I’m Lauren. I am a passionate STEAM professional currently studying a Master of Teaching (Primary and Secondary) at Deakin University.
I have a diverse range of experience, having studied a Bachelor of Science at Monash University, worked in the mining industry for five years as a Geologist, volunteered at museums and farms and participated in a fantastic community leadership program LEAD Loddon Murray in 2019. I also recently completed a project where I designed and built an off-grid tiny-home, learning to use 3D-modelling programs, carpentry and electrical wiring.
I have a strong interest in the environment, healthy local and sustainable communities and food systems and the importance of nature and exercise in developing happy humans! Having grown up in a low socio-economic area I am also passionate about developing resilience and confidence in kids who have had a tough start to life, their experiences and ability to hustle are a real super-power and they have many many contributions to make to the world!
Jumbuk Park Nature Retreat (Gippsland, VIC)
- Researching and developing a concept for a geological time walk through the rainforest.
- Track clearance, tree planting, mowing (ride on/whipper snipper), using a tractor to dig holes and shift dirt and general maintenance tasks.
- Setting up and cleaning cabins for guest use, assisting in running activities with guests.
Australian Geoparks Network
Geoparks are a program of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) which began in 2004. Today there are 120 Global Geoparks in 33 countries – every continent except Australia. Geoparks are an effective vehicle to foster conservation, education and sustainable development through geotourism. The AGN board was formed to support and advise the development of Geoparks in Australia.
Taralee Orchards (Southern Flinders, SA)
- Picking, drying, preserving in jams/sauces/chutneys apricots, plums, nectarines and peaches.
- Selling fruit, vegetables, eggs and dried fruits/preserves at various markets.
- Learning about sheep, cow and meat chicken husbandry first-hand.
- Caring for and collecting eggs from laying chickens for sale.
- Weeding, picking and planting in the market garden a variety of seasonal vegetables.
2020 – 2021
Master of Teaching (Primary and Secondary)
At the beginning of March 2020 I decided to make a career change from Mining into Teaching, intending to specialise in STEAM-related subjects either at primary school or in the middle years. In my first year I studied primary numeracy and literacy as well as health, wellbeing and new pedagogies. In my second year I will be focussing more on science, technology, arts, humanities and sustainability education in both Primary and Secondary settings.
I was lucky enough – due to a last minute move from VIC to SA – to complete two placements at a small (~100 students) Government primary school in the Adelaide Hills in 2020. I was involved in Book week, Science Fair, Art Fair, Grandparents Day, Colour Fun Run, Outdoor Learning Day and PATS (reading and numeracy) testing.
Year 3/4 Class
Observational + teaching small sequence in tiny homes.
Year 5/6 Class
Numeracy sequence (2D and 3D Shapes, Symmetry and Spatial Reasoning)
Literacy sequence (Persuasive Writing/The Lorax)
Art sequence (Perspective, Spirals, Rangoli Patterns)
Treasurer and Geotourism Representative
Australian Institute of Geoscientists
For two years I was the treasurer of the AIG Victorian Chapter, based in Bendigo. This involved helping to organise monthly professional development talks in Bendigo as well as a yearly Mining Conference at Mount Macedon involving multiple sponsors, speakers and the hiring of equipment/venues/caterers, etc. I was also responsible for organising all invoices, submitting the annual budget and paying for events with the AIG credit card.
AUG 2016 – MAR 2020
Fosterville Gold Mine (near Bendigo, VIC)
I worked in various roles at Fosterville Gold Mine, beginning as a Core Logger and then Graduate Geologist in Exploration (19 months), where I undertook soil sampling, managed rigs, logged core and provided a geological interpretation for Robbins Hill – a Brownfields exploration prospect. I then worked underground as a Mine Geologist (8 months), inspecting stopes, classifying ore and mapping/sampling fresh underground faces. I was also a Mine Emergency Responder whilst working underground, practicing rescues in fires/chemical spills/from heights and in tight spaces.
My final position as Core Shed Manager involved supervising and training the technical team including new graduates and vacation students, setting goals for performance, ensuring adherence to company policies and WHS and, organising efficient workflow.
Geology of Gold Industry Course (AIG)
I assisted in running a University/Industry Course for Gold Exploration, guiding students around Fosterville Gold Mine – a presentation, bus tour and core shed tour – and a field-mapping exercise at Victoria Hill, Bendigo, VIC.
