Ann Gibbons

Environmental Sustainability Manager, City of Marion

I think that my love for the great outdoors and strong connection with our wonderful natural environment stemmed from growing up on a farm in regional South Australia and many family camping holidays, often to places off the beaten track (Dad had an ‘allergy’ to towns and designated campgrounds). Weekends and school holidays were often filled with bushwalks and helping with plant and bird surveys conducted by the local Field Naturalist group that my parents belonged to.

I am now the Environmental Sustainability Manager at the City of Marion and have been working in the environment sector in South Australia for the past 20 years. A central focus for my work is leading the City of Marion’s efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change and working with neighbouring Councils and other partners to deliver priorities for southern Adelaide through the Resilient South program. It’s really encouraging to see how the work that we are doing on climate change adaptation is being embedded in a range of projects being delivered by Council, from reserve and streetscape upgrades through to community services and programs being delivered in neighbourhood centres.

On a personal note, I moved to a much smaller place a couple of years ago and am enjoying making this space my own. Downsizing and shedding ‘stuff’ accumulated over many years has been very liberating … this philosophy has also carried through to my purchasing habits … buying less ’stuff’ is good for the environment and my hip pocket! Various charities have also benefited from donations of clothing, furniture and other household goods that needed new homes.

Being outdoors is still one of my favourite ways to relax …. walking really allows me to become immersed in my surroundings and gives me time to think. We are spoilt for choice with many great walking trails in the Adelaide Hills, coasts and surrounds. Exploration on foot is an essential part of any holiday, and now that my children are in their twenties and following their own dreams I am venturing further afield … in 2017 I walked 410km across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago … and am backing this up with 300km across northern England on the Coast-to-Coast walk in 2018.