I attribute my comfort in being ‘on the land’ to my early years living on a small dairy farm in New Zealand. I trained as a nurse in Auckland before going on to study anthropology and human science at the ANU in Canberra, and subsequently worked for several decades as an applied epidemiologist primarily focusing on Aboriginal community controlled primary health care. I’ve had a lifelong interest in vegie gardening and in recent years have developed my interests in permaculture, syntropic farming, and bush regeneration.
My son Tenzin introduced me to Buddhism and it felt like coming home – philosophically and spiritually – and through him I’ve had two sojourns at Plum Village in France and spent time at SIBA, the Canberra Buddhist Society’s retreat centre in East Gippsland, in both places spending many happy hours in the garden. On returning from my second stay at Plum Village I joined with two others to start a local mindfulness group that meets monthly and has gone from strength to strength.
I have a strong commitment to social justice and equity, to practicing compassion in my daily life, to embracing interbeing, to minimising my planetary footprint, to nurturing my family and friends, to being socially engaged, and to growing food and caring for the land. My grandchildren are a great joy in my life and help to inspire my faith in the possibility of a better future. Forests and beaches are my temples. I’m convinced that the best way to live in our fractured, troubled times is in community.