I’m Kashonia. I’m a Moral Philosopher with a PhD in what today would be called the Ethics of Conscious Change.
And this is my story.
The Early Days
Overall my life has been a little unusual both personally and professionally. I grew up on a sheep and dairy farm on the Southern Highlands, south of Sydney. At 15, I left school and between then and my late 20s, I raised day old calves commercially, in batches of about 50 at a time, on a little farm in Dubbo NSW; set up and ran several small businesses of my own; and spent a couple of years living alone except for my two dogs Freddie and Samson on the banks of the Barcoo River in Outback Queensland.
Living Under the Stars on the Barcoo
Whilst living in the Outback, at night I slept in my swag (bed-roll) under a canopy of black velvet studded with diamonds. And by day, not only did I watch the pelicans swimming up and down the Barcoo as if they’d been trained by the world’s leading choreographer, which they probably had been, but I also I caught wild donkeys and sold them to city sanctuaries to prevent them from being shot as vermin.
My “Road to Damascus” Experience
It was during this time in Outback Queensland that I had a major “Road to Damascus” experience and the land and the environment took on a new meaning. This was a spiritual meaning as opposed to what had previously been a more commercial view of our natural environment. I ‘discovered’ that of all the creatures out there, I, “a superior human”, was the most inferior creature of them all. And I learned that humans are certainly a part of nature and most definitely not apart from nature.
This insightful spiritual experience awakened my consciousness to the importance of ecological sustainability and eventually led to my environmental academic journey. I wanted to get an academic understanding of nature, to match my practical life experience, so that I could talk in a credible manner to people on all levels about the importance of conscious sustainable living.
It’s the combination of my business background and city living, with my rural background and ‘Road to Damascus’ experience on the banks of the Barcoo that enables me to understand, albeit not necessarily agree with, both sides of most environmental issues—the need to protect, and the commercially driven desire to exploit.
Australia’s First Female Oil Company Representative
Following my time in the Outback I moved to Melbourne, the capital of the Australian state of Victoria, and a few months later was appointed Australia’s first female oil company representative despite literally hundreds of women applying for the job from all over Australia. I must also add that this was in the early 1970s, at which time I was unaware of the link between fossil fuels and their damage to our planet. But in more recent years that early oil company experience has provided some valuable environmental insights.
Towards the end of my very extensive training I was constantly told that I had to be tough and ruthless and lay down the law to the oil company agents and dealers with whom I had to liaise. This so-called advice came from my superiors and all the other company representatives, who were much older and more experienced than I was. And all of whom were men. However their male-energy command and control attitude to working with people, leadership, and managing a territory, just didn’t make sense to me. Instead, I used my intuitive feminine-energy relationship building “conscious” skills and as a result brought in the top sales figures for the state during each budget period that I was with the organization.
In this unique job my duties were those of a business coach, long before the term “business coach” was ever even thought of. In addition, I was inherently teaching all of my dealers the art of what I now realise was “conscious leadership” and “conscious business” skills.
Apart from coaching, it was at that time that I also began public speaking and designing and facilitating public and corporate workshops.
The next major career change was a successful 14 year media career. My interest in the media began as a 9 year old when I made regular appearances over a four year period on Desmond Tester’s children’s television programs on TCN Channel 9 in Sydney. And so my media work as an adult began on television, briefly co-hosting Good Morning Brisbane and doing television commercials for about 12 months. However most of my media work was in my number one (media) love as a talk-back broadcaster on commercial radio stations around Australia, including 4CA Cairns; 8DN Darwin; 4BC Brisbane; and 3AW in Melbourne.
In 1988, I won the radio industry’s Pater award for the best voice on Australian radio. This award was not only for how my voice sounded, but also how I used my voice and how I communicated and interacted with my audience. I was using “conscious communication” skills throughout that time.
Also during that time I was frequently asked to MC all sorts of events from small 200 audience-member events to big 3000+ audience concerts.
My Academic Journey
While working on Melbourne’s radio 3AW, despite having left school in 9th grade at the age of 15, the opportunity arrived to do some special entry exams for a mature-aged placement as a 1st year undergraduate university student. This was the start of a decade plus of academic studies with majors in Moral Philosophy, Peace Studies/International Relations, Environmental Philosophy, philosophy-based Applied Ethics, Environmental Management and Environmental Education.
