…She spent years designing and promoting teaching programmes throughout Southern African nations on humanitarian issues. She then headed the Youth Department for the International Federation, during which time she held meetings and events worldwide, from Iraq to Romania to China.


In 1989 the Red Cross celebrated their 125th anniversary and Joanna was put in charge of organising its first youth meeting with youth from 132 countries, first in Italy then all travelling to Geneva for a conference.

“What is incredible is that all these years later those kids have since formed a Facebook group and we can see what they have done with their lives. One participant is now the vice president of Syrian Red Crescent and many others are doing incredible things.”

Joanna MacLean princess Diana

Joanna Maclean and Princess Diana  in EXPO ’92

In spite of these high level jobs, Joanna is an adventurer at heart and soon requested some disaster relief experience. So off she went to the Caribbean for three years living in Jamaica but travelling across the region. Thankfully for the islanders, if not for Joanna, there were no disasters during her time there…

For the full interview, CityLife

bppk cover

To get a copy of Joanna’s new book, Two Eggs and a lemon


“I am nearly speechless. Joining you through your years in Myanmar has been a most delightful read for me. Your descriptive passages of encounters with your staff,  neighbors, and those unfortunate persons who needed the services of the Red Cross truly inspired me, and were I younger, I would venture forth in a similar fashion.

The title intrigued me and I had to wait until page 125 for its significance and paused to ponder how such a simple gift could be so memorable were I the recipient.   Your choice of that incident caught the underlying message that you’ve expressed so well in your own words.  
I will share this book with my daughters and will read it again when it is returned to me  Thank you for introducing me to your professional life, your four years in Southeast Asia, and for a much better appreciation of the struggles that are suffered in other lands. Your message touched me deeply and I can only hope that future generations will reflect a more understanding appreciation of other societies around the world.” 
Jim Carr, USA

“I loved reading your book which I have just finished. You have done such a nice job of evoking Myanmar – the charm of the people, their gracious welcome and responsiveness to outsiders who are interested and gentle.  I really enjoyed your collection of Myanmar moments, some of which I had an inkling of, others not.  And it was good to know more about the work you did while you were here; I now have some meat on the bones of what I knew before.  I am recommending it to all my other pals, as a super present for anyone interested in our wacky corner of the world.  Well done!  It is a major achievement.”

Gill Pattison, The River Gallery, Yangon, Myanmar 

   “Joanna is a remarkably creative speaker, writer and human being. She has vast international experience in well known and obscure parts of the globe which she shares with humor, depth and great sensitivity.”

Lois Haslam, USA

“Dear Joanna, How fortunate I was to have your remarkable book, Two Eggs and a Lemon, as my ready companion when I traveled to and from Bangkok by bus a few days ago. During this combined 20-hour journey your stories and sentiments, your observations and insights kept me thoroughly engaged and enthralled. You are a gifted teller of tales, with an eye for visual detail and an ear for the sonic landscape of everyday life in Myanmar. To this you added the heartfelt passion and purpose you experienced as a leader and representative of your organization, the International Red Cross, in supporting Myanmar’s diverse peoples in every corner of the country with vital humanitarian aid.

That your stay in the country dovetailed at precisely the moment in time when Myanmar was experiencing the last days of a way of life that will never return, thanks to its move towards a democratic, open society, makes this book all the more valuable.Truly, yours is a rare travelogue that combines intimate portraits of people, local color, historical knowledge, and deep purpose. Kyei zu tin ba de. With respect and warmest congratulations,”

Victoria Vorreiter / www.TribalMusic

“My wife and I took a cruise through the Panama Canal which was lead by Joanna MacLean.  Her knowledge of the history as well as the physical and medical problems confronted by the builders was presented to us through daily lectures. Her expertise was evident from our first meeting and through the entire voyage.  She will enhance the experience and enjoyment of any traveler who joins any journey guided by Ms. MacLean.” James Carr, USA

“Joanna MacLean brings her fascinating life experience to her presentations, covering amazingly diverse subjects. She delivers well researched information in an easily understandable way in her uniquely entertaining style.”

Valerie Hershfield, USA

“Joanna MacLean was amongst the early lecturers aboard the ‘Road To Mandalay’ for the long river cruises on the Ayerwady and Chindwin Rivers in Myanmar. She was very well received by our passengers and well liked by our Burmese crew. I wish her every success with future assignments.” 

John Hinchliffe, UK, retired Captain of the ‘Road to Mandalay’