Has anyone called your Nana an “extreme” activist?
If you were a little surprised to see the posts about #tweet4taiji on the Stories My Nana Tells Facebook page, perhaps we should tell you a little more about Lesley Dewar, who writes all the stories, and what she stands for.
For a very long time, she has actively campaigned for (by being there) and written about (in stories, emails, petitions) environmental issues.
Which begs the question:
When do you become an “extreme” activist?
Is it when you speak out and turn up, on a lot of really worthwhile issues? Is it when you see things are being “done” in response to the campaigning? This is the term being given to protesters against the proposed shark cull in Western Australia, by the Premier The Hon Colin Barnett, MP.
Parents want to know who’s talking to their children and what about!
We understand that parents are very concerned about the information given to their children, what it is about and if it is both valid and suitable for children to discuss, without undue distress or fear.
If you haven’t read any of her stories yet, you can be assured her writing is totally suitable for her audience of 7-12 year olds. There is often a strong environmental message of conservation in what she writes, it is true. We make no apologies for helping to educate young readers, in a non-threatening way, about the need to take care of our earth and what lives on the planet.
What kinds of campaigns attract Lesley Dewar?
These are some campaigns she has actively supported over the past twenty years or so.
- *campaigned for the closure of Atlantis near Yanchep, in Western Australia, because its captive dolphins were taken from the wild
- *campaigned against dolphin capture and killing in Taiji (Japan) before the release of the film “The Cove” and continues to do so
- *campaigned (when she was a financial planner) against changes to superannuation rules which would have cost 100s of 1,000s of Aussie half their retirement savings, by lobbying Federal Politicians and submitting to Senate hearings.
- *campaigned against selective targeting of industries by the ATO, by attending meetings and working with lobby groups.
- *campaigned against unethical practices in the financial planning industry, through Industry Associations and personal email and fax campaigns.
and she has
- tweeted, sponsored and donated for orangutans, bears, wolves, and other endangered wildlife, and social issues, for many years.
Early adopter of Social Media – for good!
Lesley Dewar has been active on social media for many years, through Twitter and LinkedIn. Prior to the rise of mainstream social media as we know it today, she was a very effective campaigner using emails and fax. She puts in the hard yards, too!
In 2009, she campaigned from her office in Midland, alone, almost non-stop for 50 hours, RT’ing fire alerts in Victoria when the ABC Radio Twitter account had <500 followers and she had about 10,000.
This was during the “Black Saturday” fires in Victoria and it was the beginning of mainstream media using Twitter for media updates during floods, fires and similar disasters. Today, ABC 774 Melbourne has almost 96,000 followers and it was work by people like Lesley Dewar that opened that door.
You can read the article linked below, written on Sunday Feb 10, 2009, when ABC correspondents were beginning to understand the power of Social Media and, in particular, Twitter.
Later she was told : “awesome effort. How many in your team?” Her Answer: Me and Twitter. She also heard she had directly helped to save three lives, by people being alerted through the constant RT’s of #bushfire updates.
What’s happening now?
Lesley is still “happening” now – by continuing to be involved in direct and social media campaigns.
- * protesting against logging old growth forest in the South West of WA
- * campaigning for the marine sanctuary campaign with Save Our Marine Life
- *protesting against logging in areas where highly endangered numbats are known to live
- *lobbying against habitat loss in the forests and in the metropolitan area where black cockatoos feed and nest
- *protesting against the proposed shark culling along the West Australian coast, by the use of fixed bait drums and hooks
- *campaigning against the terrible slaughter and capture of dolphins at Taiji and similar places, to support the theme park industry.
Lesley supported three children through World Vision for over 25 years, (as their projects come to an end, of course, there are new sponsorships to take up – but, she still has the letter from her very first World Vision child Chakrit Bagaswan from over 25 years ago) and has been part of a group on Kiva.org for many years.
We hope you will endorse her as a Nana Who Rocks – and a Nana you would like your children to know. You can tell us what you think, with a comment here.