Worried about consumerism in society, Reece Pater began to investigate ways to live frugally and how he could get more out of what he had.
“I looked into the ideas of living with less and getting the most out of what you have. From there, I stumbled across the idea of sustainability and the penny dropped– I wanted to study it.”
In particular, Reece wanted to find a university which offered a dedicated Sustainability degree, rather than just an elective or subset of another course.
“I wanted to study Sustainability as a degree and James Cook University (JCU) really stood out for me. Situated in the Tropics with the heritage rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, it was obvious to me that the Bachelor of Sustainability at JCU was a strong course.”
JCU offers three majors in the Bachelor of Sustainability; Business, Science and Social Science. For Reece, the decision was an easy one because of his interest in how societies function.
“I’ve always been interested in people, their habits and how they think, so when I was looking through the different majors in the Sustainability degree at JCU, it was clear to me that I would choose Social Science.”
The highlight of the degree for Reece is the exposure it gives him to a variety of fields.
“It’s very multi-skilled. You’ve got straight science, environmental science, environmental economics and of course social science. Exposure to a lot of different concepts is really awesome for me. It also has a tropical focus witha lot of our case studies involving climate change, the Reef and the rainforest.”
A member of the Sustainability Club, Reece takes a personal interest in sustainable building and sustainable housing and was involved with coordinating Cairns’ Sustainable House Day.
“That’s a space I’m interested in getting into. I’ve also been involved with a program where we go out to primary schools to help get the kids thinking about sustainability. I definitely feel prepared for the workforce. I think the knowledge you get from this degree is comprehensive enough to get out there and get involved.”
Reece recommends Sustainability to anyone who is sensitive to the environment, consumerism or globalisation.
“It’s one of those areas that can be large scale, macro issues or small scale, specific ones. If you’re willing to learn from a range of disciplines and you’re multi-skilled, it’s probably the best course you can do.”