Carly Welham from University of British Columbia was the 2014 Global Winner in the Cultural Studies category.
Carly is a community-based researcher and health activist living in Vancouver, Canada. After completing her undergraduate degree in Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, she undertook a Masters of Public Health specialising in Indigenous Health. Carly’s graduate research explored how environmental health impacts food security and reproductive health.
While completing her graduate studies in Montreal, she also interned with Breast Cancer Action Quebec to develop and evaluate an environmental health program for high school students focused on overcoming environmental risks through community action. Throughout her degrees, Carly presented and published research on food sovereignty and environmental threats to health at conferences across Canada.
“Receiving the Undergraduate Award in 2014 for my paper "Selfies vs Sealfies: Inuit Subsistence Hunting, Food Insecurity, and Animal Rights” helped me realise my passion for research as a tool for social change.”
Carly currently works as the Data and Evaluation Officer on the research team at the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, an innovative HIV health care facility. Through the Foundation’s harm reduction programs, Carly has had the opportunity to contribute to addressing the opioid overdose crisis currently devastating North America. Her main role is providing knowledge translation and capacity building support to other community-based organisations who are implementing Supervised Consumption Services in order to prevent overdoses and the transmission of infectious diseases.
Carly also spent the last two years contributing research to student food non-profit Meal Exchange's Real Food Challenge campaign to shift post-secondary food systems to more ethical and sustainable food sources. She founded and is a facilitator of a national book club on Decolonizing the Food System, which explores the role of colonialism in Canada's food systems. Carly built on this experience as a member of the 4RS Youth Movement's National Learning Community, a network looking to build respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth through cross-cultural dialogue.
Carly loves getting the opportunity to share her passions with others. She has volunteered as a sexual health educator in high schools and online with a variety of community-based organizations, as well as volunteering as a birth doula. She enjoys hosting a series of DIY community workshops on toxic-free body products, and was recently recognised as one of Canada's Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 for her volunteer work as an environmental educator. She sits on the Board of Directors of Learning for Sustainable Futures, a non-profit which seeks to integrate sustainability education into all levels of schooling. In her spare time, she also started a line of eco-friendly soap and candles made from organic herbs she grows and harvests herself.
Carly follows in a line of quilters and bakers, and also loves to spend her time gardening. Since graduating, she has enjoyed having time to indulge her passion for science fiction and explore the beautiful west coast of Canada.
Read Carly's Winning paper on The Undergraduate Awards Library.