• Caterina Sullivan

How the Global Goals Apply to My Own Life

Updated: Nov 3, 2018



By now, we’ve managed to establish that these goals aren’t just about developing countries and that they’re about developed countries also.

But how exactly do they apply to an individual’s life?

Well, let’s look into my life.

Goal 1: No Poverty

I have been lucky that my both my mother and my father worked hard throughout their lives – for a number of years just before I was born, they worked 20 – 22 hour days. For a while, we lived in relative poverty. However, we never needed to rely on social protection protection systems such as welfare. That’s not to say there is a great level of comfort knowing we could have relied on such a service if needed.

Furthermore, after being diagnosed with a life-long degenerative health condition at age 16, I am extremely grateful that my medication is listed on the PBS as it keeps the cost down.

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

I will be the first to admit my diet isn’t always crash-hot. There are times I indulge in a little too much chocolate. Other times, I don’t turn down the side of fries. But I try my hardest to make sure I eat enough nutrients. Where possible, I eat the freshest ingredients. I try to avoid foods with any chemicals. Each day, I drink in excess of 5L of water.

Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being

I am a bit of a gym freak. I love being in the gym. I can spend up to 3 or 4 hours in there at a time. It also counteracts the chocolate and fries I was speaking about above.

I also spoke about my life-long degenerative condition above. My dedication to my own health to ensure I remain as healthy as possible is of paramount importance to me.

Goal 4: Quality Education

I am incredibly proud to be an International Baccalaureate-educated student. While I don’t believe education is the be-all and end-all of someone’s life or their career, I know my IB education has set me up to do fantastic things in life. It has shaped my thinking. It has made me question much more around me. If it weren’t for my IB education, I am unsure if I ever would have started the Global Goals Australia Campaign.

Goal 5: Gender Equality

This one should be easy to explain. I am a young female working across the political, business and not-for-profit sectors. It is important we continue to fight for Gender Equality in order to ensure I am able to continue to do my work, unimpeded by people’s perception of my gender. I also want to ensure if I have a daughter one day, she is safe and protected from any violence against her just for being female.

Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

I love my food and come from a baking background. My work in the food industry taught me one thing: Australia is a country of water scarcity. A lack of water affects food production. A lack of food production affects me.

Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

As a modern businesswoman, I am a bit of a screen-slave. Between my laptop, my iPad, my phone, I always have to keep everything charged to ensure I am contactable and up-to-date with my colleagues and clients. Ensuring a safe, reliable and affordable supply of energy is very important to me.

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Job security is something very important to me and to most Australians. Being able to budget my expenses in accordance with my earnings keeps me out of poverty. I also love the challenges that my work brings me; I love being intellectually stimulated and having tasks to push me outside of my comfort zone.

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Goal 9 probably doesn’t impact me directly as much as some of the other goals, but I appreciate the need for innovation to achieve the other goals. I also appreciate the move toward sustainable infrastructure to ensure buildings can withstand natural or other disasters.

Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

My mother’s father came to Australia from Italy during World War II. During her school days, Italians were still treated as “aliens” in the playground, and my mother was subject to rather horrible bullying. By the time I was at school, being Italian was considered “cool”; pizza was a staple of Aussie take-away and pasta was being served in many modern Australian restaurants around the country. “Ciao” was being thrown around as if Perth was another Italian city. I was lucky, but many other Australians are not. They face discrimination based on their culture or on their beliefs. I am passionate about seeing discrimination against ALL cultures and people become history in Australia by 2030.

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

I am a very proud Canberran; one of the attributes of the city which makes me most proud is its sustainability. I love being able to get from one location to another with relative ease – not having congested roads is a fantastic quality for a city. I am also proud of our national natural and cultural heritage and want to see this preserved, so I can share these incredible sites with my children and grandchildren in years to come. I also want to see natural and cultural heritage protected around the world as I love travelling and visiting new and interesting places of cultural significance.

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

I am a huge stickler when it comes to recycling. Back when I worked in federal government, it became a running joke in the office that everyone had to recycle because getting in trouble with me was worse than the demise of our planet.

Goal 13: Climate Action

Taking action on climate change is important to me because it impacts so many of the other goals which aim to achieve environmental sustainability (see Goal 14 an Goal 15).

Goal 14: Life Below Water

I grew up participating in surf life saving and have developed a passion for sailing. This has sparked in me a deep appreciation for the ocean. I spend a lot of my time at the beach when I can. This includes activities such as surfing, snorkelling and swimming. I am dedicated to seeing not only coastal areas but the ocean and marine life protected.

Goal 15: Life On Land

One of my favourite things to do since living in Canberra is hiking. I absolutely love exploring Tidbinbilla and the other nature reserves around the ACT. This passion has extended to exploring other parts of Australia and the world. As mentioned in above in Goal 11, I cannot wait to share these beautiful places with my children and grandchildren and want to ensure their preservation in order to do so.

Goal 16: Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions

I enjoy experiencing the city I am in at any particular time – whether it be my home in Canberra or one of the cities I visit for work. I spend a reasonable amount of time by myself given that I travel so frequently for work. I like to feel safe in the city I am visiting and feel comfortable to work around by myself at night. Having a strong police force to protect people from violent crime and other forms of crime is something very important to me.

Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

As someone who used to work both in the private sector and in government before starting in the not-for-profit sector, I understand the importance of partnerships and working together. Goal 17 is my all-time favourite goal as it is the backbone of what will achieve all of the above – collaborating and forming partnerships to share ideas and resources to realise the economic, social and environmental sustainability of our planet by 2030.

How can you see the Global Goals relating to your life? Share your story on social media, and don’t forget to tag us in!

This article was originally published on the Global Goals Australia Campaign website.

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Authorised by Caterina Sullivan (2018)

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O'CONNOR ACT 2602

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