Hi, I am Tracy Schultz
I have a Bachelor of Applied Science (Australian Environmental Studies), a Graduate Diploma of Psychology, and a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons). Before starting my PhD studies, I worked as a policy officer with the Queensland Government and as a research officer with the Queensland Centre for Mothers and Babies.
About my PhD work
PhD topic: Identifying the types of image that engage and disengage people with important pro-environment topics (such as how we manage water in our cities and towns)
University: University of Queensland
CRCWSC project in which you were involved: Engaging communities in water sensitive cities (Project A2.3)
From my research, I learned some of the images that we use to communicate about stormwater management (for example, images of degraded waterways and gross pollutant traps) actually disengage people who don’t hold strong pro-environment views.
My research also showed people generally don’t understand the link between Water Sensitive Urban Design and their daily lives. For this reason, I think it’s important to use ‘authentic’ photos of people living with water sensitive urban design, to boost the personal relevance of the images.
I hope industry and government agencies will use my research results to improve how they communicate their environment related messages to the public.
About my current work
Currently on a 10 week industry placement with Yarra Valley Water (organised by the CRC’s Placement Program), I am looking at how we can better educate people about wastewater overflows.
From there, I plan to submit my thesis in July 2018. Then I’d like to continue my research into how people interpret and interact with images: this research area is very new, even though images are everywhere in our increasingly digital world. From the research, I hope to help practitioners take an evidence-based approach to visual communication.
In particular, I would like to partner with community engagement and communication officers to help design communication materials that grab and hold their readers’ attention.
How you can contact me
Or find all of my contact links (and more about my research) at
Tracy lives in Brisbane, Queensland. Outside her work, she is a busy supporter of the activities of her three children (but hopes to find time for her own hobbies one day!).