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.
Diana Laidlaw says she grew up in a family with strong, progressive and political views, an influence for Diana choosing to work in politics.
She started by assisting Federal and State ministers for 7 years before she was elected as a Liberal Party member of the Legislative Council to the Parliament of South Australia in 1982.
When her party won Government in 1993, Diana entered Cabinet and proceeded to be the first woman to hold 3 consecutive portfolios over 3 consecutive terms (and 3 Premiers) as Minister for Transport and Urban Planning, Arts and Status of Women.
Diana was Minister for the Status of Women in 1994 during the year of centenary celebrations for Women’s Suffrage in South Australia and helped launch a time capsule stored in a vault in Parliament House for women to open in another hundred years. It will be interesting to see what has changed then!
Representing the Arts as Minister must have ignited Diana’s passion for starting her own artwork with mosaics during this time. Since her 21 year political career finished Diana’s mosaics are really taking off and are highly sort after. Pictured here with her popular mosaic poles which she has exhibited widely throughout South Australia. Loving her artistic life now, Diana works on her mosaics as much as possible from a farm studio in the Barossa Valley.
On a personal level it was fabulous to have Diana Laidlaw launch my first exhibition ‘women@work’ in 2000 as she represented women and the arts!
Shivani Gupta is a Passion Activator, she helps you find your true passion and ways of bringing it into your working life. With first hand experience at changing professions to accommodate her passion, Shivani knows the keys to unlock a more fulfilling future.
Shivani has a Bachelor of Engineering and started her working life as an engineer for BHP. As a leader at BHP, she became instrumental in encouraging women into leadership roles and consequently won the Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year award. This soon became her passion and eventually she started her own business mentoring, coaching and public speaking, gathering an MBA and a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) along the way.
Shivani says there are seven key areas in life and we should be satisfied mastering just three of them, most people have family as their number one passion in life but like me, Shivani is happy to admit work is number one but it doesn’t mean she loves her family any less. Shivani’s message to women is it’s ok to love your work!
Shivani along with five other business women in the Hunter Valley Region established Friends of Barefoot College Australia (FBCA) in Tilonia, India.
A quirky thing I discovered about Shivani, which I love, being into numbers and all, her birthday is on the 24th of July, ’24/7′ and this is her husband’s nickname for her as she in ON 24/7 and I doubt he would ever forget her birthday!