Reservist airs environmental passion

Army reservist Private Varun Marwaha is bringing his professional skills to his role as a soldier.

CAPTION: Army reservist Private Varun Marwaha working in his civilian job as an air quality consultant with SLR Consulting. Story by Captain Nathan Freeman.

Private Marwaha enlisted in the Army Resrve in October last year as an environmental health assistant (preventive medicine).

Having completed the Army recruit training course at Kapooka in March-April this year, he is now panelled to complete his initial employment training.

In the meantime, he is soldiering on at the 1st Health Support Company, 3rd Health Support Battalion at Randwick Barracks, NSW.

His Army role requires him to support units in responding to environmental and occupational health threats to prevent disease and non-battle injury casualties in the field and barracks.

This work includes vector and pest control, water quality analysis, food safety, waste management and sanitation.

Private Marwaha is passionate about the environment.

“I grew up in India where the manufacturing industry seems to ignore the environmental impacts of their actions, such as the release of waste effluents into local creeks, and the burial of solid wastes,” Private Marwaha said.

“I was always interested in the fate of everyday household items in the environment.”

He completed a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Environment) at Sydney University in 2006 and then completed a Certificate IV in Government Investigations from the NSW Environment Protection Authority in 2017.

Since finishing his studies, Private Marwaha has worked as an environmental consultant specialising in air quality, including a two-year stint in India as a process engineer in a chemical plant and a range of industry and government clients in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

His particular expertise is in the assessment of the environmental effects of air discharges, emission inventories, including the National Pollutant Inventory, atmospheric dispersion modelling, greenhouse gas assessments, including national greenhouse and energy reporting, and air pollution monitoring.

When an opportunity to broaden his environmental profession within the Army Reserve presented itself, he decided to jump on board as an environmental health assistant.

“As a boy growing up, I was fascinated by the camouflage uniform and heard my grandfather’s stories from my parents, so I always wanted to serve the country,” Private Marwaha said.

“The Army made sense, as it presented an opportunity to fulfil my dream of wearing the uniform, follow my passion of environment health, and use my skills and knowledge to make a difference.”

In his free time, Private Marwaha enjoys being involved in a range of sports.

He works as a cricket umpire for Cricket NSW and a basketball referee for Basketball NSW.





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