During my undergraduate Environmental Management degree, I studied
abroad in Cambodia and worked with the FAO, realising my passion for
developing strong community bonds and networks.
This led me to focusing on Community Gardens as Cultural Spaces for my
Honours thesis. It’s my aim in the coming years to implement community
gardens in all Queensland schools (…as a start)
One day I’d love an education reform, to teach our future generations about the environment in the environment. Community gardens are spaces that provide opportunities to extend social circles in positive, non-competition based ways. They are a form of both recreational and physical exercise and are a representation of the love and effort put into them.
Gardens teach children about individuality, something we ought to embrace from a young age, whilst also creating clear, logical pathways of local sustainable food systems. I don’t imagine community gardens will ever feed the entire community, but if one were in every school across Australia (or perhaps the globe, but lets start small), then our future generations will grow up and have a space where they can physically go to embrace and connect with their community.
I think it’s so important to reconnect with the environment and with each other, but it’s more so important to show our children, through doing, why this is important.
“After my many years of study, research and international adventures, it has been tests of
resilience, determination and learning to accept whatever life may bring, has helped shape
who I am.”
I’m stoked for two reasons.
1. Bakslap’s emphasis on community. Community is at the
heart of everything I do, especially in my academia. Raph and the team have created a platform where people can both bond, inspire and enjoy – all with a mindful message. This leads me to my second reason…
2. The concept of living a life to the absolute fullest potential – while being mindful of your body. I want to look back when I am older and know that I nurtured my mental, emotional and physical self in every way that I could – whilst living to my potential and enjoying the moment bakslap embraces this very message, enjoy life but do it mindfully, enjoy the sun but take measures to protect yourself. Logically it goes hand in hand and it’s nice to be a part of a community that recognises this.
How this developed is a little funny, because five years ago had you asked me, my knowledge whilst there, was buried deep down as I neglected to take the sun seriously. It wasn’t until I saw people in my community acting sun-safe did I question my actions. My closest of friends all take enjoying the sun quite seriously and being an outdoors person for both work (when I am not writing) and for leisure I can’t believe I didn’t already take it so seriously.
From there, long sleeved t-shirts, big hats and reef safe sunscreens and zinc became a must at the beach. I feel confident and content in knowing that I can be outside and not directly causing damage to myself, because I would not do such a thing to the environment… so why my own body?
“It wasn’t until I was inspired by my community and sitting in a waiting room to get my first skin check did I realise how paramount but easy sun safety is. “My BIGGEST new lesson is to just apply every day. Get out of the shower in the morning and chuck some sunscreen on your hands, face and forearms (or anything in the sun).”
All of that running around doing errands still stacks up. My biggest lesson relates to why I am so stoked to be involved with bakslap – it’s just being mindful.
1. ‘eXXpedition‘ – Round the World Voyage
I have been selected as a Citizen member for the ‘eXXpedition Round the World Voyage’ in 2021. Researching the effects of plastic pollution on the high seas and performing community outreach programs.
Leg 13: Vanuatu to Cairns
The final leg across the South Pacific.
“Stoked that @_bakslap are getting on board and supporting sun safety with @exxpedition_ You’ll probably see more voyage related content now as June is coming quickly and I can’t wait to be soaking up the high seas, raising awareness and learning about the effects of #plasticpollution with the inspiring team on leg 13 – Vanuatu to Cairns”
2. Speaking about at the World Congress of Rural Sociology in 2021 on ‘Community Gardens as Cultural Spaces’
3. Cycling in Australia
Cycling around Australia comes from a big fire within me to reduce our consumption of plastics and bring together the communities of Australia.
I grew up rurally and knew where my waste went (the local tip), but I didn’t make the connection between MY waste in the country and the pollution in our oceans – it was just never emphasised.
While I think there is far more attention paid to this now, I know that plastic pollution tends to be a ‘coastal and waterways’ issue, and those across the Great Dividing Range or inland are forgotten as part of this movement.
My goal is to cycle from Cairns to Melbourne on an inland route, raising awareness through activity-based workshops in primary schools, I think it also brings me a sense of joy knowing that I will get to visit children who are in the same position I once was. Growing up rurally, your dreams are as big as the wide-open skies.
“Wow! Getting to know Rachael, she is so passionate about community, the environment and life! Rachael works her butt off and graduated will a 7.0 GPA Class 1 Honours – another wow! We know she will work with us to help steer our business on playing our part towards a more sustainable future.”
To follow and support Rachael’s journey