The School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management was disestablished on 1 January, 2017.

Following a review, the school was merged with the School of Earth Sciences to create the new School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences website can be found at

Comila Roebuck
Comila Roebuck

Ensuring the sustainable development of large scale projects is all in a day’s work for Master of Environmental Management graduate Comila Roebuck.

Working as a Project Officer for the Queensland Government Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Comila applies her critical analysis skills to some of the state’s largest infrastructure and commercial developments.

“I work with the Coordinated Project Delivery division to assess the environmental impact statements of large, complex projects such as coal mines, resort developments, port expansions and LNG projects,” she said.

“My role involves analysing project documents including environmental impact statements, liaising with project proponents to seek further information, and assisting with the preparation of the Coordinator-General’s  evaluation reports.”

Comila attributes the development of her critical thinking skills and extensive understanding of sustainable development to her postgraduate studies.

“Completing postgraduate studies allowed me to learn more about environmental issues which interested me and to enter a field which is working to address these,” she said.

“My studies at UQ provided me with the relevant knowledge and the skills to get through the door.”

She enjoyed the critical thinking and evaluation of environmental problems that her studies required, as well as the opportunity to learn from lecturers who are highly regarded and well-respected in their disciplines.

As a member of the inaugural School of GPEM fieldtrip to Vietnam, Comila embraced the experience enthusiastically.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to experience the culture and a country in a way I would never have known otherwise.”

After her graduation, Comila volunteered as an intern with Green Cross Australia, gaining skills in community engagement with climate change, before commencing in her current role.

 “I enjoy the exposure to different types of projects from mining and petroleum projects to resort developments and port expansions,” she said.

Comila plans to complete a volunteer placement overseas as part of the Youth Ambassador for Development program, and her career goal is to work with the Asian Development Bank.

Her advice to UQ students is to take the opportunity to complete a research project during their studies and to take every chance to meet new people.

“There are some fascinating people at GPEM who can introduce you to new ideas and opportunities,” she said.

“And if you’re in a postgraduate program you should make use of the postgrad study area in the Duhig Tower. It’s a dream and I wish I had known about it earlier in my studies.”

Last updated: Aug 28, 2014