The First Day of Spring: Celebrating Wattle Day

The First Day of Spring: Celebrating Wattle Day


Most of us are aware that the 1 September is the 1st day of spring in Australia. (In the astronomical calendar spring begins the 21 September but we do things differently here.)

If we are walking through life with our eyes wide open we notice nature blossoming all around us during this time of year, in particular, the strikingly yellow blossoms of a vast variety of wattles.

Wattle Day & the Golden Wattle

The Golden Wattle in full bloomThe 1st day of spring is also Wattle Day and the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) is Australia’s official national floral emblem.

The Australian national colours of green and gold are derived from the Golden Wattle and are very well known due to national and international sport events – it would be interesting to find out how many Australians are aware of their origins.

The Wattle League Foundation

I was reminded last year when I was lucky enough to be involved in the launch of the Wattle League Foundation, a wonderful initiative aimed at providing supported transitional accommodation and support to veterans who find themselves homeless or at risk of homelessness as a result of mental health concerns.

As part of the background research for setting up this foundation I came across Wattle Day and loved that this common and humble plant is the national floral emblem of Australia. How very fitting and it wouldn’t it be lovely to make the wattle fashionable.

Plant a Wattle

Wattle Bush in Broken Head

Wattle Bush in Broken Head

I have planted quite a few in my garden and they are prospering and are much loved by bees and birds.

Why not plant a Golden Wattle or any other variety this September to celebrate Australia and all its beauty? You can find instructions on this fact sheet!


how to keep happy

how to keep happy

If you  do a lot of things at once with few resources, need to deal with negativity and at the same time, need to keep your energy levels up, these strategies might help you too to keep balanced and happy.

Here it goes*:

1. Take stock.

What do you like doing?  What is frustrating you? Focus on the bigger issues. Which of the things that frustrate you can you change and which are beyond your control? Don’t waste time on the latter. Identify and remind yourself of your goals and values. Be honest.

2. Eat well and set exercise goals.

If you are a meat eater and wine lover, commit to 2 or 3 meat & alcohol free evenings and [Read more…]

5 tips on how to green your valentine

5 tips on how to green your valentine

vcm_s_kf_m160_160x112Do you love Valentine’s Day and want to share the love for the planet as well as your loved one? You are not alone and there are plenty of options! Here are just five:

  1. show some love for animals: you can make a donation in your loved one’s name and receive a beautiful gift certificate via email; you can adopt an animal; or make another really wild gift;
  2. buy a locally grown plant instead of red roses;
  3. organise a healthy outing or picnic instead of a sit down 3-course dinner;
  4. buy organic, local, fair trade and/or vegan chocolates;
  5. give the gift of giving: volunteer your’s and your date’s time at a local charity and spend a day together sharing the love with others in need.

Nikolaus komm in unser Haus …

As a child I loved Nikolaus Day on 6 December. We used to put our boots in front of the entrance door and the next morning they were filled with, what was for us at the time exotic nuts, mandarins, lovely apples and some chocolates.  This tradition originated from Saint Nicholas – also called Nikolaos of Myra – a historic 4th-century saint and Greek Bishop of Myra in Lycia. Because of the many miracles attributed to him, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him.

Do people still commemorate Nikolaus in Germany these days? In the spirit of St Nikolaus, here is a lovely list of Christmas gift suggestions by Oren Arnold:

To your enemy, forgiveness
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.

Happy Nikolaus!

PS: check out this super daggy video of a typical Nikolaus song Nikolaus komm in unser Haus… and here is the text so you can sing along!

Nikolaus komm in unser Haus,
pack die großen Taschen aus.
Lustig, lustig, trallerallala!
Heut ist Nikolaus Abend da,
heut ist Nikolaus Abend da.

Stell das Pferdchen unter den Tisch
dass es Heu und Hafer frisst.
Lustig, lustig, trallerallala!
Heut ist Nikolaus Abend da,
heut ist Nikolaus Abend da.

Heu und Hafer frisst es nicht,
Zuckerplätzchen kriegt es nicht.
Lustig, lustig, trallerallala!
Heut ist Nikolaus Abend da,
heut ist Nikolaus Abend da.

medium sized enterprises united through First 5000

medium sized enterprises united through First 5000

First 5000 launch 20 Oct at NSW Parliament House

According to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) SMEs account for about 90 per cent of business worldwide, employing 50 to 60 per cent of the world’s workforce. In Australia, Australian Bureau of Statistics data indicate small businesses in Australia comprise up to 89 per cent of all employing enterprises, with medium businesses making up another 10 per cent.

The SME sector is not only huge but also extremely diverse – with  60% of all of these businesses not having any employees – this diversity creates challenges on many levels and  areas including responsible business practices,  corporate sustainability and philanthropy.

[Read more…]