 FGL?
The role helped me find my voice, and provided a platform to talk about the things that I am passionate about, particularly equal opportunities for Western Sydney and renewables. It has also been an absolute privilege to work alongside and learn from other passionate young people, particularly the FGL Committee. Another highlight was the FGL launch party at the beginning of the year – I was so impressed watching the other FGL’s present their vision for a sustainable future. I have gained so much confidence and met so many brilliant people.
How can aspiring sustainability leaders gain valuable experience through joining the program?
The FGL program is the best way to meet other young professionals in the industry – I met many of my closest friends through the networking events. We can now call each other when we have a difficult question, and it is a wonderful network to lean on!
Putting yourself out there and connecting with others is invaluable. Our events are a good opportunity to talk about what you care about. Put your hand up for every opportunity, regardless of whether or not you think you can. And of course, apply to be the FGL of the Year!
Why is it an exciting time to be a FGL?
We are fortunate to start our sustainability careers at a time when we are at the tipping point, and progress is rapidly occurring. FGLs will be living the future, but with the right support, we are capable now to influence the world we want to live in. If you are passionate about something, embrace it, and make it happen. I am really excited for what we will collectively achieve in our lifetime!