Rosie’s photoshoot

Rosie is a four year old girl. She is happy, funny, sometimes silly and totally adorable. Rosie is the daughter of a dear friend of mine, and her mum and I had the best time today after almost two years of not seeing each other. As for Rosie, I’m not so sure. She did ask why I was taking ‘hundreds’ of photos of her, and complained that it was getting ‘boring’ 🙂 But in the end, she sang “Let It Go” for me 😀

Don’t you agree that Rosie is a supermodel?


How has being an actuary helped me with running Oz Fair Trade?

I get asked this question a lot, and I didn’t really know the answer until a recent revelation. I was reading an article on Renegade Collective, my favourite magazine, about a ballerina turned business owner, when it occurred to me that I, too, have transferred skills gained from my professional training to the launch and running of Oz Fair Trade.

According to Strengths Finder 2.0, my current top strengths are:

  • Input
  • Restorative
  • Intellection
  • Relator
  • Activator

I was not born with these strengths. They are a direct result of my experiences to date. I might have always been inquisitive (i.e. Input), able to relate to others (i.e. Relator) and a thinker (i.e. Intellection), but Restorative and Activator? I would hardly see them as my strengths ten years ago.

I’d say that my actuarial training can definitely take credit for my problem solving skills (i.e. Restorative), and my passion for poverty alleviation and human rights pushed me to become an Activator (i.e. I cannot not act).

I suddenly realised that I founded Oz Fair Trade because I wanted to solve a problem that I witnessed i.e. extreme poverty, and this problem solving instinct was a direct result of my actuarial training.  

I suddenly realised that all my ideas steam from my desire to solve a particular problem, and my Activator instinct pushes me to make these ideas happen.

It’s a New Year’s Revelation.

In the past, I have always focused on improving my weaknesses, with little understanding of my strengths. I couldn’t see how being an actuary helped me with Oz Fair Trade or any of the other activities that fill my life right now. But now I see it. It’s not just that I can do numbers. It’s more that I have learned to think analytically, and learned the right process of problem solving. 

So yes, it is true that anything you learn can be useful, and any job can teach you valuable lessons.

Happy learning!

New Year’s Resolutions

Time seems to go faster as I age. I feel the urgency, and I want to make most of every day.

Here are my resolutions for 2015:

  • Lose weight and get fit (I’ve picked up table tennis, tennis, tai chi and golf, so this should be achievable)
  • Keep growing Oz Fair Trade and supporting more producers
  • Provide excellent customer service as usual
  • Recruit volunteers to help me run Oz Fair Trade
  • Assist local and wider communities through Rotary
  • Fight for human rights issues through Amnesty
  • Lead ACT Fair Trade Collective to push forward fair trade movement in Canberra
  • Meet more like-minded individuals through Canberra Sustainable and Fair Living Meetup (you are invited!)
  • Do well at my day job (which seems more like a side-project now given how much other stuff I have on…)

Cheers to a busy and fulfilling year ahead!