Jan Lee Martin, Futurist:
Australia21 helps her legacy to live
Jan Lee Martin (1941-11) bequeathed $20,000 to Australia21 Director, Richard Eckersley, for research into issues of importance to Australia's future.
After consultation with her family, Richard has donated this money to Australia21 to kick start roundtables on two topics which we believe Jan would have strongly supported - "How should Australia regulate voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide?" and "Regreening Australia".
Australia21 is honoured to commemorate the late Jan Lee Martin, an outstanding Australian, through our work. Without this bequest the roundtables on voluntary euthanasia and regreening Australia could not have occurred.
Born in New Zealand, Jan had a highly successful public relations career in Sydney before becoming interested in futures studies in 1990. A devoted reader on philosophy, ethics, foresight and happiness, she recognised a direct link between issues and crisis management in public relations and foresight work. Jan saw that futures studies could benefit all current human activity and she used her communication skills to promote understanding of what futures work can achieve and why it should be embraced by government and industry leaders,and by people at all levels of society.
Jan founded the Futures Foundation and edited its journal Future News
for more than 10 years and with Anita Kelleher, co-chaired the Australasian Node of the Millennium Project. Jan spoke at conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, America and Taiwan and wrote many articles for learned journals. She encouraged media commentators, business and community leaders to look further into the future and to turn away from short-term thinking, and is also remembered as a mentor to young students of futures studies. Over her last five years, before her death of cancer in August 2011, she focused on two key areas: how to be happy and to confer happiness, and how to create new ways to measure progress.
Jan taught us that by making informed choices today we can influence the futures we would prefer tomorrow.
Reports from the voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide roundtable, held on 31 January at the Queensland University of Technology, and the "Regreening Australia" roundtable, held on 21 February at the University of Melbourne, will be released in the second quarter of this year.