Where do you currently live?
I live, with my husband Neil, in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, near the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges. I love where I live. The Dandenong Ranges are in the shape of embracing arms, and I feel lovingly held in their embrace. I also love the particular neighbourhood I live in called Ruskin Park. Over the past 10 years we have held bi annual street gatherings. As a result a vibrant community has emerged. I love going for walks in the neighbourhood and greeting people I have come to know. Recently one of our neighbours tragically died, and 10 people from our street turned up at the funeral!! We also held a working bee to support our neighbours surviving partner in managing their large and beautiful garden. It is things like this that make me feel so blessed to live where I live.
What are some ways you like to spend your time?
I work three days a week as a Pastoral Care Practitioner in a Sub-Acute Aged Care Hospital and feel privileged to do this work. I get to listen to and be inspired by people's stories, and the way they grapple with and make meaning of their suffering and transition. I am also a Tai Chi Instructor and run a number of classes in Retirement Villages. I also love to sing and play guitar and am part of a singing group that gets together regularly to harmonise and simply enjoy sharing song together.
How did you first connect with Pachamama Alliance?
I participated in my first Symposium in November 2006, the first year the Symposium came to Australia. My husband Neil and I were so inspired by the experience that we trained to be Facilitators in 2007 and then Training Leaders in 2010. We have been active members of Be The Change Australia, which auspices the work of the Pachamama Alliance in Australia throughout the past 12 years.
What is a memory or experience with Pachamama Alliance that stands out for you?
In 2012 I had the opportunity to travel to the USA and undertook a four week internship with the Pachamama Alliance followed by 2 weeks undertaking a Pachamama Journey in Ecuador. The experience has been a watershed in my life and catalysed a new phase of inner growth and outer action. I am committed to daily inner and outer practices that support my capacity to effectively be in action in the world playing the role I feel called to play in bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet, and feel deeply grateful for finding the Pachamama Alliance and being able to be in partnership with them.
What is something you are proud to be doing in service of an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet?
Ever since participating in my first Symposium I have felt called to give my time and energy to the transformation of the Eastern Region of Melbourne. To do this end Neil and I have been offering Symposiums, Facilitator / Symposium Leader Trainings, and now Introductions to Drawdown every second month as an expression of our commitment to be in service of an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet. This year we launched PEMA (Pachamama Eastern Melbourne Alliance) and I feel so nourished and supported and inspired to be part of this group. This year I also approached and delivered some Introductions to Drawdown to the staff at two local Councils. I have also linked into the Eastern Region Library network and have a number of Introductions to Drawdown scheduled over the next few months. My hope is that more and more people, particularly in this eastern region of Melbourne will continue to wake up and be in action to play the role that is their's to play in the Great Work of our Time. I also feel proud of the work I am involved in our neighbourhood - for me this work starts here right where I live. Now our neighbourhood is being talked about by Councillors to other neighbourhoods as an example of what is possible. I am encouraged by Will Grant's message that perhaps the most effective work we do is at Level 2 and 3 - where we can influence people and organisations directly, and that this may inspire others to take action.
What is something that you would like to see change in the world in the next 10 years?
I would like to see more Local Councils recognise the role they have to play in Project Drawdown and take action consistent with this, and thereby inspire other Councils to do the same - i.e. spread from local to State to Federal.
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
If there is one thing I have learned over the past 10 years of involvement with the Pachamama Alliance is how critical it is to do both inner and outer work in order to effectively undertake the physical manifestation of our particular role in bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling human presence on this planet. It is not either/or but both/and. I feel deeply privileged to be in partnership with the Pachamama Alliance.