It is a great pleasure to be back at work after five months away on long-service-leave.
I came back to an extremely well-oiled machine that is the Board, office and staff. Huge thanks to Ione and Esther for stepping into the Acting CEO role so competently. It is very clear that they have done an excellent job and the AEGN has remained highly efficient.
I feel deeply thankful for the opportunity to take time off from work. I spent three months travelling and two months at home. I had a truly amazing time — restorative, adventurous, joyful and healthy! Highlights included hiking 120 kilometres on the Kungsleden trail in Sweden — north of the Arctic Circle, staying in a Grand Budapest style hotel in the World Heritage region of the Dolomites and hiking another 190 kilometres on the Tour Du Mont Blanc (Where I spent a lovely evening with Keith Ince, AEGN Chair, and his wife Jeannette) . I also finished the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walk in Japan and spent a week immersed in the stunning gardens of Kyoto.
In Australia I was lucky enough to fulfil one of my dreams, to see inland Australia in flood. I visited the Diamantina National Park in far west Queensland which was alive with great flocks of birds including budgerigars, wood swallows and chats. I also enjoyed a road trip across Victoria and into South Australia. Marvelling at southern Australia after a somewhat wet winter. The paddocks of the Western District were glowing green and the wildflowers were blooming in the Little Desert National Parks and the Grampians.
Another highlight was spending time reading, cooking and being a very present mother, partner, daughter and friend.
Receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia
It was very special to attend the investiture ceremony at Government House in Victoria. Here I received an OAM from the Victorian Governor General, Linda Dessau.
It felt I had the entire membership with me on that day.
I have come back to work with a renewed sense of urgency and recharged batteries. We have inherited one of the last remaining intact, biodiverse systems in the world. In a time where our climate systems are close to collapse, our task is ever more urgent.
Contact me if there is anything you would like to discuss.