Getting to know - Karen Cane

Getting to know our volunteers –Karen Cane - BREAZE Volunteer

Karen moved to Ballarat a couple of years ago and was interested in seeking out BREAZE for advice about making her home more sustainable, and so began her involvement. Karen has volunteered to assist with the Farmers Market Committee and at the last BREAZE AGM in November 2017 she was elected onto the Board – well done.


Q&A by Tarn Kruger with Karen Cane

1. Firstly, where did you grow up? Tell me a bit about your childhood.
Karen: I grew up in post-war Britain London. It was an ordinary childhood, as parents from that era didn’t tend to ‘hover’, we were left to our own devices, to entertain ourselves. And so I sought adventures by exploring the city surrounds. After leaving school I worked in nutrition and medical research and continued study in applied biology. I came to Australia in 1971 first to Hobart and then to Perth and in then a couple of years later arrived in Melbourne, and instantly felt at home. I studied science and genetics at Monash University through the nineties and early 2000s after which I worked in Horsham for several years and I have now retired to live in Ballarat.

2. What are the best things for you about living in the Ballarat region?
Karen: The weather for me is great, not too hot, I love the misty damp days and I really like the history of the grand buildings of the gold era. And my home and garden, while urban is full of birds, which is beautiful.

3. Have you a favourite colour and why?
Karen: It would be blue, verging on green. I like blue because it’s just comfortable and soothing for me, and I like green as it reminds me of rainforests and that great smell of peat.

4. What have been your hobbies or interests over the years and what are the main ones now?
Karen: I spin fleece, I have had a spinning wheel since the 1970s and I also make rugs. I started a big rug, weaving on the loom when I was in Hobart and I have carted the unfinished rug around for years. And now that I am retired I am determined to finish the rug, it will be like an alpine floor of whites and creams with clumps of vegetation. Spinning and rug making is a great creative outlet for me and In the past I did a bit of lead lighting and warm glass work, I would like to get back to that at some time in the future.

5. If you could choose any person in the world (past or present), who would you most like to meet?
Karen: That is tricky, I have a swirl of ideas, but my first thought is David Attenborough. I have watched him on TV since the later 1950s, I can remember he made a documentary in PNG and it was such an adventure for me to watch. He has been such a great ambassador for nature. Others like Albert Einstein would be so interesting and how great would it be to strike up a discussion with Socrates!

6. Have you made any environmental pledge? Tell me about this/these
Karen: I think it is so important that we all try in our own way to minimise our carbon foot print and look after our planet.

7. What is most rewarding thing about volunteering for you?
Karen: I really enjoy meeting people, over the years I have been involved in a range of community organisations. I really like to assist where I can, and for example help kids to learn.

8. Finally, if you could have ultimate say about the future of the planet, what one action would you like to make happen?
Karen: I would endorse voluntary euthanasia, let people choose. Put us back into the ground and grow some trees.

Thanks Karen for sharing a bit about your life, interests and ideas.