Michelle Garnaut – My Top 5 Places in Australia

For centuries, empires, governments and global companies have vied with each other in displays of wealth, grandeur and power along the Bund in Shanghai. For close to a quarter of a century, one Australian woman has maintained her position on the Bund with no power other than the power of her reputation.

Michelle Garnaut AO, the CEO of the M Restaurant Group, has established restaurants and lounges that have pioneered independent fine dining in both China and Hong Kong.

M on the Bund, the restaurant she opened in 1999, has won numerous awards and was named one of the 50 Best Restaurants in the World by Conde Nast Traveler. Michelle herself has garnered Australian and international recognition. This year, she was awarded an AO for distinguished service to Australia-China relations as a restauranteur and entrepreneur, and for her support of literary and cultural programs.

In 2009 Michelle opened Capital M in Beijing with its breathtaking terrace overlooking Tiananmen Square. And in 2016 she added Glam, a dining lounge and bar in Shanghai.

Her clientele includes royalty, government and business leaders, diplomats, celebrities and the media.

As an entrepreneur, Michelle has had the daring, skill and tenacity to successfully establish and sustain several enterprises in China – a feat that has defeated many foreign companies seeking to do business in China.


View from the terrace M on the Bund

M on the Bund

When Michelle began looking for a place in Shanghai to open her first restaurant in China, the Bund in the 1990s was not the glamorous, glitzy and spectacular strip it is today.

“The Bund was shabby then. Everyone told me to open in the French Concession, the more fashionable area of Shanghai where all the 5-star restaurants and bars were,”  remembers Michelle.

Nevertheless, she went against conventional wisdom and made what looked like a crazy investment in taking a 15-year lease on the 7th floor of a 1930’s Art Deco building on the Bund, overlooking the Huangpu river. This view would later be described by her diners as “ the most amazing skyline in the world.”

M on the Bund was Shanghai’s first independent, international standard restaurant, and it was an immediate hit. Michelle created her own niche with her distinctive combination of ambience, decor, and contemporary cuisine, including some Australian favourites such as M’s Very Famous Pavlova.

“We were in the right place at the right time with the right thing.”

Glam M Restaurants

Starting Out

Michelle Garnaut became a chef and restauranteur almost by accident. She had grown up in Melbourne, gone to Elwood High School, dropped out of Uni and headed off to Greece, because it was the cheapest ticket she could afford. She went by herself “ because I had no-one to go with.” After a year there she returned to Melbourne.

While flipping through a William Angliss Institute handbook, trying to find something to do, she spotted a course for a diploma in catering, cooking and hospitality. She and her 80-year old aunt, whom she describes as her role model, decided to do the course together. Surprisingly, she discovered “ I actually really liked cooking. And they said “you’ve got talent.”

But after completing the course it  was very hard to break into the profession in Australia. Women were not allowed to work in kitchens in many hotels and restaurants at that time. “Women had to fight much more back then. Today women feel they have the right and that is progress,” says Michelle.

Michelle Garnaut with staff of M on the Bund


Hong Kong

In 1984 she flew to Hong Kong. When she arrived she had no connections, she did not speak Chinese, and she was a woman  in a field overwhelmingly dominated by men. Yet by 1989, after working as a dishwasher, waitress, chef and caterer, she borrowed money and opened her first restaurant – M on the Fringe.

Here too she took a risk and went against conventional wisdom.

“When we opened in 1989 we had a new concept- a new style of restaurant. We opened in a nightclub area instead of the usual fuddy-duddy hotel area, and it was very successful “ says Michelle.

“When I opened the restaurant in Hong Kong I decided I didn’t want to be the chef. I could either be managing the business and dealing with customers or running the kitchen. I couldn’t do both. I did cook in the beginning because we were short-staffed. But I needed to be in charge,” she said.

Michelle developed her signature style of good food, chic and comfort in M on the Fringe and it remained one of Hong Kong’s best loved restaurants for 20 years, closing in 2009. Capital M in Beijing which had become a favourite destination, had to close this year, unable to cope with the restrictions placed on its location overlooking Tiananmen Square. It will be moving to another location in the capital.

Cultural & Artistic Hubs

Chamber Music at M Glam June 2017

Alongside running the M Restaurant Group, Michelle has vigorously supported the arts, the community and the empowerment of women.

Michelle opened up the M venues to function as cultural and artistic hubs.

She initiated the Shanghai International Literary Arts Festival, now in its 16th year. Over 1,000 of the world’s leading writers and thinkers have held talks and salons in her venues in Shanghai and Beijing. M on the Bund will host the 2018 Shanghai International Literary Arts Festival in March. The Festival will include Stella Prize winners and other leading Australian authors including Alexis Wright, Charlotte Wood, Fiona Wright and Richard Flanagan.

Michelle also sponsors the M Literary Residency Program that has provided residency in China and India for writers.

The M venues also host the Shanghai Chamber Music Festival and Competition that gives music students an invaluable opportunity to perform before discerning audiences, and provides a platform for chamber music in the city.

Village People Project

Far from Shanghai, along the old Silk Road in the arid, remote villages of Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, is where Michelle has set up projects with the local communities.

“Living and working in China I wanted to do something that was not just restaurants. There is enormous rural poverty and I wanted to work with women and children there. The lack of access to bathing facilities in poor rural areas leads to great physical and mental problems,“ says Michelle.

Michelle was a founder of the Village People Project, dedicated to building solar-powered bathhouses that are then run as businesses by local families. Four bathhouses have been opened.

Now the Village People Project is working to install bathrooms with solar-powered water heaters in the homes of more than 2,000 families in Qinghai Province.

“We want to provide solar panels to everyone in the village and help individuals to build their own household bathroom. It is a communal project with 3 out of the 5 committee members being women. It empowers the local women,” says Michelle.

Her commitment to empower women has also been behind her support of two other projects.

Mentor Walks

Michelle spearheaded  Mentor Walks in Shanghai and Beijing and they have now spread to Australia in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and even Wagga Wagga.

Once a month, women Mentors from a range of professions, take a walk with women starting out in business and the professions. Each Mentor, with 3-4 mentees in tow walks, chats and answers any questions they may have. Michelle was inspired to set up these walks because she heard from women that they remembered snippets of advice she had given them over the years.

“You get snippets that resonate with you and stay with you,” says Michelle. “I think it’s very important for all women to encourage and mentor the next generation. I laid the groundwork in my industry and I’m happy to share that with anyone who wants to learn from it.”

Participant in Educating Girls of Rural China program

Educating Girls In Rural China

Mentor Walks raises money for important project for girls and young women in China called Educating Girls of Rural China . Traditional attitudes valuing boys over girls still prevail in these areas and consequently, many families only educate the boys.

EGRC supports girls from impoverished rural regions in Western China to attend high school and get university education by providing financial sponsorship, personal support and mentorship.

To date, 842 girls from the poorest regions of China have been supported to attend high school and university with a 99% graduation rate.

Work & Happiness

“To be happy you must have 2 of 3 things — passion, prestige or payment,” advises Michelle.

“If you want to start a business, work is your life. You have to love your work and live your life in it.  All of that has made my life interesting,” says Michelle.

“You gotta keep doing things. Gotta keep making things happen. You have to be determined.”


Michelle’s Top 5 Places


Sydney N.S.W

Sydney Harbour

Sydney is so beautiful!  It’s the water and the hills. And the flora.

I was 19 when I first went. It’s wilder than Melbourne. Rocks with houses built on top, glimpses of beauty wherever you look. Always glimpses of the beautiful harbour.

I live in Hong Kong and that’s what I love – those flashes of beauty.


Mornington Peninsula Victoria

Mornington Peninsula – morpen.vic.gov.au

I’ve lived in cities all my life. When I was growing up in Melbourne I had friends with a holiday house at Balnarring beach. It was half-wild but also half-tame there.

I find the parts of Australia that are half-wild, half-tame enormously appealing. There are parts where you’re coming through a dark forest and then it opens on to a view of the beach.

The Mornington Peninsula is so dramatically beautiful. And now there are the vineyards and the food there.


Jervis Bay N.S.W

Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay NSW – australia.com

I stayed with a friend who has a house in Hyams Beach. There are spectacular cliffs on the other side of Jervis bay with walking trails. I love walking, but not climbing mountains. We walked along the cliffs and came down to the beach, did yoga and then found coffee.

