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Ep80 Sustainable innovations, communities and sectors

by Jacqui Brauman
October 20th 2021

A conversation deep in the agri-sector gives cause for a broader conversation than Ush and Jacqui have had before about sustainability, supply chain, and climate change. Emma Coath is the Managing ... More

Welcome to the I. Q. Meets E. Q. Podcast. I'm Jacqui Berman, principal solicitor at T. B. A. Law and ceo of Legally Wise Women. I'm here as always with Ush Dhanak former corporate lawyer then head of HR and now an emotional intelligence coach. Good evening. I wish good morning Jackie. Good evening. Hi. We had meant to record, it feels so strange not recording in the morning. It is a bit weird isn't it? Or we could just pretend it's really early and still dark. Yeah, we could we could except that I've just had dinner and I know that I have to go and do dishes so it didn't quite work. Yes, we're doing an evening one today because we had a bit of a clash in the morning. So yeah, but there you go. Refreshing change is as good as a holiday. Exactly, yeah. And you've had a change with your hair. Tell everyone you've done you've done your hair at home. Yes. So with my hair. Yes it was like getting to the point where I'm like it's so great.

Really like so great. So I'm like I'm just going to diet and then I just thought I'm going to do something different and went for like a bit of red, very dramatic. I know I did it myself, I'm gonna phase up to a bit darker next time in the next few weeks until we get the freedom to basically go in and as you get it done properly. Yeah. What freedoms have you got back. So for the vaccinated, you can do restaurants, you can do bars, you can do all of that sort of stuff, nightclubs that you can't dance, which is really weird and places of worship are open for the unboxed and Baxter at the moment, so Yeah. Yeah. Well that's good, sort of getting used to the new normal. I know like I drove to a client site today, which was like an hour in a better way and I sort of like messed up my timing. So I was like, when do I leave again? Because I was like, because you haven't driven for so long, I literally just made it in time. But it was like, oh my God, that's like two hours of my day gone. It's really bizarre because all this time we're sort of packing, like I know I have been working pretty much every hour, so I haven't even been taking that commute time off my day.

Just tacked it on to do extra. So today it's like 8:00 and I'm I'm still working till 8:00 because I've lost two hours in the car. Yeah, weird. I'm gonna have to readjust again. Mm And I guess you wouldn't have known how long it would take in terms of traffic because you don't know how many people are back on the road and not as well, like it. Yeah, that's right. That was good. It was good to actually put fuel in my car and listen to a song. That's more than five minutes. I actually had a playlist ready about driving today. Yeah, it sounds like a road trip. Exactly. Good. That's good. We just got released ourselves last night at midnight, but Melbourne still locked down. So again, like just the divided state as to who's locked down and who's not and what you can do, you know, even though we're not locked down, sort of still living a fairly quiet life because you don't want to be the person Who gets it and brings it back or anything like that.

So yeah, I think Melbourne still got at least 10 days or so and then some easing, I think they'll still be restricted to distance. Hopefully, like you said, you don't go in and out because that's like mentally messing people up even more than if it, like, at least with us, we've just been locked, like we haven't been gone, oh, you can have a bit of freedom honor, We'll just match it away because that's a bit of a mind if half the time isn't it? Very much so, very much so. I think that's particularly businesses that have to plan stock and you know, particularly coming up to the weekend because quite often they announced it on a thursday evening for the weekend. And then they got to the point where they were announcing it Friday at three o'clock so that people wouldn't try and escape and then they got to the point where they announced it on a sunday afternoon for the monday and it was like great. So now we have to call all our staff on a weekend to work out the logistics.

It's just, yeah, yeah, it was hard but I know that a lot of people have had it a lot harder and I mean it just, you know, it, even the interview for today reminds me was a bit reflective and all the people working about supply chain and the constant disruption and all of that. So it's good to be in services in some way. It is, isn't it? I know we are and you know what, we are lucky. Like, you know, you look at other places and you know, it's that saying, isn't it that you can throw all your troubles in a pile in the middle and then when it's time to collect them, you're going to run for your own. Anyone else is. So yeah, we're in more ways than we realize that the best of times. Yeah, very true. It's given me a good chance over the last couple of weekends to read a few good fiction books. So that's been pretty cool. I haven't read so much fiction for a while and also getting into a couple of leadership books. I finally sound a female Australian who is writing some good leadership books that I can relate to.

