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The Big Picture and The Magnifying Glass

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals immediately attracted my attention, as a project that would require worldwide collaboration on a scale that has never been attempted.  I plan to use the skills I gain through WorldPulse to help further Australian partnerships for development. Communication is key and through communication peace will be established. By improving the networks between government, non-government organisations and the private sector, I hope that Australia will be able to contribute effectively to the collective worldwide effort.

Being a VOF correspondent would help me raise issues faced in Australia and begin forging partnerships by sharing effective programs run by Australians. Web 2.0 has facilitated the rise of the citizen journalist. WorldPulse VOF correspondents will make sure that the right voices are being heard.

I love to think big, so I often think about making the whole world a better place. There are a number of areas where I hope to see change, and I will use my voice to influence them if I can.

Poverty reduction
Worldwide, inequity causes poverty. As well as redistributing existing resources, improvement of economic freedoms will help developing economies lift themselves out of poverty.  Currently there it is much more expensive and difficult to set up a business in developing economies than elsewhere.  This approach favours big businesses, excluding small business operators, which discourages competition and prevents easy creation of jobs.  All governments should work towards extending property rights to the poor.  Developed economies that are providers of aid, should concentrate on further untying aid by laying aside their protectionist policies in favour of fostering a stronger global economy. Financial regulation should be strengthened to overcome the information deficiencies and corruption that undermine the aid and development assistance process.

Maternal health
Effective partnerships are necessary to enable a targeted and efficient approach to aid. Partnerships will facilitate training to enable women worldwide to receive skilled care before, during and after pregnancy.  Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to infectious diseases, so public sector availability of drugs and access to diagnosis should priorities.  By addressing health infrastructure and ensuring that all treatments are accessible to the poor, we can hope to improve maternal health worldwide.

Universal primary education
Effective partnerships will enable existing resources to be efficiently distributed to help achieve this goal.  One of the major obstacles preventing universal primary education is the cultural barriers that exclude education of girls and young women.  Another measure that will help achieve this goal is support for families of those living with HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.  Too often, it falls to the girls and young women to provide the full time care and treatment that these people need.  Wider accessibility to these treatments would enable girls to go to school by relieving the burden of care.  For any of these measures monitoring is vitally important.  By strengthening or adapting existing programs, aid can be delivered more effectively.

Climate change
There is a general lack of cohesion on the global stage when it comes to climate change.  Ideally, discussion to unite opinions on carbon emissions and trading schemes would culminate in a global climate treaty with binding emission reduction targets.  Inequity is another problem when it comes to climate change: the richer countries contribute the most emissions while the poorer countries feel the devastating effects.  Any global climate initiative must include a support fund for developing nations.

But that’s the BIG picture. The story closer to home is just as important, if not more so. I love to dream big about our future, when women are represented in decision making at all levels and each person is valued and all have access to the opportunities and and support that they need in all areas of their lives. My core motivation is that I can not only dream, but do something today; here and now. I try to use my voice to train other girls and young women to find theirs and use it responsibly. Most importantly, I hope to combine empowerment with skills development so that the vision and passion of the many amazing young women worldwide can be harnessed to create positive, effective and efficient change.


faridaY's picture

Very direct and pro-active in

Very direct and pro-active in your approach Jane.

Titilope's picture

There is a lot of trading in

There is a lot of trading in polution going on at the golabal stage on climate change. Instead of the developed countries commiting to deep emission reductions targets that will avert dangerous climate change they prefer to postpone and trade in emissions. one thing is sure, the traders themeselves will not survive the onslaught of the impacts of climate change.

jbaljko's picture

Big Picture Clarity

Hi Jane,
I love the clarity you provide around these important issues and your action plan for addressing them is well-focused. You've obviously have put a significant amount of thought into this, and it sounds like you may already have started taken steps to overcome some of the challenges you mention. If so, what sort of response have you gotten from the community? What are the biggest challenges need addressing? any solutions come to mind?

The first three points, in particular, are strongly interconnected, particularly in big picture way. How do envision this working in a smaller, grassroots communities? Or should they be examined on a global scale first, and then trickled down to smaller group?

Great ideas, and I look forward to following you and your work.


"The secret of happiness is freedom,
and the secret of freedom, courage."
-Thucydides, ancient Greek historian & author

Jane_Australia's picture

Thanks Jenn

Hi Jenn,

Thanks for your interest. The challenges that I mentioned in this article need to be worked on from both a global scale and a grass roots level. If decision makers like the G20 and governments can provide the infrastructure for these challenges to be overcome, I believe they will find no shortage of people to bring about change in communities. I hope that the two approaches will meet in the middle and we will have a better world. For example, for maternal health, governments can provide health infrastructure and help improve public sector availability of drugs, while community programs can work on health education and skills training for health workers.

I have taken some steps to overcome these challenges and so far the community response has been fairly good. For me the most significant step was representing my country at the G(irls)20 Summit where our ideas of challenges and solutions were handed directly to G20 leaders. Following this event I raised the issues with our Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance and we discussed the focus of Australia's aid programs. He was very willing to listen and gladly accepted a copy of our communiqué.

On a smaller scale, most of my work has been empowering young women through advocacy training as well as ensuring that a youth voice is represented in government youth policy development. For me, this is a step towards the global goals. By getting young people to recognise the issues that must be dealt with in their lifetime, and more importantly to care about them, we can ensure that the world is in good hands.

p.s. I am also a Classics major and love that you quoted Thucydides

Anne D.'s picture

Thinking big

Hi Jane,
You’ve done a great job at capturing the big picture. And your vision about women being represented in decision making at all levels really spoke to me. I look forward to reading more about your work.

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