When Frank Serpico saw what was inside the envelope he had just been given, he knew immediately he was facing the crisis of his life. Here he was, a police officer just six months into his plainclothes assignment, being handed $300 from another policeman—a payment from an illegal gambler for police protection.
John Harrison, a carpenter and self-taught clockmaker, spent six decades of his life problem solving as he progressed towards his ultimate triumph—the first accurate marine chronometer. Many said it was an impossible task to produce a portable clock that could withstand a ship’s violent extremes of movement and temperature. And yet he did it and delivered a solution to a need that had been identified hundreds of years earlier.
Paul Buchheit is best known for creating Gmail for Google in the early 2000s, the web-app with over one billion active monthly users. But that accomplishment was only a stepping stone to his real achievement in seeing ideas become solutions to problems and change the world. His experience in developing Gmail would become the template used by himself and the many startup companies that followed in his footsteps.
When John ‘Wacka’ Williams took his place in Parliament in 2008, he brought with him the wisdom coming from life’s ups-and-downs—something that’s missing in career politicians—and a determination to help others in need.
When scientist Dr Jim Bowler discovered ancient Aboriginal remains in remote Lake Mungo he had no idea it would rewrite the history of human occupation in Australia. He also had no idea that taking these bones from the burial sites would cause great distress to the traditional owners of the land.
For the first thirty-five years of her life Lyn White never gave a thought to animal welfare. She does now.
Credit Animals Australia
We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility.
Lyn had always been an animal lover—at least of companion animals. Beyond that, growing up in Adelaide, South Australia, wild animals and farming animals didn’t figure in her life much at all. This was about to change.Continue reading
Judy Courtin wasn’t the first to call for a Royal Commission to investigate sexual assault and the Catholic Church; victims of child sexual abuse, lawyers and advocates had been calling for one for years.
Never see a need without doing something about it.
– Mary MacKillop
It was only in 2006, after her mid-life career change from being a chiropractor to becoming a human rights lawyer, that she learned a close family member had been abused at school by a Christian Brother. This inspired her to learn more about the difficulties faced by victims of child sexual abuse by Catholic religious. Her unique insights would bring a fresh look to an age-old problem. And she made sure her call for a Royal Commission was heard.
This is the story of how she did it.
Florence Nightingale was one of the pioneers in the use of statistics and infographics in achieving social reform. Florence Nightingale – Infographics Pioneer is Part 3 of The Can-Do Wisdom of Florence Nightingale series and covers the period of her life after the end of the Crimean War up to her death in 1910. It was during this period that she left the legacy for generations to come by using her knowledge and influence to affect lasting change in army health, medical health in India, hospitals, medical statistics and nurse education.
The Can-Do Wisdom of Florence Nightingale – Part 2 examines the brief period of Florence Nightingale’s public life covering her first nursing experience and then as Superintendent of female nurses at the Scutari Military Hospital in Constantinople during the Crimean War. This is where her knowledge and organizational skills, her observations, her leadership, her network of contacts, and her communications abilities were used to ‘get things done’ when others said it ‘couldn’t be done’.