- Year Joined:
Born in New Zealand, I was educated in England, migrating in 1960. I worked in the bio-medical science educational area for over 35 years working and teaching at the Sydney Institute of TAFE. Some years prior to retiring in 2001 I undertook a Masters in Social Ecology. This study created a significant change in my world view.
My learning during the Masters became a major trigger for me to explore and try to understand how the human race lives on this planet. How can we continue to do so, while causing so much damage to the environment. What is our future if we continue the way we are going?
I continue to work in the area of ecological sustainability, and intend to do so as long as I am able. For 10 years I have been a member of EcoSTEPS, a multi-disciplinary consultancy providing specialised services to people in organisations seeking to operate and interact in ways that contribute to a sustainable world.
As well as this work, I lecture and tutor at the UNSW in aspects of ecological sustainability. During this time, my particular interest has come to focus upon the values that define our behaviour.
It is worth stating that global warming and the ensuing climate change are not the core problem we face today. They are symptoms of a series of problems associated with our prosperity.
The level of awareness and knowledge we hold about technological solutions to ‘sustainability’ problems is high. What is less well accepted or understood, is how we deal with the values of a society that is causing the problems. It is this area of change where the real challenge lies.
Until and unless, we get to grips with our social values and ethics associated with consumption and sustainability, the changes necessary in this area will not eventuate. Those values that have brought us to this time and place in our evolution, seem to me to be unlikely to guide us to where we need to go now. How can we reconcile our current expectations and wishes for a ‘good life’, within the constraints of a finite planet?
Not long after I joined Rotary I met Richard Whiley (PP Chatswood). Together since about 1997 we have run a project in Rotary which we call ‘Rotarians for a Sustainable Future’. Over the years we have spoken to in excess of 120 clubs in our district and others such as Canberra and Goulburn. We continue to this day, speaking on subjects such as principles of sustainability, climate change, consumption, sustainable food, and climate change denial, and others. In our talk we invite clubs to explore what they can do towards a sustainable future. Given Rotary’s global coverage, we believe Rotary can and should stand up and take a stand on sustainability principles.
My other interests include photography, golf, walking, reading, gardening, (trout) fishing, and trying to understand how we have got ourselves in this mess.
Why I joined Rotary: I joined the Rotary Club of Ryde because two members who were my friends invited me to. I have never regretted joining. In fact it has added another dimension to my life through the ‘Rotarians for a Sustainable Future’ project that I work at with Richard Whiley, PP Chatswood. My involvement with Ryde has led me to become involved in areas I never considered.
Although I live in Randwick, being a member of Ryde has been an extreme pleasure. The culture of the club, which comes only through its members, is what keeps me driving to Ryde each week.