Trinity University Press

Jane Goodall-Gudrun Schindler-Rainbauer

You Encouraged Me

Gudrun Schindler-Rainbauer

    I was studying biology when I met you for the first time in Vienna, twenty years ago. I was also working as a campaigner for another NGO, and I organized--together with JGI Austria--the first Peace Day event at the UN office in Vienna. Some months later Walter Inmann asked me if I would like to work with him at the Jane Goodall Institute.

    My little Jakob was already two years old, and my husband, Michael, hadn’t yet finished his studies. So I was not sure. But Michael encouraged me. My dream had always been to do useful work for children and for Africa, and Michael told me I should make my dream a reality. So I gave up a full-paid job and changed to a full-day job. But I never have regretted it. NEVER!

    During the last seven years I’ve worked with you, I have so often heard and read your story about what your mother, Vanne, told you: “We can make our dreams a reality if we work hard and believe in ourselves.” Vanne encouraged you always, and she taught you never to give up. That was one of the most important things I learned from you: not to give up. So Vanne gave it to you, you gave it to me, and now I am giving it to my three children: Jakob (9), Jonas (5), and Wenzel (2). I am happy and deeply grateful for what I’ve learned from you. Wherever you are, Jane, I want to be there for you.

    Gudrun Schindler-Rainbauer, zoologist and ecologist, studied at the University of Vienna, worked with children in the national parks of Austria, and is Executive Director of the Jane Goodall Institute-Austria.