So I'll try and get her on the podcast shoutout to Mijda Fisher. Pretty awesome stuff. Her latest book is called Take off the Cape from Super Hero to super coach. Nice. Yeah, it has been pretty good. So doing some reading. I haven't read fiction forever to be honest. Like anything I'm reading at the moment is work related or studies. Yeah, well you're doing so many things you do, you think so much and then you're doing that? Yeah, which is amazing. But yeah, we're literally just creating tons of I. P. Which is amazing. But yeah, your whole focus is constantly on strategy and business and I don't think I've even turned the tv on for like a six week period actually it's like being crazy wow good not to watch the news. I know exactly well let's jump into the interview. I only just spoke with Emma last night actually it's very fresh.

So Emma Coath she and I were actually on a series of five presentations that agriculture victoria organized for small scale producers recently. So I was the token lawyer, um talking about what they need to consider for the growth of their businesses and Emma, she's a managing director at an accelerator called rocket cedar. She's also a co founder at grow agrifood tech accelerator in Singapore. So she's got two accelerators on the go and both are very much around sustainable food and agriculture and innovation and text or wound in there as well. So um really interesting sectors that we haven't really heard from much before. So let's have a listen. Right, Emma, Welcome to the podcast. How are you this evening? Good. Thank you Jackie. It's funny because when I was, and I catch up, we catch up at six in the morning. So at the start of this podcast I'm saying good morning. And now we're saying good evening.

So Emma, I've, I just said before we started recording, I know of you now and what you're passionate about with the incubator and everything that you're doing. But I don't know much actually about what brought you to that and where you started from. So I'd like to go all the way back. So when you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you were growing up? That's a really funny question because I wanted to be a farmer or a specifically a lady firma. What's the difference? Well, well, You know, well, it wasn't legal then it wasn't legally recognized back in, you know, it was in the late 1970s female farmers. It's only, I think 1994. So perhaps I was a bit before my time. But yeah, I remember drawing a picture in preps. I would have been four or five and then, you know, they asked people as they do when you're in primary school, what would you like to be when you grow up? I want to be a lady farmer. And so I drew a picture of myself and I don't know.

I have to dig it out. Hopefully mom and dad, I've still got, it probably wasn't really good. So good old mom and dad. I wonder if they do still have it. So what sort of farming did you envisage yourself doing? Well. I have a sneaking suspicion. It may have been something to do with the fact that I wanted a horse. Yeah. But no I did I did actually have that the whole farming thing in mind in terms of you know having a job and your career sort of thing on on the farm. Yes, my job and my life is on the farm so it wasn't just about riding horses. I don't think that I ended up, I ended up riding horses. So I got I got my wish and I really enjoyed that as a young lady. Yeah. And I was lucky enough to grow up actually by the coast in place called Ocean Grove which was so I which was graded to place to grow up in because you could go to the beach, you know after school in the Selma.

And so that was fantastic. And then I could ride horses after school and on the school holidays and yeah, it was pretty ideal really. Yeah, it does sound pretty idyllic. My extended family had a beach house down at Ocean Grove as well and now my parents live down the ballerina. Yeah, I love it. It's it's changed a lot. There's a lot more houses down there now. Yeah well this was in the 70s and 80s so it's quite different in those days. But yeah it's still a very nice part of the world. Very nice speeches. Yes, very much so. So the dreams of the farm must have gone out the window at some point. What did you gradually end up doing? What's your career path taken you? Where did you, what did you do after school? Well I think I might start back a little bit earlier and I think I had an entrepreneurial spirit again being cynical about myself could have been just about money but whatever it takes, whatever it takes but you know I had a christmas club going with my family and when I was really young and because the banks had you know interest free bank accounts and then you you know get put the money in during the year and then take it out just before christmas and buy presents with it.

So I did that and of course you know Most of my family members gave me the interest that I don't. So yeah as well that was pretty nice. I gave them back their money but they keep the interest so I did that for a few years that was reasonably profitable and then I just had a number of just started working really and it was about 12 and finding anything I could do you know making parts for air conditioners and things like that. And it was really a big round working in the milk bar down at the beach. I did that and sorry Jackie illegally because I was 13 and yeah. Yes and yeah just working in a local supermarket and the dress shop and yeah so unlike my Children I couldn't just I couldn't wait to go out and work. So I did that for a long time and then I did a commerce degree at university and down at Deakin Geelong and I finished I was quite young so I finished when I was 20 and still really didn't know what I wanted to do but I wanted to do something in international business and I just had sort of you know it was sort of pre internet pre internet days and I haven't done a lot of international travel myself but I really wanted to learn about the world.