I haven’t lived in Oz for 40 years, so when I am back it’s a mad, frantic visit to the cities to catch up with people, with some visits to beautiful places like Hyams.


Melbourne Victoria

Melbourne skyline – David Zycher  womangoingplaces.com.au

Melbourne to me is a place of family, of memories. It is a complex place. It also has a darker side, compared to Sydney which is a lighter city.

I left Melbourne in 1978 because I felt closed in. I went back for a year ( to do the hospitality course) and then left again.

But Melbourne has changed since I went to Elwood High School.

It has changed as dramatically as China has.

It is staggeringly beautiful and has amazing culture. It has all the variety of a big city. Its true multi-culturalism is fantastic.

I like the cultural side, the theatre and the food. But Melbourne is snobby about food.


Train journey across the Nullarbor Plain from South Australia to Western Australia

Indian Pacific 2 crossing Nullarbor Plain – australian-trains.com

In 2000, I took the train tip across the Nullarbor Plain by myself and it was incredible!

It took 2 nights and 3 days. I ended up in Perth.

There is a common myth of that the Nullarbor plain is flat and boring.

Yes, it’s flat, but fantastic and fascinating. There is this vastness.

You don’t  get bored – yes, it’s the same scrub land, but you don’t get bored.

Before the train trip, I drove from Adelaide to Ceduna in South Australia which is the last town on the border before the Nullarbor Plain. I had a good friend there who was doing an enormous cooking performance as part of the Adelaide Festival. I helped out.

We were doing oysters on the beach and feeding 1500 people.

You can fly into Ceduna to get to Streaky Bay where you can eat Streaky Bay oysters – absolutely fantastic!




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Rosie Batty AO – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Rosie Batty made Australia listen.

Her son, Luke aged 11, was with his father playing cricket in the park when his father walked over to him and killed him. Speaking quietly from the depths of her horror, Rosie said “ No matter how nice your house is, how intelligent you are, it can happen to anyone – and everyone.”

In expressing her personal grief, Rosie compelled us to see that family violence was our business. She made us see that the plight of thousands of women and children could one day be our plight, or that of someone close to us.

The numbers are indeed frightening: in Australia, two women are killed every week on average; almost 1,000 cases of child abuse are reported every day; one woman is hospitalised every 3 hours; and one in 3 women have experience physical and/or sexual violence.

Rosie has described family violence as an “epidemic”.

On what would have been his 13th birthday on 20 June, 2015, Rosie established the Luke Batty Never Alone Foundation to raise awareness, improve crisis services and advocate on behalf of the victims.

Since then she has been a tireless advocate for women in situations of domestic violence.

She was awarded an AO in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in recognition for her leadership role on this issue.

Rosie joined the Aboriginal Alice Springs Town Camp in their Women’s March Against Domestic Violence.  “I’m very keen to support this group of women who are working in their community and ensuring the voices of Aboriginal women are heard.”

Rosie has spearheaded a public campaign and presented the Prime Minister, lawmakers, the police and judiciary with tens of thousands of signatures urging fundamental change in the way the system responds to family violence.

“The conversations around family violence are definitely occurring now, compared with previous generations. Those women had no-one to talk to or lean on. The attitude was ‘ you made your bed, now lie in it’. There is still much misunderstanding and victim blaming, but I am being told by women that they have more confidence to come forward,” said Rosie. “It will take time but I see it as the kind of generational change we need.”

Rosie worked closely with Fiona Richardson the first Victorian Minister for Family Violence Prevention, on the Royal Commission into Family Violence which delivered its report on March 2016. Ms. Richardson died recently and Rosie paid tribute to her as both a mentor and a friend.

“I wouldn’t be where I am now without her love and belief in me. And I wouldn’t have been able to do what I have been able to do without the practical support she made available to me in so many ways.”

Rosie & Luke Batty

In 2015, Rosie Batty was recognised as Australian of the Year.

“If I can be seen as a leader of women, even if I don’t feel it myself, as someone who can create change in their mid-50s, it’s what I want to do,” says Rosie.

In July this year, she delivered a statement to a parliamentary inquiry into family law and family violence. Her statement, which received 11,000 signatures in 7 days, decried the federal family law system for endangering children in particular.

“The family law system is another avenue for the abuse to continue,” insists Rosie. She condemns the practice of the courts to grant abusive parents access to the children. “The children are absolutely forced to have access visits and forced to continue relationships. Their mothers have to drag them to the car where they self harm and are suicidal. And the mother is threatened that if she doesn’t allow it she will lose (custody of) the child.…So she has to give them up and hope that each weekend they come home safe and are not killed like my son was.” [See the full video below of Rosie Batty’s appearance before the parliamentary inquiry].

Rosie came to Australia from England 30 years ago, not expecting to stay. She was shy and alone and she wanted to challenge herself through travel. One of her earliest memories is of being 16 and not wanting to get to 80 with regret for not doing things and “not pushing myself out of my comfort zone”.

Her grandmother, an incredibly strong woman who lived to 100, was her role model.

Rosie stayed in Australia after Luke’s death because “Australia has been supportive and kind to me.”

She is determined not to just sit and exist. Her mindset is to “live life to the fullest. There is still that sense of adventure and the unexpected ahead of me and I will keep doing that as long as I can.”

See Rosie’s choices of her favourite destinations in Australia.

Rosie’s Top 5 Places


Cape Tribulation, Queensland

Cape Tribulation Queensland

I was 24 years old when I first arrived in Australia from England. I back-packed up the east coast. When I got to Cape Tribulation, I worked as a cleaner in a hostel. Coming from England I couldn’t believe how remote and isolated it was. Really remote. It’s where unique, ancient rainforest meets reef. It’s difficult to find somewhere else in the world as stunningly beautiful as it is.

There were crocodiles and jellyfish, and you couldn’t put a toe in the water.

There were no sealed roads then, and 4-wheel drives and the ferry were the only way in or out. You didn’t have the comforts you take for granted, no electricity, just a generator.

It was incredibly humid. But if you go July – September it is the most beautiful weather – very comfortable, not humid. Even though the roads are sealed now, it is still remote.

I like lots of different types of holidays – the hustle and bustle of cities but also to be far away in nature, remote, tuned out, embracing the beauty.

Australia is incomparable in beauty and still so remote.

Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory

Larapinta Trail trek with Rosie Batty

In August, I led a dozen supporters on a six-day fundraising walk for the Luke Batty Never Alone Foundation, along Australia’s most iconic desert trek, the Larapinta Trail.  Already one of the 7 Great Walks of Australia, the Larapinta Trail recently joined the ranks of the top 10 walks in the entire world.

I think that the Australian Outback is quintessentially Australian in a way suburban and metro areas aren’t. It is amazing and beautiful. We live in a large continent and don’t take the time to explore and appreciate its beauty. It is so evident how old Australia is when you see the rocks. You get transported back in time.

I didn’t realise it until we started the Larapinta walk, but all the participants were all living with the impact of family violence – whether it was a family member, a friend, or their own personal experience. It was a deeply moving realisation. We felt confident to share our experiences and it was comforting.

The purpose of the walk was both to raise money for the Foundation and to give these people an opportunity to do something physically challenging, and something for themselves – to take time out to sit under the stars. I have done several treks, others on the walk hadn’t and it was very challenging.

The Larapinta walk came close to raising $30,000 for the Luke Batty Foundation and that’s a significant achievement.

Broome, West Australia

Cape Leveque Western Australia

Broome is a long way away, but you’re not doing it tough when you get there.

The restaurants and resorts are stunning, and I had some of the best meals I have ever tasted. You can sit having a drink while watching the sunset and the camels coming back along the beach. While there, I was shown footprints of dinosaurs.

Looking down from plane on the way to Cape Leveque  you see a vast expanse of untamed beaches. You see crocodiles, but you see no-one, just a beautiful uninhabited place, remote and untouched. You have to understand the terrain, it’s risks and dangers.

Compared to England which is small with nothing dangerous, and where you are always surrounded by people, in Australia everything is big and dangerous. You have a pioneering feeling, a feeling of adventure.

I love that in Australia we can go to so many vast places and have limited contact with people, where you are not queuing up, not milling around and surrounded.


Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria

Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria

My greatest memory was of spending a week there with my brother.

We camped and went on long walks every day, stunning walks. I love walking. We saw everything, stingrays, koalas, wombats, kangaroos.

