Humans in Geelong Expo 2019, video.

Check out this funky, fun video of our Humans in Geelong Expo 2019 created by video whizz Felix Wilkins. It captures the colour, compassion and creativity of the day. The Expo is a free community event, the uplifting start to Mental Health Month, held on the first Sunday in October. Everyone is welcome and there is something for everyone. Thousands attended to be inspired by 50 amazing exhibitors, artists, authors, social entrepreneurs and community groups. 12 thought-provoking speakers and 12 culturally diverse, uplifting performances.

Fun in the courtyard included free face-painting, henna, Geelong Crusaders Re-enactment Society, The Orange Sky Laundry van. St Leonards Men’s Shed made free take-home bird boxes with the kids while Urban Upcycle ran Crafts for Kids. Over 40 people joined in with ‘The Dance’, our next major project.

The Expo was sponsored by the City of Greater Geelong, Villawood Properties, Deakin University, Snap Printing Geelong and a Multicultural Festivals and Events Grant. #humansingeelong #inspire #connect #strengthen #community #clevercreative #geelong #greatergeelong

Chaotica, Jack Bayley.

Every day, in the quiet of the dawn, 96-year-old Geelong artist Jack Bayley can be found making art, as he has done for decades. “Some people call me pigheaded, but I can’t help myself,” Jack says. “It is the passion for doing this that keeps me awake at night and the feedback I get from others is that it ‘just looks right’.”

Jack Bayley (2)

Jack trained locally and has experimented with a wide range of styles, including abstract and realist landscapes, portraits and still life in pencil, charcoal, acrylic, oil and water colour.

The medium Jack uses now is acrylic on paper, with a technique that took several years to develop during his 80s when he took up art with a vengeance after moving into town from Ocean Grove with his wife Shirley. Jack is on a mission to share the result of his metaphysical discovery. He wants others to share his joy and sees his work as a calling.

Continue reading “Chaotica, Jack Bayley.”

Caitlin Ramsay, AYCC.

“My journey into climate activism has been rather steady, it was only this year that I committed to volunteering with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, (AYCC), but I have always had an interest and concern for the environment since I was in primary school. At that time the news reports of melting ice caps and animals facing extinction was something I tried not to think about purely because it terrified me.” We hear from AYCC Geelong’s Caitlin Ramsay, who recently presented HERSTORY at the Geelong Library.

AYCC Caitlyn Ramsay

“As I got older, I started to understand how politics works in Australia. About the tight grip the fossil fuel industry has on our major parties and the economic and political systems we live under that create capital gain for a few but exacerbate poverty and inequality for many others.

Continue reading “Caitlin Ramsay, AYCC.”

Crossin the Bor.

“Tragically, two of my uncles died by suicide, within a decade of each other. Personally, the idea of the bike ride across the Nullarbor came about due to my family’s history of depression and suicide. We have a loving and accepting family, and both deaths were very difficult to come to terms with. It highlights the nature of mental illness. Both my uncles were obviously very unwell, but felt unable to discuss their illness with those that they were closest with.” Joey is part of the team of 11 medical students studying at Deakin University who are @CrossintheBor to raise awareness and funds for Mental Health. They will be joined by Joey’s friend who is a creative advertiser. I met most of the team today at Moby in Torquay. Donate here https://teamblackdog.everydayhero.com/au/crossin-the-bor

Crossin the Bor

“We’ve almost raised our $30,000 target which will be going to www.blackdoginstitute.org.au but every bit helps. However, our most important message is to start the conversation. We are urging people to ask their friends and family about their mental wellbeing more often and with more intent to be good listeners and to respond to the answer they receive. Then to follow up by checking in on that person regularly. A scary statistic is that only 1/3 of people suffering will seek help.

Continue reading “Crossin the Bor.”

Justine Martin – finding purpose through art.

When Justine Martin received a diagnosis of MS in 2011, her neurologist suggested she find a hobby when she was forced to stop work. Justine chose art, and was winning awards within a year. Since then she has created Juzt Art, won numerous more accolades and is now offering art classes, primarily for people with disabilities.

Justine Bennett

After hearing Justine’s story, it came as no surprise that she would approach art as more than a hobby, find success and then give back: “My goal is to contribute to society, which helped me at a time when I needed it.”

“Art has got me through, it’s my form of meditation and if I can share what I have learnt it gives me a sense of purpose.”

Continue reading “Justine Martin – finding purpose through art.”

Let Adyan and family stay.

“A minor disability should not be a reason for deportation. Let our family and our little son, Adyan stay in our hometown Geelong. PLEASE SHARE and sign our Change.org petition to let us stay here: http://chng.it/QwXm2VcB2T We love Geelong and Australia, and think of it as our home. I have completed my PhD in engineering here, and my wife who was a doctor in Bangladesh is becoming a registered GP here. We are hardworking, self-sufficient parents who have built a life for our son in this beautiful country, we will have the means to pay for any physio that Adyan requires.

Adyan

“Adyan was born in Geelong on 26 December 2013, our own Boxing Day miracle. Due to a mild stroke that he suffered during delivery, Adyan lives with a minor disability, mainly in his left hand. Because of this, the Government is trying to deport our entire family to Bangladesh.

Continue reading “Let Adyan and family stay.”

Diwali, 2019.

“Diwali means a social gathering, I get in touch with all my relatives including distant ones and closer ones. In India we celebrate in a different fashion, we go to the houses of neighbours and give special sweets. It’s a holiday for everyone, I’d compare it to Christmas for Christians.

“Deakin has been celebrating Diwali for 11 years and I appreciate being able to celebrate here with my friends in our cultural dresses. The best part is that all of Deakin and community get to see what Diwali is about. We’re pleased to be able to educate the community on what Diwali is and its significance for Indians.” Quote from Sanjay Sharma who’s studying a Masters of Engineering at Deakin University and is a member of Study Geelong. He is pictured here with friend, Priyanka Polagani who’s studying a Masters of Cyber security.

Diwali 19 Sanjay

Diwali originated in India and is one of the most popular dates on the Hindu calendar. It is also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains. Diwali symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and takes place each year after the harvest, to coincide with the new moon. The exact dates change each year. Diwali 2019 falls on Sunday 27th October. It takes place annually and lasts for five days, marking the start of the Hindu New Year.

The word Diwali (or Deepavali ) means row of lights in Sanskrit, the Ancient language of India. People decorate their homes with lights and oil lamps, called diyas. For many people, Diwali honours the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. It is believed the lights help Lakshmi find her way into peoples’ homes, bringing prosperity in the year to come.

We have video footage of the Geelong Bollywood Dance Group on our facebook and instagram. https://tinyurl.com/yyqwre5c

Story and photo: Jacqui Bennett.