I'm sure I would have been a U. N. Global shaper shaper in. They didn't have anything such a thing in those days. They didn't have really international exchanges at university. None of that which I would have loved. Which is a shame that's great that kids get that opportunity these days. And yes so what I did is I am saved up from working at university throughout the university days and did the backpacking thing which was pretty popular about them. When was the early early to mid nineties and really to sort of push myself into a lot of the troubling I did by myself because I really wanted to get outside of my comfort zone and I think get to know myself and and caught up with some friends and did that for a while and then came back and then you know, I thought I'll get into my international career now and um I got a job in a bank in international so and I really did not like it.

Uh huh. Yeah, it's not my I think it's sort of like maybe large organizations, but it was very um When would have been 1994 or five and it was very male, male dominated. Can we say that then? And I just did not like, and I mean I've been to a girl school and raised by my mother and my father to you know, believe that I could do whatever I wanted to do. That gender wasn't a barrier and all of that sort of stuff. And then you get thrown into a bank. It's like, you know like what, you know, okay, you can get a promotion unless you you're, you know, going out with someone or you're married to someone or engaged to someone or you know, it was just, it was just not good anyway, so then I got asked to invited to an interview to work for export business and because I was into the, you know into donna international trade certificate and I was learning mandarin at MIT and so obviously I had an interest in that area so good and I got the job and it was exporting food and agricultural products a little bit of import and you know, all sorts of things.

It was a trading business and that's, I guess that was my entree into the food and agriculture sector. I've never looked back. That's um I've seen it, you know, over and over again with other people. It's sort of, once you get involved in the sector, it's really hard to get away from it because I shouldn't say it that way, but I should say it in a more positive way because it's just so many issues involved in the sector. It's sort of, you know, we eat and drink, it's just so critically important to us as humans, but it's also important the way that the food gets to you how it's grown and we're seeing that now play out, which is fantastic. You know, we've got cop 26 coming up whether, you know, it is scott going or not going or not, it's not that anyway, which would be disappointing. Um and embarrassing, but anyhow, I think that that particularly agricultural industries in Australia are doing a lot of work, not just sustainability, but really understanding the role in communicating that in climate action and I guess, yeah, I'm really proud of that and I'm really proud to be part of the sector and you know, I've always seen farmers in particular as stewards of the land and 90 something percent whatever, but most of them do the right thing and you know, I think not a lot of people recognize that and all that we can do to be supporting them to be sort of reversing climate change, if you like.

Uh, you know, we just shouldn't, we should be doing as much as we can basically, that's government and the rest of society, consumers have a lot of power in the term in terms of what food that they've produced, whether they purchase, so whether they purchase locally ethically, um, in terms of, you know, whether it's animal welfare or sustainability, yeah, so it's just a really important, you know, issue at the moment always has been, of course we've had things like long hair and so forth, so, but I think now with, you know, the really, really serious climate or challenges around climate and the recognition of and there's a real role that I guess farmers and food producers more generally, people involved in the sectoral problem of supply chain can have, we can, you know, and and consumers, as I said, no, we can with our mouths and our, you know, wallet. So yeah, and I guess, you know, just to finish off, where did I get here, you know, I started, um, in the food sector, so in the mid nineties, and then I did a master's in regional agribusiness clusters in when was like 2000 research masters.

And then then I've got a got a job as a result of doing that. I remember doing a poster presentation and international agriculture conference in Sydney and my future boss came up to me and said this is fantastic and you know, would you like the job? Yeah. Would you like to work for the government and working for the government before? But anyway, I had 11 years there in total and work with absolutely amazing people that are still friends to this day, and had you know, largely a really amazing, amazing experience and would absolutely encourage everyone, anyone to take that opportunity to work in government, particularly in will essentially at the Department of Environment. It's what is now agriculture victoria. I mean you're just surrounded by the most amazing people, all different sorts of scientists. It's a really, you know, intellectually stimulating environment to be and, and I learned so much about so many things and just never would have had that knowledge amount of knowledge being immersed in that amount of knowledge if I hadn't said yes that day to joining the victorian government.

