Rochelle Christian

Rochelle Christian
Independent consultant
Sole Trader

PhD (2000)


About you

I grew up on the Kwongan sand plain, on Whadjuk Nyungar Boodjar. Holidays in the bush gave me a love of the natural world which I also fuelled through reading. I decided early on that I would like to be an ecologist and pursued that career.

It is important to me to contribute to a more socially just and sustainable society, bring more understanding, creativity, justice, truth and beauty into the world, and live a well-rounded life. I’m a serial volunteer- for conservation, science communication, professional societies and in support of First Nations aspirations. Some favourite ways I spend my spare time are exploring art, cycling, hiking, swimming and travelling.

Area of study 

My undergraduate major was in botany. As a summer scholar and honours student I studied the light responses of microalgae, as part of a multidisciplinary program to improve models of water-quality. How physiological processes at small scales influence ecological and evolutionary processes at large scales became a core theme of my later PhD and postdoctoral research.

Epic Fail

During my PhD the inaugural convenor of the Graduate Teaching Program recommended reading the career planning book What Color is My Parachute. My failure to only act on that advice years later, at which point I joined the public service.

Proudest moment

Helping design and implement the first national market for ecosystem services, the then Carbon Farming Initiative then transition it to the Emissions Reduction Fund. Now the Australian Carbon Credit Union Scheme is one of the few elements of climate change policy that has endured through multiple Australian Governments.

Top tip

Contribute, be brave, stay true to your values, and seek out mentors that inspire and encourage you.


Key experience areas

  • Advanced regulatory reforms through all stages of the policy cycle to safeguard Victorians.
  • Used political nous to influence ACT public affairs.
  • Negotiated and executed high value agreements and administrative arrangements for NDIS transition.
  • Empowered the Hearing Health Sector to agree a Roadmap.
  • Modelled professionalism and managed the Health Portfolio’s Budget Strategy.
  • Inspired senior executives, staff, and stakeholders to change culture and capability reform medicines regulation.