Dr Lisa Mills



Bachelor of Science (Chemical)

Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) Honours

Doctorate of Philosophy

Graduation years

    1998, 1999 and 2004


Waurn Ponds


Lisa Mills has been selected as one of 95 women from across the globe to participate in Homeward Bound – a global leadership initiative for women in science.

Interview with Lisa

Can you tell us about your time at Deakin? What do you believe Deakin has shown you/given you as a person?

I loved my time studying at Deakin as I always felt I was treated as a person rather than a number. The Waurn Ponds campus had a small town feel which I really enjoyed.

Deakin has taught me to believe in the value of a good education.

What has been your journey since finishing your course? Briefly outline your career path prior to your current role.

After completing my PhD I obtained a graduate position working as an Environmental Consultant and Occupational Hygienist for Alcoa of Australia. I spent one year at each of the Victorian operational sites – Point Henry, Portland and Anglesea. I stayed at Anglesea until it closed in 2015. Since then I have worked as a consulting occupational hygienist for Environmental Health Solutions in Geelong West and I am now the Environmental Manager at GeelongPort.

Have you always wanted to pursue the kind of career you have embarked on? If so, when and how did you realise?

I have always wanted to work as an Environmental Engineer. As a child I spent much time in Lorne and at that time there was no wastewater treatment plant. Untreated sewage was discharged into the bay and under certain wind directions, the effluent was washed up onto the beach. I was determined that I wanted to learn how to prevent occurrences like this from happening.

Are there any particular challenges you’ve faced along the way?

I have had a lack of female mentors during my career. Working as an engineer in industry is typically a male dominated career path and I have missed the diversity that a female manager/mentor could bring.

What are your passions outside your work?

Outside of work I absolutely adore hiking and spending time in nature. I have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, I have been the first Australian to summit an unnamed mountain in Bhutan on the border with Tibet and I visit the Great Ocean Walk whenever time allows.

What are you most proud of in your career journey?

I have recently been selected as one of 95 women from across the world to participate in Homeward Bound – an intensive 12-month leadership program during 2019 for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine set against the backdrop of Antarctica. I hope to become a mentor to the next generation of female engineers and be the role model that I missed when I started my career.

How can we find out more?

As part of my involvement in Homeward Bound I am required to fundraise $US17,000. To discover more information about the program, please visit: https://homewardboundprojects.com.au/about/

To follow Lisa’s journey, visit: https://www.facebook.com/DrLisaMillsHB4/