Meeting Jane

Its not every day that ones gets to tick off the old bucket list!

I had the good fortune of receiving an official invitation to attend the 2019 Roots and Shoots & Roots Awards event in London, UK in March last year.

I was beyond thrilled and couldn't wait to meet this iconic Dr Jane Goodall in person.

I managed to get a flight on the new Dreamliner non stop flight from Perth, Western Australia to Heathrow airport. Flying for just over 16 hours non stop one way was quite an experience in itself.

The event was held from 10am - 4pm and I was beyond excited. I was invited by one of the organisers from the One Fight Unite team to meet Dr Jane Goodall on arrival to assist with bag carrying etc. It was a chilly morning when Jane arrived by taxi. Jane is just as I imagined her to be. Diminutive in stature, with a calm dignified personality.

The day kicked off with her mingling with all the junior finalists to view their individual projects that had been worked on throughout the previous year. There was such excitement in the air. It was wonderful to follow her progress and observe her interaction with the children.

After the judging a select few people were invited to have photographs taken with Jane. A few days before the event, I was in Scotland and was gifted a copy of one of Jane's books 'In the Shadow of Man' which I took with me to the event and she very graciously signed it for me.

We were then all invited to a buffet lunch held in the atrium of the Barbican Centre in central London. After lunch we were asked to go to one of the theatres where Dr Goodall proceeded to award the winners of various environmental categories. This was a followed by a one hour talk given by Jane. You could have heard a pin drop. She spoke about her life's journey and many issues that we now face. Much of which are now highlighted during this time of isolation due to the current global situation.

This day will always be treasured. I feel incredibly privileged to have received this invitation which will always be a treasured highlight in my life.

Little did any of us know that a year later the whole world would be fighting a global pandemic. We can only hope that this has forced us to take a really good look at what we as humans are responsible for. Much of the damage is irreversible but with the correct approach and immediate action, maybe just maybe we can rectify much of what has been done.....