Environmental solutions from rainforest to reef

Megan Davis, North Queensland Environment Leader

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A Cairns local who is making a difference for the environments she loves, Megan heads up our team of environmental specialists across North Queensland. With expertise across many aspects of environmental management, monitoring, approvals and protection, we chatted to Megan about her passion for reef and rainforest, the women that inspire her, and how she's walking the talk on gender equality.

QTell us about your job at RPS

I’m the North Queensland Environment Leader and oversee the Townsville, Cairns, and Port Douglas environment teams. In my day-to-day work I’m a generalist who balances time in the office and out in the field in the areas of water, waste, air quality, noise, ecology, approvals, and compliance across a wide range of clients in various sectors such as defence, construction, renewables and waste/resource recovery.

Name a woman who inspires you

Grace Tame because she is fearless and speaks her truth despite what she’s been through.

Who is a woman environmental leader that people should know about?

Molly Steer, an 11 year old girl from Cairns who has worked to ban the plastic straw! Local businesses and Council have come on board and huge corporates such as McDonalds are now changing to cardboard straws as a result. Campaigns like hers make a small but significant difference.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I won a surfboard in my early teens when I drew a picture of me enjoying the beach in my spare time and working to protect it at school/work. That hasn’t really changed!

What are you up to when you’re not at work?

Last weekend I was snorkeling at Green Island, a coral cay off Cairns, and walking through the rainforest on the island observing the different species of birds with my kids. It’s been amazing to show them the natural world and see the same amazement that I experienced when I was their age! 

QWhat inspired you to get into environmental work?

I grew up camping and hiking across Queensland and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and wanted to ensure these amazing places were protected for generations to come.

QCareer highlights so far?

Finding a grove of protected Native Sugar Palms (Arenga Australasica) and working to protect the area, observing Northern Quoll on the Mount Emerald Wind Farm site, and watching dugong surface off the coast of Moa Island in the Torres Strait are some recent field highlights. 

QWhat's the best thing you've done to further your career?

I integrated a Law and Science dual degree as part of my undergraduate studies to capitialise on environmental opportunities and set myself apart from the crowd. I also worked throughout my studies in various fields to gain experience and find out what I liked to do the most.

QHow do you think the consulting industry is doing in terms of addressing gender bias and inequality?

I’m the only woman and the youngest in the leadership team for my region, but have been supported and mentored to take on leadership roles and ‘break the bias’. RPS is actively working to engage more women in leadership, and to ensure fairness and equality across the consulting industry which is really encouraging. I think we need to continue this effort, and ensure women are employed across the business and supported to succeed. I’m ‘walking the talk’ with all my permanent staff being women!

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