So, and then then I did a PhD, which I haven't finished yet all draft about exporting food to Asia, which was sort of largely the area that I've worked in and now where I am now with rocket cedar came from an interest in the, I guess the startup community and and seeing what was around happening around me and wanting to learn about it. So I did a bootcamp startup boot camp down at Deakin Geelong because I'm taking alumni and over a weekend and learnt, you know, all about the business model canvas and, and, and so I thought that, you know, I'm talking about all the time now, but me about 56 years ago and um and then found myself my way to rocket cedar just been receives some funding from the victorian government and I think the rest is history and now I've got another role as interim Ceo of the Australian Agri Tech Association, which again is another quite different experience because effectively that's a new, the sector which is alongside the agricultural sector, so it's another dimension and learning a lot about technology, the use of technology in the sector, you know, whether that's sort of with water reducing the amount of water used in agriculture, there's a lot of talk around connectivity, particularly in regional areas and yeah, so it's been fascinating to be part of that passionate about rocket cedar and supporting early stage startups and yeah, that's, that's where my real passion was and we'll do for a long time because it's a lot of work to do.

Well, there's so much to him, unpacking everything you've done, but I'm just thinking the whole time you were talking was that people who live on the land have often been, well they're far more connected to seasonal and climate change and those sort of things. So they've been probably Ahead of the curve in terms of thinking and talking about climate change and sustainability for a long time. But the amount of change you would have seen over the last 25 years in that sector just sort of blows my mind even thinking about it because you're absolutely right in that the industry is running well and truly in advance of the government because they just know that it has to be done and it just sort of, I was grinning most of the time because I just thought how proud I am of the innovation and things that are coming out and you're at the forefront, I can just hear the passion oozing out particularly now with rocket cedar because of all the interesting and exciting ideas I guess you come across and I would almost hate to be the one to turn away ideas because I bet you just have so many thrown at you all the time.

Yeah. And it's sort of like, you know, what right do we have or I have to say that one idea is better than another. You know, we don't, but we are restricted in the programs that we run by the, you know, the fun cause we're a not for profit. So the funding that we get when we run the programs and how many people we can have in the programs and yes, there are restrictions, restrictions around that's always can't sort of support everybody, but having said that, I try to be as supportive personally as I can with other people and you know, even outside of Australia, but you know focused on Australia, even though I do have a business in Singapore where we do support startups from around the world, which is really exciting, but at the end of the day, you know, pretty much focused on the helping to build the innovation ecosystem in the food and agriculture sector in Australia. So that's, that's really what drives me at the end of the day and to do that as sustainably and ethically as possible.

So, you know, one of the things that we focus on and try to align ourselves with this uh sustainable development goals, I just think that they're really good for their goals, you know, and but anyone can, you know, I guess, work out how they into the 17 goals and and also like I was a judge for the Food System Summit, there's a me competition this year. And so I was looking at entries from people from all around the world and I just, at the end of it, I think I've, you know, looked at 40 in total and in the end I just thought, you know what, I've got applications from people in Melbourne or Victoria or Western Australia water and then, you know, Pakistan and Uganda and South America, you know all around the world and really they were all sort of doing the same thing and they were driven and that's why they applied, it was the type of person that applied that even knew about sustainable development goals, all this competition because they were very values and purpose driven and you know, they were in the trend is globally around, you know, supporting local Yeah.

So it doesn't matter whether it's a developing country or developed country, the trend in the food sector Is the same and it's good people trying to do good things and you know, to support local, regional rural business is quite a big emphasis everywhere on females, which is great and and always like the ones that 100% driven by males but the business not always to support female, there was one like that and they lost some points from me, unfortunate big, you know, it's like isn't this one female that you can include a co founder on management team or something, surely. But anyway. Yeah, no, I was just really struck me how similar the issues are all around the world. Yeah, yeah. And I just love working with females that, you know, I just find it really inspiring, you know, they're not settling with them, you know, the same old time or they really want to make a difference in their communities for future generations, but just I want to make a difference and hugely inspiring and just yeah, I just love, I just love it.

Well, I don't think we've had anyone on the podcast who has been quite so just using a passion about everything that they're doing. So it's very impressive. And I guess it's one of those sayings that you do what you love and you never work a day in your life and that's definitely you, maybe that's the title of this podcast. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I mean it's not easy. I mean, people don't, they don't see the, you know, they have a go. You know, you're an accelerator. There are suddenly accelerators. What does it mean startups? You know, all this sort of stuff. At the end of the day, we don't, you know, work with startups as such. We work with innovative people doing, wanting to make a real change in the sector. And uh, you know, it doesn't require technology. So, you know, the ad tech role that I do is related but separate to rocket cedar.

