Meet MDC’s Community Building Action Group Convenor – Sanjna Ullal

MDC is made up of a diverse team of professional volunteers who bring skills and knowledge from their international and local experience to build a community of development professionals.

Sanjna is part of the MDC team as the convenor for Community Building and organises the monthly Meet-Ups. She brings experience in communications and community development in a South Asia context. She recently completed her Master of Environment and Sustainability at Monash University, and with an economics background, she intends to continue working internationally in sustainable community development in order to apply her MDC learnings.

We had a chat with Sanjna to learn about her and how she became involved with the development sector. 

Hi Sanjna, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hello everyone, I was born and brought up in Bangalore, India. My parents and sister are still back there. I speak 4 languages! I moved here in 2018 to begin my Masters of Environment and Sustainability at Monash Uni. I have just finished my course this July. It’s been great to be here and learn so many things!

What inspired you to embark on this development journey?
While doing my Bachelors degree, we were talking about environmental economics. Within that subject, we spoke about the impact poor people had on the environment, especially in countries with lower incomes. That was disheartening because there was research that spoke about how they had an impact, which is so untrue. Subsequently, there was a Masters class I had to do a presentation for, and their views on India’s contribution to global warming being abysmal was so heartbreaking. I started interning at a sustainability firm where I subsequently got a job. The work was in low carbon community development, and that is where my journey began.

You completed your Masters of Environment and Sustainability at Monash University last year – congratulations! Can you share some insights you have learnt through your studies?
I had stopped studying Science in Year 10, so I undertook a specialisation that focused more on the scientific aspects of Climate Change under this Masters. It was revealing how interconnected the issues were. The saying that butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazonian jungle, and subsequently a storm ravages half of Europe has never been truer. I was overwhelmed with the amount of information I consumed, both in Uni and from the news around sustainability. Something I learned was that you have to focus on one theme, that you have a personal drive for, and then go on from there.

Thank you Sanjna for sharing your development journey!

Join Sanjna and meet other MDC members at our upcoming Meet Up – Wednesday 7 July 7:30-8:45pm – Sign up here!