I was born in the desert in Western Australia. I love the stillness of the desert. It’s my view that people who live the desert learn to be resilient and hardy. They become innovative and are good problem solvers because they have to be. I love the long endless straight roads of WA that provide a panorama and vista as far as the eye can see. I consider myself to be a big picture thinker and feel that the wide brown landscape taught me to see things holistically.
As much as I like the desert, I am never so happy as when I’m swimming in the ocean. I have a special place in my heart for the Indian Ocean. I like to feel the pulse of the current, the buoyancy of the water and the salt and sting of the sun on my skin. I also feel enlivened when I’m high up in the mountains. The quality of the air and water makes me feel extra healthy and grateful that I live in such a beautiful country.
I am curious about all things. I especially love to travel to places I haven’t been before and gain an understanding of different cultures, different ideas and environments. I always try and take opportunities to interact with animals when I can – and think I profoundly benefit from these experiences. In the photo below I went swimming with the elephant. That was great fun – but the best part was when he raised his trunk and showered us with water.
Swimming with elephant by John Shaw
I also enjoy change and innovation and get a buzz from expanding my horizons. In this sphere I am really interested in the impact of innovation on the environment – on crops, on how we build homes and use water and our resources.
For many years I was a teacher. I worked in Indigenous communities in Western Australia, in suburban schools in Perth and Sydney and taught at different schools in England. I am passionate about the ability of education to provide opportunities for those that may never otherwise have them. I also strongly believe in improving economic opportunities and inclusion for marginalised people and communities.
Teach people to read and watch the doors of their world swing open.
Teach people to fish and watch them go!
And when all your work is done it’s important remember to have fun. I take inspiration from Dr Seuss who observes ‘in order to have fun, you have to know how to have fun!’.
For more information check out my profile at About Me
Follow Me on: