Dr Jennifer Gardner OAM ~ Arboretum Appeal

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Dr Jennifer Gardner OAM      ~   Photo by Jennie Groom © 2017

While on a 7 year journey around the world with her husband in her 20’s, Jennifer Gardner had a thought while visiting a New York arboretum “it would be wonderful to work in a place like this” never imagining that she would one day have such a dream job.  On arrival back in Adelaide she finished her Science degree and went on to complete a PhD in Systematic Entomology.

The timing would happen that a new position as the Curator of The Waite Arboretum at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus, was created just as she finished her PhD!  That job opening has resulted in Jennifer’s life work and passion.  Contributing significantly to the development of the collection and involving the broader community by creating a vibrant volunteer program, and co-founding the Friends of the Waite Arboretum, Friends of the Waite Conservation Reserve and the organisation TREENET.   Jennifer has recently retired from The Waite Arboretum but she couldn’t stay away and now holds an Honorary position to work on special projects and other volunteer activities.

I asked Jennifer if she had ever worn a pedometer to count her steps throughout the day, she hasn’t but confesses that the 30 hectare site she’s walked around daily for the past 31 years would total a lot of steps!

Earlier this year, Jennifer was awarded an OAM, Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to the environment and conservation.

If you’ve never visited The Waite Arboretum, I suggest you do one day as there are not only 2,400 trees to ponder (which you can find out extra information through the mobile application – check website link below) but a Rose Garden, a Garden of Discovery, a Sensory Garden, sculptures and special features including a native beehive, plus the very cool labyrinth, personally designed and constructed by Jennifer herself.

 

http://www.adelaide.edu.au/waite-historic/arboretum/

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Helen Skidzevicius ~ Mrs Claus

Hello, long time no see! 

I would just like to say to all the Wednesday’s Woman followers and supporters, thanks for your fantastic feedback and encouragement throughout the year even though there has been a drop off in the last half of the year!

The drop off occurred for a couple of reasons, mainly I have been lucky enough to teach photography on Wednesdays at Uni SA since July and with teaching comes learning and I’ve discovered, I love teaching!!  I’ve also done some private teaching sessions and mentoring this year as well.

“Let us be up and doing” exhibition has been on the road travelling too, we went to Renmark, Quorn and Mt Gambier country shows and enjoyed some great feedback.

Please accept my apologies for the irregular blogs and know there are so many new women to feature in the future.

If anyone has any suggestions of people, companies, business etc that would like to sponsor the Wednesday’s Woman blog through selected advertising then please let me know.  It will help to keep the page more regular (eg. I would be made accountable!!).

Meanwhile, please enjoy your Christmas and New Year with some inspiration from Mrs Claus…

Jennie

xx

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Photography by Jennie Groom © 2016

Helen Skidzevicius loves Christmas!  Her partner and her dress up every year, decorate the house, the car and spread the magic of Christmas around their community.

Helen is also known as The Pudd’n Lady because she hand makes chocolate Christmas puddings with liquor, cherries and the recent addition of her secret spiced gingerbread flavoured puddings.

With one child living away from Australia and no grandchildren, Helen buys gifts for people in need and donates them to the wishing tree.

Helen has a lot going on in her life; full time carer for her partner, scorer for softball on Saturdays, sewing, painting and all things craft plus the Christmas puddings!  She will be thankful for a quite one on Christmas Day and will be enjoying a traditional lunch, time with her partner and sparkling wine!

Ronni Kahn ~ Waste Warrior

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Photo by Jennie Groom 2011, thanks to MoAD for Permission.

If you believe good food shouldn’t go to waste, then you will appreciate Ronni Kahn’s mission.

I had the privilege of meeting and photographing Ronni for an exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD) in Canberra in 2011.  Ronni and the whole crew were moved to ‘feel good’ tears as she told us her story.

In the process of questioning the purpose of her life, Ronni visited a friend and mentor in South Africa, and went to visit an aids clinic in Soweto her friend had set-up.  As they travelled through the city her friend mentioned she was responsible for electricity in Soweto.  To this news, Ronni thought “Wow, what must it feel like to know you have made an impact to over 1 million people?”  Once she saw the Aids Clinic, Ronni knew her life would never be the same, she knew she wanted to make a significant contribution to society.

Ronni had been in the event industry and experienced first hand the food wastage from events.  On occasions, she would hand deliver her left over food to charities and always felt good about doing so but with the concern about food wastage and people going hungry in  Australia she thought there must be a better way.   She then set-up the food rescue charity OzHarvest and had food legislation changed throughout the country enabling her to do this.

Food rescue is not the half eaten sandwich, it’s the food that has never touched the plate!  The food which is left over in the kitchen or on the shelves that wasn’t sold before closing time or the excess food left over from an event, meeting in a boardroom or catering on a film shoot for example.

“Food is so much more than just filling our tummies, it’s about nutrition, it’s about nourishment, it’s about caring, it’s about support”

The second impact of OzHarvest’s contribution to Australia and the world, Ronni could never have imagined is for every kilogram of food OzHarvest rescues, saves 2kg in methane gas and 143 litres of water.  To date they have saved over 15 million kilograms of food that was destined for landfill.

OzHarvest collects good quality food from over 2000 commercial outlets and delivers it to over 800 charities with their fleet of 30+ highly visible yellow vans and has fed more than 45 million meals to people in need across most of Australia.

“In our society and our wonderful democracy of Australia, I think that individuals have the opportunity every single day to find a way in their lives to make a difference” stresses Ronni.  This week is National Volunteer Week and Ronni knows only too well the value of volunteers in our society and the unlimited personal rewards volunteers receive when they volunteer.

“Not a day goes by where I don’t feel moved or blessed by the impact OzHarvest has had.”

It’s no surprise Ronni Kahn was named ‘Australian Local Hero’ in the 2010 Australian Of The Year Awards.