For Andree Ruggeri, 2020 provided a wake-up call. Living through the COVID-19 pandemic and witnessing devastating bushfires and other climate-led disasters, she was compelled to become part of the solution.
Completing VU’s unique Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health gave Andree the expertise in her role as a VU Learning Hub Coordinator to empower students to be more environmentally and socially conscious.
Why planetary health?
“I think 2020 highlighted to many of us the urgency of the situation we’re in. It also provided opportunities to address our problems.
"The course’s emphasis on Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing was a particularly invaluable learning experience.
"My classmates were from different professional backgrounds and contexts, both local and international, which made for a rich learning experience.
"I'm still surprised at how much of an impact a short course has had on my life, and I think that’s down to it being such an important topic and an interesting way of learning.”
Applying knowledge right away
“The course has changed the way I think and make decisions every day. I'm more aware of the positive and negative impacts we can have, both locally and globally.
"It has also opened up exciting challenges. I’m working on new projects at VU; including an online module introducing VU’s Planetary Health focus to our undergrads.
"I'd love to bring what I've learned into a role where I can further help grow planetary health initiatives in the west of Melbourne.”
VU Block Model benefits
"For me, focusing intensively on one topic at a time was a great way to learn. I'm so excited for the next group of planetary health students!”