Tell us about yourself and Environmental Law Oceania Consultancy?
I grew up in France, in a suburb of Paris, the fifth of 5 girls. I was the first of my family to go to university, and studied law. I was always interested and involved in social justice issues, and I ended up graduating with a Master of international public law. As soon as I had enough savings, I left France to travel the world by sailing. I found a travel partner who happened to be Australian, and to cut a long story short, we made it to Sydney, hopping from boat to boat and countries to islands, in a little less than a year later. This is how I discovered the beauty of the Pacific Ocean and of the Pacific Islands. In Australia, while raising my two beautiful children (and surviving cancer), I went back to University. This time to complete my Master of environmental law. I eventually started working in the field of environmental law and development assistance in the Asia Pacific region, but mostly Indonesia. It is the opportunity to develop the Oceania environmental law program of IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature that brought me to Suva some ten years ago. I then worked for two years with Fiji Environmental Law Association as Environmental Legal Advisor under the Australian International Volunteer for International Development (AVID) program. In 2018 I established Environmental Law Oceania Consultancy, and started working as an independent consultant.
ELO Consultancy provides technical assistance and capacity building services in the field of environmental and natural resources management law and governance in Fiji and / or the Pacific Islands region. In practice, it involves mostly analysing the legal and policy frameworks governing any particular environmental issue or natural resource management challenge, and making recommendations for improvement; developing awareness and training resources, running capacity building workshops and contributing to various workshops and events. In the last couple of years, I have worked mainly on projects relating to the prevention of plastic pollution, which is a very serious environmental transboundary environmental issue affecting significantly the Pacific Islands. Beyond the most visible ocean plastic litter problem, the production of plastics and plastic pollution are also associated with climate change and with threats to biodiversity, food security, human rights, and health. Recent research has even found microplastics in human placenta and blood!
If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?
1- Curious / Adaptive
2- Determined/ Resilient
3- Citizen of the world
Can you share your favourite quote with us and why ?
“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito.” African proverb quoted by the Daila Lama
I like this quote because it is empowering. It gives motivation to persist working towards changing the things and systems in the world that may appear too big or too powerful for a single person or a single group of people to challenge.
“It’s not what happens to you but how you react that matters”. Epictetus, Greek stoic philosopher
This quote reminds me that there will inevitably be things or situations in my life that are not what I intended or wished for. What I can control however, and will make a difference to my life in the end is how I respond to them, accept what I cannot change, learn from it, look at the big picture and move on.
Why does coworking work for you?
I enjoy working independently as a consultant, but the flip side of working at home is isolation. Greenhouse Coworking is the ideal solution for consultants who, like me miss being part of a community of work. It gives me a workspace outside of home, a bright and open space, pulsing with positive energy, the chance to meet likeminded people and, importantly, good coffee. All of this helps me stay focused on my work.