Thelma’s passion for the environment began as Co- Founder and Co-Chair of a community group which sought to achieve national park status on an iconic headland in Sydney. From the experience she gained in this role she was accepted into a graduate certificate in Environmental Management and then into the Masters of Environmental Management program.
Her work has taken her to far north Queensland with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Senior Environmental Officer licensing and inspecting for compliance coal mines, ports, municipal sewage treatment plants and quarries. Thelma also worked closely with the EPA’s compliance unit on a number of investigations into serious environmental harm, developing sampling and documentation procedures for investigations. When the EPA merged with another government department, Thelma was asked to work in a co-ordination role for state significant projects such as dams and railways, reporting to the Co-Ordinator General.
Currently, Thelma is the Senior Environmental Health Officer for Shoalhaven City Council. In this role she supervises the public and environmental health team which inspect food premises, on-site sewage treatment systems, public swimming pools and skin penetration premises as well as specialising in contaminated land and supervising grants.
As lead of a number of environmental grants for Shoalhaven City Council Thelma has championed the use of smart technology and its applications in the local community to obtain data to inform decision-making in local government.