Tribute to Julia Baker

On the 6th of February, Julia Baker passed away peacefully but unexpectedly in her home in Te Awamutu. At only 32, Julia's passion for the environment and tenacious efforts to be awesome, had seen her achieve a lot in such a small amount of time. After being diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy as an adult, her ability to work an average working week became difficult for her, so she started her own business - Sync Environmental - which allowed her to control her hours and work conditions and also to continue with her profession as an Environmental Planner and Policy Analyst. Just as she liked, being in control.

Prior to starting her own business, Julia worked for a range of organisations including Waikato District Council, Selwyn District Council, New Zealand Transport Agency, the Department of Conservation and the New Zealand Defence Force. Her business provided typical planning services, and she also worked with businesses to implement environmental management systems and to put in place sustainability reporting.

She was a member of the NZPI and had served on the Waikato branch committee. More recently she had become a member of the National Party and was the Central North Island Regional Policy Chair. She was also an enthusiastic member of the local chamber of commerce.

Julia was passionate, honest and strong, something she proved in the way she overcame the challenges presented by epilepsy. She had a passion and enthusiasm for her work and her interests that was contagious. Her ability to network gave her a strong advantage in the business world, and she was well known throughout the Waikato. She had a great sense of humour, always smiled, and she knew how to have a great time. Julia will be missed not only for her enthusiastic attitude towards the profession but also for her fun and relaxed nature. She was a great friend and colleague to everyone who knew her. Rest in peace Julia, you will be missed.