If you go at dusk you are guaranteed to see as many kangaroos as you ever could see. And stunning beaches – it’s just such a beautiful place, one of those gems. And not too far from Melbourne.


Sydney, NSW

Sydney is a fabulous city – so vibrant and beautiful. On a sunny day, with blue skies and views of Sydney harbour and Opera House, it is hard to find a better or more stunning city. I have climbed the bridge 3 times. I always take relatives and visitors from overseas to Sydney. It’s just vibrant and busy – lots of lovely restaurants with harbour views. I love the Rocks, the setting is lovely.

Sydney Opera House and Harbour



Rosie Batty’s statement to a parliamentary inquiry into family law and family violence – July 24th 2017




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Maureen Wheeler – My Top 5 Places In Australia

Maureen Wheeler AO is a pioneer of landmark enterprises in both travel and in the cultural life of Melbourne.

She was the co-founder, with her husband Tony, of Lonely Planet books – guides as indispensable to travellers as their backpacks and suitcases. Lonely Planet volumes, translated into many languages, significantly contributed to the popularisation of travel worldwide.

Maureen was also the co-founder of the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. This centre for books, writing and ideas played a critical role in Melbourne achieving its status as a UNESCO designated City of Literature in 2008. And in less than a decade since it was established, the Wheeler Centre has become one of the most dynamic features of this city.

“We wanted to create something that didn’t exist before. We came up with the idea of lectures, talks, big events, most of it free,” says Maureen. Their endowment makes much of it free to the public. Acknowledging its staff Maureen says, “The Wheeler Centre really delivers for Melbourne. It’s like you filled a hole that you didn’t know existed.”

Lonely Planet 1975 South-East Asia on a Shoestring

Lonely Planet Publications began in the 1970s because Maureen and Tony, as a young couple, loved to travel but could not afford it. In working out ingenious ways of seeing the world on a shoestring, they built a publishing empire. Lonely Planet reached its apogee 40 years later when it had become the world’s largest independent guidebook publisher and was sold in 2011 to the BBC for $224 million.

Maureen, who was originally from Belfast, Ireland, says that when Lonely Planet started “it was like a hobby. We would travel and do a book, sell it, then travel and do another book. It was just Tony and I for the first 9 years. We worked out of our house. We did everything. So we learnt on the job. How to put a book together, how to sell it, invoice it, how to pack it and how to take it down to the docks and put it on the ships. I used to drive around town in a station wagon dropping off books in bookstores.”


The Wheelers travelled with their children Tashi and Kieran when they were small, but once they started school, Tony continued to travel while Maureen stayed with them and managed the business.  “By the time I realised I was a businesswoman, I had been one for a very long time. It’s a big learning process. It isn’t always that you get it right. You make mistakes. You work it out somehow.”

Lonely Planet grew very slowly in the 80s and that is when it went from being a hobby to being a business. “But it took another 10 years. In 1984 we had about 12 people. We moved to the United States and set up an office there which was an incredibly bold things to do because various Australian publishers had tried to make it in America but had failed. No one believed that a company with 12 people would succeed. And it was hard for a couple of years.” Then an office was opened in France and partnerships were developed around the world in different languages. By the 1990s, they had more than 700 staff around the world.

With the growing success of Lonely Planet, Maureen and Tony set up the Lonely Planet Foundation in 1987 to give 10% of their profits to NGOs in famine relief, maternal and child welfare, micro-financing for women’s groups, education, clean water and hospitals. Maureen ran the Foundation for 20 years until they sold Lonely Planet books. Then the Foundation became the Planet Wheeler Foundation. Her daughter Tashi has taken over day-to-day involvement with the projects, but Maureen still gets monthly reports and is involved in decision-making on which projects to fund.

Maureen is now in her second year as Chair of the Melbourne Festival. Planning the Festival presents a challenge because Melbourne has so many cultural events. “The idea is not to compete, but to bring things to Melbourne that are amazing, incredibly exciting and that people wouldn’t get to see otherwise. So it’s about finding those events that people will go ‘Wow’ and talk about years later,” she says.

The Melbourne Theatre Company, the Malthouse Theatre, and opera also occupy a lot of her time. And in addition, she and Tony continue to be involved in publishing as partners in award-winning Text Publishing, a Melbourne-based independent publisher.

In 2014, Maureen and Tony Wheeler were awarded the Order of Australia.


Maureen’s Top Places

When I think about what’s really special about Australia, I think of these three regions:

The Kimberley

Kimberely Coastal Camp

I love the Kimberley region. It’s not a particular place in the Kimberley region. I love that area, I think it’s beyond beautiful.

There’s a place up there, the Kimberley Coastal Camp which I love. The Kimberley region is quite large and you’re either driving, camping or flying, and staying in really lovely places. Not a lot of places to stay. I do like Broome. Broome’s rather an interesting town. The Kimberley area is so stunningly beautiful. The colour is amazing. There is amazing rock art. I feel stunned by the beauty.

Dinosaur Footprints Broome WA – australiasnorthwest.com


The Northern Territory

I like the Northern Territory. I was on the (NT Tourism) Board up there for a couple of years and I got to travel around quite a lot, and there are some amazing things to see there. There’s a place out of Katherine,  canyons, and you can’t get there except by helicopter, and it has the most amazing rock art. It’s a fascinating area.

Aboriginal rock art sites in Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory – Tony Wheeler


Turtles & Fish Aboriginal rock art sites in Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory – Tony Wheeler

The Northern Territory is a really interesting place. I’ve seen Darwin change over the years. It’s not an Australian town, it’s a Pacific town. It reminds me of all the towns on the Pacific islands, it’s got that feel to it. It doesn’t feel as if it belongs to the rest of Australia. It’s quite diverse. It’s been interesting over the years to see the diversity of the population increase. When I first went up there were nearly all white people and now there are a lot of Chinese and Indians, backpackers going through from everywhere. So Darwin is an interesting city and what interested me was that it was the wild frontier for quite a while.

The Northern Territory has the most stunning colour. It’s very vivid, very red. The Kimberley is more blues and greys and greens. And the Northern Territory is very stark, very red, very blue skies and so much emptiness. You feel that it’s empty. And of course it extends down to Alice Springs and Uluru and up towards Katherine. Kakadu in the wet season is just wonderful, it’s beautiful. So again its scenery, the landscape is fantastic.

Beswick Falls, Katherine, NT – australia.com



I love Tasmania. I first went to Tasmania back in the 70s, and we drove around. I was also on the Tasmanian (Tourist) Board for six years in the 90s. I went down seven times a year, and I got to see an awful lot of Tasmania. And then I kept going back. I love Tasmania, I think it’s fabulous. I even love flying in. It reminds me a bit of Ireland. I love travelling around Tasmania. It’s so beautiful and there is so much to see, and now that they’ve got MONA in Hobart, that’s even better. I love Stanley, a beautiful little village on the north-west. I’ve been there quite a few times.

Stanley Tasmania – exploreaustralia.net.au


I like the walks – I’ve done the Bay of Fires, and I’ve done the Overland Trek, and I’ve done the Maria Island Trek, and I’ve done the Freycinet Trek. And the area around Coles Bay is absolutely gorgeous. And I love Hobart, I think it’s a great little town. Out of Hobart you’ve got places like Richmond, it’s just very pretty. And I love Bruny Island, That’s a great place to really get away.  Tasmania has changed over the years but it hasn’t changed so much, and places like Hobart have changed for the better. I think it’s fabulous, just a great little island with everything. It’s pretty, nice little villages, wonderful walks, a very interesting town Hobart and the history too.

Richmond Tasmania – tasmania.australiafoteveryone.com.au



Melbourne is great. Sydney is very lovely, but Melbourne is probably much more dynamic than Sydney in terms of what’s offered culturally.

Melbourne skyline – David Zycher


Tips for Travellers:

Take very little luggage and a large credit card.




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玛西亚•兰顿教授最心仪的澳大利亚五大旅游胜地 – Marcia Langton

Professor Marcia Langton AM is an anthropologist and geographer and holds the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. This year she was appointed Associate Provost. In 1993 she was made a member of the Order of Australia for her work in anthropology and advocacy of Aboriginal rights.

Marcia Langton, a descendent of the fighting Yiman of Queensland, is a strong Indigenous leader with an unwavering commitment to achieve justice for her people.

She is a speaker and writer who has produced a large body of knowledge in the areas of political and legal anthropology, Indigenous agreements with the mining industry, and Indigenous culture and art.

