Vanessa Cavanagh is an Aboriginal woman with Bundjalung (NSW north coast) and Wonnarua (NSW Hunter region) ancestry. Vanessa is a PhD candidate and Associate Lecturer within ACCESS, in the School of Geography and Sustainable Communities, UOW. Vanessa has over two decades of experience in environmental conservation including both the corporate and government sector. She has worked in various roles in the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage including an early career position as a field officer where she participated in remote area fire-fighting. Other roles Vanessa held in the department were positioned in national park operations, cultural heritage management and research, joint management of national parks estates, and ranger roles. Vanessa worked in the corporate sector with Eco Logical Australia as the project manager of the Georges River Aboriginal Riverkeeper Team project which operated between 2014 and 2017, this project saw eight Aboriginal trainees successfully complete Conservation and Land Management traineeships in south-western Sydney. Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Science in Land and Heritage Management with first class Honours at the University of Wollongong, (UOW). Vanessa’s passion is Indigenous leadership and the encouragement of Indigenous women in environmental conservation activities, she empowers these values within her various roles.