WHEN JANE GOODALL first arrived in Gombe, Tanzania in 1960 as a 26-year-old, it was the beginning of what would become a lifelong journey of working with chimpanzees and highlighting conservation.
Growing up in Britain while dreaming of living in Africa surrounded by animals, Goodall, a former secretary who had no formal qualifications, jumped at the chance to be a researcher for palaeoanthropologist Louis Leakey. She describes the opportunity to go and study chimpanzees in the wild as a “magical invitation”.
“My mission was to get close to the chimpanzees, to be accepted,” Goodall says.
Now 83, the pioneer is considered to be the foremost expert on chimpanzees and continues to work tirelessly in her advocacy of animals and environmental issues.
Australian conservationist, writer and elephant specialist Sharon Pincott describes Goodall as a “world leader in conservation and a voice of profound influence”.