Dr. Jane Goodall is currently doing a tour of Australia, and last Sunday, had a talk in Brisbane City. I am so glad I spent the money for L and I to go! Absolutely worth it.
This amazing woman, is such a graceful speaker. She articulates words so easily, speaks with so much passion, and literally inspires as she talks. It was so engaging, that I was leaning forward the whole time, trying to take in every word she said.
We were lucky that we had relatively close seats – not necessarily the best for a short person like me, but still close enough that I could hear her voice and clearly through the microphone. I even managed a photo or two on my little compact camera.
You may have seen the recent news articles and the videos in the media. She entered the amphitheater and everyone erupted in cheers and a standing ovation. She introduced herself with her animal call. She spoke of her early days and her love for Africa, how it grew when she was a little girl. Specifically after she read Tarzan, and how he ‘married the wrong Jane’ (I thought that was beautiful! I love books and some characters so much that I completely understand what she means!). Anyway. I won’t write about all her details, as many of you would have read her books (or looked her up on Wikipedia).
There were a few things that resonated with me that she spoke of. One, that to me, she had a ‘sponsor’. Being a female in the STEM industry (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), one thing we constantly hear at networking events or internal chats about trying to retain females in this area is the need for a sponsor. This is different to a mentor, as a mentor you can go for advise (and can act as a sponsor), but a sponsor will fight for you (in a way) and help go forward. What I’m trying to say is that this sponsor will put your name forward for opportunities, as an example. Anyway, Jane had that when she was young, and her sponsor did the best he could to help her achieve.
The other was how fondly she spoke of her mother and her support of her daughter’s dreams. She sounded like an incredible and strong woman, who in this day and edge would be a goddess to the rest of us who dream ‘silly’ dreams.
She also spoke about the foundation’s work and little things we can do to try and help and improve the environment, animals and people. Anyway, just wanted to share this experience with you all. I’m still on a high from that night, and I hope it doesn’t go away anytime soon.