This International Women’s Day, we pay homage to the formidable women in our community who inspire us with their stories of female empowerment, industry leadership and activism.  

Meet Dr Anita Vandyke, a Sustainability Author, Doctor, Rocket Scientist and Mother. Having lived what seems like many different lives, Anita takes us through the hardships, successes and inspiring moments of her career and life so far.

What made you want to be Rocket Scientist?

"I always wanted to be a Rocket Scientist, from a young age, I was  fascinated by the stars, I wanted to be an astronaut. I thought, what better way to get away from the planet than to be amongst the stars? So that's why I wanted to study rocket science."

You're now a Medical Doctor, could you takes us through how you ended up on this trajectory?

“ My journey to become a Doctor began when I was climbing the corporate ladder as an Aerospace Engineering Manager. I was earning more money than my immigrant parents ever had. As I climbed the ladder, I looked around and I realised I wasn’t align with my core values of sustianablity and servicing mandkind.”

My jounry has sort of taken a bit of a curveball, when my husband passed away from cancer last year after suffering a long battle. Going back to clinical work is still raw and I’m still trying to find balance, but I’ve found a really interesting and amazing space where I am able to use my engineering skills, but also medicine degree to work in medical innovation technologies."

How do you manage single life as a mum living and promoting a zero waste lifestyle? 

Being a single mother was thrown upon us. I lost my husband to cancer last year at a very young age it is something my daughter and I are navigating as we go.

My book is zero waste life and living a zero waste life is is more than just about reducing your waste, Yes, that’s important, but it’s also about not wasting any of your resources, and that includes time, money and relationships. I’ve written two books as a result, published by Penguin Random House. It’s a message that resonates with everyone  a journey about reducing waste, saving money, but also, most importantly, leaving gentler footprint on the planet.

What prompted you to get into zero waste living?

"So I started living a zero waste life because it was actually cheaper to do so. When I went back to study medicine, we went from two professional careers to one professional income. I had to learn to make ends meet on one income. That meant going back to the frugal ways of our parents. Relearning how by second hand items, learning to not waste our food, and also being a more responsible citizen for the planet."

Anita has now grown her Instagram audience to over 95k followers. Her instgram handle is @rocket_science. She uses her platform to share tips and tricks on living more sustainbly.