Earth sciences graduate: Kelly Newell is using her degree to prepare the Waikato for natural disasters for the Waikato District Council.
When a natural disaster strikes, being prepared can make all the difference.
Thanks to a degree majoring in Earth Sciences at the University of Waikato, graduate Kelly Newell understands the dynamics of natural disasters and how they affect communities.
She is now using that expertise to prepare the Waikato for such events in her role as a Local Civil Defence Emergency Management Coordinator for the Waikato District Council.
Emergency operations centre
“Within the council, my role is to build and maintain an emergency operations centre (EOC) that can be activated to respond to an emergency in the district. I also coordinate civil defence staff to be prepared to respond to emergencies and work in the EOC,” says Kelly.
In the community, Kelly encourages people living in the Waikato to be prepared for an emergency through individual household emergency plans and community response planning.
“Our goal is to assist our communities in responding to and coping with a disaster, and helping them to return to normal as soon as possible afterwards.”
Kelly’s journey before choosing Waikato University began at Ngaruawahia High School, followed by time in the Royal New Zealand Airforce.
“I thought about attending university for some time before I finally did it. It’s not an easy decision leaving full-time employment to go to university, but I’m really pleased I did it and have had no regrets.”