Stella grew up in Armidale and her farming family background inspired her interest in environmental archaeology and water management.
“When it comes to the environment and managing water, what worked in the past is often still relevant today,” says Stella.
“That’s why heritage matters so much, and why I’m motivated to help my clients achieve compliance with legislation while protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage sites in NSW.”
Stella’s archaeology career has taken her overseas to participate in digs in Ethiopia and Jordan, where she studied adaptions in farming and water management practices. Closer to home, Stella has undertaken heritage projects in NSW and ACT, including Due Diligence Aboriginal Objects Assessments, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessments, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plans, AHIP applications, Survey and Salvage Reports, and End of Panel Reports.
Stella joined the heritage consulting team at Niche in mid-2020, moving from regional NSW to Wollongong, and she admits that starting a new job during the pandemic was challenging.
“I missed going to the office during the lockdown in NSW, and because we were all working from home, I didn’t meet my new colleagues in person right away, but regular online meetings helped,” Stella recalls.
“I feel lucky to have a friendly and supportive team. Everyone pitches in to help each other, and the culture is highly professional while also being down to earth.”Stella Quast
Stella chose to join Niche because of the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects in interesting locations, the multidisciplinary team, and flexible work arrangements on offer.
“I also knew my discipline manager Renée Regal, having met her previously through Sydney University,” adds Stella.
“It is somewhat unusual in our industry to have a female boss, and Renée is a really good mentor. She helped me to develop my understanding of our clients and their operations during my first few months in the job and I’m always learning from her.”
With support from Renée and other senior heritage consultants in her team, Stella has built upon her knowledge of legislation and increased her confidence as a professional through on-the-job learning and online training.
Stella splits her working time between her home office in Wollongong, and field assignments that see her travel to client sites in Southwestern Sydney and across NSW.
“Since moving to the Illawarra, it’s been amazing to hear stories from local Aboriginal community members, and to be able to learn about the dreamtime of the region through my work,” says Stella.
“I’m also lucky to have great walking and hiking nearby which are perfect for exploring at weekends.”
Would you like to join our team?
Due to a strong pipeline of interesting work for great clients, Niche is currently recruiting in NSW and Qld.
To find out more about current opportunities to join our team and – the many great employee benefits we offer – visit our Careers page.