This is a blog of ruminations on how I have in the past, and in the future, intend to help the children of Vietnam

I photographed the sunset above at my family's property on the Fleurieu peninsula in South Australia. On a clear night you can see across to Kangaroo Island.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jon Bon Jovi once said "map out your future - but do it in pencil."

So, do dreams change? Is the fact I wanted to be a Palaeontologist or Doctor when I was nine and then fainted in our first biology dissection experiment a bad thing?

Does the fact that some people change career paths multiple times in their lives mean they're not successful? What makes someone have so much passion and desire to achieve?

What is success?

I think success is being happy, making other people happy, and living by a set of values and beliefs that you are true to and considerate of others. I think dreams are important to have, but even more important is the ability to clearly think about what you want to do, then having the drive and ambition to achieve it. Of course, the above simplifies things as success is one of those intangible ideals which is different for each individual.

I guess that if someone thinks they themselves ARE successful, then they most certainly are. After all, what they think is all that matters. Perhaps that's what Descartes meant by "I think therefore I am" (although my Philosophy lecturers would shudder to read that).

One of my blind students in Vietnam (Bao, pictured below) once told a radio interviewer that he wanted to be a jet fighter pilot when he grew up. The radio interviewer wasn't sure whether he was joking or not. I told him that it was definitely something to aspire to. Who knows what medical breakthroughs for sight and what technological advances might happen in this boy's lifetime?

If a blind person can drive on the Daytona race track, then anything is possible.

"Success is falling nine times and getting up ten."
Yet another pearler from Jon Bon Jovi
(who would have thought this 80s rock legend would be so sage???!!!??)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Inspiration for my idea to teach computer skills to the blind in Vietnam came from three sources;
  • Firstly, my own experiences with the students of the blind school
  • Secondly, my own studies and research into new technologies and social media

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My gorgeous daughter, aged almost two, visited the blind school with my husband and I to meet my former students on her first trip overseas in 2009.

The blind school, called the Happy Sun Centre relies on donations and funding from non-profit foundations such as the Blind Vietnamese Childrens Foundation.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Never too old to map your future

You may have noticed I'm no longer in my 20s and therefore might think that I'm your typical mature age student - the one who does all the readings, sits at the front of the lecture and asks heaps of questions. BORING!

Being a PhD student makes things a little different. I work on my research alone and have spent time during my research situated within organisations interviewing and surveying staff.

I bring life and work experience to my student experience, having worked as a manager in the Federal Government for eight years before a change of pace to start a family. I lecture part time to fund my studies and in my daughter's first 18 months, I managed to complete a Masters degree whilst looking after her full time.

Now I have two children and am ready to MAP MY FUTURE with anticipation. Bring on the next phase!!

Oh and I'm not THAT old, just old enough NOT to jump with joy at the idea Justin Beiber is coming to town. Also old enough to know how to use money wisely, to invest, save and also how to use it to help others.

It's also a coincidence that one of my roles working with the Federal Government was as the state coordinator for Harmony Day, which coincides with the United Nation's (and UNICEF's) International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. On March 21 each year, Australians are encouraged to wear Orange to signify cultural diversity and racial tolerance.

The colour orange was selected for Harmony Day because it is an active colour that implies celebration.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

So much beauty in Vietnam

The fresh produce markets in Vietnam are some of the best in the world. Just don't head down the back to the fresh meat section if you're squeamish.

I love this image - timeless tradition meets new technology. He's probably checking the great rates and interest on his Savings Maximiser account or the balance on his Orange Everyday Account.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I am inspired by forward-thinking people who aren’t afraid to change and empower others to make a better world. I am fascinated by the wonderful tools available to us in this fast-paced and changing world; we can connect, engage and enrich others in a global way never imagined before.

This ability to connect and communicate is what I have focused on for my postgraduate studies; researching how major corporations, including the financial sector, communicate internally with staff during times of change or crisis. I am passionate about organisations and communities who use these tools well and envision a future where people CAN work with ease and seamlessly from a virtual office.

As I contemplate my future, I have a driving urge to help others understand and make the most of social media tools – especially those most vulnerable living in developing nations – children.