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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
RALPH MARTINS WA Australian of the Year 2010; Foundation Professor, Ageing and Alzheimer's Disease, Edith Cowan University; Director, WA Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care "Australia is a land of great physical beauty and amazing opportunities open to anyone who is willing to give of themselves by working hard to realise their dreams. The people of Australia are warm, open and very friendly and go a long way to make visitors and new migrants welcome. The beautiful unity and integration seen by Australians has made Australia a world leader and this acknowledgement of all Australians, including the indigenous people of Australia and the people of diverse origin who have embraced Australia as their home, has resulted in considerably enriching the fabric of this wonderful country." SAM WALSH Executive Director and chief executive, Rio Tinto Iron Ore "I run Rio Tinto's worldwide iron ore operation, and I do so from its global headquarters in Perth, the most isolated capital city in the world and one with fewer than two million inhabitants. The markets we sell into are building homes and infrastructure for literally hundreds of millions of people, immeasurably improving their lives in the process. Australia enables the curious blend of innovation and old-fashioned hard work that has made it happen. For all our success, we can never forget our wider responsibility -- for the well-being of our workers and their families, for the betterment of Australia's traditional owners and for the fabric and cohesiveness of our communities, whether metropolitan, regional or remote. Success is rightly celebrated, but so is the sense of responsibility and obligation that accompanies it. Leadership in Australia is earned, not given, and I think that is a very healthy characteristic." MARIA ATKINSON Global head of sustainability, Lend Lease Group "People from across the globe have long seen Australia as a land of opportunity and a place where new and innovative ways of doing things is encouraged and embraced. Lend Lease's founder, Dick Dusseldorp ('Duss'), came to Australia in the 1950s and started the company in the spirit of innovation, seeing opportunities to create landmark buildings, civic places and vibrant cities. In 1973 he said, "The time is not far off when companies will have to justify their worth to society ... with greater emphasis being placed on environmental and social impact than straight economics." Much of Duss' philosophy is still very much alive in the places Lend Lease creates. I am inspired by the innovation our employees, our partners and our industry colleagues demonstrate to create more sustainable communities. In my role I participate in numerous international forums where Australia is consistently recognised for its smarter thinking about the application of energy, water and waste solutions in the development of integrated sustainable precincts. Australians are very good at the exchange of information, experience and learning from around the world and we use them to innovate and challenge our practices. I am very optimistic that Australian business, the community and our governments can play a global role in finding solutions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our cities. Of course I also feel very proud when I hear that Australians are at the forefront of environmental sustainability policy around the world. This year we have an Australian chairing the UK Green Building Council, an Australian on the Board of the US Green Building Council, an Australian advising the Singapore Building and Construction Authority, an Australian on the Board of the UN Sustainable Building Climate Initiative and an Australian Chair of the World Green Building Council. Australia has emerged as a thought leader on developing the cities of the future and I am humbled by the responsibility we all, as Australians, have to deliver a legacy of sustainable lifestyles to future generations." ❝On October 2009, I completed a 16- year project to be the first Australian to climb all 14 of the world's 8000-metre mountains. They are the highest and hardest peaks in the world and include Mount Everest. How can someone from the flattest country on earth, succeed in such a test? Because Australians love a challenge and, in the field of adventure, Australia offers the broadest spectrum of activities, from wild rivers to mighty deserts, world-class mountain biking to vast untracked wilderness. On my last expedition, I was forced to camp at night, in a blizzard, at 7600 metres without tent, sleeping bag or stove. It wasn't the most comfortable night but I survived, not only because of my Himalayan experience, but because those formative years in the Australian wilds had equipped me with the self- confidence and will to endure. Of course, you don't have to camp without equipment to enjoy the great Australian outdoors. But you do have to experience it. It is ancient, rugged, vast and extraordinarily beautiful." ANDREW LOCK HIGH-ALTITUDE MOUNTAINEER AND EXPLORER