Penny is a joint PhD student at the Fenner School for Environment and Society and the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University.
Penny has an interdisciplinary background in environmental science, natural resource management, Asian Studies (Indonesian) and community development with a recent focus on integrated water management.
Penny’s first experience in natural resource management and development was as an intern with The Nature Conservancy on a small Indonesian island within the Coral Triangle assessing the potential impact of a marine protected area on local communities. This experience led to an ongoing interest in natural resource management and community development, particularly in Indonesia.
Penny’s professional experience includes the environmental statistics area of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the former Bureau of Rural Science (now ABARES), the Queensland Statewide Landcover and Tree Study, the Australian Rivers Institute (Griffith University) and the Department of Environment water policy and environmental approvals areas.
In 2010-11 Penny completed an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development assignment in Sumba, East Indonesia as a catchment management officer with a local natural resource management organisation. It was during her time in Sumba that Penny saw the potential to strengthen the catchment hydrology knowledge base to assist natural resource managers with their planning and this is the driving force behind her PhD.
Penny maintains her ties with East Indonesia through involvement with the NTA – East Indonesia Aid and has been a member of the board since 2014.