The Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) has awarded the 2016 WMAA Women in the Environment Award to Samantha Cross, Director of Newcastle-based sustainability consulting business, Cross Connections Consulting.
Cross was presented with the Award at the recent WMAA Victoria Christmas function. “I believe we as an industry, and as individuals, have a role to play in encouraging, supporting and fostering greater diversity,” Cross said in her acceptance speech.
“We want to attract a mix of people to make sure our industry continues to draw, develop and retain talent, challenges the status quo and supports the changing needs of our businesses and communities when it comes to better managing waste.”
As an appointed NSW EPA Circulate Program facilitator, Cross was recognised for her work in developing logistics models to address barriers to landfill diversion, recently facilitating the establishment of five aggregation points for plasterboard waste (100 per cent recyclable) going to landfill due to inefficiencies in collection and transport.
One such project was the Plastic Police Partnership program, which has been developing an innovative recycling and education program engaging local communities to divert soft plastic packaging from landfill.
“Collaboration is equally important in ensuring greater resource recovery opportunities are realised in the circular economy as are product stewardship initiatives that deliver effective and sustainable outcomes,” Cross said.
“I would like to thank WMAA and Blue Environment for supporting and recognising all the amazing women who are part of our exciting industry. My appreciation is also extended to all those inspiring and supportive individuals, both male and female, who have been part of my journey to date and who continue to make a positive difference in our industry.”
The award began as an initiative of the WMAA Victoria Branch, and recognises the achievements of women in the environment industry. In 2015, the award – sponsored by Blue Environment – was opened nationally to all eligible women in the environment sector who have made a significant contribution to environmental sustainability in Australia in the past five years.
Photo middle left (L-R): Samantha Cross, Director Cross Connections Consulting and Chair of the WMAA Hunter Regional Group; Gayle Sloan, WMAA Chief Executive Officer; and Christine Wardle, Managing Director Blue Environment.