Marcia Langton helps shape the public debate on Indigenous affairs by challenging entrenched views.

And she is a effective activist who lobbies and works with governments and mining companies to change the economic and legal discrimination governing the lives of Aborigines.

There are approximately 600,000 Indigenous people in Australia and 50% of them are young. In public forums, Professor Langton warns of an “impending tragedy” when those quarter of a million young Indigenous Australians will need jobs. Most are not trained, literate or numerate. The rising number of youth suicides and incarcerations show that “ we have no time for cowardice or compromise.”

Marcia Langton 1982 - National Portrait Gallery -photo Juno Gemes

Marcia Langton 1982 – National Portrait Gallery -photo Juno Gemes

Professor Langton identifies the twin problems of poverty and economic exclusion as being at the heart of all the health and socio-economic disadvantage of the indigenous population.

She created a flurry in the media when she advocated the need for Indigenous Australians to compete in the meritocracy and in the economy in the same way white Australians do. Disadvantage needs to be addressed in a more rigorous way, she argues, with properly targeted programs that meet needs, “ without trapping Indigenous people in the welfare ghetto.”

Professor Langton has been forthright in her support of Indigenous agreements with mining companies as a vital way of creating economic opportunities. She authored a book called ‘The Quiet Revolution: Indigenous People and the Resources Boom’.

She recalls that in a meeting she attended with Rio Tinto in 2001, it was argued that the company could not employ Aboriginal men because they had problems with alcohol and the police. She told them to employ Aboriginal women. They did. In the last decade, mining companies and ancillary services have employed Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders, men and women, in larger numbers than ever before in Australian history.

The Mabo case, the Native Title Act and engagement with the mining industry have    “ catapulted Aboriginal people engaged in the mining industry into the mainstream economy. I have worked at mine sites and witnessed this extraordinary change.” she says.

Professor Langton is one of the leaders in the campaign for Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous people. In October 1999 she was one of five Indigenous leaders who were granted an audience with the Queen in Buckingham Palace to discuss Recognition.

She also served with Noel Pearson on the  Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians set up by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The Panel made recommendations for Constitutional Recognition and the abolition of the race provisions.

“The most crucial matter to understand about the Constitution is that when it was drafted in the 19th Century, it specifically excluded the Aboriginal people on grounds of race and it is this exclusion that lies at the heart of the state authorised discrimination that continues to this day.”

She argues that “ the Constitutional tradition of treating Aborigines as a race must be replaced with the idea of First Peoples.”

Despite intensive campaigning, Professor Langton and other Indigenous leaders are in a dilemma. The Australian Constitution is one of the most difficult in the world to change. If the referendum fails, she believes that no government in the near future will take up the cause. So the question is – might it not be better to delay the referendum for another generation?

Even if a decision is taken to delay, Marcia Langton will not cease in her fight to ensure Aboriginal people are accorded their rightful place in the nation.

Marcia’s Top 5 Places:


MONA, Tasmania

I have been twice, once during construction and once after it opened. This is one of the best art galleries in the world. The architecture is stunning. I don’t want to say much because the Museum of Old and New Art, the private gallery owned by David Walsh, is such a surprise. No spoilers.


The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

The Great Barrier Reef is the most beautiful place in the world. However, the Reef is too big as a place – at over 2,000 kilometres long – to suggest as one place to visit: it is many. Unfortunately for travellers, it can be very expensive to see the most beautiful and biodiversity rich parts of the reef and the least expensive and accessible areas are impacted by too many visitors. That said, I have visited the reef at several places and the coral reef and its many life forms are always stunning and unforgettable. Green Island is easily accessible from Cairns, as are several other areas. I have also toured parts of the reef departing by boat or yacht from Townsville. I would love to visit Lizard Island.


The Daintree Rainforest, North Queensland
Daintree Rainforest, Queensland

Daintree Rainforest, Queensland

The rainforest covered mountains of north Queensland are heritage listed and there are many places to visit. The Daintree Rainforest is the most famous and because the rainforest meets the sea along this stretch of coastline, this area is magical. I have camped at Thornton’s Beach (many years ago) and, sitting on the beach, watched the ocean traffic in wonder. Pilot whales, dugong, schools of fish, and stingray passed by, while the beach itself is a peaceful and beautiful place to rest. The fire flies come out in the evening here, and the animals that create irridescent clouds float on the waves. A full moon night is the best time to sit on the beach here.


 Gariwerd, The Grampians, western Victoria
The Balconies, Grampians National Park, Victoria

The Balconies, Grampians National Park, Victoria

The ancient landforms in the Gariwerd Grampians National Park date from the Gondwana period and it shows. These mountains and valleys feel old. And they are old: hundreds of millions of years old. This is a unique place because of its geological history but it is rich in Aboriginal history and culture. I always go to the Brambuk Cultural Centre before heading off on a walk or a swim in a lake. The waterfalls are beautiful after rain. The forests and vegetation are endlessly fascinating and full of birdlife.


The Ian Potter Centre National Gallery of Victoria

The Ian Potter Centre
National Gallery of Victoria

The NGVA and NGVI on opposite sides of the Yarra River in Melbourne CBD are my favourite home town haunts. These art galleries have great collections and the staff are friendly and accommodating. The restaurant and cafes are delightful. Parking is easy at the Federation Square parking station, but it’s an uphill walk to Collins Street to look in the designer shops. Fortunately, Movida is across the road and I can stop there for a wine and tapas.








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凯西·莱特最心仪的澳大利亚五大旅游胜地 Kathy Lette

凯西·莱特(Kathy Lette)集中体现了聪明和时髦这两个词。身为作家和评论家的她不仅文思敏捷还拥有着敏锐的洞察力,这让她收获了众多的读者和崇拜者。


作为一个作家,她的才华已经不仅仅在于消遣读者,还在于用幽默和较粗俗的言语来反映那些严重影响女性生活的话题。例如,在她的新小说《求偶遇难》(Courting Trouble)一书中便使用了幽默的手法来谈论性暴力,这种手法在描述英国和其他地方的法庭如何令人发指地对待强奸受害人时体现的尤为明显。凯西把幽默作为一种武器,因为只有“理想中的正义才是女性可以获得的正义之一,而在这一过程中笔则可以作为利器打败敌人。”


她辉煌的职业生涯始于十七岁时和人共同完成了经典异色小说《青春旋律》(Puberty Blues)。这本小说之后被改编成电影及最近大为成功的迷你电视剧。在成为国际畅销书作家之前,凯西还担任过报纸专栏作家,也在洛杉矶为哥伦比亚电影公司(Columbia Pictures)写过电视情景喜剧。在《落入凡间的男孩》一书中,凯西受儿子朱利叶斯(Julius)的启发,以一种既有趣又感人的描述手法讲述了抚养患有阿斯伯格综合征(Asperger Syndrome)孩子长大成人的故事。她的书已经被翻译成17种语言。


作为一个积极为妇女争取权利的人,她为很多组织机构担任大使,包括妇女儿童优先组织(Women and Children First),国际计划(Plan International)和白丝带联盟(White Ribbon Alliance)。




Kathy Lette & her sisters enjoying Gerringong

Kathy Lette & her sisters Jenny, Carolyn and Elizabeth enjoying Gerringong


South Coast of NSW





Bin along Bay, Tasmania

Binalong Bay, Tasmania





来一次六小时的火焰湾(Bay of Fires)徒步之旅吧。这个地方是当时澳洲原著民森林大火时,第一批欧洲人英勇地将这片海岸线救下之后而得名。在这里徒步是一项艰巨的任务,你必须全副武装。但看到叹为观止的美景时便会让你忘记路途的漫长和艰辛。一路上,你不仅会走过树木茂盛的山坡和陡峭的悬崖、历经花岗岩巨石的地貌、看到好似出自波拉克(Jackson Pollock)画笔下的橙红黄地衣,感受海浪拍打鞋子的声响。在这个过程中你唯一的伴侣就是那些冷漠的袋鼠们,它们躲在牡蛎壳堆成的贝丘上注视着你。那些贝丘是原著名成千上万年的盛宴遗留下的痕迹,看到它们不经会让你开始思考人生的短暂。



Bowen, Whitsundays Photo courtesy of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Bowen, Whitsundays
Photo courtesy of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority


The Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Passage

昆士兰州的圣灵群岛是由詹姆斯·库克船长(Captain James Cook)命名的。早在1770年,他指挥“努力号” (the Endeavour)船驶过蔚蓝的海水和珊瑚礁,最后发现了这片群岛。

74座群岛其实是一个国家公园,里面藏着各式各样的动物,包括彩虹吸蜜鹦鹉、美冠鹦鹉、笑翠鸟、翠鸟、蓝虎蝴蝶和岩袋鼠等等。当你第一次到达那里的时候,你会发现自己在说话的时候一直在用感叹号。 “哇!太美了!这片广阔无垠的沙地真的都是我一个人的吗?!!!!!!!!”



