“The first thing I noticed was the clean air – it felt like I was taking a full breath for the first time in my life.”
That’s how Olivia Hasler describes the first time that she landed in Hobart.
But this wasn’t a holiday. Olivia was here all the way from the United States to write her PhD.
“I was originally in the US and on the internet, just clicking from one thing to another, and I actually found my now-supervisor, Rob White’s work,” says Olivia.
It was in this area called green criminology, which I’d never heard of before. But as soon as I did a little digging, I knew that that was me.
“I’ve always loved the environment, and I’m passionate about that criminal aspect that I studied in my undergraduate degree.”
“This kind of combined my two big interests into one big umbrella.”
And while Hobart was where her PhD supervisor was located, it certainly wasn’t the only reason she decided to move here.
“I did a bit of research into Tassie and Hobart, and it felt like I could really fit in here.”
Hobart looked like a beautiful corner of the world that I wanted to explore, while also writing something relevant to both the place and myself.
The state’s connections to Bob Brown and the birth of the Greens movement were also relevant to Olivia’s studies, which are focused on the controversial Carmichael (also known as Adani) Coalmine.
“I was looking at the legal concept of a thing called ecocide, which describes the total destruction of environment,” Olivia explains.
“My PhD argues that allowing the Carmichael mine to happen is a criminal act, because it would ruin the Great Barrier Reef, the land in the area, and the water underneath it.”