Our Planet Enterprises (OPE) was founded by Denise Sargent and Irene Guzowski with the creation of Cloudia Raindrop and Friends in 1999, funded by Yarra Valley Water as an incursion for schools. By the time Will Tait and Jodie Ahrens took over the business in 2003 OPE already had a number of touring shows and characters and well developed relationships within the environmental sector. Will and Jodie built on these networks by attending numerous sustainability sector events, workshops and forums, which also assisted them in the steep learning curve of taking in the complexity surrounding the understanding, promotion and local specificity of sustainability issues.

The fruition of these early endeavours came in the form of our successful tender to produce The Sustainables in 2005 - the touring show for the Department of Sustainability’s schools’ program. Participating in sustainability forums such as The Sustainability Roundtable (run by CERES from 2004 to 2006) has also been very satisfying on an individual level as an experience of being ‘part of the change’. The relationships we have forged through this process have also been very rewarding with a number of key individuals in the sector playing an important mentorship role in our development of the business.

Our creative collaborators – actors, writers, directors, musicians, puppet makers - also, of course, constantly inspire us with their responses to the challenge of conveying sustainability issues in a fun but meaningful and memorable way.

Since 2003, alongside OPE, we have also been developing a sensory theatre company called Roundangle. Exploring the potential of all of the senses in theatre performance, and collaborating over the years with the deaf and deafblind communities, culturally & linguistically diverse (CALD) migrants in Regional Victoria, and a host of talented Melbourne artists has made our journey with Roundangle profoundly challenging and rewarding (and award-winning!).

At the heart of Roundangle’s work is the nurturing of personal and social resilience - qualities that are essential ingredients for sustainable living. For Jodie and Will this aligns the sensory work of Roundangle perfectly with the sustainability-focussed performance of Our Planet Enterprises.

With the enormous shift in social and environmental consciousness of recent years humanity is poised to make deep and lasting commitments across all sectors that have the potential to ensure the continuation of the planet’s many cultures. Through Our Planet Enterprises and Roundangle Will and Jodie are building the partnerships that will allow them to play their part in this exciting transition.