Coral Gardens - photo courtesy of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Coral Gardens, Great Barrier Reef – photo courtesy of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority



Kalgoorlie Super-Pit

Kalgoorlie Super-Pit

 西澳的卡尔古利Kalgoorlie, West Australia

卡尔古利是西澳的一个矿业小镇。 这个开采金矿的“超级大坑”和大峡谷一样既广阔又深厚。卡车的体积大得惊人,每个车轮都有海滨平房的大小。采矿的人每日沿着红土坡上上下下,辛勤地劳作。虽然小镇道路崎岖,这里的很多地方都出奇的漂亮。红色的土地、湛蓝的天空,一切都是那样得风景如画。



Uluru (Ayers Rock) Australia - womangoingplaces.com.au

Uluru (Ayers Rock) Australia – womangoingplaces.com.au



你一定要去乌鲁鲁 ,这里是澳大利亚中部大陆上一片巨大的地理景观。











想要了解更多有关乌鲁鲁的旅游咨询,请阅读媛梦之旅的《乌鲁鲁(艾尔斯岩)—澳大利亚的红色中心 》专题报道,网页链接 womangoingplaces.com.au/uluru-ayers-rock-australia/ 。


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安娜·高兹沃斯 (Anna Goldsworthy) 最心仪的澳洲五大旅游胜地

安娜·高兹沃斯(Anna Goldsworthy)天赋秉异且一直致力于参加各种高难度的活动。今年她就参加了以下各种活动:舞台剧《钢琴课》(Piano Lessons) 巡演,她不仅参与演出而且还在其中演奏钢琴;作为天使三重奏(Seraphim Trio)组合一员共同演出贝多芬钢琴三重奏;还有她的卡巴莱演出《Cole》也将在阿德莱德卡巴莱节(Cabaret Festival)上进行首演。今年十月,她将第六次担任“神仙港春季音乐节”(Port Fairy Spring Music Festival)的艺术总监。

作为享有盛名的钢琴独奏家,安娜不仅在澳大利亚也在世界各地进行演出,范围之广,可见一斑。作为一名室内演奏家,她也是著名的天使三重奏(Seraphim Trio)组合一员。该组合成立至今已有二十一年,以首演澳大利亚作曲家作品而闻名。

安娜同时还以传记家、散文家、剧作家及剧本作者而闻名。2009年安娜出版了她的第一本书《钢琴课》,这本动人的自传描述了她成为音乐家的历程,也刻画了一名极富天赋的学生与其严格但富魅力的老师埃莉诺拉·斯万(Eleanora Sivan)之间的关系。这本畅销书被列入了众多奖项的候选名单并获得了“2010年澳大利亚图书行业新进者”(Australian Book Industry Newcomer of the Year)奖项。



照片由Nicholas Purcell提供

Flinders Ranges South Australia

Flinders Ranges
South Australia


Flinders Ranges


Melbourne, CBD

Melbourne, CBD




Port Fairy Victoria

Port Fairy


Port Fairy


Noosa Queensland


努萨 Noosa

自从我们有了小孩,度假的方式就变得不一样了。从前我从没有想过这里会是一个令人激动的度假胜地,但是在这度过的两个假期让我改变了想法,现在我们正在计划再去一次。去年我们去努萨的时候正好赶上当地的长周末节(Noosa Long Weekend Festival),我们非常享受那里的卡巴莱表演还有那里的海滩,真是一个两全其美的组合。

Epsom House Tasmania

Epsom House


Epsom House, Pontville, Tasmania

我们去爱普生小屋已经有很多年头了,并且非常享受在那里的宴会厅听音乐会,重新翻修过的小屋给人与世隔绝的纯净之感,里面还有全国最好的音响设备之一。这间小屋就像是一颗来自优雅年代的时间胶囊,前来的参观者无不感到内心的满足感,特别是现在小屋的所有者杰奎(Jacqui)和杰夫·罗伯森(Geoff Robertson)给这里新增了两个英式花园。






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音乐大师西蒙娜•杨最心仪的澳大利亚五大旅游胜地 – Maestro Simone Young – My Top 5 Places in Australia



Maestro Simone Young - photo Klaus Lefebvre

Maestro Simone Young – photo Klaus Lefebvre

人们很容易回想起来著名指挥家的形象,也有很多传奇人物深深印在了大众的心中。但是其中女性指挥家却寥寥无几。在为数不多的女性指挥家中,Alondra de la Parra是这样评价西蒙娜•杨的,“当她站在国际的指挥台上时,她便在荒原中开辟出了一条路。”

Maestro Simone Young

Maestro Simone Young







曼利海滩 – Manly Beach

Manly beach, Sydney - australia.com

Manly beach, Sydney – australia.com



最近有一次从欧洲回到家乡,航班早的出奇,所有乘客的状态都是那种只有做了24个小时飞机的人才会有的灰头土脸。我没有叫醒我的老母亲,我让出租车司机直接开车到了曼利海滩。此时的晨曦还未露脸,就连路边的咖啡店也还未开始营业,我只是静静地看着太阳慢慢升起,我发现我的呼吸放松了,压力和疲倦也退去了,整个人沉静了下来。不久咖啡店开始营业,很明显,这里的顾客群非常的稳定,微微打着寒颤的冲浪者排着队点着咖啡,听上去的感觉很像加州故事里的场景(L.A Story),只是那些咖啡的种类到底是什么呢?就这样,一天的生活就开始了。慢跑的人给赶轮渡的上班族让路,也给上学的小朋友们让路,这些孩子们互相嬉戏打闹着,比较着最新的朋友圈状态。我对自己说,第二天一定要从South Steyne跑到Fairy Bower。如果你真的跑这条路线,不要忘记看看路边岩石中金色的小人像,或者索性带上你潜水的工具,自己去水下一探究竟。运动之后,绝对要坐在海滩边吃着鱼薯,晃着双腿,但是一定要小心那些海鸥,他们会从你的指尖把薯条抢走。


西澳宁格鲁礁 – Ningaloo Reef  Western Australia

Ningaloo Reef Western Australia

Ningaloo Reef Western Australia



Whale Shark Ningaloo - australiancoralcoast

Whale Shark Ningaloo – australiancoralcoast










新南威尔士州邦达奴 – Bundanoon New South Wales

Bundanoon, Southern Highlands, NSW

Bundanoon, Southern Highlands, NSW


整个南面高地有很多可看的地方,据我所知从Bowral开车到袋鼠谷(Kangaroo Valley)是风光最好的一段路程,只要带着你的高速相机就行。


新南威尔士西部 – The West (of NSW, that is!)

West region of NSW - David Gordon

West region of NSW – David Gordon









Wattle -redzaustralia.com

Wattle -redzaustralia.com









新南威尔士州的悉尼 – Sydney NSW

Lavender Bay Ferry Wharf - pbase.com

Lavender Bay Ferry Wharf – pbase.com

现在回到海边,回到悉尼,回到我最爱的地方之一——麦克马洪斯角(McMahons Point),在新年前夜或者有其它庆典活动的时候,最好不要去这里,因为人实在是太多了。但是其它时候,这里绝对是欣赏悉尼大桥和歌剧院壮观景色的好地方。通常来说,当我从市区经过大桥去城北的时候,我会稍微绕道一下,在那里的停车区稍作停留。我的女儿们则把这里选为她们吃三明治、喝奶昔、感叹海港人生百态的好地方之一。如果不赶时间的话,可以在这个区域的小街上散个步,看看那一栋栋挨在一起的历史老屋,看看这些风韵犹存的古建筑。你也可以把车停在旁边或者到薰衣草湾(Lavender Bay)码头的渡轮边走走,不管在草坪上还是码头上野餐都是个不错的想法。白天的时候这里异常忙碌,但神奇的是,在夜幕即将落下的时候,这里的空气是如此的柔软、码头里停泊着的船儿随着潮水温柔的节奏也敲打出有韵律的铃声。噢,我已经开始想家了……


想要了解音乐大师杨以及今后更多的表演,请访问 SimoneYoung.com


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安妮·萨默斯最心仪的五大澳洲旅游胜地 Anne Summers – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Anne Summers AO can be described as someone who is always in the vanguard as a feminist, journalist, author, editor and publisher.

