Catherine at Climate Change Rally

Carbon Positive Change Maker: Catherine Patterson

Catherine Patterson is our Head of Partnerships and has been with the organisation for seven years! She is our go to for…everything! This month we are introducing you to Catherine in our team profile series “The Change Makers”.

What is your favourite part of your role with Carbon Positive Australia and why?
I am fortunate as I get to speak to organisations and people working on reducing their footprint. It gives me hope; many people out there are keen to make a difference and do things, and I love hearing about new innovations. However, my favourite thing is to get out of the office and visit the sites. It is inspiring to see the projects in action.

What does a typical day working at Carbon Positive Australia look like for you?
I have been here for seven years, and every day has been different. My current day is filled with a lot of Zoom calls, emails, proposals, and presentations.

How do you spend your free time, what are some of your hobbies/interests?
There is not much free time between work and kids activities. I always make sure I walk with the dog and practice 10 minutes of yoga daily. I also aim for a couple of ocean swims a week.  I love the outdoors, so camping, gardening, bushwalking, and surfing are some of my favourite activities when I am on holiday.

I also enjoy cooking, renovating furniture, and making useful things, such as cosmetics.

Who inspires you?
My celebrity is Dolly Parton. She demonstrates the lesson of not judging people on first impression. I am inspired daily by people that work in the environmental and NFP space. They continue to persevere to make an impact, often under challenging circumstances. It is not always an easy path to choose.

What is your favourite part of Australia?
I really do love all of it. I took my children out of school and traveled for six months. I have very special memories from so many places, even the Nullabor desert, which many people find the boring part of their trip.

When I lived in NSW, I loved Seal Rocks for the surf and trees, and in WA, I love Rottnest. There are not many places in the world that you can cycle along that type of coastline without cars. As much as I love holidaying on Rottnest Island (Wadjemup), I feel we need to acknowledge its history. It was a meeting place for our First Nation Australians, and then in the 1800’s it became a prison for almost 100 years. I always feel it is a privilege to stay there.

Catherine with a Cockatoo

What is your favourite native flora and fauna?
I love a Carnaby Cocktaoo. I am very lucky to have them in the bushland at the back of my road. They are curious and gregarious birds but landclearing and beehives has put pressure on their nesting holes.

What are you currently reading?
I  have a few on the go. Something for me, something for work, and something to read with my son, which are;
How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way That Makes a Difference – Rebecca Huntley
Asana Parnayama – Mudra Bandha (I have just done a yoga philosophy course)
Blow Your House Down – Gina Frangello
Yarns from the Aussie Outback – G. C. Rogers
How to be a Formula 1 Driver – Jenson Button

Give us a sustainability tip for our readers?
It sounds strange but do less! Sometimes you need to take a step back from the craziness of western life to be objective. I try and be mindful of why I am going somewhere or buying something. I find my life is calmer when I try not to clutter it with so much physical and mental stuff.  However, I have a family, so it is a work in progress. I think the most important tip is just to do something. Commit to something that you can easily implement in your life, work on getting that right, and then build on that.

If you weren’t working for CPA what would you be doing?
It sounds strange but do less! Sometimes you need to take a step back from the craziness of western life to be objective. I try and be mindful of why I am going somewhere or buying something. I find my life is calmer when I try not to clutter it with so much physical and mental stuff.  However, I have a family, so it is a work in progress. I think the most important tip is just to do something. Commit to something that you can easily implement in your life, work on getting that right, and then build on that.

Let us know your favourite movie and favourite song?
I don’t have a favourite song or film.  I tend to watch comedies when I have the chance to watch anything. Music depends on the day. Most of the time, I crave silence now.

Leave us with one of your favourite quotes.
I have to change to stay the same.” – Willem De Kooning
Most used quote – “you can’t polish a turd.”

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