Florada was invited to be a Floral Partner at The Kids' Cancer Project, Women in Business event in Sydney this year. As the florist who had donated 100 rose stems to help raise funds for children’s cancer research, it stuck me as I sat at the fundraising lunch, that if another florist had been chosen, it was likely that they would have used imported roses.
It was the end of May and almost the end of rose season in Australia.
It was hard to source enough locally grown soft pink roses that had strong and long stems, but it was possible.
It reminded me of a photography project titled “Beautiful Poison” by Rogel Blanquet that highlights the human and environmental impact of flowers grown in developing countries. Although hard to prove, there are links to health issues experienced by flower farm workers who are exposed to pesticides that are banned in other countries.
It would be counterproductive to use imported roses to raise money for cancer research in Australia whilst contributing to the problem in another country, particularly countries who’s citizens do not have access to a health system like ours.
After hearing Emma Freney share her experience of her newborn baby being diagnosed with leukemia at 6 weeks old, I couldn’t leave this unsaid. The brave mother is now an ambassador for cancer research.
Emma’s strength reminded me that I am also an ambassador for change. It reminded me to use this opportunity to raise awareness about an issue I know and care about, to use my platform to create awareness, and go beyond simply posting pretty pictures of flowers at a time when we’re in need of serious change.