Tag Archives: Australian Rural Leadership Program

Work life comes full circle

Jane Milburn wears upcycledAlbert Einstein said no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

Excess consumption of clothing grabbed Jane Milburn’s attention because FAO figures show it is has increased by 80 percent in the past two decades, from 7kg each in 1992 to 11kg, when global population only increased by 25 percent. Most of the increase is in cheap synthetic-fibre clothing, made from petroleum.

Jane’s consciousness was raised by recent personal experiences and postgraduate study that provided reflection on ways to bring her wide-ranging career and life experiences together in a creative and meaningful way.  Continue reading

Upcycled exhibition in the frame

Jennie Stephens and Jane MilburnThe walls of Pandora Gallery were cloaked in creative and unique garments this month as it hosted the first Upcycled exhibition mounted by Jane Milburn in her quest to change the way we think about clothing and textiles.

Local visitors were engaged and intrigued – including local solicitor Michael Baxter who was in town to present a Wills and Power of Attorney session at Coolah library during National Law Week.

Pandora Gallery coordinator Jennie Stephens said the exhibition was extremely well-received and sparked a lot of community involvement and interest. “It reminded us of the many ways we can utilise what we have, rather than becoming a throw-away society,” Jennie said.  Continue reading

Leadership study sparks sew change

Jane Milburn 7 photo by Patria Jannides webMost of us are materialistic by nature. We like stuff that is useful, pretty, holds memories, provides comfort, brings status, or appeals in some other way.

It is the ability to imagine how new things might change our lives that drives us to acquire them. New Scientist magazine’s March 29 feature The Meaning of Stuff described this as transformation expectation, imagining how it may enhance and somehow make things better.

But being more mindful about consumption – of food, energy, clothing, technology, sweet stuff – leads to better outcomes for ourselves and the planet. For example, use of apparel fibre has increased by 80 percent in the past two decades, three times the rate of population growth, according to the table below from a 2013 FAO World Apparel Fibre Consumption Survey. The report is written from a consumption perspective on recession impacts but can be interpreted as an overall warning because per capita consumption between 1992 and 2010 ballooned from 7kgs up to 11kgs of fibre per person per year.  This is unsustainable.  Continue reading

A campaign of Jane Milburn’s making

wearing Textile Beat

There’s nothing like fresh perspective to recalibrate what is important in your life, how best to invest energy and utilise  talents to achieve something for the greater good.

Studying last year for a Graduate Certificate in Australian Rural Leadership through James Cook University and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation helped crystallise things and this year bring it all together with a creative campaign of my own.

I’m an agricultural scientist by training and my first professional job was as ABC rural reporter working in radio and television in Victoria and Queensland. Now I’m on a 365-day journey with the Sew it Again project to inspire creative upcycling of natural fibre garments and help revive home-sewing as a life-skill akin to cooking. Continue reading