Five minutes with Barbara Binns, our Senior Social Innovator and Weavers Implementation Lead

When Barbara isn’t co-designing peer-to-peer solutions, she’s helping people to live in the moment as a mum, nanna, celebrant, and end-of-life doula. We sat down with her to discuss what she’s learned from being a career butterfly, and what she wants to do as she ‘grows up’.

6 October 2022

The TACSI team

When you're not at work, what do you get up to?

I try to live in the moment – everything is about relationships and spending time with the important people in my life. I love being a mum and nanna, and my time away from work totally revolves around that.

I’m also a wedding celebrant and love being involved in such a significant moment in people's lives. It’s a privilege to be trusted with those moments, and I hope to 'get married' many times more in the future.

I also support people as an end-of-life doula. I help people live in the moment and make sure loved ones are supported by talking about personal wishes, holding space for tough conversations, and providing options and choices in a safe, supportive and respectful way.

What change would you like to see in the world, and why?

I want to see a world where all people are able to advocate for what’s best for them, and have their voices heard at the centre of policy and decision-making.

I want to see a future where all Indigenous cultures around the world are recognised, respected and acknowledged for the deep wisdom they hold for the future of the human race and the planet.

I want to see a future where my children and grandchildren can look back and feel that we did the right thing for their futures.

What were you doing before working at TACSI?

I worked as a primary school teacher and loved learning alongside seven year olds. I aimed to create learning experiences that gave kids the excitement to learn and desire to explore.

I also worked for a training organisation that supported people to gain retail qualifications, and understand how to challenge and change some of the things that had stood in their way of finding and sustaining employment.

Who inspires you, and why?

I’m constantly inspired by passionate and compassionate individuals that are present in every community, providing for the day to day needs of each other. I find inspiration in the small things; every action of kindness really does matter.

Looking back at your career, what’s been the highlight?

That's such a hard question to answer as a career butterfly! I blame it on a low attention span. The work I’ve done with TACSI must be ticking all the boxes – I’ve been here for nearly eight years.

I love to see that whatever I’m doing has a real impact on people, whether that’s as a teacher, a facilitator or supporting organisations to implement a new model of practice. I love the “aha!” moments and deeply respect the personal stories that people have shared with me in my work.

What are you reading/watching/listening to at the moment?

Right now I’m reading ‘Ministry for The Future’ by Kim Stanley Robinson. It has its own share of aha moments about our climate future – I’d highly recommend a read.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you 'grew up'?

I‘m still a kid at heart, so I’m still looking for more to do as I grow up!

What's a book, film or resource that you would recommend to someone interested in social impact?

'The Ministry for the Future' by Kim Stanley Robinson and ‘Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World’ by Tyson Yunkaporta.

What's something on your bucket list?

I want to embrace every opportunity to explore more of the world, meet more wonderful people, and finish writing the children’s novel I started 10 years ago.

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