Heather Hill

QUT Urban Informatics > Team > Heather Hill

PhD Candidate

BSc (Finance) University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA; MBA (Int’l Business) University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; PSM Environmental Science Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

 

Heather Hill has worked in sales, finance, marketing, and management consulting for 15 years. She chose to change career paths to pursue her passion- environmental science. She commenced a Professional Science Master of Environmental Science (water resources and conflict management); where she worked on community environmental conservation projects. In her spare time Heather volunteers in her community and environmental protection organisations. She also enjoys meeting new people, meditation, ecstatic dance, nature, art, and learning and teaching healing modalities.

 

Research areas:

  • Energy conservation
  • Contemplative studies (mindfulness meditation, spiritualism)
  • Self-determination theory
  • Social work
  • Psychology
  • Mixed methods

 

PhD Research: Connecting to Self, Community, and the Environment: Energy Conservation and Wellness in Households Living on a Low-income

One-quarter of carbon emissions come from household electricity usage in OECD countries and is rising rapidly due increased use of electronics, space heating, and appliances. Furthermore, electricity prices have risen considerably in OECD countries due to the privatisation of electricity. The rising electricity prices along with poor housing conditions (i.e. insulation, inefficient appliances and heating/ cooling systems) have caused tremendous hardships for people on a low-income. These hardships cause many households have to sacrifice basic needs such as food and medicine to avoid disconnection. As a result, people’s nutrition, performance, concentration, and confidence levels weaken and they experience social isolation, marginalization, and relationship issues as a result. Consequently, the challenge is to develop effective programs that not only inspire energy conservation but also boost people’s physical and mental wellness. Research abounds with calls for programs to increase wellness, resilience, and self-reliance. Therefore, the objective of this research is threefold: (1) examine practicing therapists’ best practices for facilitating change and increasing wellness through the lens of the self-determination theory (SDT). SDT is an established theory that has been applied in numerous domains and shown to be effective at enhancing wellness and fostering lasting changes; (2) explore Brisbane renters’ experiences, needs, values, strengths, and life satisfaction in general and in terms of an energy conservation program; and (3) explore community-based social media groups that enhance wellness and sustainable practices.