With this perspective front and centre of her work, Dr Lesar joined Flinders University as Senior Lecturer.
She is now building on her previous work by developing innovative methods for producing a 'tool mix' for business sustainability and resilience, customised to the unique needs of each business.
She has partnered with Gemtree Wines, a local winery internationally recognised for its sustainable tourism practices.
The company is facing challenges common to the industry in South Australia and the rest of the country.
“Closing the national borders was a significant impact, of course. And the wine industry is facing many of the same challenges as other businesses, whether it’s rising costs of exports or fuel,” she says.
In this climate, tourism can be a vehicle for good.
“If we look at wine business, we can think of it as consisting of three core components. There’s grape-growing, the winemaking and tourism. That means three different ways to gain revenue to help them stay financially afloat.”
“Tourism may help, in some cases, offset some of the losses the difficult trading conditions are bringing,” says Dr Lesar.
With Gemtree, she is refining a methodology for creating customised, place-based sustainability solutions. This has produced a set of tools ideally suited to Gemtree’s unique needs, and a roadmap for its phased implementation.
“Once we've finalised the implementation of the tool set, then we will performance optimise it,” says Dr Lesar.
“I could not be more excited to be working with a third generation McLaren Vale winery. They have been an incredible company to work with.”
While Dr Lesar’s work has global implications, she also highly values the localised, positive impacts of her research.
“As researchers and scholars, we want to come up with place-based solutions for the community, to make our part of the world just a little bit better.”