Mentor and Advisor, Kunchi Bali
Rhonda Sorensen, was on a spiritual journey through Greece, Europe and Israel when she felt called to Bali. Bali is known as the Island of the Gods, and when she visited a quiet Hindu Temple on the top of a mountain, away from all the tourist areas an amazing thing happened.
The feminine goddess Shakti appeared to her in a vision on a white cloth covering the most sacred shrine of this high temple. When she asked Shakti to “please show me my path”, she was transplanted like rice through the floor of the temple.
Rhonda took this as a clear sign that her path was to stay in this place, and when the village leaders and priests all met, they decided that they would help her to stay. On this mountain, Rhonda meditates daily, feels blessed to have had numerous visions and messages, and even some dark times in this spiritual place.
Rhonda now has a small organic farm near the top of that mountain and is growing a rare medicinal ginger (Kunchi) known locally as temu kunci (meaning the key). She is working with the local villages to form a cooperative of farmers to grow and develop this new market. The stable income from this innovation will increase local farmer welfare which in turn will alleviate the poverty in the area by doing the value-adding in the village.
Rhonda holds degrees in clinical microbiology, Total Quality Management and a Master of Business Administration MBA from James Cook University in Far North Queensland. She has been a mother, a farmer, a scientist, managed laboratories for farmers, and run her own consulting and research business in rural innovation. She was laboratory manager for the tropical rainforest life sciences biodiscovery company EcoBiotics during the discovery phase of the oncology drug EBC-46 which is showing very encouraging results for both human and veterinary applications. Rhonda was 2014 Qld Rural Woman of the Year Runner-up because of her work to help small farmers introduce more sustainable practices.