Anne has just published her new memoir Unfettered and Alive. Former Governor-General Quentin Bryce described the book as ‘Exhilarating and what storytelling!’ Anne tells her story of travelling around the world working in newspapers and magazines, advising prime ministers, leading feminist debates, writing memorable and influential books. It is the compelling story of Anne Summers’ extraordinary life.

Forty one years ago, Anne Summers lead the charge into an abandoned building in Sydney and co-founded Elsie, the first women’s refuge in Australia.

She again led the way in her revelatory and now classic book Damned Whores and God’s Police, which was published in 1975. It showed how the Madonna or Whore polarity in attitudes toward women, derived from Australia’s colonial past, had become entrenched and influenced Australia’s subsequent political and social culture.

Anne was given an official leadership role when she ran the federal Office of the Status of Women (now Office for Women) from 1983 to 1986 when Bob Hawke was Prime Minister, and she was an advisor to Prime Minister Paul Keating.

Anne Summers Australian Legends Stamp

Anne Summers Australian Legends Stamp

For her distinctive role in advancing women’s equality, she was presented with the Australian Legends Award for 2011 and joined the exclusive ranks of great Australians to appear on a special Post Office stamp.

In 1989, Anne was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for her services to women and to journalism.

As a journalist and columnist, her work included being Canberra bureau chief for the Australian Financial Review and the paper’s North American editor. She was editor-in-chief of Ms. magazine in New York in 1987. She now writes a regular opinion column for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Three years ago, Anne created Anne Summers Reports www.annesummers.com.au. As its editor and publisher she is now part of a new trend of women publishing online magazines. ASR is a high quality digital magazine that covers a wide range of topics. The August issue highlighted the world-wide practice of female genital mutilation and Nimco Ali’s campaign against it.

Anne is the author of 8 books. Her latest book The Misogyny Factor looks at the sexism and misogyny that continues to deny women inclusion, equality and respect. For her previous books see: www.annesummers.com.au/products/books/

In September 2013 she began her series of very popular Anne Summers Conversations http://www.annesummers.com.au/conversations  with former Prime Minister Julia Gillard at sell-out events in the Sydney Opera House and the Melbourne Town Hall.


Anne’s Top 5 Places:


Bouddi National Park - Bulimah Spur track - photo John Yurasek

Bouddi National Park – Bulimah Spur track – photo John Yurasek

Wagstaffe and the Bouddi peninsula

On the New South Wales Central Coast. A tiny laid back and undeveloped settlement with just a handful of houses looking out over the bay, with the Bouddi National Park for backdrop and birdlife like you’ve never seen. You want kookaburras to join you on the deck for cocktails? Just pop the cork.




Palm Cove

Palm Cove

Palm Cove

Situated about 30kms north of Cairns in Far North Queensland, Palm Cove is the kind of old-fashioned place that gives resorts a good name. A place where buildings are not allowed to be higher than the ancient Melaleucas which Captain Cook is supposed to have admired when he stopped their briefly to replenish his water supply. And it has city-quality restaurants (unfortunately with city level prices). You can’t swim most of the year because of the stingers but you can’t beat a walk on the beach at any time of the day or night.


Sydney - photo Hamilton Lund

Sydney – photo Hamilton Lund


I first came to this dazzling city forty years ago and I kept coming back even after stints living in places like New York.  Sydney is a vibrant and physically stunning place with a diverse and (mostly) tolerant population where anything is possible. Bad stuff happens here (as in any big city) but the good far outweighs it. And physically it is unbeatable, with a surprising, and usually stunning, piece of landscape seemingly around every corner and over every horizon.


Port Arthur guards 1866 - ALMFA,SLT

Port Arthur guards 1866 – ALMFA,SLT

Port Arthur

The dark heart of our history, the site of an unimaginably cruel penal colony during the convict era and of Australia’s worse modern day mass shooting in 1996.  Much of the prison and its associated buildings, including the chilling prison chapel (designed so convicts could not look at each other during the service) are remarkably intact.




Port Arthur, Tasmania - photo Giovanni Portelli

Port Arthur, Tasmania – photo Giovanni Portelli

Yet Port Arthur is also a remarkably beautiful, green and lush place, nestled beside tranquil water.  Nowhere else in Australia does the phrase ‘her beauty and her terror’ from Dorothea Mackellar’s My Country resonate in quite the way it does here.








The Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial


Our national capital, whose landscape is unlike that of any other Australian city,  and the home of our national monuments, Canberra is a very special place. At least once in their lives everyone should visit the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library of Australia, the Museum of Australia, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial. These are not just a bunch of stodgy institutions. Between them, they contain so much of our history and our culture that they are the very heart of our country.


Travel tips:

*  Always have a long and engrossing book in your bag as you never know when – or for how long – you might be delayed. And batteries don’t run out on books.

*  Pack lightly.  You really don’t need many clothes when you travel and dragging heavy bags is a sure fire recipe for a bad back and an even worse temper. I once travelled round the world for three weeks with just a small carry on roller bag.

*  Travel should be fun so don’t stress out. Get to the airport in time for a coffee or a cocktail.  And once you get out of Australia, airports in many cities are wonderful places to spend time in. Schiphol, Amsterdam’s airport, even has treasures from the RijksMuseum on display.

*  Look like a jetsetter not a bogan.  Wear smart but comfortable clothes (no trackie dacks please) and even if you are in cattle class just remember that even a 24 hour flight is a helluva lot better than the months’ long sea voyages our ancestors had to endure to go anywhere.


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Fabian Dattner – My Top 5 Places in Australia

” You have to have a beard to be a leader in Antarctica.” It was this statement that sparked the indignation and the imagination of Fabian Dattner and led to an unprecedented expedition of 75 women scientists to Antarctica in December 2016.

Women and Leadership

Fabian, a partner in consulting firm Dattner Grant has had 30 years experience in leadership training, both internationally and with Australian government, corporate  and not-for-profit organisations. She has authored 3 books on leadership and is one of Australian’s best-known entrepreneurs, speakers and executive instructors.

So she was well placed to notice first-hand the paucity of women in executive positions. This prompted her seven years ago to set up Compass, a training program specifically designed to equip women with leadership skills. And it was during one of these Compass courses in Tasmania, that women scientists, many of them working in polar science, expressed their distress at repeatedly being passed over for leadership in favour of men.

Women in STEM

Indeed, only 9% of leadership roles in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in the world are held by women. This is remarkable given that women constitute the majority of undergraduates, graduates and Ph.D students in science.

What Fabian heard from the women working in polar science made such an impression on her, she had a vivid dream that same evening in which she was taking a group of them on a ship to Antarctica. The next morning she consulted with Dr. Jess Melbourne Thomas, an Antarctic Marine Ecological Modeler, who agreed that such a project would be feasible. From that point on they both began planning and within 6 weeks the project received the endorsement of the CEO of the Australian Antarctic Division who described it as a “ brilliant idea.”  And Homeward Bound was born.

2016 Homeward Bound expedition of women scientists in Antarctica

Homeward Bound

Support from global figures streamed in, including that of Dr Jane Goodall, primatologist and environmental campaigner; Dr Sylvia Earle, global leading Marine Biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer; and Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The project went viral with thousands of women in science applying for the 75 places on the first Homeward Bound 19-day expedition to Antarctica in December 2016.

These scientists all strongly identified with the twin goals of Homeward Bound as stated by Fabian. The first: to promote women with a science background into leadership and decision-making positions. The second: to increase the impact of these women on climate change and the sustainability of the planet.

The 10-year objective of Homeward Bound is to build a world-wide collaboration between 1000 women in science. Fabian believes that these women, acting together, can be a more powerful force of global leadership on these vital issues.  “Our individual brilliance is not as powerful as our collective cleverness, “ she says.

The 75 scientists who took part in the first expedition came from countries around the world. They represented a wide range of fields –  marine science, climate change ecology, biodiversity conservation, astronomy, geology, zoology and neuroscience – to name just a few. They represented a wide range of expertise – from Ph.D students to professors. And they represented a wide range of ages – from women in their twenties to women in their seventies.

