Viqueque Friendship House.

Not long after Timor-Leste gained independence in 2001 Christian College established a Friendship House in Viqueque, which created the first formal link between Geelong and the Viqueque District. In 2007 Peter Cannon and wife Tricia Blane travelled from Geelong to Dili, across the mountains to Viqueque with two staff members of Christian College. It was a long trip, and one which they made another 12 times.

Viqueque Scholarship Ceremony.

On all of their visits they became fully aware of the value young people and their parents placed on education. It was quite amazing and uplifting to see students in very large numbers walking long distances to and from school, six days a week. Whilst in the classroom they also noted how attentive they were. Their school buildings were neglected, with almost no resources. In many situations the teachers were keen but had limited training, some being volunteers.

Continue reading “Viqueque Friendship House.”

Earth Angels.

“Earth Angels. Sparkling caught my eye as I drove past the Eastern Cemetery. I looked closer and saw it was metallic ribbon and Christmas baubles swaying in the breeze and twinkling in the morning sun.

“Further on I saw a lady going along the fence line hanging them all the way down the huge hill. I smiled and thought – there really are some good humans.

“I pulled over and went to see her. She told me she started hanging Christmas decorations after her friend completed suicide. He was so depressed from the lockdowns that sadly, he took his own life.

“So this now is her annual event. Christmas time decorating at the cemetery and she does it to remember her friend and to spread love.

“Elaine also pointed out that she keeps the ribbon and baubles and will reuse them every year.”

“We chatted for a while and discovered that someone from my childhood is linked to her by blood. The thread – we are all connected.

“Have you seen a random act of kindness lately? Do you know an angel on Earth?” by @healing.e

Elaine is one of our beloved Humans in Geelong team members. Make sure you say hi if you see her untying her decorations. Photo: @healing.e

Mrs Chook learns to surf.

Congratulations to team member Elaine Janes and Mrs Chook who has learnt to surf. This article was on page 2 of The Age today bringing cheer and joy to many.

You might spot Mrs Chook surfing at Ocean Grove or meet Elaine and some of her chooks early on Tuesdays at Point Lonsdale.

A very happy festive season to all from the whole team at Humans in Geelong.

Elaine Janes and Pom Pom.

Save the Karaaf Wetland, Torquay.

Recently, the “Save the Karaaf Wetland, Torquay” facebook page was launched. The reason is to generate support for this internationally significant saltmarsh which is in danger of being destroyed by the stormwater generated by the development of North Torquay. A report by the highly regarded Australian consultancy Water Technology has confirmed that this unique wetland is now at risk of destruction.

The “Save the Karaaf Wetlands” campaign is now at a critical stage and urgently needs the support. Help us by:

  • Signing the petition ( https://libbycoker.com.au/wetlands ) – We have identified a federal funding source for some of the major infrastructure works required to “Save the Karaaf” from the current federal opposition, if they win! We have been assessed against their funding criterion and the Karaaf meets them, but we need to be able to demonstrate community support. The petition can deliver this requirement with the support from all of you
  • Supporting the “Save the Karaaf” Facebook page – after three weeks we now have reached over 10,000 people who are concerned about the impact of development on our environment. We need to continue to grow this number and again you can help by sharing this
  • The Surf Coast Shire Council is critical to a successful outcome – we need to provide continual pressure on them. A recent example of council action – one of the developer controlled feeder wetlands, the Dunes was cosmetically cleaned up, presumably because council requested it. It’s the one with its picture on the “Save the Karaaf Wetlands” Facebook page with all the plastic bottles covering the outlet. The plastic bottles have now been removed and the sediment pits wall slashed. The sediment pit is still full and the sediment pits outlet to the next pond is still blocked by sediment. This constructed wetland is not functioning, and has not functioned for at least 4 years, but it is now prettier to look at!! The Dunes wetland is a small part of the overall Karaaf Wetland’s problems but the council’s approach to solving them is consistent. Do as little as possible and hopefully the problem will go away. We need to pressure the council by emailing them on their info@surfcoast.vic.gov.au and the “Save the Karaaf” Facebook page will provide plenty of issues to question;

We hope you can help.

Courting the Mystery.

“My books really feel like a fragment of my soul.” Local, Jeremy Palmer has self-published a handful of collections of poetry in the past. His latest offering ‘Courting the Mystery’, was launched December 4th. “Like previous books, it’s a collection of free verse and prose poems, some of which are accompanied by reflections.

“The themes are very much around existential contemplation, life and death and our place within it, spirituality and the search for meaning. Much is inspired by my vocation, working in the Spiritual Care department at a local hospital, based in Cancer Services. The poems are fruits of over a decade of personal spiritual practise, contemplation and, frankly, obsession on these themes.

