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“Be the change you want to see in the world” is one of DWLP and ELGP Alumni, Isis Alexandra’s favourite words to live by.

Isis moved to Australia in 2016 and has since then worked hard to learn about Australian culture and contribute to the local communities she is involved with. Isis constantly asks herself how she can add value to society and how she can be a better citizen. What a way to lead!

Meet Isis in her own words…

Isis Alexandra Rivera Leon is a woman from the second most biodiverse country in the world, Colombia. Colombia is a magical land where the most impressive contrasts can be seen.

She has always been a curious and compassionate person, which is why she studied Chemical Engineering at the best public university in Colombia, Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Thanks to her university and soccer-playing skills she was able to travel domestically and internationally. This exposed her to people of diverse backgrounds and made her wonder about what others’ experiences and knowledge were out of her comfort zone. She was able to work in different industries in Colombia and the USA and progressed quickly to management positions in the mining industry.

In 2016 she decided to migrate to Australia looking for other possibilities the world could offer, and the lucky country did not disappoint. She was lucky to get a professional job very quickly in Adelaide and started to better understand the Australian culture. What she found extremely interesting is how she started to question herself more about her purpose and started exploring how she could help and contribute to the community. She volunteered in different organisations and on an individual basis mainly helping new migrants develop their careers there.

In 2019 she decided she wanted to start a career change into sustainability and moved to Perth in 2020. The pandemic delayed her plans but she will soon start working in this area and she will like to contribute to the decarbonisation space which will be key for Western Australia in the coming years in order to tackle climate change.

Tell us how being involved in one of our leadership programs has helped you? What changed or shifted in you as a result?

I have participated in the DWLP and ELGP with Alicia as a facilitator. As a migrant, I continually ask myself how I can add value to Australia’s society. These two programs have helped me to continue figuring it out, and more importantly, by being authentic, and by bringing my true self. They have also helped me to create an important and genuine network of kindred people in Western Australia.

Tell us about a project/cause/organisation you’re involved with and what you’ve learnt about creating positive change?

One of my recent challenges is finding a way to contribute in the sustainability space in the industry, specifically in the decarbonisation area in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change. At the moment, I am back at university to better understand how to do that, and I am part of Net Zero Network WA (NZN), which is a grassroots organisation looking for ways to accelerate decarbonisation in this state and provide objective facts and data to have better conversations for climate change solutions.

To date, I have two significant takeaways. Firstly, these organisations have to be focused and specific about how they want to help society in order to be more efficient and effective. Secondly, a key component I have noticed is organisation. It sounds simple, but we are not a large team, however, with the correct organisation and delegation we have been able to work organically and effectively.

What is an important leadership lesson you’ve learnt along the way?

It really resonates with me is the well-known leadership guideline of “walk the talk” and being authentic. The greatest leaders I have met in my professional life are the ones doing what they preach, not only in their professional lives but also in other aspects of their lives.

What reflective practices help you stay resilient?

To put things into perspective. I love reading philosophy and psychology topics. The more I read and I understand the more I realise I am part of a whole system. It is so easy for humans to get lost in minor issues and I consider life is not about that 😊

How do you think WA can embrace its diversity?

I find the multiculturalism of Australia fascinating. I have always thought that it is like travelling around the world but in just one place. It is known the great benefits of embracing diversity for Australian society; however, I still consider as a society we need to keep having conversations about this as there is still a lot of ignorance out there.

These conversations can just come naturally out of curiosity, curiosity is an innate characteristic of human beings, and if this leads diverse conversations (with respect, of course) I am certain most migrants will be happy to share about their culture.

What’s next for you?

I will start working as a Sustainability Consultant in an engineering firm in 2023. As well as this significant change, I hope to continue volunteering with Net Zero Network WA, being a mentor, running workshops and being involved in a board for a Latin non for profit organisation.

I was recently accepted as one of the 300 emerging leaders for the 11th Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conference, and as part of that, I hope to attend the conference held in Canada in June this year.

6 powerful secrets to find your highest purpose in life

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