I am a natural campaigner, a passionate activist. Give me a good cause and I will fight for it. This is the essence of who I am.
When I am campaigning for social justice, for human rights, for animal protection, to save the environment, to stop wars and stop all kinds of abuse, I am empowered. I lose my inhibitions, fired with confidence, determination and steely focus.
As a child I decided to be clever at school. Cleverness was my strategy of choice to win approval and attention. I was the first kid in the classroom to shoot my hand in the air with the correct answer to impress my teacher. I was the Eager Beaver who did their homework straight away and proudly presented huge project sheets with fancy headings and drawings and diagrams.
Every day after school, I raced home across the park to plonk myself in front of the little Black & White telie with a big mug of Milo and fist full of biscuits to watch in riveted awe The Adventures of Superman. You know, the original 1950s version starring dashing George Reeves.
But it wasn’t the invincible caped flying man who captured my adoration. That feisty female reporter, Lois Lane was my idolised hero. She was my first Career Woman role model; a fearless investigative journalist who scooped the front-page story and even got a By Line! Lois Lane inspired me to become a crusader.
At the age of 11 in Grade Six, I discovered the school newspaper and the power of the Roneo Machine to mass-produce my stories with my by-line to go into every home in the district! My first published article was about my cat! Doesn’t matter, I felt 10 feet tall!
When I was 17, I started reading late into the night, not my prescribed Literature classics, but books about cruelty to animals in producing meat and the convincing case for being a Vegetarian. Empowered, I embraced my first cause and harangued everyone at the dinner table about the horrors of abattoirs.
At Uni, the crusading journalist Donald Woods gave a rousing talk about the injustice of Apartheid in South Africa and the police killing of black activist, Steve Biko. I faithfully reported every word and devoted a double page spread in the student newspaper to the issue! I was the Editor I could do what I liked!
I joined Amnesty International, Movement Against Uranium Mining and the Peace Movement and when I became a newspaper journalist in Australia I campaigned for every worthy cause in my local community. Isolated on our far-flung island, I was cut off from global issues. The big wide world would have to wait.
The time has arrived. I now live in the UK close to the action, where the Big Issues happen. The Campaigner in me has been re-activated at the young old age of 58. I have rediscovered the fire in my belly. Join me as I unleash my Inner Lois Lane.