Travel, experience and The Next Chapter have made me rethink the importance of politics in society
Belfast, Lisburn & Castlereagh Chapter participant Lisa Park shares her journey on The Next Chapter project.
"I am a mother, wife, architect, teacher and entrepreneur. My husband, and now business partner, and I met twenty years ago in the first year of our architecture degree. We have lived in London, Glasgow, Tasmania and Sydney together and now we have returned back home with our young family.
The dichotomy of progressing a career in a competitive, masculine environment while wanting to be there for my children led me to start our architecture practice, called Studio Park Architects. Running the business has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. I am also a Teaching Fellow at Ulster University.
I grew up in County Tyrone but lived in Australia from my late twenties for over six years. We became Australian citizens but the draw of home was too strong. We wanted our children to grow up around extended family and old friends.
Joining The Next Chapter was an effort to step out of the babies and business bubble. I wanted to see how I could play a more meaningful part in society here again and anchor myself back at home.
I turned my back on politics from a young age as I felt I couldn’t relate to it. Politics, in my mind, was about division and barriers, both visible and invisible. I was sixteen when the Good Friday Agreement was signed.
However, with experience and travel, and more recently, my involvement with The Next Chapter, I have accepted that politics is much more than that.
Women have played a vital, but often overlooked, role in the peace process here. As a society, we need to shift our thinking about what any individual can achieve, regardless of gender, background, religion, race, or beliefs. We must challenge ourselves first before challenging others."
Thanks to Lisa for taking the time to write this article.
Be the Change You Want to See Community Project