“My writing feels born of necessity, like a bodily function, to keep me something close to sane. It is a deep love of mine and something I have used therapeutically, to connect with the more hidden parts of myself; to heal, to learn and to explore. 

“I love sharing my work. There is a great intimacy when someone else tells me my words have touched something deep within their own experience. In that moment, it seems that we feel with the one heart, and aren’t each islands, unknowable to the other, but part of something much greater that lives through each of our experiences. That is priceless. 

Continue reading “Courting the Mystery.”

The Elf Squad 2021.

Hello!

Greetings from the Elves! We hope you’re well.

The Elf Squad collect and distribute toys to local girls and boys. Here’s how you can help.

ELF FACTORY SHIFTS NOW OPEN – Monday 20/12 to Thursday 23/12 – 2 shifts per day – morning and afternoon!

The Elf Squad Elf Factory is opening its doors to lots of lovely elves, starting THIS Monday 20/12/21 at 9am, until Thursday 23/12/21., or when the last gift is wrapped, sacked and dispatched!

The 2021 Elf Factory is in the beautiful Geelong office of Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 56 Corio Street, Geelong CBD, between Moorabool and Gheringhap Streets.

If you would like to help stencil Elf Sacks, hand paint wrapping paper, make gift cards and wrap hundreds of gifts for 200+ local children, please book yourself in via the events on the Facebook page.

Children aged 7 and above are welcome, but must be accompanied by a supervising adult. All elves must be at least double jabbed to enter the space this year. Thanks for your understanding with this. 🙂

Entry is free, with a toy or cash donation. Otherwise $5 per person, payable on arrival by cash or card. Tea, coffee, soft drinks and nibbles will be provided.

If your plans to attend change, please update your event RSVP, so that we can manage numbers.

Thank you for ELFing YOUR Community!

🥰 Elf Squad Inc.

International Volunteers Day 2021.

The Expo was brought to you by a team of dedicated volunteers on December 5th, International Volunteers Day. Our aim is to inspire, connect and strengthen community while having a whole lot of fun. We instill joy and hope. Thousands attended the event and the atmosphere was so joyful. If you’d like to join the team, get in touch.

Thanks also to the hundreds of other volunteers who supported the day. eg these beautiful photos are by Hadeel Hani of @hs.stories.photography

Also pictured are the officials who opened the event. Darren Cheeseman MP, Councillor Jim Mason and Associate Professor Steven Moylan, Clinical Director, Mental Health and Drugs and Alcohol Services at Barwon Health.

Humans in Geelong Expo 2021, wrap up.

Thousands enjoyed Humans in Geelong Expo 2021, Sunday 5th December, 10-3pm, at the Geelong Racecourse. Over 102 individuals and community groups participated in this fun free event. There was something for everyone. 12 uplifting live performances, 11 thought-provoking guest speakers, 12 local artists, over 60 exhibitors and heaps of free fun for the kids.

A massive thanks to the army of volunteers and all involved.

Check out the full program on our website: https://humansingeelong.com/humans-in-geelong-expo-2021/

There are lots of photos on our Insta and other pages. @humansingeelong

Or view them on our google drive:

Phone Video by Hadeel Hani @hs.stories.photography https://tinyurl.com/mr36swys

Photos by Paula Funston Photography https://tinyurl.com/yckjkv66

Photos by Hadeel Hani @hs.stories.photography https://tinyurl.com/222x4sva

Feel free to share these photos of this exceptional day but please credit our volunteer photographers.

Video by Phil Hines Photography

Expo Stars!

Cute Expo Stars, tomorrow at the free Humans in Geelong Expo, Geelong Racecourse 10-3pm. Read a story to pretty Penny the Story Dog and listen to local children’s author Kaye Baillie at 10.30am. Meet Elaine’s chooks Pom Pom and Squiggles in Room 3 upstairs at 11am. Roaming Reptiles, in the Briseis Exhibitors space. Jarrah the wonder dog performs tricks at 1pm.

Anna and Olaf from Frozen from 11-1pm. Roving magic by Dazzling Dan from 1pm. The Mik Mak’s at 2pm. Storytime on the hour in the Geelong Libraries Chill Out space. Mini train, kids crafts, wooden toy making, henna, jumping castles and free family passes to see Western United. Heaps for the adults too. Full Program: www.humansingeelong.com/humans-in-geelong-expo-2021/

Victorian Government rules for events are that everyone needs to show they are double vaccinated. Bring your water bottles for the Barwon Water Refill station. Photos supplied.