Kim McKay AO, our Women Of the Moment!

Kim McKay AO is our amazing Women Of the Moment!

A huge congratulations our beautiful 1 Million Women ambassador, Kim McKay AO who has been appointed as the first ever female Director of the Australian Museum! WOW! You can read more about the amazing Kim McKay below.

1. Describe yourself in three words.

Determined.  Fun.  Innovative (I hope!).

2. Tell us a little about the work you do, or your organisation and the kinds of things/projects that you're working on.

I started working as a professional communicator over 30 years ago (yikes!) and that has led to so many other things. I now run a small social and sustainability marketing and communications agency, Momentum2, based in Sydney and also serve on a number of not-for-profit boards. I guess I'm a facilitator, an entrepreneur, an ideas person and a 'doer'.  I put people together to make good things happen - and those projects always have to have a social or environmental benefit. Currently I'm consulting to the CEFC; creating a new women's project for a financial institution and providing strategic advice to a large conservation charity.

We just finished 18 months project work on the Shackleton Epic expedition, Tim Jarvis' successful recreation of Sir Ernest Shackleton's voyage of survival 100 years ago.

Throughout my career I've worked with lots of famous adventurers and explorers (I worked with National Geographic in Washington DC for many years) and Tim is also an environmental scientist who was raising awareness of our impact on Antarctica during the past century, so it was a good fit. I guess I'm best known in Australia for having co-founded Clean Up Australia and Clean Up The World back in the 1990's. As well as being an Ambassador for the 1 Million Women Campaign, I am on the boards of the Australian Museum, the Sydney Institute of Marine Science Foundation (SIMS) and Fair Trade Australia/New Zealand.

3. What inspires you?

A beach and an ocean on a sunny day;   trees on a misty rainy morning;  nature in all its glory...the usual things.  I am lucky to live near Sydney Harbour so get to see this beautiful waterway and the wildlife around it every day.  I particularly like seeing examples of ordinary people who make a difference in their local communities. I love the concept of everyone doing their 'bit' and achieving positive change.  That happens around Sydney Harbour with bush care groups and also the work the research scientists do at SIMS.

4.  Is there an experience or time in your life that has truly changed the way you live? ((ie - more conscious about living sustainably?)

Organising the first Clean Up the Harbour Day on 8 January 1989 was a turning point for me and really set in motion the desire to protect and preserve our natural environment, reduce my consumption and create awareness about the most pressing environmental issues. It was such a 'fun' day- the sun was shining, 40,000 people turned out, they were hot, sweaty and dirty after removing 5,000 tonnes of rubbish from Sydney Harbour.  It was amazing and I still say it was one of the best days of my life (sad, I know!).

5. What do you think are the unique strengths of women in taking action on climate change and living better for the planet?

We're born organisers and networkers and we have the biggest stake in caring for our kids futures.  Plus, we often control the household purse strings - we're usually the decision makers when it comes to household purchases which means we have enormous unheralded collective economic power!!   To be honest, I'm sick of 'talk fests' about taking action - I just want to do things....good things, and bring all my friends along with me!!

6. Do you have a message or a tip for our 1 Million Women comunity how to live by the principle that 'less is more'?

You know, we produced the series of True Green books (ABC Books) here which gave readers 100s of ways to lessen their impact on the environment by doing simple things. My favourite at the moment is to go shopping in my own wardrobe.  I do like clothes (a trait inherited from my mother) and it's amazing some days what I find in there.  The other day I wore a dress to work that I hadn't worn in 10 years and everyone said how nice it looked.  Better than buying something new!!  Saves money too. Last year I worked on the community campaign 'Garage Sale Trail' and it's a great idea to sell your unused items rather than have them end up in land fill!

Read more about Momentum2 here


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