Under the Hood with ReGen's Alette Nalder

Alette Nalder

Alette Nalder’s journey has seen her battle her mental health to rediscover her passions and understand how interconnected her choices are with people and our planet. 

Alette’s passion for reducing the impact on our planet began with her mother's choice of toilet paper. Her Year Two teacher at the time was delivering a lesson on how ecosystems were being disrupted by humans and Alette vividly recalls learning about the toxic dyes often used to create the purple printed flowers on toilet paper polluting waterways.

Like any passionate six-year-old, she went home and demanded her mum stop buying the printed toilet paper – a demand her mum has upheld to this day.

This passion continued throughout her journey and has now seen her undertake personal and professional endeavours to learn and reduce the impact she has on our planet.

Now as ReGen Strategic’s sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) advisor, Alette is excited to share her passions with her clients.

Growing up, Alette spent a lot of her time moving around, living in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. She loved being on planes, and the excitement of arriving in a completely new place sparked her future dreams of travelling the world.

She also spent a large amount of time on her family’s farm in Wagin. She loved feeling the change of seasons and the knowledge of locals on how to care for the land so it cared for you.

“It was a great time in my childhood, picking mushrooms at Easter to cook on the barbie, clearing the bush and having massive bonfires, it was freedom,” she says.

In high school, Alette thrived in creative subjects such as photography, literature, drama, film and media. But, after experiencing bullying in early high school, she says she struggled a lot with her mental health.

“I had pretty awful anxiety and struggled in social situations and putting myself out there unless someone else was there that I needed to show up for,” she says.

The pressures of her anxiety continued into her young adulthood.

“My family was also somewhat high profile when I finished high school and I had to be cautious about how I presented myself,” she explains.

This made her lose a lot of her passions and love for life, and as any teenager became a little lost in her pursuit to fit in with those around her.

Acting on advice of her friends and family, Alette chose to study Arts Management at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). 

But Alette dreamt of new places and adventures, so deferred her studies at WAAPA to travel.

She applied for a working holiday in Japan and spent the months leading up to it acclimatising to travelling alone.

Alette started in Norway, spending a few months living with her cousins before she backpacked through north-eastern Europe with her cousin from Australia. She started to realise how the pressures to fit in were limiting her character.

“My favourite part wasn’t the tourist spots or tours, it was the hostels, bars and cafes where we’d randomly run into other travellers and just get chatting,” she says.

“I had some of the best memories with people I’d only met that day and have never seen again since.”

After her adventures through Europe where she always had someone by her side, she landed in Japan – no language skills, no connections with anyone and only two weeks of accommodation. Only 19 years old, she let her anxiety take over her first few weeks in this new world.

“Apart from going to work once a week, my anxiety kept me locked in my room watching shows,” she explains.

“It was the first time I had full freedom and my brain stopped me.”

Despite the initial obstacle, Alette started reaching out to meet-up groups with other expats in Tokyo, where she began to finally rediscover her true love for the planet and the amazing people in it. 

“I didn’t have expectations on who I needed to be or how I needed to act. I was able to let go and allow myself to come out of my shell whenever I met new people,” she says.

Alette extended her working holiday twice, moving to Osaka and spending her remaining year in Kobe, where she found the community of expats who gave her the space and love to just be herself.

“Putting yourself in uncomfortable situations is living. Being complacent and comfortable is the worst place to be,” Alette says.

“Living to the expectations of others and assuming their judgement of who you are is so limiting and toxic.”

Whilst she still battles with her mental health and the social pressures of her late twenties, Alette champions being able to push herself beyond her comfort zone in Japan, and relying on herself to show up and be the person she knew she could be.

On her return to Australia, she wanted to share her experience and help others to show up for themselves, their communities and the environment.

Not quite ready to settle down in Perth, Alette continued her studies in double Bachelor degrees of Business and Arts at Griffith University, majoring in Japanese and Sustainable Enterprise.

 Whilst studying, she undertook an internship at a sustainability management software start-up where she completed a Cert IV in small business management that focused on the foundations of online presence optimisation.

During this time, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Brisbane and the part-time roles supporting her through her studies were no longer available, so Alette started her own business.

Starting as affordable end-of-lease cleaning, Alette utilised her Cert IV knowledge to gain a partnership and grew into an Airbnb property management company, with a portfolio of over 20 properties.

“I developed the SEO content side and made sure we were ranking on Google when people were searching for bond cleaning in Brisbane and it took off from there,” she says.

“I was also able to implement my sustainable thinking. All the products we were using were non-toxic or organically derived and there were a lot of people who were really interested in that and being able to clean their homes sustainably.”

Upon completion of her Bachelor degrees, Alette moved back to Perth and took on a graduate environmental officer position at Hanson Construction Materials.

 In her time at the company, one of her diverse roles was managing the Gaskell sand mine’s 30-year-old Banksia-Woodland Restoration program.

“That experience was really great and being able to network with really high-end professionals in that industry and the ecological restoration space,” she says.

 Despite the environmental focus, Alette’s passion for growth remained, and she began to steer her career back towards sustainable business development.

When the reconciliation movement and the Indigenous Voice to Parliament was making waves throughout Australia, Alette recalled her connection of the land her family had been part of for generations.

She realised that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were the original sustainability champions of Australia. 

“It goes beyond just the productivity or returns you could gain, there was so much care and knowledge to take care of the land so it took care of you. Everything’s connected,” Alette explains.

 As she learnt more, she dove headfirst into being a champion of reconciliation at Hanson.

“It was a really good stepping stone to be able to refine what I wanted to do in my career and guide me in the direction to come here,” she says.

When Alette came to ReGen Strategic she was looking for a position that aligned her knowledge and holistic vision for sustainability. 

“ReGen had exactly what it is that I was looking for and my first interview with Colin solidified that this was the right place for this part of my career,” she says.

Looking ahead, Alette hopes to buy a house, travel some more, and see the world change. Most importantly, she wants to use her journey to inspire the communities around her.

“My main source of inspiration is trying to love life as much as possible and that can come in so many different forms,” she says.

“I’m trying to build myself and make myself feel comfortable in who I am and what I do.”

She agrees our current society is driving our planet’s current trajectory, but is focusing on the people.

“I just want to bring joy and peace to people’s lives and that brings me so much fulfilment. I’m always inspired to give people the space and understanding to be able to really come into themselves.”

She believes that if everyone were to truly fulfill their own passions, the world would be a better place for it. There may even be a push for a non-toxic dye to print on toilet paper.


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