Jane Goodall – Rewind the Future NZ Tour 2019
Location: ASB Theatre – Aotea Centre, Auckland, NZ
Date: May 25th, 2019
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reviewed by: FANG TUIGAMALA and SERENA LOW
An iconic primatologist, anthropologist and activist, Dr. Jane Goodall has gone on to be the recipient of numerous honours, using her platform to advocate for animal welfare and conservation issues.
The Jane Goodall: Rewind the Future show saw a sold-out Auckland venue packed with thousands eager to hear the iconic 85-year old environmentalist address pressing issues regarding animal welfare and climate change, among others.
Following a warm welcome by host John Campbell, and an even warmer welcome by the audience, Goodall began the night by speaking about the importance of her mother in her work. Goodall’s dream of studying animals in Africa was not deemed appropriate or realistic for a young woman in those times. Her mother on the contrary encouraged her passion, which was paramount in the making of a young scientist – one who would go on to shatter long-held views on chimpanzees and animal behaviour in general.
She then touched on the Jane Goodall Institute (founded in 1977) with a mission to “create a better world for people, other animals, and our shared environment”. Goodall emphasised the importance of subsidiarity, which her organisation continuously employs with its efforts in Tanzania, among many countries. She went on to speak about Roots and Shoots, a programme which operates in thousands of schools globally and involves young people working on environmental problems in their communities.
Maha Fier, a member of this programme and recipient of the annual Jane Goodall Institute New Zealand Trailblazer award, joined Goodall on stage where she fiercely encouraged the audience to make better choices for the environment. Goodall reiterated the 16-year-old’s message by highlighting the immense importance of a balanced ecosystem, saving endangered species and protecting the world’s rainforests.
After a 25-minute interval, audience members were treated to a relaxed acoustic performance by Fly My Pretties. One of the performers, Anna Coddington, then shared a personal testimony of her own journey and the small steps she’s actioned to reduce her environmental impact. Things such as swapping to bamboo toothbrushes and going dairy-free at the beginning of the year – encouraging everyone that although perfection is unattainable, we can each do our bit to make a collective impact on the world.
Going into the final portion of the night, the fireside chat, Campbell asked Goodall a multitude of questions we were all curious to hear her answers to.
She shared stories around the intelligence of animals – how a chimpanzee played a joke on a human using sign language, the creative flair pigs possess (look up Pigcasso), and the role rats have played in clearing Mozambique of landmines.
When asked about the struggle with the “Donald Trumps” of the world, she responded with the notion that young people are our biggest hope: “We must prepare the young people so they’re ready to rise up when the leaders [currently in power] vanish. They’ll eventually die, it’s true.”
For those inspired to make a tangible difference, Campbell asked Goodall about the practical things we can implement in our lives. She identified meat and poverty as two of the biggest issues. Beyond the “innate cruelty at the heart of the industry”, Goodall talked about how meat and its wastage has become a symbol of status. And while meat is a widely known issue, the effect of poverty was one that intrigued many. Goodall stressed that poverty must be eradicated so everyone at least has the ability to make better decisions, such as buying ethically-sourced food.
But it’s not easy to change your lifestyle. Campbell highlighted that it’s an “effort of will” required to transition away from routine behaviours that don’t benefit the environment. Goodall supported with the additional need for “intellect to find other ways to do things”.
To wrap up the night, Goodall shared a tear-jerking video of an orphaned, previously injured chimpanzee being released into a sanctuary – but not before coming back to Goodall for a loving and grateful embrace.
The five-minute-long standing ovation showed how much of an impact the 85-year old activist had on the audience. As Campbell eloquently said about Goodall’s influence, we were all there for the cause, but had been changed and even more motivated to make the difference needed to rewind the future. Dr. Jane Goodall truly remains one of the most inspiring and intrepid women the world has ever come across.
FANG TUIGAMALA is a short-sighted music nerd who laughs too much. She is also currently crawling her way through uni and struggling to use her gym membership.
SERENA LOW is an International Business and PR graduate who dreams of becoming a polyglot, makes raw vegan durian cheesecakes and loves anything that helps her live more sustainably. Find her on Instagram (@serenajlow).
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