On International Women’s Day and “Making It Happen”

FullSizeRender (3) FullSizeRender (2)On Friday 6 March, 2015, I was privileged to speak at the CSIRO Staff Association’s International Women’s Day luncheon. When I was invited to be the guest, I have to admit I was a little intimidated – all the speakers in previous years had been women who seemed to me to be much more qualified and suitable to be part of such an event! But being me (and this may be more clear when you read what I spoke about), I jumped at the chance and spoke on Cranky Ladies and the International Women’s Day theme of “Making It Happen”. And this is, basically, what I said (with thanks to Tansy Rayner Roberts because I stole a bit of her introduction from Cranky Ladies of History – with permission):

My journey has been one of branches in the path. Ever since I was a teenager, I have loved the Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken”, because even then, it seemed to me that that my life was about taking that less-travelled path, and I learned early on that coming back to the fork in the road is not an option. We moved around a lot when I was young – across the continent from Western Australia to Queensland and twice back again before I was 10 years old. In the olden days, before Facebook and Twitter, the letters exchanged with old friends petered out pretty quickly, and I became a dab hand at fitting in to new situations – it’s a skill that has served me well as an adult as much as it ever did as a child. People who know me will be aware that I’m rarely shy about speaking up, and I think I can thank my parents’ itchy feet for that.

But what has that got to do with “making it happen”? Well, I don’t think I would be here, making it all happen, without the journey I’ve travelled.

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I wanted to show you this for some context of what I’m going to say next, but I need to note that the space I had to make it was limited, so it only shows the major moves and events – I went to nine different schools, and three universities, moved house more times than I can count as a child and a student, and we worked out that since we met, my husband and I have moved 12 times (not ALWAYS interstate…), which averages out at once per year… No wonder I’m tired!

I’m here today because of Cranky Ladies of History. This is the latest book from my boutique publishing house FableCroft Publishing, which I started in 2010. I co-edited the book with Tansy Rayner Roberts, and we did a crowdfunding campaign to finance it in March last year. It has been 18 months in the making, but it is the culmination of an even longer journey, which I’d like to share with you. Continue reading “On International Women’s Day and “Making It Happen””