So if we wanted to support, you know, technology agrifood tech startups, only in our programs, there wouldn't be many people to support, unfortunately at the moment, but, but also it wouldn't be as fun. Wouldn't be satisfying, I should say. Yeah, I mean, that's a whole other interesting piece, isn't it? About, um, innovation versus tech and yes, they sometimes go hand in hand, but they're certainly not necessarily overlapping all the time. So yeah, fascinating. And I guess, again, like, as you say, you're not that up, you are someone who maybe just has this innovation project that's taking that to the next level. So, again, I mean, just the energy and the ideas alone would be very inspiring. Yeah, sometimes it's hard work. Um, but sometimes, you know, you learn so much, it's like anything, you know, you get more out of it than what you put in. So it's a bit of everything really, but over and above, it's really enjoyable.

And what, you know, it gets me out of bed every day, we have a really good board now, we're just recruiting for a new chair and a couple of board members and which, and we've actually had some really good people put themselves forward. And so we're really going to that next stage and sort of effectively doubling our board capacity and ramping things up. And, you know, that's just more people like ourselves that are passionate about, you know, supporting innovative people in the sector and and doing doing some really good things like without food, waste and loss program coming up. You know, the focus going forward is absolutely about the environment and climate and um, yeah, we do focus a little bit on health and healthy food, but definitely, definitely the focus is on environmental going forward. It sounds like it's almost all boats are rising with the tide that's rising that you're helping create.

So yeah, I do, it sounds really, really cool. So I mean with all the experience, you know, you have now and all the things that you've learned going back to the girl has just finished her commerce degree before you go traveling, what advice would you give to her? Just, you know, take it easy. You don't put too much pressure on yourself and enjoy the ride and yeah, look, I think I'm a sort of a bit of a go with the flow type of person anyway, but sometimes I do put a little bit too much pressure on myself. Game that that could be a good thing and a bad things. The reality is, you can't change the past. And you know, I'm pretty happy With my journey so far and I'm looking forward to it. And even better 20 years of my career. Yeah. Isn't that even a nice reflection in itself? You are where you're meant to be. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I just need to get to the hairdresser.

I feel okay, I'm going to say that, you know, with all the lockdowns we've had and also, you know, it's been a couple of hard years in terms of coming out of drought and then there's been bushfires and so you would have had other regional businesses also facing that as well as then rolling lockdowns and difficulties with export and the supplies chains going up to, yep. Yeah, there's always someone in the worst situation to you and yeah, I know lot system. Yeah. Yeah. So I feel, you know, because I live in Melbourne and you know, obviously don't have a farm. Uh, yeah, sort of, and I'm not under threat from, you know, floods and droughts and fire and particularly people, poor people of east gets learned, you know, they've just been and then they had to be in dairy and these Gippsland even worse because they had the dairy crisis about five years ago and then it's just been one thing after another.

And yeah, I think you said before how resilient they have to be and they are, but at the same time they do need our support and, you know, we can't we can't forget them, we need to support them and we need to find ways ways to do that because I sort of just feel that they're not, they're not, they have been forgotten. I know that they feel like they've been forgotten to a certain extent. How do we, how do we do that? Mm. Well, that's an interesting thing as well. How do you make people feel like they're supported, particularly when we are potentially struggling to support ourselves as well. So when you are supporting people yourself and they have difficult times and challenges and they're leaning on you, what do you do for yourself is there are things that you other than going to the hairdresser. Yeah. Well look, I think that's the first thing that that's one good thing about being a mother is because I have a my eldest turned 16 yesterday and then I have a 13 year old, both boys.

So the first thing that I learned, there's a mother is that how important it is to look after yourself. Because if you don't look after yourself, you can't look after your child. And it's just so obvious when you become a mother, because they say dependent on you and you go, well, you know, this is such a big lesson in life and I didn't even really think about it until now and it's, you know, it applies to all species or, you know, anything that as a child, baby, I think it's seahorses, isn't it? The males look after the do and actually, I think the emu's, I think emu males look after look after the babies. To correct me if I'm wrong, anyone, someone will tell me I'm wrong. Although men, the younger generation, they're a lot better than our parents. Well, that's right. Yeah. And even when I was a mother, but we won't go there. But yeah, I think that's the first thing you learn and so yeah, it is very important to look after your physical and your mental health, um look after others.

