100 Days Later Kate Clarke, Senior Veterinarian with Eureka Veterinary Hospital, takes us back to the point on the ship when she first drafted her 100 Day Plan and how much of that plan has played out since returning from Antarctica 

100 DAYS LATER: KATE CLARKE

Our first 100 days starts with inspiration, and the sense that a spectacular unknown lies ahead.

During the first morning session, the formidably wonderful Kit Jackson,Strategy Program Coordinator, guided us to each understand our personal values, used as the basis for our personal, relationship and work priorities. These priorities then formed the basis of our 100 day plan; I felt simultaneously both drained and energised as we openly, vulnerably, and courageously acknowledged the importance of balance and alignment in each of these areas of our very full lives.

My Plan emerged; an affirmation that the goals I’d been chewing over during the preceding year or so were worthwhile, clear, and underpinned by the important stuff. Goals that would define better parenting and relationships, nourishment (without guilt!) of self, allow me to help make a broader difference in my veterinary industry and build on my emerging passion for governance and collaborative leadership.

Because one of the potential speedhumps in the Plan could have undoubtedly been this movement from a hugely supportive, focused, collective environment with many shared visions and energising collaborative projects, back  to our infinitely more “normal” lives. Where projects like “dinner”, “washing” and “ferrying kids” once again filled much of the brain space that just days ago had been devoted to saving the planet, and bringing the kind, respectful, empowered culture back into our own organisations.

 

                             

The 16 hours we’d spent with collectively held breaths, quiet hope, and a sense of the shared importance of the goal, as we forged our way painstakingly through freezing sea ice in The Gullet off the Antarctic peninsula, was reminiscent of re-entering the world we’d left behind: indeed, the reason we’d wanted to be part of this unique program in the first place. For me, there had always been an awareness that such perseverance, resilience, and the emotional and practical support of the HB women would be essential as we gently but surely nudged towards our respective goals.

Having experienced just the tip of the collaborative leadership iceberg and the breathtaking energy of diverse, passionate, intelligent women working together towards increased female leadership and a sustainable future, I moved through my first 100 days wanting to bring this vision and understanding to my entire industry and community.

As part of my goal to collaborate with others to bring accessible, appropriate leadership, communication and emotional intelligence Continuing Education to the Australian veterinary industry, I was very excited and honoured to be selected to open the inaugural Vet Ed talk session at our annual national AVA conference in Brisbane.  I wouldn’t have had the confidence to pursue this opportunity prior to my Homeward Bound experience, but  relating my own story to my very respected peers has absolutely buoyed my motivation to continue working towards this. As the veterinary industry continues to address significant mental health issues and chronic underrepresentation of women progressing to leadership roles, this is only the start of many 100 Days to come.

Homeward Bound and the inspirational Kit Jackson delivered a strategy map upon which we can repeatedly refine our own personal, relationship and career destinations, secure in the knowledge that our journeys towards those successive 100 day goals will be energizingly, authentically and rewardingly our own. But already we feel the strength of the eventual 1000 HB women who surround us and our goals, and it’s incredible. XO

 

Kate Clarke has worked in private veterinary practice in rural Victoria and England, before returning in 2001 to the Ballarat region where she grew up. She’s committed to providing quality care to companion animals and their owners, gaining her Membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Medicine in 2003. Kate’s also a mother of two, qualified Interior Designer, amateur Landscape gardener, enjoys Latin dancing, loves her cattle and being outdoors (especially at sunset), is active on her kids’ School Council and in local sporting communities and lives to travel. She’s excited to represent rural Australian women and learn how to positively influence our natural world on a larger scale.

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