Public servant and mum by day, micro-forest leader by night.

One of the best things about creating micro-forests is working with community leaders. Over 2020-222 I’ve had the privilege to work with four women who want to make a difference in their local community.

Qualities of community leaders

Research shows there’s at least 10 qualities of community leaders. Leaders tend to be smart, empathetic, self-aware and motivated.

I want to shine the spotlight on women I’ve collaborated with recently. They have shown me the importance of building a team and inspired me when I felt lacklustre. Together we are creating change at the neighbourhood scale.

Purdie Bowden

Purdie is one of the volunteer leaders of the Watson micro-forest team. They raised $53,000 to build the Watson micro-forest and nature playground.

Photo supplied.

Purdie’s advice for anyone taking on a leadership role in their community is to:

Do something you care about, and find great people to do it with!

P. BOWDEN, Watson.

The Climate Factory chats with Purdie Bowden.

TCF: What’s your day job? What does a ‘typical’ day look like for you? 

I work at DFAT on the Australian aid program, and was previously a lead negotiator for Australia on the United Nations Paris Agreement on Climate Change. I work part time and have two young kids which keep me busy the rest of the week.

TCF: Why are you passionate about volunteering to create a micro-forest in your suburb?

I’ve always cared deeply about the natural world. Creating a micro-forest and nature play area in my local park was a wonderful opportunity to connect more closely with the community we live in, and build something tangible. When I saw Edwina successfully raise funds and create the Downer Micro-forest, I thought why not do it in Watson.

TCF: What’s a surprising fact about you?

I’m a trained yoga instructor, but haven’t got around to teaching yet.

TCF: Do you have any words of advice about being a leader? And if people are hesitant to have a go at being a micro-forest leader’ what would you say to them? 

Working on something you are passionate about doesn’t feel like work. It’s just fun. And it’s even better if you can partner with people who share your energy and passion. Working with capable and enthusiastic partners on the Watson Micro-forest project gave me the confidence to launch the crowd-funding campaign and take other ‘big’ decisions, and helped me get through the times when I’ve been tired or frustrated. So in summary: do something you care about, and find great people to do it with!

TCF: What are you looking forward to in 2021?

Planting the Watson Micro-forest!

At The Climate Factory we inspire and support people to create a community micro-forest in their neighbourhood. Our methodology can be applied to almost any public landscape project.


Want to be be inspired and find out how how to build a climate-cooling micro-forest or landscape project in a public space? We’ve create a video on the 8 steps to create a micro-forest.

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