Puddy by Marcella Bruvel-Jones
Puddy is my little Welsh mountain pony who has taught me so much. I started riding when I was very young and she was the one that taught me the most. She was quite cheeky and naughty: she would buck me off and that taught me to get back on; she would also bite and that made me learn to be the big person. She would play all sorts of nasty tricks on me and each one would teach me something. She is quite a character in what she does; for example, she is so small she tries to make herself bigger by standing on higher bits of ground, which in a way teaches me that no matter what happens, just try things that might help, and also to do what you want, be the biggest you can be and make people laugh.
Jasper Hall by Jasper Islinger
The place where I was born, Jasper Hall, has had a big impact on the way I live my life, particularly with regard to nature and wildlife. Jasper Hall, is a farm/community in the hills behind Mullumbimby. My dad bought the property in the late 90s, originally planning to transform it into a sustainable organic hippy wonderland. The whole idea was that people would come from all over the world to work with their hands and hearts to earn a place to sleep and food to eat. Because of this, I met some amazing people and was exposed to lots of different cultures from a very early age. Jasper Hall’s location meant that I was pretty much always surrounded by nature and my friends and I would often just run off into the bush for several hours and play or make a cubby house. Because I was always surrounded by wilderness, I think that I probably care more about it than if I had grown up in a city. Jasper Hall will always be a special place for me and my brothers because it’s where we were born and raised.
Japan by Grace Chance
Being born in Japan and spending my first seven years of life there has had a significant influence on who I am today, as well as my core beliefs, values and behavioural habits. The Japanese are the most polite people I have ever encountered, highly influenced by Buddhism and the selfless philosophy which is embedded in their habits and values. Their attitude and way of life have impacted on my habits, such as always expressing appreciation and respecting my elders. I also highly value politeness and tend to get offended when people behave in an inconsiderate manner. Japanese culture has positively influenced me to be a considerate and respectful person.