Yes, I’m a tree hugger! I always get excited to see that National Tree Day is coming up. This year the school’s Tree Day is next Friday 30th of July. I’ve planted thousands of trees over the years with students at Leopold Primary School and now Highton Primary School.
National Tree Day is Sunday Aug 1st.
The City of Greater Geelong holds community tree planting on the Sunday. With the assistance from the community the aim is to plant 3,500 trees along the large section of the Ted Wilson Trail at the rear of Haines Reserve. The address is 1a Wilks Street, Hamlyn Heights, VIC 3215
It’s always great to see families working together planting trees.
Organisers tell us “Dress according to weather condition. Hat, sunscreen, gloves & appropriate foot wear. Lions Club will be in attendance with a sausage sizzle and refreshments along with Blood Toyota Geelong who are a major sponsor of Planet Ark National Tree Day & Barwon Water.
“Come for an hour or come all day and enjoy being a part of protecting the future.”
“Everyone is very impressed that 4 boys have worked so hard on their Gender Equality project.” I’m talking to Brock, Jarrod, Michael and David from Grade 6 at Northern Bay’s Tallis Street Campus. The Grade 6s are participating in the Kids Thrive Program. The students form small groups, inquire in to those in need and formulate a way to help.
Brock tells us more. “There’s a Cultural Diversity group who are collecting food for the Food Bank to help the culturally diverse in need. An Animals group are supplying snuggle blankets to Geelong Animal Welfare Service (GAWS). Another group is collecting clothes and blankets for Geelong Mums who support families in need.
“The Kids Thrive Program raises awareness for helping and caring for others. Our group is about Gender Equality and I can relate to that because I have two younger sisters. We investigated and found out that some girls miss school if they don’t have the sanitary items they need. My little sister adores school and I wouldn’t want to see her, or anyone like her, missing out.
“It is wonderful to see these connections being formed, and families from both schools look forward to the zoom calls each week.” Kardinia International College Principal, Catherine Lockhart, describes the benefits of the school’s ‘Homestay GoKIC’ Virtual Homestay Experience.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, international student exchange programmes have been unable to run as usual, so ‘Homestay GoKIC’ provides an innovative alternative. Kardinia International College students are connecting with students from Kardinia’s sister school, Gotemba Nishi High School in Japan, through a virtual homestay experience called ‘Homestay GoKIC’. Through weekly Zoom calls, Kardinia International College and Gotemba Nishi High School families learn about each other’s schools, food and everyday life.
Kardinia International College was founded by the late Mr Yoshimaro Katsumata, who was the owner of Gotemba Nishi High School. Gotemba Nishi High School Vice Principal, Mr Takahiro Katsumata is the grandson of Mr Yoshimaro Katsumata and a member of Kardinia International College’s Board. The two schools share a strong bond, through student exchange and study tour programs, but with international travel suspended, the schools decided to continue these important student cultural experiences online.
Wally Conron has worked with animals for most of his 92 years, and keeps four horses at his home in the Barrabool Hills. Wally, along with Sally Miller and Pom MacKenzie, who learned to ride with him, told this story of ‘Ladies’ Day’
Wally: When I moved to Geelong 30 years ago, the Barwon Valley Pony Club invited me to be a riding instructor. I thought it unfair that the mothers were expected to just lead their children’s ponies around.
So when one of the mothers approached me tentatively and murmured, ‘I was wondering if you could teach me horse riding?’I hesitated-because teaching an adult beginner is not a simple matter. For one thing, they don’t bounce like kids do when they fall.
She walked away thinking I was refusing her request, but her dejected air got the better of me. I asked her to come to my place, and explained that I teach horsemanship, not just riding.
‘It’s no good riding if you can’t saddle up and don’t know how to treat your mount. You’ll learn to approach a horse confidently, then you’ll put on the head collar. After that, you’ll lead the horse, standing at its shoulder, and you’ll learn to groom it. Then,’ I concluded, ‘you’ll be ready to put on its saddle and bridle.’
The word got around and before long I had several enthusiastic women wanting to join what I began to call my ‘Ladies’ Day.’
Musician Andrea Robertson’s love for music began early in childhood, a passion that was supported and nurtured by her loving parents Alison and Bob. Their home was always buzzing with music; voices singing, piano playing, the record player spinning the family’s vinyl collection, cassette mix tapes and the weekly ritual of Countdown.
When Andrea attended high school there were limited opportunities at the time to be involved in the creative arts and less of a societal focus on music being an acceptable career option.
Sharing about some significant trauma experienced during her childhood and into her teens, Andrea described how this impacted her on many levels, steering her away from pursuing music as a career. However, this connection wasn’t made until she was well into her adulthood. Although she never lost her love of music and writing, there was always something holding her back from openly sharing this with others. Andrea speaks of the importance of music as a way of helping her to get through a long period where she was coming to terms with and dealing with what had happened.
Desperate to break into the film industry, Lara local Scott Day, self-funded a feature film by working tirelessly at a meat factory in Breakwater through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Why? Because filmmaking has been his burning life-long passion.
“I was bullied at primary school because I was obsessed with movies to the point where it was the only thing I would talk about. I almost had an eidetic memory when it came to who won Oscars in certain years and who starred in what movies.
“I had no other interests, and that’s how I found escapism, especially finding solace in writing my own stories and plays from the age of 7, but I didn’t write prose, I wrote dialogue instead.
“I kept alienating my peers without my teachers knowing I was on the spectrum until I was diagnosed at 12-years-old.
Could you be a friend to an international student? When Lisa Cunningham heard about Study Geelong’s International Friends Program, she jumped at the chance for her family to be involved. The program matches an international student studying in Geelong with a local person/family to build connections, share interests and enjoy cross-cultural exchange. International student Nikhil who applied to the program mentioned he liked cars so it was an obvious choice to match him with Lisa and Shayne (and their son Xavier) who own Mustang and Co. The look on Nikhil’s face when he heard they had a red convertible 1966 Mustang was priceless!
They enjoyed exploring the Geelong region including a trip to Scotchman’s Hill Winery and a drive around the Bellarine Peninsula. They met up for a bite to eat at different Geelong venues and had a meal at each other’s houses. Lisa said her family joined the program “to learn about the students living in Geelong and help them get the full experience of living in another country. We were fortunate enough to meet Nikhil who is just absolutely lovely. He is from India and we learnt all about different customs, his upbringing and background.” Xavier said he was “privileged to meet Nikhil and experience Indian food. I think other people should try it [the program].”
Study Geelong is looking for families in the Geelong region to participate in the program and help show an international student what a friendly, amazing place Geelong is. The program lasts for 12 weeks and is NOT a live-in program.
Congratulations to our hard working volunteer team, we’ve secured a $26,600 grant from the Multicultural Festivals & Events, State Government Fund.
Save the date, Sunday October 10. It’s a free community event held at the stunning Deakin Waterfront Campus. There will be lots of fun for everyone. Performances, entertainment, exhibitors, guest speakers & fun for the kids.
As a collaborative group of organisations, G21 together with key partners including Humans in Geelong, Barwon Health, Dementia Australia and local Councils, bring to you a STREETFACE storytelling project that shines a light on older members of our community that have experienced a ‘Life Transition’.
The project features nine stories from residents across the G21 region. They are people that bring insight and wisdom, guiding us through a journey of resilience and physical activity to enable self-empowerment and improved health and wellbeing.
Our goal is to inspire through story and real-life example. To demonstrate how ‘movement’ comes in all shapes and sizes and provides a wealth of benefits to our health and wellbeing, both physically and emotionally.
The large STREETFACE decals will be on display from July 1st at the following Greater Geelong locations:
Geelong West Town Hall;
Bellarine Community Health, Portarlington;
Civic Centre car park; and
Grovedale Neighbourhood House.
STREETFACE decals will also be displayed in the Golden Plains Shire and in the Colac Otway Shire. We have also posted more about each person’s journey on humansingeelong