Homeward Bound journey on Ushuaia – photo Ute Hohn-Bowen

Prior to sailing, the participants took part in 12 months of building connections and teams. Once on board, part of the day was devoted to training led by Fabian, in leadership and strategic skills. There was a major science symposium at sea, with each of the scientists presenting her field of expertise, and there were group discussions of the most up-to-date climate change research and other key issues facing the planet.

Up to five hours each day were spent exploring the extraordinary beauty of Antarctica in 16 different landings and in meeting Antarctic experts. A film crew was present on Homeward Bound and recorded the entire expedition.

Antarctica- photo Fabian Dattner 2016 Homeward Bound

Why Antarctica?

Why was Antarctica chosen as the context for this project?

“ Because Antarctica is the engine of the planet, “ says Fabian. In Antarctica you can see some of the fastest and most breathtaking results of climate change to be seen anywhere on the planet, she said. It provides a dramatically visual early warning system of where we are headed.

The next Homeward Bound expedition, due to leave on February 2018,  has been flooded with applicants.

“ We are looking for women who are worried about what is happening to the planet and who think they can make a difference, “ says Fabian.

Homeward Bound funded the first expedition largely though global crowd-funding projects. Now they are seeking to provide scholarships for women in science who cannot afford to fund their own participation in the expedition.

WomanGoingPlaces supports the objectives of Homeward Bound in strengthening the collaborative participation of women scientists at the highest levels of decision-making. And we encourage our followers to support these scholarships. For further information see the Homeward Bound website.

Fabian’s Top 5 Places



Antarctica – photo Fabian Dattner 2016 Homeward Bound

Antarctica is not a place I felt at home, Antarctica was a place I was in awe.

The icebergs are not what anyone imagines an iceberg is about, they’re huge, they’re like a city building. They are behemoths and from then on in you’re in a spellbinding environment

Antarctica has the lowest biodiversity on the planet.

There are two things on the surface, tiny little bits of green – an Antarctic grass and a tiny bit of moss. And this vast ice scape. And you’ll be walking through snow and ice and there is a rock, and it’s not like you see it everywhere by the way, you need a biologist to point it out to you. There’ll be tiny beads of water and in that there is a teensy weensy bit of gloop and in there are the larval stages of this wingless fly. And that’s it.

But in summer, in the water and under the water, is a majesty and a magic that is incomprehensible. The largest biomass in the world is there. Krill, and on the back of the krill come the whales and we saw humpbacks. And there are times where you’ll see the whales working as teams to move the krill into a circle and then they move in and eat. We saw Minke Whales dancing with the boat. We saw Leopard seals. We saw Weddell seals, we saw Chinstraps and Adelie penguins. You see lots of ocean-going birds, birds that have traveled obscene distances to breed because the water is so rich.

[Under the Antarctic Treaty system Australia maintains sovereignty over the Australian Antarctic Territory.]

South Coast Walk, Tasmania

It’s a fly-in-walk-out walk. You fly out of Hobart on a 4 seater for an hour and you land on a little airstrip in the middle of nowhere in some wilderness. The plane flies off and you begin a walk. And you’re walking along the South West coast, for about a 100 kilometres. You’re walking through forest that is largely untouched on such a narrow path and you have a heavy pack on your back.  Light filters through the grand trees onto the green landscape and it is so beautiful you can’t talk. If you’ve loved Lord of the Rings, it’s like Lothlorien where the elves live.

It was one of the hardest walks I’ve done and one of the most beautiful. It is right up there with one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Lord Howe Island, New South Wales

Coral off Lord Howe Island – photo Lord Howe Island Tourism Association www.lordhoweisland.info

Lord Howe Island would definitely be one of my favourite places. With the bleaching of the Barrier Reef it is actually probably one of the most southern ends of diverse coral that you’re going to see. There hasn’t been any bleaching there. And diving there was just stunning. It’s this tiny little isolated island in the Pacific Ocean and you have to go quite a long way to get there. If the weather throws you a kilter, you can’t land. There are only 300 people that live there and there’s quite a restricted tourist population. You can only get around on bicycles. I love the beautiful wilderness and the places that human beings haven’t desecrated. There is pristine water to dive in. Just pristine water.

Kakadu, Northern Territory

Kakadu escarpment Northern Territory – photo auswalk.com.au

There’s this walk, not a complex walk anyone can do it, but you go up past an extensive area of Aboriginal rock banding which is in itself haunting. It’s 50, 60 thousand years old. But the most memorable part is getting to an escarpment where you have a 360 degree panoramic view of the best of Australian outback with not a single building as far as the eye can see in any direction. And I remember the epic part about that was coming to the top and a big Texan came up behind us and he’s standing next to me in his stetson hat and he says “ I don’t know why people rave about the Aboriginals –  I can’t see that they’ve left anything here” (in Texan accent).  And I said, “ No, they’ve left us this beautiful, beautiful space.”

Flinders Ranges, South Australia

Flinders Ranges South Australia – photo australia.com

We went to quite a remote area in the Finders Ranges. It was during the drought. So it was a very desolate dry hard space. But in a way that parts of Australia can be so epically beautiful. We saw rock wallabies and it’s very rare that you see rock wallabies in the wild. They move across the rock scape in the way foxes move at night in your backyards – in a ghostly, almost don’t touch the ground way. And we were in a very remote spot walking and I suddenly looked up at a desiccated dry mountain top of rocks and something moved and there they were. So that was one of the heart stopping moments of wilderness for me.




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Janette Jeffrey – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Jan Jeffrey

Jan Jeffrey

Janette Jeffrey has broken 7 World Records as a Masters Swimmer from 2015 -2016.

She also holds 9 National records in freestyle and breaststroke in her age group 65-69 years. That’s just in the swimming pool.

In ocean swims she was the female wInner of the Cousins Travel Open Water ‘Ocean’ swim series 2016/17 in 60-69 age group. She has won her age group of the prestigious Lorne Pier to Pub race nine times.

But her picture made no front pages, and you have probably never heard of her.

If young sportswomen have great difficulty getting any coverage in mainstream media, it is almost impossible for older women competing in Masters events to do so.

Jan competed in the 16th FINA World Masters Swimming Championships 2015 in Kazan, Russia in August. She won 4 gold medals in the Women’s 65-69 years category for 50 metre, 100 metre and 200 metre breaststroke, as well as the 400 metre freestyle competitions.  Not many people get to break their own world records, but that is exactly what Jan did in Russia.

The FINA World Masters Games are the Olympics of Masters Swimming, and this makes Jan the fastest in the world by many seconds. She competes against ex-Olympians who now swim Masters and she is able to beat them. “To have been able to swim the 200m breaststroke better than anyone else in the world at my age, is hard to believe”.

Jan swims with the Malvern Marlins, a very enthusiastic and committed local Masters Swimming Club that trains at the Harold Holt Swim Centre in Glen Iris in Melbourne. She has been President of the Marlins and was made a life member in 2014 for her on-going contribution as a swimming coach.


Jan with the gold medals she won at the 16th FINA World Masters Swimming Championships 2015 in Kazan Russia

She joined the Marlins at the age of 43, initially just to manage her kidney disease. But she came to love not only the fitness, but also the fun and friendship she found in the group. Jan developed a drive to keep shaving the time off her laps. Her determination kept her going even when faced with life threatening illness and injuries. Extraordinarily, she achieved her 4 world record swims after undergoing a major operation on her heart.



She combines her love of swimming with her love of travelling around Australia in a caravan with partner and fellow Marlin, Gerry Tucker, who is also an accomplished Masters swimmer. Jan enjoys painting the natural beauty of the places she travels through. She also finds the local “swimming geeks” and joins them in swims and competitions.

Jan will be going to compete in Budapest at the Fina Masters World Swimming Championships in August this year.

Before she retired, Jan spent many years as a teacher at Caulfield Grammar School’s Malvern Campus in Melbourne.

Jan’s Top 5 Places:


Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Sunshine Coast, Queensland: For the thrill of Relaxation

We just love heading north to escape the Melbourne winter. (That’s what retirees can do.)

Our favourite destination is the Sunshine Coast.

