IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2016 - 7

sing along to (Dad's "best ofs" which
myself asking my husband which side
he had dubbed from the radio), and
of the road I should be driving on,
we paid particular attention to the
even when I was in my home town.
landscape and wildlife. Mum
would tell stories nostalgically about the time before we
were born and how she left
her homeland at seventeen
No one had their head buried
on her own. And dad would
talk about the struggles of
in front of a screen watching
losing his mother just before
YouTube.
the start of World War II,
and how his schooling was
interrupted in third class
as towns were burned to the crisp
When one loves life and what they
by the invaders, and how lucky we
do, it is easy to feel so energized that
were to have a chance at education
you don't feel the need to stop... but
in a peaceful nation. All the while my
"stop" I did. I wanted to reconnect
brother Arthur was pointing at how
with the natural environment in a
far we had driven with his A0 map- litbig way, with my kids, and my inner
erally thousands of kilometres- which
self. I found myself asking those
gave me a great sense of space and
deep questions about creation -
time that has stayed with me to this
who, what, when, how? What an
day. And of course, I do recollect the
incredible world we live in! How
unforgettable chant of my little sister
does it all work and hang together as
and big sister in near unison, "are we
it does? I felt so thankful. Thankful
there yet?"
for my family, my friends, my work,
*
nature, life, Australia. It is so easy to
Last December 2015, after a demandtake it for granted.
ing year in my various roles that
Each day, we'd choose a different
included bi-monthly long-haul travel,
place to visit, not excluding unsealed
I was determined to "shut down" the
roads that led to secluded beaches,
outside world, and give my children
lakes, and inlets (Figures 3 and 4).
what my parents had given me, in all
Every morning we were awakened by
the same simplicity (Figure 2). I somethe birdlife - a strange creature would
how needed to give my children my
call out at 4:30 a.m. for about 15 minfull attention for a four-week duration
utes straight, and then give it a rest;
without a laptop in tow, ensuring that
spotted lizards a few meters long on
my body and mind would recover
the road, and lots of kangaroos comfrom the year that was. I knew I was
ing out of hiding at dusk to socialize.
drifting into overload in September
While we swam we could see the fish
2015, when on one occasion, I found
in the sea (with and without snorkels),

FIguRE 1. Packing for a full month
away. Everything but the kitchen sink.

FIguRE 2. The great Australian
outdoor toilet, proverbially known as a
"dunny." Used in one camp site the kids
endearingly nicknamed "Kalaru Poo."

bags were placed on the roof rack
secured with a blue tarpaulin.
We had no mobile phone in the
car, no portable wifi-enabled tablet,
no gaming DS, and certainly no downscreen DVD player or in-car navigation system to interrupt the ebb and
flow of a family confined to a small
space for six weeks. Mum would put
on a few Greek cassettes for us to

FIguRE 3. The most spectacular and secluded Nelson Beach down the trail of Nelson Lake Rd near Mogareeka, NSW.

DECEmber 2016

∕

IEEE Technology and Society Magazine

7



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2016

IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2016 - Cover1
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2016 - Cover2
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2016 - 1
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IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2016 - Cover3
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