Spending Valentine's Day at the Myer Mural Hall with 500 - yes 500 - frocked up, chatty and cheerful women for the Cool Australia 'Love Your Planet' lunch was a fun and informative way to celebrate the day.
I came away from the lunch being inspired by Great Women.
Debbie Cox was the keynote speaker, an Australian woman now living in the Congo working with the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI). From her childhood Debbie dreamed of working with chimpanzees and she is living her dream and making the world a better place in doing so.
JGI was founded by primatologist Jane Goodall in 1977. Jane arrived in Tanzania in 1960 as a 26 year old to study the wild chimpanzees of the area. This began her life's work.
We are each given this life to live just once and the unrelenting dedication of Jane Goodall to continue her work saving and improving the lives of chimpanzees in the face of immense environmental degradation is truly awe inspiring. Since beginning her work over 40 years ago, Jane has extended her focus on primates to the environment and humanitarian concerns. Jane sees that animals, people and nature are part of an interdependent ecosystem.
Jane is quoted as saying "the greatest danger to our future is apathy". So true. We can all do something. It would be easy for any activist or conservationist to become overwhelmed and give up but it is their dedication and vision for a more positive future that I find inspiring and gives me the energy to act within my own community and country.
Now I've talked about some of the Great Women and their stories in the Mural Hall yesterday, depending on how you look at it there were about 6 brave or lucky men there yesterday one being photographer, Antarctic adventurer and Climate Project Presenter Jason Kimberley. Jason is also the founder of Cool Australia and is working to put sustainability firmly in the curriculum of Australian schools. Rather than teach about the environment as a subject that sits separately to maths, english, geography etc; the idea behind Cool Australia programs is that those subjects are taught through topics relevant to sustainability such as climate change, energy, forests and so on. I think that this is a fantastic concept because in my way of seeing the world the health of our natural world is paramount and is woven into every facet of being human.
What issues move you to action? In your community? Your family? Globally?