So now obviously I still have to look after my Children, but I, you know, do they have these people that are supporting our programs and you know, I know when I did a couple of programs online, one in Singapore and running in Melbourne last year in lockdown, which was, you know, pretty horrific in Melbourne and yeah, just going through those times when you were there to support others. That's what your role was like constantly day after day after day and then you're sort of thinking, well I can't even look after myself and you know, I don't want to even get out of bed today. And yeah, it was really tough just putting one ft in front of the other last year. But you know, by this year we were experts. I'm not saying it was easy, but it's not easier this year than last year. Really good experiment in um, yeah, human resilience, we don't really want to go through again. But again, like every day you sort of thought, well there's so many other people, like just about everyone else in a worse situation than I am, so, but you know, still, it's pretty hard and you have to look after yourself and it was just normal things like, you know, appreciating just being outside and being able to go for a walk and then you really notice the difference with the weather because if it's pouring with rain, you can't have a nice walk, which makes you feel better, You can't get that fresh air, that's sort of like, you know, just that basic oxygen in life that keeps you going from day to day.

It was really quite, yeah, basically. Yeah. But anyway, let's not talk about that anymore. No, well hopefully we're nearly at the tail end of it. Yes. All right. So for those who want to get in touch with you to either learn more about the sector or discuss more things around sustainability or to support and learn more about robert cedar. Where can they go to find? You go to my LinkedIn profile or the Rocket Seeder website and my details there. My email address is there. So either of those two ways you can find me and just how many name are wonderful and you're so responsive. So yeah, hopefully you don't get started because yes, I know your press play on this. You release it and be mandated. I hope so. I hope that it stimulates a lot of conversation because there are so many things that you raise that bring things to the forefront of particularly my mind that aren't always at the forefront and yet you're in it all the time.

So thank you for that and thank you so much for your time. Thank you. Exactly. It's been luckily I could talk to you all night, you know, maybe every night we could, you know, but hopefully we get to work together again somewhere no doubt no doubt awesome. Right. I was going to say that actually that we actually this is our first agricultural seemed interview. So yeah, we've had the first one, first one that's in agriculture. That's right. We have interviewed Rebel Black before who does a lot of Agri business stuff but remote there wasn't it? Like she helps the businesses that are really remote and creates that community for them. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Whereas Emma's like diving into the Agri business from more of a grower and supply chain and then now also into tech innovation, which I think sounds quite interesting.

You want to put the two together, would you? Agriculture and tech? Yeah, I know it's almost complete opposites like it's like salted caramel, amazing when you have it that the four of it. That's right. Yeah, like a really traditional sector that is so earth based and then to have tech introduced however, having said that because I live regionally I see a lot of tech around water and testing of soil and then also management of herds, but I haven't known much about you know, growing of crops so much and I'm particularly thinking about market gardens as well. So I mean it just blows my mind I suppose how much is going on out there that how advanced things are getting that we really don't know about. Yeah. Yeah, 100%. It's like it's almost like out of sight out of mind like if it's not in your periphery of what you do for a living or even who you connect within your network that's not in that industry.

It's almost like when you hear this stuff you go, wow that exists, people actually do this for a living like money out of it and pay their bills from this stuff. But yeah, it is and it's fascinating and I guess that's one of the beautiful things about all the people we've interviewed on our podcast is that, you know, we've just learned so much, never have known otherwise completely. Yeah, expanding us so much and you know, the supply chain, the local supply chain, particularly because of all the restrictions we've had has been at the forefront of my mind and particularly since we interviewed kate with her locally made jumpers and by the way, if you haven't ordered one yet, she's now doing some with sparkle sparkle screen printed paint, so the words are actually sparkly. So yeah, but yeah, the supply chain stuff made local in every aspect of the supply chain and grown local and not all this highly packaged stuff that we're getting more and more of and not knowing where our vegetables and our, you know, the basis of our diet is actually coming from, like is it Aussie and that is becoming a little bit more important to me.

I think absolutely, I guess it's that whole awareness pieces in it that if you don't even know, like you don't think about it and then someone brings it to your attention, you go, oh yeah, like you said about the sweatshirts, it's like combining all of those local businesses and communities and making it Australia made and being proud of that. And yeah, it's the same with like your food, isn't it? Like how is it growing? Where does it come from? All that sort of stuff that you just, you just take for granted because we're in such a busy fast pace of life unless you're in that frame of mind or interested in it. You don't think I I never think about it. I'm honest. Like it's just, it's not a thing for me. I just go, yeah, I'm just buy my food from the supermarket and you know, come home cook and eat because I'm not, I'm not a chef. I don't have those interests. I don't find I'm one of the people that I eat to survive. I just wouldn't even occur to me with all of this stuff that, you know, that go through that process. Mm I've also heard recently, it must have been on someone else's podcast because they were talking about the tomato growers that used to be a huge industry around where I live in the Golden Valley and how we now get so many tomatoes.

