LOOKING OUT AT the gathering crowd, Carol Ride searched for a familiar face – the face of her 95-yearold father. He had come to the steps of Victoria’s Parliament House to hear her give a talk about people’s response to climate change. Recalls Carol:
I’ll never forget how proud my father was at that moment, he was just beaming. Being a deeply conservative man with the highest respect for public office and processes, he was most impressed that I would be speaking from the steps of one of Australia’s longest-established public institutions.
Carol’s speech was part of a month-long occupation of the Parliament House steps. The occupiers were demanding that government representatives stop ‘shuffling deckchairs’ and take effective action to halt rising levels of greenhouse pollution. Carol’s talk was about the reasons why many people were not getting involved.
A-camping we will go
Both of Carol Ride’s parents were good citizens, serving on school councils and parents’ associations. Her mother was a big influence. ‘Although she loathed the idea of camping and appeared not to have any connection whatsoever with Nature herself, my mother was a highly skilled organiser and district commissioner for the local Girl Guides.’ She had been an officer in the Women’s Royal Australian Air Force; ‘she loved organising, and she loved uniforms! ’ Carol became a Brownie as early as she could and went on to win all the top Guides awards. Camping was her favourite thing of all. Now, Carol credits the Guides for her role as an activist. ‘We spent so much time celebrating natural beauty, and being made aware of our role in preserving it, and I really enjoyed and identified with this sense of custodianship. It anchored my life,’ she says.
Carol the Founder and President of psychologyforasafeclimate.org