School of Indigenous Studies

Patrick Distel


UWA Science Graduate Patrick Distel

I considered studying a Science degree at UWA because it is one of Australia's premier teaching and research universities. It offers a wider range of disciplines and courses in the Science undergraduate program.

I chose to study Earth Science because of the unique land and combination of the traditional fields of physical geography, climatology, environmental science and soil science. I have always enjoyed science and have had a keen interest in the environment. Earth Science and Environmental science is high in demand in the Australian resource industry.

During my studies I had the opportunity of work experience with the Department of Agriculture and with Rio Tinto Iron Ore. The knowledge I gained from study was useful and I could see how it could be applied to the work environment.

During my study I found the support that the School of Indigenous Studies provided, especially tutorial support and resources like computers and the study rooms invaluable and a more relaxed environment to work. It is important that the university encourages Indigenous students by having a centre such as the School of Indigenous Studies where students can meet, study and feel at home.

Having completed my studies at UWA, I have been working in Rio Tinto’s environment department and concluded their graduate program. Mining entails diverse aspects of environmental work so it’s great for acquiring a breadth of experience. At present I am working as an Environmental Officer for RTIO’s Communities and Pastoral Stations. In this role my principal purpose is to assist in providing systems and standards governance in relation to the pastoral stations and implementation of the environmental management standard for the native title and land use agreements.