Canned tomatoes from Italy. Yeah, that's right. It was something around slavery actually because they don't pay the people who pick those tomatoes a living wage. Yeah, it was an interview with the woman from fair trade. And so now I've been conscious of paying the extra 50c a can just to get the Australian diced tomatoes and just little things like that. It's uh, Just being a little bit more conscious and realizing that, you know, if I go and buy a whole lot of $10 t shirts. if they're probably again made by someone who's not getting a living wage and so why don't I buy like only two, You know, $50 t shirts from the local market instead from someone who's bitch them locally. Yeah. Yeah, I agree. Yeah. I mean the only time I sort of think about it is when you go to the markets actually know, what remember when I moved to Australia, I'm talking about that 16 years ago and I wanted to sell some stuff in a market, but it was stuff that was ethnically indian east meets west type of things.

So like scars cushion covers, just things that looked a little bit different. And I remember it was a real, real struggle to find a stall that I could sell it out. And I didn't even know because I went and bought all this stuff to go. I want to sell it. And the markets are like, well where's it made? And I'm like India and they were like, we can't send, it's like padding to market, I couldn't sell the rocks market up and sell and I was like ship and even think about that. Like it just wasn't even a thing in my head. I just thought, oh yeah, I can buy something. Yeah sell it, but you can't like they were like really strict and there was only one or two markets that allowed me to actually sell those products interesting, wow, that's quite a while ago then that's quite, it was really strict. But yeah, so it's it's good that made me think about it because like I said it wasn't even a thing for me. I just thought I can sell it. Mhm. Never even occurred to me that would be an issue, but it's not Australia made my live in Australia. Oh, I mean, I'm also thinking that, I mean it's not like you're some hindi white person that's come with indian stuff.

Like someone could also assume that you've got family or connections that you're getting this through. But even still they asked. So you know, I guess that shows a hell of a lot of integrity does. Yeah, absolutely. That's what I mean. It got me thinking about it as well. Yeah, I think it's great and just to raise that awareness of everyone's Yeah. Mm. The other thing that ever touched on which we haven't really spoken about much on this podcast that always climate change, like it's never really come up with any guests that we've spoken about, has it? No, it really hasn't. No. And I know that in whether you call a global warming or not, we know that the climate is always in periods of change and cycle and that industry particularly has been in and out of drought a couple of times in the last decade in various places, some places are still in it, some places have had a couple of floods, we've had so many fires, all those things.

And resilience is a theme of this podcast too. There's so much resilience in the people that we've had on, that, this also focused on, I guess the resilience of the type of person or resilience of communities that know that this is something that they lived through regularly. Yeah, but it's also the unknown of it, isn't it, The fields of resilience because like if you look at what's happened from a climate perspective, just in two years, floods, fires, you know everything, it's just crazy. Like even if you look at it today, like in Sydney, we've had incredible hail last week, I was like in a single that's going through my walks because it was like so hot and yeah, today it's like, how are we getting golf sized balls worth of hail. Um and you know, isn't it, it's again, again, if it's not in your periphery as you go, well, yeah, things are changing, things are happening, but you either put your blinkers on and go, I don't really want to know because it's not going to impact me, but it might affect my kids or you're going to be someone that goes, you know what I need to know about this and teach my teach the next generation about this, then I know JIA in school is doing so much on climate change more than more than I even knew about.

So, learning from her as being pretty awesome as well. Yes, I mean her generation is going to change the world really. I mean, we grew up thinking that our generation would, but we have tend to sort of just been stuck systemically, like we thought we could change the world and then we get out into the world and we're like, oh my God, it's not like they told us it was going to be. Yes, exactly, and you almost a bit shell shocked, aren't you, when you try and try and do it, because it's not what you thought it was going to be yet. But yeah, I mean to I mean, we try not to date our podcasts too much except that obviously when we're talking about coming in and out of lockdowns and things, but you know, we've got this Glasgow summit coming up for climate change and I'm just embarrassed by our country. I'm just embarrassed by the response, the fact that there's even doubt that our leader will not be there and yet our former Prime Minister is going there.

