Frankly Speaking With Mariah Stellato By Yazmine Lomax


Frankston’s Mariah Stellato is a certified environmental warrior. The environmental science student has transformed her life into one that centres around mindful consumption and sustainability, and she has volunteered her skills both here and across the ditch.

How have your studies affected your views and lifestyle?

Before I started studying environmental science I was your typical consumer. I consistently bought copious amounts of junk I didn’t need and my life was so full of stuff that I couldn’t distinguish between what I needed and what I wanted. My studies taught me it’s possible to live sustainably.

What’s been the most rewarding experience so far?

It would have to be meeting people. I know it sounds extremely cliché but when you’re removing invasive plants, replanting natives, fossil hunting or beach cleaning, you get to work with people who have amazing stories. I’ve learnt more about the environment, culture and historical context from listening to people I’ve worked with than from a university book.

Why do you think volunteering is so important to society?

I spent a month in New Zealand volunteering with Conservation Volunteers NZ and have previously completed work with local Aboriginal archeologist Adam Magennis. From these experiences I have learnt that when you give, the benefits you receive back are endless. If no one gave then we would all just expect to receive.

Why do you love where you live and how does it inspire your work?

My passion for the environment was sparked from living here; with places like Olivers Hill and Bushrangers Bay, how could you not love it? If I can help protect what we have as our backyard, maybe others will too.