Decarbonising energy systems

Anna Mildner, Senior Consultant - Environment

Anna Milder, RPS Senior Consultant - Environment stands on the Afton Street Pedestrian Bridge over the Maribyrnong River in Melbourne.

Anna Mildner is all about environmental management and preservation, which she says stems from her rural upbringing. A Senior Environmental Consultant who wears many hats, she’s currently working on a project that’s transforming the Australian energy landscape. Anna took some time out to tell us about her job, what she loves about Melbourne as a rural NSW ex-pat, and her passion for renewable energy.

QWhat does a week in the life of an RPS environmental consultant look like?

My role is predominantly focused on environmental impact assessment and approvals, and a typical day involves lots of meetings! In my current project management role, I’m responsible for coordinating a lot of people and specialists, so that involves plenty of meetings with other team members and external meetings with clients. That being said, the role definitely varies from day-to-day. I can go from reviewing reports to coordinating big programs and budgets, to meeting with stakeholders. There’s a lot to keep track of.

Quick Q&A

Favourite local band?

The Pierce Brothers!

How long have you lived in Melbourne?

Nearly 8 years now.

Coffee recommendation?

Traveller – it’s a tiny little hole in the wall coffee shop down a laneway in the CBD.

Footy team?

Sydney Swans!

Favourite place in Melbourne?

Probably the MCG, I love a footy game with a big crowd.

QWhat projects are you working on and how do you think they’ll make Victoria better?

At the moment I’m working on a project which is a first for both Victoria and Australia’s renewable energy portfolio. It will enhance Victoria’s renewable energy sector in a staggeringly significant way, decarbonising the energy system, and providing a lot of jobs for regional Victorians – especially in Gippsland, a community that is transitioning away from the coal industry.

QWhat are some highlight projects that you’ve worked on so far in your career?

I previously worked on the Regional Rail Revival program. The program is still ongoing and provides a lot of benefit to regional Victorians in terms of access to public transport and improved travel times, particularly to Melbourne.

I was proud to be involved in a project that helped regional Victorians, as it's often the cities that get the focus.

QWhat issues do we need to focus on solving as a community right now?

The pandemic has highlighted that we’re only as strong as our communities and the environment around us, and provided us with an opportunity to reset our thinking about our environmental future.

COVID-19 has demonstrated that we can change the way we do things in quite rapidly, and that our behaviour can shift given a big enough push. I don’t see a reason why we can’t apply that in an environmental context and change the way that we produce our energy and manage our environment.

QWhat makes you proud to be a Victorian?

I’m proud of the fact that we appear to be transitioning to renewable energy a little faster than some other states (or at least federally), and we have committed to net zero by 2050. I’ve worked on a large number of renewable energy projects which have provided a tangible benefit to the community, and I think it’s an area in which Victoria is striving to improve.

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Anna Mildner

Senior Environmental Consultant

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