It’s hard to pick my favourite place but Golden Beach, Caloundra suits us fine, and it is here where we have made a base for ourselves. The Glasshouse Mountains welcome us as we travel along the Bruce highway into town. The spectacular sight of the glassy waters of the Pumicestone Passage reminds us that it is time to relax and enjoy life.

Bribie Island resting in the background shelters us from the surf coast.  It is truly worth getting up early to watch the sunrise in the east, and just as rewarding, the sunset at night over the Glasshouse Mountains. What a view!

Our favourite pastime believe it or not, is to swim in the morning. We have met up with a great group of swim geeks who train at the 50m Pelican Waters Swim Centre. At the weekend, their passion is to swim in the ocean from Moffat beach around the point to Dickey beach, and back. On Sundays, they may choose another beach depending on the weather conditions. (Shark sightings nil so far, wetsuits allowed for us Melbournites, goggles & fins are optional.)

Kayaking over to Bribie Island with friends is a highlight of our time in Caloundra. Long walks along this pristine coastline (we are usually the only ones there), and a surf in the Pacific Ocean is a must, of course.  A picnic of fresh prawns from the local fish shop, mango, avocado and salad with fresh bread of course, topped off with a glass of bubbly under the pandanus trees, usually follows our swim.

Best places to visit:

Emu on Bribie island

Emu on Bribie island

  • Golden Beach for great bike paths that lead to all the sunny beaches. You must try stand-up paddle boarding on the Passage.
  • Mooloolaba for shopping, coffee, and people watching, and the Mooloolaba Spit to tuck into a bucket of fresh prawns for lunch.
  • Monteville, Maleny and Eumundi – take the time to enjoy a drive up into the hinterland for great markets, shops, art galleries and restaurants.
  • Kings beach for a surf and swim in the salt water pool beachside.
  • Cottontree for another pool swim, and the great Boat Shed restaurant for a sunset meal.
  • Sunshine Beach SLSC for a hearty lunch and afternoon drinks.
  • Alexander Headland for lazy walks on the long sandy coast line.
  • Buderim for a great life drawing class – a must each week when I am there.


Moree thermal baths, NSW - photo Nicole Steinke

Moree thermal baths, NSW – photo Nicole Steinke

Moree, Northern NSW: For the thrill of Rejuvenation

A tradition for the last four years since we purchased our caravan has been to call into the township of Moree in northern NSW. Why? Because we heard that it has hot thermal pools in which to relax and undergo some serious rejuvenation therapy. It was like a scene out of film director Ron Howard’s science fiction movie “Cocoon”. In this case, this huge pool was filled to the brim with older people wallowing in hot water, with steam rising into the damp night air. Yes, at night! They are in the pools from early morning to late at night, resting their bones and rejuvenating their souls with stories, old and new. My first conversation went like this: “Have you been around the block yet?”  Translated this means “Have you caravanned right around Australia yet? ” In these waters, you don’t need a travel agent or Trip Advisor to tell you where to go, what to do, and when to do it. Everybody here over 60 appears to be computer savvy possessing mobile phones, iPads, Kindles, etc. They Skype with family all the time. No need to go home!

I forgot to mention Moree has a new aquatic centre with a fantastic 50 m pool in which to do a training session. No rest for us poolies. After our workout of 3km or more, our bodies need rejuvenating!

Moree does have lots more to offer

  • Art galleries
  • Boutique shops
  • Heritage museums
  • Walking tours
  • Wineries
  • Market gardens galore – featuring olives, nuts


High Country Victoria horse riding

High Country Victoria horse riding

High country Merrijig, Victoria: For the thrill of Adventure

Simply go up to the high country in Merrijig, Victoria and do a mountain trail safari ride with the Man from Snowy River.

My first ride of many, was for one week. What was I thinking as a novice horse rider? As it turned out it probably changed my life around. Within an hour, I was trotting and cantering through the most beautiful countryside I had ever seen. Forget the aching muscles and saddle soreness I developed in those first few days, the whole experience was worth it. The fear of sitting on top of such a large animal had disappeared, and I was in awe of the bush environment. Starting from the Merrijig area we rode through such areas as Sheepyard Flat, where I did my first ever jump over a log (it was a big log!); along the Howqua River; Craig’s hut; Bindaree Falls; The Bluff; Mt Lovick; King Billy Tree; Hells Window; Mt Howitt; the Devils Staircase and many river crossings. Mustering cattle was another experience. Talk about moving back in time! I must tell you that the rides cater for all ages and ability levels. The rides are great for families. As darkness falls, many bush stories are told around the campfire and you can sleep in swag under the stars, if you dare.

You may be lucky enough to book into a ride with the original Man from Snowy River, Tom Burlinson, who makes a regular trip back each year to reunite with the “Lovick” Cattlemen family and renew his friendships.

These rides have been a life experience that I will never forget.


Lorne Pier to Pub swim

Lorne Pier to Pub swim

Lorne, Great Ocean Road, Victoria: For the thrill of Excitement

Head to Lorne between Airley’s Inlet and Wye River in summer.

As you drive down the Great Ocean Road in January, you realise that summer is here. Your breath is taken away by the panoramic views and wide expanse of water as you wind around the cliff tops into Lorne.

Tourists pour into this seaside town for a weekend of exciting competition. Thousands of competitors will compete in the Mountain to Surf Run, followed the next day by the iconic Pier to Pub Open Water swim. The atmosphere is electric.  Some of us diehard competitors have actually been here for the week, rehearsing the swim each day.

We spend the summer competing in the Cousins Travel Open Water Swim Series, and this weekend is the most prestigious swim, attracting up to 5000 swimmers.

I have swum this event about twenty-two times now, and won my age group nine times. Each year it gets harder and harder to swim this event. What a challenge!

If swimming in the ocean with a pack of swimmers, feeling like you are in a washing machine, isn’t your cup of tea, then believe it or not, there are other things to do:

  • Great Otway National Park

    Great Otway National Park

    Restaurants and cafes galore.

  • People watching whilst drinking coffee.
  • Walks in the Great Otway National Park.
  • Visit Erskine Falls.
  • Art Galleries.
  • Shopping, shopping, shopping.
  • Lying around on the beach reading.
  • Nippers programs for the kids.
  • Surfing.
  • A local Cinema.
  • Playgrounds for kids.
  • Yoga classes.
  • Massage.
  • Swimming pool.


Katherine Gorge National Park

Katherine Gorge National Park

Darwin, Northern Territory: For the thrill of Exploration

Head to the top end and visit Darwin for some unforgettable experiences.

Darwin is the gateway to Kakadu, Litchfield National Parks and Katherine Gorge.

We had the best experiences up here after competing in the Masters Swimming National Championships in Darwin. We swam in a chlorinated pool not a waterway! It was very scary swimming in the waterholes for us southerners, but signs deemed the area to be safe and free of crocs.

I often think I need to return and re-experience the Top End again. There is so much to see.

Places to visit:

Kata Tjuta, The Olgas, Northern Territory

Kata Tjuta, The Olgas, Northern Territory

  • Take a tour to Alice Springs.
  • Hear stories about the art, history, and cultures that will give you an insight into Uluru’s deep significance to the local Indigenous people.
  • Watch the spectacular Uluru (Ayers Rock) sunset with a glass of bubbly.
  • Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) are just as spectacular.
  • Do a Kings Canyon tour and complete the iconic rim walk.
  • Bed down outside and marvel at the outback sky.
  • Travel in style on the Ghan train from Adelaide to the Top End, and in luxury, marvel at the outback.
  • Explore Crocodile Dundee country at Kakadu National Park.
  • Visit Mindil Beach sunset market.
  • The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is superb with carvings from the Tiwi Islands, bark paintings from Arnhem Land, and dot paintings from the desert. See the fantastic display of the Cyclone Tracy tragedy graphically illustrating life before and after the disaster. You can stand in a darkened room and listen to the whirring sound of Tracy at full throttle − a sound you won’t forget in a hurry.
  • A trip to the Western MacDonnell Ranges is not to be missed and the incredible Ormiston Gorge is a must.
  • Litchfield National Park was awesome and the waterfalls and pools were absolutely beautiful.

Travel tips:

*  Travel insurance is a must. If you can’t afford it then you shouldn’t be travelling.

*  Scan all important documents and send to self and family back home.

*  Travel light. If you are moving around, no-one will notice that you have worn something again and again.

*  Take snacks with you. You never know when you are going to get caught out with food.

*  Looking forward to using citymaps2go (offline Maps and travel APP) next time I travel overseas.





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