In our first Rainbow Profile, we spoke to Geraldine Terada-Bellis (she/her), Operations Engineer from Urban Utilities. Geraldine has been working with Urban Utilities to co-found the organisation’s first LGBTIQ+ network – Urban Pride.
Geraldine is passionate about industry diversity through representation, and hopes to change the industry for trans, gender diverse and other queer young people. In 2020, Geraldine was listed in Out for Australia’s 30 under 30 – “shining a light on the next generation of LGBT+ role models”. We’re really proud of the work that Geraldine is doing – and excited to have her as our first Rainbow Profile.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in the water industry?
I studied chemical engineering, and wanted to work in an industry which could have a positive impact on the environment & climate
Is there any Pride related networks or initiatives in the organization that you are working in?
Yes, myself, Blair, Dannielle and Chris are working on the Urban Pride group, hoping to start steps towards accreditation for our organisation with the AWEI (Australian Workplace Equality Index) which has a certain set of criterion that must be achieved to receive accreditation, currently no water utilities seem to have been accredited
How do you think the water industry is performing when it comes to creating a safe and inclusive working space?
I would say overall the water industry rates well in comparison to other industries, however there are still pockets in the industry which wouldn’t be considered a safe space.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride means that I can celebrate being queer, talk about my life one minute, then forget about it and dive into an interesting spreadsheet the next.
Do you have someone or something in your life that you are inspired by?
Is might be silly and extremely pretentious, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg? On a more local level your own Brendan Moore, and another mentor I had for a little while Rhiannon Cop. I can’t overstate how terrified I was manoeuvring through the first few years of my career, and my mentors (both met through Out for Australia) let me call them, which I often would, in a panic, or deliberating about some choice or opportunity. Brendan also continues to be a leader in diversity in the water industry, so I try my best to emulate him
A fun fact about yourself
One of my aspirations this year is to grow a sustainable supply of mushrooms in my house!