And so that is just going to look really strange. Yeah, as to why we're not really thing or even contributing or thinking about it, That's right, but then there's people like me, right, that don't think about it. And I admit that I don't, you know, you almost need that leadership to sort of drum it and bring it to people's attention so that we actually go, you know what we do need to actually talk about this and make an effort and learn what we can do, you know, individually so that collectively there's a big difference. Absolutely. But yeah, you're right. We need the leadership from the government because there's plenty of leadership in the private sector. And you know, as Emma has been talking about like the amazing innovations and things that are coming through for, you know, increased productivity and efficiency with water and all these things that are coming through private sector because there is no government leadership On it. And yet industries know that they've got to get out ahead of it. Even if they don't necessarily believe in climate change, they know the rest of the world is heading there economically and so there's no point in being stuck 50 years ago because you're going to be left behind a century.

Mm hmm. I'm embarrassed to be tarred with the same brush. Exactly. That's exactly right. Because I think the majority of Australians want the government to take action and and have a voice, right? It's almost like, you know, your voice is dampened because of because of the leadership not making a sound about it. So you almost thought like, well, what's the point? That's right, Jacqui for, Prime Minister, you know, I've thought on and off about politics, but I think it's so toxic that it makes it unattractive for people. I just look at it and go, I have no time for this, because I just don't want to listen to it. I don't believe it. I think there's so many personal hidden agendas that I really question is it for the good of the people versus God knows what really popularity, certain decisions that have to be made for the sake of being made.

That's right. And you're seeing more progress in other areas other than government. So, it was actually really interesting to hear Emma talking about the public service, particularly in the ag space and talking about the fact that there's a whole lot of bright people and really forward thinking people in, in that area of the public sector, because I know that in other areas in the public sector, it's just being stripped bare and really diminished. However, maybe that's more at the federal level, because Emma's got more experience that the victorian state level. So, yeah, it's interesting to see where each individual government is investing as well, because all the states have made commitments for climate change and yet our federal government won't. Yeah, but what's the point of the state, because we're not represented at the statement, It makes no difference. Really? Not too big business? That's right. I'm not a big business because it's like, what's the point that it's almost like having a one person opinion, isn't it? Yeah, almost that's right, or like it's like a little group of primary school kids going, this is the way we're heading, but the adults are all like enough direction.

Yeah, so yeah, I thought that Emma's talking to Emma just had this different flavor to it and even though she was quite, quite spoken the passion and the like the depth of her commitment, we're just so strong that as she was talking, you know, I was just sort of grinning ear to ear for most of it because I was just having little sparks of insight constantly it and you know, I like intelligent conversation sparks me thinking in different ways, so it was just good, her passion sort of carried through didn't it, from wanting to, in the farm and you know, have that from when she was younger too. You know, that theme of egg has sort of somehow been through woven through that journey to get her to where she is now. Yeah, I think the kind of person that she gets to work with probably has a lot to play in there as well, but you know, another insight that I've had in the last week or so, particularly at the end, they're talking about self care as we always do because, you know, you can do all the self care things, but just like I've just said it is having a deep intellectual conversation that really stimulates me to think that is actually myself care.

I've only realized this recently and I don't know why it's taken so long, but you know, you can, you can eat while you can sleep well, you can go for your walks and light a candle and you know, rub oil and moisturizer into your hands in your face and all that sort of stuff. But none of it makes me feel as refreshed as a great conversation. Well that's your self care, isn't it? Yeah, Yeah. And I've only just realized so thank you so much for you know being a co host and having great conversations all the time. You're welcome. It's been amazing. It's just like I just learned so much every time like you know, it's always like one thing I take away from all of our guests and go, what am I going to do differently or what can I think about differently or implement or and yeah, it's been incredible. Mm Yeah, well again, I hope this stimulates a lot of thought and people reaching out to us and wanting to continue the conversation, you know, a lot of things there that Emma was talking about, she has provided ways to get in touch with her as well and you know uh the other thing we haven't really touched on is just how amazing it would be, working with people who are constantly innovating and looking at ideas.

And I can tell that she found it hard sometimes to refuse ideas that didn't quite fit the criteria, but just to see the, the ideas that are coming out there, how inspiring. So yes, we know how to get in touch with Emma, but how can people get in touch with you? Yeah, EQ dot Academy. You can find me that wonderful. We post all these episodes at EQ Meets EQ dot com dot au. So you can comment on posts they're linked in and I'm Jacqui at Legally Wise Women dot com dot au. Another one, another week. The suit, It will be, and this is episode 80. So it's amazing how quickly time flies. But also how many amazing conversations with, you know, we'll have to start thinking a for something for episode 100, Tott.

All right, Everyone catch you next time I catch you later. Yeah. Right.

Ep80 Sustainable innovations, communities and sectors
Ep80 Sustainable innovations, communities and sectors
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