FEB 2019 – NOV 2019
Lead Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program
A State Government Sponsored leadership program with participants of diverse experiences including farming, science, health care and journalism, from the Loddon-Murray Region. The program aims to develop leaders to empower Regional Communities. This is achieved through increasing awareness of self, teaching important skills such as public speaking and grant writing and, developing an understanding of how different communities operate by actually visiting numerous towns.
A clear highlight for me was the opportunity to give a presentation on the geological story of Kooyoora State Park, an important Aboriginal landmark (Kooyoora translates to ‘mountain of light’) and in return, representatives from the Dja Dja Wurrung community gave the Aboriginal dreaming story and explained the significance of the place for their ancestors.
Bursary to Year 11 Science Students
Rotary Club of Bendigo-Strathdale
As treasurer on the committee of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists I was able to organise a $3000.00 bursary to the Rotary Club of Bendigo-Strathdale for students from Bendigo Senior Secondary College to attend the National Youth Science Forum. Having attended this two week science camp myself in year 11 I was excited to be able to give back to an experience that changed significantly the trajectory of my life.
Seasonal Geoscience Presenter
Bunurong Coast Education
I assisted in running a field trip to Flat Rocks Dinosaur Fossil Site at Inverloch for Bunurong Coast Education with a large group of Year 8’s and 9’s. At the site I was able to demonstrate in the cliff face faults, sedimentary geology, igneous dykes, fossilised wood and evidence of dinosaurs.
APR 2017 – APR 2020
Tour Guide and Archives Volunteer
Central Deborah Gold Mine
I have contributed to Central Deborah Tourist Mine in various roles over the last couple of years, forming strong relationships with the amazing people who work there. Initially I volunteered as a Surface Tour Guide, developing a manual to assist future volunteers.
In 2018 I organised the donation of 80+ Li-Ion headlamps from Fosterville Gold Mine to replace 30+ year old Lead-Acid headlamps for underground tours.
In 2019 I have catalogued over 200 individual rock specimens, photographing and describing each item.
2012 – 2016
Bachelor of Science (Hons Geoscience)
In my undergraduate degree I majored in Geology and minored in Plant Science and Environmental Chemistry. I was fortunate to go on many field trips, including: two weeks at Buchan, VIC looking at fossils, four weeks at Broken Hill, NSW, one week at Bermagui, NSW and two weeks in Queenstown, TAS. I also completed an independent research project in third year on the structure of the East African Rift.
In my Honours year I did a research project which involved two weeks of field work, the collection of gravity data and pre-existing magnetic data and, integration of other sources of data (drill core, field mapping, rock chip sampling) to characterise a gold exploration prospect near Stawell in Western Victoria. I produced a 20-minute seminar for industry, academia and government as well as a 40-page research thesis for which I received a First Class (H1).
2015 – Present
Founder Weekend Geology
I founded Weekend Geology whilst still in University as I realised that whilst I was attending fantastic excursions to cool sites all over Victoria, these sites were literally unknown to the public! The website is popular, with over 1300 views a month, from schools, universities, travellers and anyone else interested in the rocks they’re walking through on the weekend!
AUG 2013 – Current
Each summer I am able, I return to the Otways or Inverloch as a dig volunteer to help prospect and unearth fossils (generally Cretaceous including dinosaurs, fish, turtles and mammal jaws) using jackhammers, rocks and chisel/hammers to break the rock down to sugar-cube sized rocks.
I was also able to spend a couple of years helping out backstage at the Museum. I assisted the collection curator to prepare fossils, meteorites and minerals for study or exhibit using glues, coats, acids and tools to remove matrix from bone/enamel. I also volunteered as a gallery explainer in both the dinosaur exhibit at Melbourne Museum and the travelling collection at the Wool Museum, Geelong.
Sustainable Living Certificate Course | 2021
Responding to Abuse and Neglect | Educators SA | 2020
Working With Children Check (SA and VIC) | 2020
Mental Health First Aid | 2019
Microsoft Excel Training Advanced/Advanced Data Analysis | Odyssey Training | 2019
Step In, Step Up | Institute of Community Directors Australia | 2019
Australian Association for Environment Education
Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG)
Early Education for Sustainability SA
Geological Society of Australia
South Australian Science Teachers Association
Sustainable Communities South Australia