My multi-disciplinary PhD thesis/dissertation included research in Ethics, Environmental Philosophy, Environmental Education, Environmental Management, Behavioural Science, and forms of Spiritual and Emotional Intelligences all as the foundation for Ethically Sustainable, aka Conscious Sustainability practices. My thesis/dissertation was called Heart-Centred Virtue Ethics: Raising Ecological Consciousness in Organisations.
During my Doctoral research I coined the very important terms Ethical Sustainability and Environmental/Ecological Affirmative Action. These concepts were introduced in a couple of conference papers and explained in my Doctoral thesis and also in my commercially available Conscious Change Series of Books.
As an educator, speaker, trainer, and coach, I worked in Australia and overseas on a freelance and consultancy basis, and also as a contract lecturer for a number of different universities.
As a university lecturer the main subjects I taught were Leadership Skills, Ethical Sustainability, and the Management of Organisational Change. All these subjects were based on what today is known as Conscious Change and Conscious Intelligence Competencies and were taught to MBA students in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia. In addition I taught Business Ethics, Environmental Philosophy, and Environmental Ethics to Masters and Undergraduate students in Australia.
Key Academic Dissertations include:
⇒ Heart-Centred Virtue Ethics: Raising Ecological Consciousness in Organisations. Doctoral Thesis/Dissertation. 410 pages. University of Queensland: St Lucia, Brisbane (2000)
⇒ Environmental Ethics: The Corporate Challenge of the 21st Century. Master of Arts Dissertation. 154 pages. Griffith University: Nathan, Brisbane (1996)
⇒ A New Environmental “Attitude”: Environmental Virtues. Honours Dissertation. 88 pages. University of Queensland: St Lucia, Brisbane (1996)
⇒ Environmental Philosophy and The Eclectic Approach. Honours Dissertation. 135 pages. University of Queensland: St Lucia, Brisbane (1996)
Plus numerous other refereed and non-refereed research papers including:
⇒ “Social Entrepreneurship: Towards Conceptualisation”. International Journal of Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Marketing 8 :76-88 ( Gillian Sullivan Mort, Jay Weerawardena, and Kashonia Carnegie. 2003).
This paper has been read and or cited by in excess of 10,000 people throughout the world. Today a “social entrepreneur” would probably be called a “conscious entrepreneur”.
I’ve also had articles published in numerous papers and magazines.
Sundry Studies and Activities
As a life-long learner, woven throughout all of my media and university work were extensive academic and independent studies in areas such as spirituality, religious studies, creative thinking, storytelling, quantum theory, systems theory, positive psychology, coaching psychology, neuroscience, and behavioural science including Practitioner and Master Practitioner levels of Neurolinguistics, and extensive research in PTSD and PTSD Therapy Certification.
These studies were combined with a range of different work activities including: leadership coaching; corporate and community workshop design and facilitation; speaking to corporate and community groups and service clubs; sessional mediator/conciliator for a couple of different state government departments in the Australian states of Victoria and Queensland conducting well in excess of 200 mediation/conciliation conferences with a successful resolution in excess of 90% of the time.
However one of my very favourite jobs was …
During my time as an academic, I also spent a couple of years delivering an Ecotourism Interpretation workshop that I was asked to design for the Singapore National Parks Board. These workshops were held in Singapore’s beautiful National Parks. And as many of my classes were held in the open, my “students” often included the macaque monkeys who joined in while watching intently from the trees above.
Internet Blogging & Webinar Interview Series
In late-2007, I began working from home on the Internet, blogging and running webinar interviews with everyday Conscious Leaders of Change who were “making-a-difference” in their world and as a result in our world. I conducted over 50 interviews and some of my blog posts received over 30,000 views. But as I couldn’t decide on a specific niche I decided to close all of my websites down after they were all hacked. Instead I began researching and writing a number of books including the Multi-International-Award Winning Conscious Change Series of Books and their prequel, Brainwashed: A True Story of Psychological Domestic Abuse and its PTSD Aftermath.
Just like an architect might design an exciting new building, these days, my greatest passion is working with my clients to help them design an exciting new future specifically suited to our Complex 21st Century World. Together, we elicit the magic they have within so they can create boundaryless “make a difference” possibilities for their many years ahead, as an organisation or an individual.