5 Minutes with Esther Whitehead

5 Minutes with Esther Whitehead

5 Minutes with Esther Whitehead, Sustainable Queenstown co-founder, environmental activist and all-round good bugger.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Doing meaningful shit, I have tried getting out of bed for meaningless stuff, and found I am not great at it.

Tell me about your job, other than money, what inspires you to do it?

Knowing that the work I do is meaningful. I work part-time for the Dyslexia Foundation, NZ’s leading advocacy group on neurodiversity. In that role we make a difference to people’s lives, in schools, in the workplace and in the Justice Sector. Dyslexia is misunderstood. I urge you to get educated, as your understanding helps other people’s lives. Go to: http://www.dyslexiafoundation.org.nz/

What’s your connection with Sustainable Queenstown?

I’m a co-founder of the Charitable Trust. It was a long time coming, growing from a grassroots community group, I was determined to make this ‘real’, to embed some solutions into the community, to create impact initiatives and to co-create solutions with local people, local businesses and local NFP’s.

Pretend you are the CEO for Sustainable Queenstown, what’s the first thing you’d do and why?

Well, I started something here, but it’s all about using your sphere of influence for positive change.

Describe your vision for Queenstown’s future?

A community works collaboratively, protecting its natural assets, valuing its natural resources and managing its own destination to ensure a sustainable future for all to enjoy.

Tell us about your favourite book / podcast / tv show / movie?

This kind of question always makes me feel slightly panicked, I don’t do favourites, sorry, there are too many amazingly great things in the world to set a limitation of one. Up there are Barbara Kingsolver, Wally Lamb and Joe Bennet as some writers I love to read; Ken Robinson for Thought Leadership on Education and Creativity. I admire original thinkers, no matter which sector they work in…these are the shows, podcasts, movies that I am drawn to.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Easy- GIN

One thing you do in your life or business that is striving for sustainability?

My main goal has to been to collaborate and work at a meta or business level to drive more sustainable practices, I feel passionate that the burden is not always pushed to the end consumer.

In one sentence plug your business, product or something you are passionate about?

Sustainable Queenstown is a tiny organisation with a lot of clout. In a short time, with no capital and no funding, we are inspiring change in the district. It’s really exciting to partner with others, to set goals, and to empower community. Thinking Global and acting Social is what we’re about, together we will go on to achieve great things, let’s showcase our destination to the world, for all the right reasons! Ok, that’s more than one sentence!

It's easy being green!

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