Interview with Kit Shepherd by Jana Hlinková, Volunteer, Transition Bondi.
Kit worked for nearly forty years in Adult Community Education sector including teaching English to newcomers and Communication, Literacy and Environmental Studies to Prisoners and other marginalised groups. Her dream is to collaborate with others and see the delights and achievements of joint efforts. In her spare time Kit loves learning, yoga, music – playing recorder, going to films and theatre and playing interactive games at social events.
Environmental sustainability has been a keystone in my life so it was an obvious first place to start looking for like-minded people.
JH: Hi Kit. At first tell us a little bit about yourself and how do you describe your lifestyle?
KS: I live a village lifestyle near iconic Bondi Beach (and I don’t like swimming!). I’m a keep-the-home-fires-burning‘ sort of person, enjoying the quiet of my small sunny unit, welcoming people and groups to my home frequently for some form of active social event. I use my legs for transport and enjoy the adventure of meeting new people and learning about their worlds. Several families close to me are part of my circle of connection. I chose at an early age not to be a wife nor a parent, wanting instead to be part of larger social groupings and to be freely engaging with all sorts of people of all ages and backgrounds, adding my resource to their wellbeing.
JH: What are the most important values in your life?
KS: Health and a feeling of wellbeing; treading lightly on Earth; fostering the ability to enjoy solitude and inner-resourcefulness as much as engaging with a wide range of people and activities. Being part of making the lives of others go well, and of creating a better world. Tapping and developing the potential of each person, through building connections between people.
JH: Why did you decide to join to Transition Bondi?
KS: Moving back into the neighbourhood of Bondi, I wanted to meet local people. Environmental sustainability has been a keystone in my life so it was an obvious first place to start looking for like-minded people.
JH: What is your position/role in Transition Bondi?
KS: I’m now the longest standing member (8 years), and have been volunteer co-ordinator and people-person (facilitating meetings and teams). Now the convenor, with some input and oversight of all of the activities.
JH: Why do you like being part of Transition Bondi?
KS: My involvement with Transition Bondi calls on all that I’ve been interested in and learned in my life, about developing myself, working with a range of people, making social change, living in a wholesome and creative way and working toward understanding the world.
JH: Do you think that communities like Transition Bondi are important? Why?
KS: Yes, as they offer ways forward in these troubling times. They are about building positive futures by collaboration, pouring human energy into building good foundations for the flourishing of all people and for life on Earth, starting where we all can – at the local and personal level.
Listening someone into changing their perspective is more effective than talking them into it!
JH: How do you feel about people who don’t seem to care about the situation of our environment? How and why might you approach them? KS: I am curious as to why they have not (yet) been ignited by the need for engagement on this topic. I agree with the perspective that all people are good, intelligent and co-operative and that dysfunctional behaviour arises from the fact that hurts that people have experienced (particularly in their early lives) act as a brake and a barrier to them reaching their personal and ‘world’ goals. I would approach them with tolerance, no pressure and interest as to what their values and concerns are. Listening someone into changing their perspective is more effective than talking them into it!
JH: What keeps you going and how to get more of that?
KS: I have two long-standing practices in my life, which have been the pillars of my wellbeing – yoga and peer counseling. These have kept me in good shape physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially and creatively. On a daily basis I tap into these wells.
JH: What holds you back and how to reduce that?
KS: Age-old patterns of self-doubt, isolation and feeling not adequate in some ways (very common inner struggles) that can make me lack confidence and undervalue the impact that I have in the world. These issues I take to my peer-counselling sessions to identify their sources and unravel and release them!
JH: Thank you very much, Kit!
Would you like to become a part of Transition Bondi? Don’t hesitate to contact us 🙂