AUSTRALIANS like to think they are the people of the great outdoors but Parramatta student Jules Wright thinks we have a lot to learn about looking after the environment we love.
When Ms Wright, 41, tells people she studies environmental management and climate change, there is often an uncomfortable pause in the conversation.
"It's always quite contentious when you tell people," said the University of Western Sydney student.
"I think lots of people, apart from a few who are interested in it, wouldn't really know much about it."
Ms Wright said the knowledge she had gained was more than just preparation for a career. She felt compelled to learn as much as she could about living in sync with the planet. This semester she was granted a scholarship by UWS to continue her studies at Uppsala University in Sweden.
Ms Wright said the Swedes were far more sophisticated than most Australians when it came to knowledge of environmental sustainability.
She was lured to Uppsala to learn from some of the best academics in the field.
"They're just so much more advanced than us. It's just so hard to get people aware of it here.
"You can become sustainable in everything you do but you can't expect incremental growth.
"People say it's a nice idea — someone should do something about it. I want to be that someone."