Asha Mortel

asha mortel jane goodall

QAHS welcomes inspiring speaker Asha Mortel

On Friday 19 July, we had the privilege of listening to an inspiring speaker Asha Mortel, motivating us on how students can act and be changemakers in the world through CAS. Asha was excellent in empowering us as students, despite our young age, that we as individuals can have an impact on the world. Asha highlighted how this is done through service and student activism. Her journey started when she was a 13-year old changemaker participating in her environmental project work in Borneo and then years later with the Jane Goodall Institute Australia. Within her project work in Borneo, she had the opportunity to directly support the students and teachers and she was able to fundraise enough money as a student-led project to build a high-school in one of the local villages – Tembak.  Her message was we should never take our education for granted.  For the children in Borneo, they can now further their studies and go into the world with a wealth of knowledge, just like we can.

Her passion for environmental issues led her to advocate for raising awareness about the detrimental impacts of palm oil production on the animals, people and the environment of Borneo. This is especially encouraging as it shows students do have the ability to make changes on the local level, and we can hone these skills to adapt on a global scale. Asha finally pointed out in the workshop how we should take advantage of the support and resources the IB community gives us. We are extremely privileged to have such wonderful teachers that are dedicated to the service of students, and we are encouraged to go beyond our potential. Becoming open-minded and active in the connections we have, is one of the ways we can make positive change together in this world.

Asha has been a member of the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots and Shoots National Youth Leadership Council for the past four years. The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. For those who do not know Dr. Jane Goodall, she is an UN Peace Messenger and is most famously known for discovering that chimpanzees make and use tools.  This finding redefined the relationship between humans and animals in ways that continue to emanate around the world.

Dr Jane Goodall started Roots and Shoots for the sole reason of inspiring young people around the world to conserve the planet we all share, to improve the lives of people, animals, and the environment. The youth-led action program is currently making a difference in almost 100 countries, building on Dr Jane’s legacy and vision of placing responsibility and power for creating solutions to big challenges in the hands of young people. Asha was able to represent Roots and Shoots at a state, national and international level.  In 2016, she represented Australia at the Global Roots & Shoots Gathering held at Windsor Castle in the UK – an amazing opportunity to spend the week with Dr Jane Goodall and other young like-minded participants from all over the world.

As of this month, I was fortunate enough to also be selected for Roots and Shoots Australia, where 45 participants from all over Australia applied.  From this twenty two were chosen, including  only 2 people from Queensland.

If this program interests you, I encourage you to apply next year.  This program allows youth to connect with like-minded passionate individuals.  It opens a door to global connections, where you can achieve positive tangible change in the world, whether for people, animals or the environment. I hope next year we will have more applicants from our state!

Jane Goodall

Isabelle Khamsone

Isabelle Khamsone
Year 12 Student

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Last reviewed 20 August 2019
Last updated 20 August 2019