Changing the world, one home at a time.
I grew up in Orroroo, a small country town at the top of the viable wheat growing zone (Goyder's Line) in the mid north of South Australia.
My Dad was the School's Deputy Principal, so as a family, we enjoyed holidays exploring and camping in national parks all over SA and Victoria. Particularly in the beautiful Flinders Ranges.
I'm sure this is where my love for the environment was born.
I also grew up watching A Country Practice each evening. I aspired to become a Park Ranger, just like Cathy Hayden was. I also remember crying like a baby when Molly died.
I can't remember a time where I didn't love the environment, investigating nature, listening to the sounds and amazed by the wonderment of animals. I used to sit in the backyard and watch ants walk in and out of their holes carrying an array of 'things' far bigger than their little bodies.
I also rescued frogs from the town's swimming pool at the beginning of each summer so they wouldn't die from the chlorine! My favourite, Kermit, was rescued still in the final stages of metamorphosis. His untimely death during one particularly hot summer, was commemorated with a matchbox casket and burial in the backyard.
Like many teens, I struggled in the last years of high school. I don't know if it was because the middle school years were not challenging enough, loss of identity from being the country kid in the city school and I simply didn't care.
I never stopped caring about the environment though.
I knew my school results were going to be dismal, so by the time I finished Year 12, I had already enrolled in TAFE to study in Natural Resource Management.
Much to my surprise, I was accepted into my first preference for University, and started a Bachelor of Applied Science in Conservation and Park Management in 1997.
I remember coming across a confronting poster on one of the corridor walls. It was a picture of Earth and written below was "When we've finished with this one, there's plenty more to choose from." This one hit me hard. So hard that I've never forgotten it.
I knew I could never stop caring about the environment.
I loved my studies, the excursions, field camps, and making like minded friends who also had a passion for the environment.
Volunteering during holidays took me to National Parks I'd not been to before; pulling weeds, collecting rubbish, cleaning toilets, laying fox baits, searching for elusive Mallee Fowl and taking guided walks. The list goes on...
I loved working in the environment.
I worked in the conservation industry on and off for many years, including planting enough trees to offset my carbon for the rest of my life!
I finally landed my dream job as Park Ranger in 2007. I was Ranger Karen at Nitmiluk National Park in the Northern Territory!
I lived and breathed the environment.
In mid 2009 I began a different role as Pest Management Officer in Victoria. I was the 'Rabbit Lady' aiding landholders to remove the invasive pest from their properties.
I was helping others help the environment.
I decided to return to study in 2010. I wanted to help children learn and in doing so learn about the environment and how to care for it.
I wanted to share my passion and love for the environment.
My children were born in 2013 and 2015 and during this time of being mum, I felt like I had lost being me. I had forgotten where my real passion and drive were. I love my children dearly, but it's been a very tough journey to re-light the flame.
In 2016, I reignited my Tri Nature business, I was making a difference again. It felt good. I felt good.
I launched my website, Ecostainable in 2017. It's a work in progress and something I'm proud of. It's a challenge and I'm learning a whole new way of thinking.
In this day and age being environmentally friendly isn't necessarily easy. So many pressures to keep up with society. So many influences from the media about what is and isn't good. Clever marketing making us spend our money where we really don't need to.
So here I am writing this blog. Speaking from the heart, and maybe, just maybe, inspiring others to care about the environment like I do.
So watch this space as I use my drive, my passion, the skills I have learned over the years and work on "changing the world, one home at a time".