Rachel England

Executive Education Manager, ANU Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions


Rachel is an environmental scientist/feminist geographer with research and practitioner experience in the areas of environmental policy, Defence environmental management, biosecurity and pest risk assessment/management. Born and raised on Wiradjuri country (NSW) in a town where chunks of coal were valued backyard toys, Rachel is interested in the complex social and gendered impacts of climate change and sustainable development interventions. 

Rachel has a Bachelor of Science (Botany & Zoology) with Honours degree from the Australian National University (2022), 14 years of experience working in Government and private sector consulting, and convened the ANU's Environmental Policy (ENVS3028/6528) semester 1 course in 2019 and 2020. Rachel's PhD research is with Indigenous women on their ways of being, knowing and doing sustainable development. This research seeks to critique the approaches taken by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) via the viewpoints of women in two case studies - the Nyikina and Mangala people of the Mardoowarra (Fitzroy River) in the west-Kimberly region [who strongly influenced the ethical design and methodology], and the White Grass people of central-west Tanna, Vanuatu [where most data was able to be generated]. 

At ICEDS, Rachel is the Executive Education Coordinator, responsible for delivering the Institute's professional education program of climate, energy and disaster solution short courses.


Research interests

Thesis title

Indigenous women’s ways of being, knowing and doing sustainable development

Thesis description

I commenced my research with the Fenner School in late March 2016.

My PhD research is interdisciplinary, focusing on Indigenous women’s ways of living sustainably on their country, and how these ways differ to the dominant sustainable development approaches and practices of their respective States. The aim is to offer insights into how sustainable development-related policy can be informed (reformed) to reconcile with Indigenous peoples’ worldviews of sustainability and their quests for self-determination.

My two semi-comparative case studies are with and for two Indigenous communities: the White Grass people of Tanna island (Vanuatu), and the Nyikina people of the Mardoowarra (colonially known as Fitzroy River, west-Kimberley region, Western Australia).


Written publications


  • ‘Pacific Ocean, Pacific Climate’ 2nd Pacific Climate Change Conference, February 2018, Wellington NZ [presenter]
  • Codification and Creation of Community and Customary Laws in the South Pacific and Beyond Conference, July 2018, ANU, Canberra [presenter]
  • ‘Creative Conversations, Constructive Connections’ NZGS/IAG Conference, July 2018, Auckland NZ [presenter]
  • Climate Change Institute Talanoa Dialogue ‘Implementing the Paris Agreement’, August 2018, ANU, Canberra [presenter and panellist]


Convenor of the 2019 ENVS3028/6528 Environmental Policy [3rd/4th year + Masters].

Updated:  1 May 2024/Responsible Officer:  College of Science/Page Contact:  https://iceds.anu.edu.au/contact