Has anyone called your Nana an “extreme” activist?
Were you a little surprised to see the activist posts about #tweet4taiji on the Stories My Nana Tells Facebook page, back in 2014? Or any of the other environmental posts and shared petitions, since then?
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 “done” in response to the campaigning? This is the term given to those protesters against the shark cull in Western Australia, by the (former) 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, let us assure you that her writing is totally suitable for her audience of 6-12 year old children. There is often a strong environmental message of conservation in her writing, 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 supported as an activist, over the past twenty five years or so.
- Atlantis: Because its captive dolphins were taken from the wild, she campaigned for the closure of Atlantic near Yanchep, in Western Australia
- Taiji (Japan): Spoken up about and against dolphin capture and killing in Taiji (Japan) before the release of the film “The Cove.” She continues to do so.
- Logging of Old Growth and High Value timber in the South West: She has protested, lobbied, and camped in the forest to help protect them from logging.
- Black Cockatoo R,R and R: Campaigned for the rescue, rehabilitation, and release (where possible) of our iconic black cockatoos.
- Superannuation: Lobbied (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. She contacted Federal Politicians and made submissions to Senate hearings.
- Taxation: Worked against selective targeting of industries by the ATO, by attending meetings and working with lobby groups.
- Financial Planners: Raised awareness of 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 activist and 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, Retweeting 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. Broadcasting media updates during floods, fires and similar disasters. Today, what was ABC 774 Melbourne is ABCMelbourne and has almost 194,000 followers. 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. At that time ABC correspondents were beginning to understand the power of Social Media and, in particular, Twitter.
Later she was told : “awesome effort” and asked “How many in your team?” Her Answer: Me and Twitter. With people alerted through her constant RT’s of bush fire updates, she directly helped to save three lives.
What’s happening now?
Lesley is still “happening” now, as an activist – she continues being involved in direct and social media campaigns.
- * protests against logging old growth forest in the South West of WA
- * campaigns for the marine sanctuaries with Save Our Marine Life
- *lobbying against habitat loss in the forests and in the metropolitan area where black cockatoos feed and nest
- *campaigns against the slaughter and capture of dolphins at Taiji and similar places, to support the theme park industry.
- *helps raise funds for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, through joint ventures and writing.
- *is creating a Zoo for storytelling with children, where stories about poaching endangered wildlife can be shared.
Lesley supported many children through World Vision for over 25 years, (as their projects come to an end, of course, there are new sponsorships to take up. She still has the letter from her very first World Vision child Chakrit Bagaswan from over 25 years ago). She remains part of a group on Kiva.org as she has been 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.