Papua New Guinea
Master of Climate Change (alumni)
Australian National University, ACT
Lydia has recently completed studies for a Master of Climate Change at the Australian National University (ANU). Her long-term ambition is to be appointed Departmental Head of either Papua New Guinea's Climate Change Development Authority (where she is currently employed as a Senior Project Officer), or the Department of National Planning and Monitoring.
Lydia is interested in the impact of drought and climate change on women. As part of her research work at ANU she undertook a gender analysis of the Papua New Guinea drought. This involved in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and awareness-raising sessions with policy makers, local leaders and local women and men about the connection between drought, water scarcity and negative impact on women's development and gender relations.
Now based in Papua New Guinea, Lydia intends to use the findings of her research to advocate for gender-sensitive climate change and water policies at both national and local levels. She is keen to develop networks and strengthen partnerships with Australian Government, academic and NGO practitioners in her field, especially with regard to strengthening governance around climate change policy.
Department of Environment and Energy, ACT
Kushla heads up the International Climate Change Branch in the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy. She is responsible for international strategic climate policy, including on carbon markets, transparency and accounting, and the delivery of international partnerships on forests and blue carbon.
Previously Kushla worked at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as the head of the Global Development Branch, where in 2015 she was Australia's lead negotiator on the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals. Kushla has also held senior roles in the Department of Climate Change, the Office of National Assessments and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, in a public service career that spans 18 years.
Kushla holds a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Queensland and a Masters of Environmental Sustainability (Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh.