Sneak peek at the 2021 Humans in Geelong Online Expo. It Premieres Sunday October 10th at 9am on a playlist on our YouTube Channel and can be viewed ongoing. We showcase stories of resilience, hope, positivity, helping others and creativity. Humans in Geelong aim to inspire, connect and strengthen community. There will be about 25 diverse, fun videos that can be viewed ongoing once it Premieres.
“Good news! The Marshall Bluestone Cottage has been saved! On the 9th April this year, Humans in Geelong was kind enough to feature the Marshall Bluestone Cottage Community Group’s aim to save the 155-year-old historic McAteer Bluestone Cottage, in Marshall, Geelong.
“Thanks to you and our nearly 800 supporters, we have great news…Stage 1, ‘Save McAteer Bluestone Cottage’ is achieved.
“MRPV has engaged a heritage restoration company to dismantle the cottage, following all heritage practices. The cottage has been laser scanned and extensively photographed inside and out, and items will be numbered and put in sections on pallets which will be sealed in builders wrap before being transported to a secure storage site. Many people will commute past the cottage and will notice the dismantle underway. it will be complete by the end of September.
“Foster Care Week runs from 12th – 18th September. Foster Care week aims to raise awareness about Foster Care in the wider community.” We hear more from the Wathaurong Community.
“We’ll be sharing some ‘Myth Busters’ on our page throughout the week, so check out our socials for your daily dose of Foster Care info this week!
“We need carers from all backgrounds who can create a safe environment for children to thrive.
“While it is best for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to be cared for within community, sometimes this is not possible. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been a parent. As a foster carer, you will be supported in ensuring that children are able to connect to and celebrate their cultural values, beliefs, traditions and identity.
“Kids in Geelong need a safe and supportive home to thrive. It takes a village to raise a child. Make a difference in our community and become a foster carer.
“I joined Victoria Police in 1988 after completing year 12 at St Joseph’s College. It was all I wanted to do growing up and I’m very thankful for the opportunities policing has provided me”. It was a pleasure hearing from the humble, dedicated Inspector Brett Harman.
In his 30+ year policing career, he’s worked in a diverse range of roles including road policing, intelligence and covert support, strategic planning, general policing and emergency and major event management.
During his career Brett was seconded to Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission, to Vic Roads International providing technical expertise to a road safety capacity building program in Vietnam and also to the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in an advisory role assisting the Indonesian National Police.
Between 2017-19, Brett and his wife Rhonnie moved to Geneva, Switzerland where he took on the role of senior policing advisor for the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), a hosted program of the International Federation of Red Cross. The position saw him providing technical expertise to various governments and enforcement agencies in low-and-middle-income countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America supporting the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS). In 2019, the success of GRSP’s program saw the team awarded the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for its successful capacity building program.
“This all started when I finally realized that the party lifestyle was taking its toll on me. After witnessing a number of suicides in my early 20s, I began the slow path towards a healthier lifestyle. It was out in nature, out in the elements where I really started to get to know myself. The cold of winter was what grounded me.
“I was born and raised in Geelong, but I lived in Melbourne for 7 years. That’s where I started to immerse myself in the health and wellness scene. Melbourne was full of communities that were that were doing great things for the world, and I learnt so much. But it didn’t have the natural beauty and charm of Geelong. The coast, the calmness. So eventually I came back and started Cold + Conscious.
“Cold + Conscious is a way to step out of your comfort zone, in a controlled supportive environment. I’d been to many events similar to this while living in Melbourne and personally found the benefits to be life changing. When I started it here, I didn’t want it to just be a once-in-a-blue-moon event for people who could afford it. I wanted it to be accessible to everybody, and consistent enough so that people could add it to their regular wellness routine, just like a yoga or fitness class.
“By challenging ourselves on a regular basis, surrounded by people that are ready to help us out no matter what, we create a safe environment for personal growth. I believe that if more of us do that, we’ll be able to have a real positive impact on the world.
“Through our line of work, we found there was an enormous need among children who couldn’t access NDIS support. That’s why we founded The Joey Project.
“The Joey Project, started in February this year. We’d looked in to Big Brother, Big Sister and ended up creating The Joey Project because we wanted to offer these kids help from trained providers. We wanted to help kids with their behaviours at an early stage.
“We are running a pilot program and running research alongside this to make sure it is making a difference.
“To access support, email The Joey Project then we’ll go from there. It’s for 7-17 year olds. We are also looking for volunteers. firstname.lastname@example.org
“I’m really proud that we have so many people who are really passionate about what we are offering.”
Kayla of Ability Disability Networks goes on to explain. “Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be able to help whomever I could, however I could. This includes fundraising, volunteering or participating in community events.
5 years ago, Jennifer Chiu made a decision that changed her life. She saw a post on Facebook by a friend promoting the Otway Rotaract Club, a fledgling club at the time. She had never heard of Rotaract, but the chance to engage with people of a similar age who wanted to do good in the community and come together in friendship, was enticing. So, she went along to a meeting and joined up.
Now, she has been nominated for a Westfield Local Hero Award for her role as local branch leader for the charity Eat Up. The project has so far fed 6,000 students in 6 Colac district schools. The project engages volunteers from different sectors of the community to make sandwiches for marginalised children who would otherwise go hungry at school.
Otway Rotaract runs a number of hands-on community service activities including an annual Mothers’ Day Appeal for preloved children’s clothing and related goods, which are provided to Geelong Mums.
But it is not just the social action that Jennifer enjoys. Participating in Rotaract has helped to develop her self-confidence. At the time of joining, she considered her skills set to be narrow, focused on communication and media. However, through Rotaract she has been supported to develop her personal and professional skills.
‘My partner David was diagnosed with a GBM (Brain Cancer) in 2016. At the time we were both working full time and leading very happy, busy lives. Our worlds changed completely after his surgery, with me becoming his carer for the 14 months of his illness, something I did willingly as I didn’t think anyone could take care of him as well as me!’ We hear from Peace of Mind volunteer and Humans in Geelong team member, Bronwyn Haskell. You can help by voting for Bronwyn to be a Westfield Local Hero, link below.
“During that time, I learnt how difficult and isolating having brain cancer can be, with little or no support in Tasmania. Sadly, David passed away in 2017 and I moved to Geelong to be near my family.
Bronwyn was keen to help others who are facing the Brain Cancer Journey. She found Geelong based Peace of Mind Foundation which offers support to families in this situation. Since then, she’s helped over 235 families deal with a devastating brain cancer diagnosis.
She uses her lived experience to lead online and face-to-face support groups. She recently formed a bereavement support group for women who have lost their partner.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Bronwyn is successful, the Peace of Mind Foundation will use its funds to cover the costs of a retreat for 30 carers, counselling sessions and the bereavement support group.
Here’s a shout out to all the activists in wet suits! You are the epitome of peaceful protest.
We’ve seen before our locals in the Surfrider Foundation help raise awareness about big oil companies intending to drill in our valuable marine environment, and Government funded gas exploration right around our beautiful coastline. Well, the fight continues to save some pretty amazing places including King Island in Bass Strait, and the 12 Apostles just down the road.
You don’t have to be a surfer to care about the ocean environment, and if you find yourself feeling like you might not want to support fossil fuel exploration, take 3 minutes to follow one of the links below, sign an online petition, or read about what like-minded others are doing to take action.