Today, I take the leap into working full time in mine and my sisters business and travelling for the entirety of 2020. It’s fair to say I’m scared shitless.
2020 is a big year, it’s the year I turn 30 and when I look back I did think my life might look a bit different than it does now. I somehow imagined I’d own a home, I’d be married and have children but in fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’m single (I truly hate the word - it’s so branding in such a negative way, what I really mean is I’m not in a relationship with another person, I’m just in a relationship with myself), I definitely don’t own a home in this Australian economic climate, and I certainly have no children that I’m aware of.
So in 2020, I take the leap on a new journey. A journey that I feel is far more important than anything else I’ve done to date. I will be travelling the globe making connections to not only grow our business (ARNA) but to find ways to empower women to make bold decisions and to continue to change the stories that women see and tell about themselves in society.
It’s hard to consider leaving Australia in a time of such unrest, where the country is literally burning to the ground around us, animals, people and entire forests are just burnt. It’s truly horrific and I can’t help but think, if we had left the leadership to Australia’s Indigenous people, this never would have happened. With White privilege seems to come such ignorance as our actions have absolutely fucked this country.
What has given me hope is seeing amazing people and especially women stepping forward to show leadership to make change and to ask for help. Celeste Barber having raised over $25 million dollars, Pink donating $500,000, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban donating $500,000, communities coming together to help each other… even that amazing 13 girl who stood her ground protesting in Kirribilli while the riot police told her she’d be forcibly removed. Or, the women who refused to shake Scott Morrisons hand because she knew he’d turned his back on the country. There are so many acts of bravery happening, not to mention the amazing firies and people working constantly on these blazes and supporting evacuations of people everywhere. I was most saddened when I saw the NASA images of the Earth. Look what we have done.
It is hard to feel like I’m walking away at this time of need, to help grow our business when we are burning down here. But what I know deep inside is that the education and empowerment of women is what can help truly change this world. I know that when we share and teach women to read and write and when we openly learn from them too, we create a stronger world and one with deeper empathy. Where we create a matriarchy that comes with the primary focus of caring for people, mother earth and all her animals. What has patriarchy done for us to date? It’s not about men leading as ‘not good ', it's more about the imbalance of leadership across the globe politically and at work. There is no real balance of power, the scales have tipped we need a more matriarchal approach that centres us back.
It is a time for unity, for coming together and sharing. It’s a time to get our hands dirty, to get in the trenches and to truly help people.
It’s honestly like Obama said; "I'm absolutely confident that for two years if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything... living standards and outcomes."
When asked if he would ever consider going back into political leadership, he said he believed in leaders stepping aside when the time came.
"If you look at the world and look at the problems it's usually old people, usually old men, not getting out of the way," he said.
"It is important for political leaders to try and remind themselves that you are there to do a job, but you are not there for life, you are not there in order to prop up your own sense of self importance or your own power."
It’s also like the book Drawdown written by Paul Hawken who gives the most comprehensive list 100 ways we can stop or reduce global warming. On the 6th and 7th most impactful ways to reduce emissions are educating girls and family planning. The main impacts being:
“Two solutions influence family size and global population: educating girls and family planning. Because the exact dynamic between these solutions is impossible to determine, our models allocate 50 percent of the total potential impact to each. We assume that these impacts result from thirteen years of schooling, including primary through secondary education. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, by closing an annual financing gap of $39 billion, universal education in low- and lower-middle-income countries can be achieved. It could result in 51.48 gigatons of emissions reduced by 2050. The return on that investment is incalculable.”
So with these key things in mind I take the leap into 2020 to play big on women’s rights, education, sexualisation, climate impacts, homelessness, sex trafficking, gender equality, choice, leadership, empowerment, empathy and learning. I take the leap to build ARNA as a business so that we can make the kind of impact in the world that we really want to see. So that we can empower women and girls to take control and responsibility of their own lives.
My travels will take me from China to Cambodia to India. In India I will be working with an incredible social enterprise called Joyn Corporation where I will learn about their sustainable practices and their ancient style of block printing.
I will then head over to Europe to spend time travelling and meeting people working on amazing womens causes. Following this, I’ll be in New York, Miami, New Orleans, Mexico and South America.
Along this journey I’m most excited about who I might meet, what I will learn and how I will be able to share my knowledge to help others.
So even though Australia is burning, I will begin building an ARNA empire across the globe educating, empowering women and working towards a world that I would want my children to grow up in.
I hope I see you somewhere on my travels.