Luke Ragless brings an environmental focus to Healthy Environs, as its Sustainability Consultant. He joined the team a year ago, and one of his earliest projects saw him visit Mount Isa, working on the Mount Isa Environmental Management plan.
“I hadn’t been to Mount Isa before, so just going there was great,” Luke said. “I really appreciated the city – it’s so remote and far from everything else, but it can still thrive and flourish with its mining industry.
“People there get on with their day despite drought or floods, taking it all in their stride – that’s the heart of that remote community, they all work really well together. And it was a beautiful part of the country, with their wildlife and the surrounding environment. I enjoyed seeing the different animals and wildlife there.”
Luke has a specific interest in animals, having a Bachelor of Science in Animal Behaviour and a Diploma of Animal Technology. His career also encompasses working both in the laboratory and in the field, with a role at the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) at the University of Adelaide.
“TERN is essentially an ecological organisation that travels around Australia doing ecological surveys,” Luke said. “As the group’s Soil Technician, I travelled to Cape York, around the New South Wales outback, the Victorian highlands and more.
“We travelled every two weeks – for two weeks we’d be in the field, then two weeks in the office. It is a data resource organisation, so we collected soil and vegetation samples for others to use them.”
Luke relishes his role at Healthy Environs.
“It’s identifying where your core skills are and working and leading with that, and realising you have to become an expert in different sectors sometimes. While the content might be slightly different the overall project approach is often the same.”
“It’s good to be able to work alongside and get to know different communities and local councils,” Luke said.
“This job doesn’t get boring. I enjoy the fact that we do have to be flexible and adapt, because we don’t always know what our next projects might be.”
Luke enjoys spending his spare time outdoors in nature. “I’m lucky enough to have a decent-sized backyard full of native trees and birds and lizards, so being immersed in nature is what I really like to do, camping and hiking, and sitting outside with a cuppa,” he said.