At the moment I am hiding inside, seeking respite from the smoke from the bushfires which have ravaged the east coast of Australia. The air quality of Canberra is worse than New Delhi, and has been like this for weeks now.

The future we have been fearing is happening. NOW. Across the world, many countries and states have declared a climate emergency, but here we live in some kind of alternate universe where our political ruling class keep telling us not to worry, nothing to see here, with our Prime Minister watching the cricket while thousands of people are homeless and trapped by the fires. Reality is beyond belief.

I feel like this is karma at work, a pay back for how badly this land and her Peoples have been treated over the past 230 years. Also a pay back for the nations lack of action about the impacts of climate change, seeking to perpetuate the dependence on fossil fuels domestically and internationally.

Although my thoughts are consumed with concern for the people, creatures and Country affected by the fires, I am also very grateful to the brave firefighters and support workers tirelessly giving of themselves to protect communities. So many are volunteers as well – giving up their holidays and work time (and in many cases wages) to do this critical and urgent work.

With this in mind, it seems indulgent for me to write up the year gone by, but at the same time, it has been a big year of change and growth.

Creating change and growing through change is not an easy process, in fact it can be very difficult, forcing us to take responsibility, to be accountable for who we are and to act in ways that might be very uncomfortable. In my 2018 wrap up post 2018 weft and weave AKA what a year! I summarised activities rather than the month by month format from 2016 in review. This year I will go back to the monthly break down as already this post is getting long!

So what happened in 2019?

  • January started with mental challenges as I got my head around statistics by attending the ACSPRI Fundamentals of Statistics. This course definitely tested my brain and I was very much outside my comfort zone!
  • February was a creative month with some research related events:
  • In March my dear Dad turned 80! Also, I had two exhibitions:
  • April was all about Ignite*Energy with
  • May took me back to my beloved Aotearoa to collaborate with mentor and friend Maata Wharehoka on our project The Silence: Puanga at Parihaka. This was a very special time of learning and sharing across cultures.
  • June saw us take The Silence: Puanga to Wellington for a lecture and workshop at the More than Human Lab at Victoria University in Wellington.
  • July started with Made of Walking V Prespes, followed by Astronomica at Chartres. The month ended with me taking the huge decision to move on from my role with the Energy Consumer Engagement and Analysis Team after the third stage of their web consolidation project for energy.gov.au. I had worked with this team in various guises for over 10 years. It was a hard decision to leave this amazing group of people but it was time to take some chances…
  • In August I started a contract wth ACT Education as their “Behavioural Insights Adviser” in the digital transformation space. In the wise words of Warumpi Band: Big Name, No Blanket 🙂
  • September saw the creation of Treecreate – bringing together ideas of regeneration with creativity – watch this space!!
  • In October, I lost a tooth from stress – it cracked from me clamping my jaw at night… Started to take steps to improve my stress levels… Also attended the BiiG conference in Brisbane.
  • November to be honest was a blur.
  • December offered:
    •  another trip to SEQ to see family
    • a journey to the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula to spend Xmas with my wonderful creative uncle Garry Benson. Did lots of relaxing  – even read two novels!

Dear readers, as you can see it has been a very eventful year personally as well as creatively and professionally. Recently a friend commented that it was “nice I was taking a break” – I was somewhat surprised as I have been so occupied… But she was right, I have been stepping back from taking on so many projects – which was something I highlighted in my wrap up last year. The year ended up a mosiac of beginnings and endings, of tough lessons and rapid growth. When I flicked though my photos, there was however a number of constants – my love of the ocean and of nature… Here is a small snapshot.

2020 is already looking like it will be a very creative year with a number of projects currently in development. More on that soon 🙂

Thanks for reading and all the best for this new decade – let’s co-create a better future

Much gratitude ❤
Thank you to the many wonderful people who I worked with in 2019. So many sources of  inspiration! To my colleagues at the Department of the Environment and Energy, I am very grateful to have worked with such a great group of people and miss you lots! Thank you to the Intercreate Trustees and community who continue to inspire and motivate me to keep weaving this path. Thanks to the Institute of Applied Ecology at University of Canberra (UC), especially my MSci supervisors Ross Thompson and Jacki Schirmer for their time. 

Image by Martin Drury
30 December at Lucky Shot, photograph by Martin Drury

Thank you to my colleagues at ACT Education – it has been a unique learning journey into your world of digital transformation. To the Wisdom School at Chartres – thank you for supporting my attendance at Astronomica. Thank you to my extended family, my sister, parents and cousins – it has been a year of sadness but also of coming together – making the threads that bind us ever stronger ❤ The  biggest thank you always goes to my immediate family  – Marty, Lukas, Nikki and Oskar – thanks for being who you are and accepting me the way I am.Your support this year has been stellar ❤ ❤ ❤ Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the passing of two dear ones. My dearly beloved grandmother, Mary was 99 years old when she left us on the 29th of March. Mary was a big influence on me growing up and was a loving grandmother, friend, confidante and guide. We also lost my husband’s lovely mum, Margaret, who unexpectedly slipped away on the 31st July while having an afternoon nap. These women were family matriarchs, women of spirit, quiet strength and grace. I hope they continue to guide us forward as we treasure and honour their memory.❤ ❤ ❤

 

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