To Nauru and Manus refugees, Maryam.

It’s Refugee Week 16-22 June 2019, I dedicate my writing to Nauru and Manus refugees.

My thoughts and writing are inspired by my favourite Iranian poet, Forugh Farrokhzad.

Born again

“I will plant my hands in the flowerbed

I will sprout,

I know, I know


The sprouts will lay eggs in the hollows of my inky fingers.”

“In a room the size of one solitude

My heart

Looks at the simple pretexts

Of its own happiness.”

By Forugh Farrokhzad

Maryam2 (3)

My feelings about humanity are not settled, which is excellent.

I love swallows and I always have a look up at the sky to find them. And now I know why……..

Because my feeling is like a swallow’s, intended to bring a message of hope and love.

I would like to fly across the blue and bright sky, to spread the seeds of “Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds” throughout the world.

I wish I could fly.

I wish my entire soul could carry you from that island to the dawn of eternal blossoming.

There are a lot of Iranians forced to become refugees all around the world and they are still in detention. I wrote to express my deep feelings for those who do not have the chance to breathe freely…

Story by Maryam Chengini, a migrant studying Level 3 AMEP at Wyndham Community & Education Centre Geelong CBD.  

WILD’s Forum.

I’m so excited to attend WILD’s forum! As someone who aspires to make a positive difference to her slice of the world, I have often found myself thinking about, in the future, perhaps running for Council or Politics. WILD, Women in Local Democracy, aim to support young women to address the gender balance in leadership and I know firsthand that being around like-minded women is such an amazing opportunity to grow as a leader yourself. So, for me, this forum is a must! PLEASE SHARE! Friday 21st June 5.30 – 7pm Geelong Regional Library. More details and how to book free seats here.

Kim Cooper CSS

The forum aims to start the conversation and support Geelong women to take the lead, to increase opportunities for women to consider running for Council in 2020 and there are some AMAZING experts speaking on the night such as The Minister For Women, Youth and Prevention of Violence Against Women, the Hon. Gabrielle Williams; our own women Councillors, members of WILD and Presidents of the MAV and VLGA.

Continue reading “WILD’s Forum.”


He just merged into adulthood. Young, confused and aimless.

Every day goes by with him feeling more and more sorrowful, no job, no bright future…nothing

His biggest regret is not finishing his education.

Year 1

He decides to leave his family, to leave the place he feels unwelcome in, to start a new life, to be reborn.

Weeks go by, and now he’s on the Belgium boarders declaring his wish to become one of them, to be a citizen, a citizen of Belgium.

His biggest regret is not doing this step earlier.

Continue reading “Him.”

Video of the Creative State Summit 2019 presentation.

“Three years ago, I never imaged I could speak in front of 5 people, let alone 50! But I did it! We did it! Five of the Humans in Geelong team inspired a global audience at Creative Victoria’s ‘Creative State Summit’ on Friday 31st of June 2019. This sold out Remix Summit was held at the Melbourne Museum over two days.

CSS crazy

“We got everyone up dancing, then we dazzled the audience with how Humans in Geelong (HuG) inspires, connects and strengthens our community by using the powerful medium of storytelling to create positive social change; sharing the inspirational stories of locals. We showcased our innovative multi-media model, its successes and how it can be replicated elsewhere. To conclude our presentation we showed a video of our flashmob from last year’s Humans in Geelong Expo 2018, then announced ‘well, what are you waiting for, come and get your free hugs!’

“You can watch our dazzling presentation here: or you could come along to watch Bec Picone, Brandon Dellow and me present to a local audience at the Waurn Ponds Library on July 24th at 6pm. Book your free tickets here

“Be swept away by the HuG movement!

Continue reading “Video of the Creative State Summit 2019 presentation.”

Building new communities with a tried, true recipe, Rory Costelloe

Building communities and fostering community spirit are real articles of faith for Rory Costelloe. His philosophy is a personal one, born of a country upbringing where people are often closely connected, but it’s also a professional code he instils in new urban developments.

Rory Costello on his electric Bike

As a proud Newtown resident, he’s focused sharply on replicating the best of Geelong’s community attributes into the residential projects he develops. Rory is executive director of the multi award-winning Villawood Properties. He relocated from Bendigo with his wife Katrina and four daughters 16 years ago.

Continue reading “Building new communities with a tried, true recipe, Rory Costelloe”

Geelong Region Cancerians, Phillipa.

“Working together we can help beat cancer! I discovered that cancer of the uterus was not a cancer people spoke about and when they did it was often in hushed tones.” We hear from uterine cancer survivor and founder of the Geelong Region Cancerians, Phillipa Challis.

Geelong Cancerians Phillipa Challis

“Geelong Region Cancerians aim to increase awareness, educate and inform people about the detection and prevention of uterine cancer. We aim to raise funds for research into all cancers. My personal driving force is to give back to my community in Geelong and outside of the region.

Continue reading “Geelong Region Cancerians, Phillipa.”

Recovered Gambler, Dana.

My name is Dana and I am a recovered gambler. I am proud to say I share my story in public through ReSPIN (a Gambling Awareness Speakers Bureau) and Humans in Geelong as it is now a valuable tool for the community and professionals to understand the harm that Poker machines can cause to innocent lives! Please share.

Here is a brief summary of my life.

I was born during the Second World War in Europe, my family was shifted between various displaced persons camps in Germany for over 5 years, until offers came for overseas migration. Through the mayhem of war, we were considered refugees living in the camps. The men gambled Poker, as there was nothing much else for them to do. As a child I cleaned their ash trays which was a nice treat – and I also learnt how to play poker simultaneously!


I migrated with my mother and sister to Western Australia by ship but later realised there wasn’t much choice for female labour there, so we moved to Victoria. I was very young, my mother and elder sister worked odd jobs, and we stayed in camps. My uncle was a huge help to us, all three worked hard and eventually bought a shack in Richmond together which finally was home.

Continue reading “Recovered Gambler, Dana.”