1. How did you first get started with environmental education?
I have always had a love for being in wild places. My family camped and bush walked every holiday, and we went on adventures around Australia exploring national parks and far off the beaten track places. Since being a kid I was always up a tree or creating elaborate worlds for insects and slaters and generally playing in the dirt. Essentially, I was leading my friends in Nature Play in my backyard from about 3! Does that count?…… This all contributed to who I am today and the career and path I have chosen.
I studied BA/BSci with a major in Zoology and Ecology in my undergrad. I was inspired by my Zoology lecturers in 1st year and moved out of chemistry and physics science streams to focus on animals and ecosystems. My Honours project had a focus on bird biodiversity and habitat complexity in the Murray Darling floodplains. I volunteered with Parks Vic and the Friends of Sherbrooke forest lyrebird group as a green graduate. As well as lyrebird monitoring, I had the opportunity to write and deliver environmental education programs for local schools about fire, ecology, plants and exploring nature. This was my first official dalliance into environmental education.
2. What have been the biggest highlights of your journey so far?
So many to choose from so I will choose a recent experience that has inspired me. Earlier this year I attended the Climate Reality Leadership Training in Brisbane. Surrounded by a room full of people from around Australia and the world that were there to champion the need to act NOW on climate change. As an organisation, CERES has declared a climate and ecological crisis and we are having a deep look at how we can better support our community to connect, build knowledge and be impactful. While sitting in this training and listening to Al Gore and many speakers from all sectors and backgrounds communicate passionately to the 6-700 leaders in training, I was scribbling ideas down in my workbook in relation to what I was going to bring back and work on at CERES from this experience. This idea is coming to life and I am proud to connect it to how we approach learning, connect people and affect change at CERES. We are soon to launch the School of Climate and Nature. We are shifting what we are doing up a gear, and ensuring our learning design, delivery and approaches are affecting change and inspiring learners in a time where we need to meet the 10-11 year deadline to reduce CO2 by at least 45% by 2030.
Lorna (centre) at The Climate Reality Project this year in Brisbane, Australia.