Roxie Bennett (a name just about synonymous with Geelong) is one of the 16 inspirational speakers at the Humans in Geelong Expo 10 – 3pm this Sunday at Deakin University Waterfont Campus. Hear Roxie at midday. Roxie is well-known through her on-air career at Krock and Bay93.9 but her impact on the Geelong community extends well beyond the microphone.
The effervescent and passionate Geelong-ian has supported hundreds of local groups including Geelong Relay For Life, the Salvation Army, Red Shield Appeal, Geelong Animal Welfare Society, Kids Plus, Give Where You Live and the Barwon Health Foundation.
Roxie’s personal experience with breast cancer has given her a particular passion for cancer services in Geelong and sharing her story of survival.
We recently spent a morning with this lovely human (and coffee addict) at one of her favourite haunts, The Federal, ahead of the #HumansinGeelongExpo.
Tell us about you, Roxie
I was born and raised in Laver’s Hill deep in the Otways. We were dirt poor but had an awesome life – we lived on fresh fish, had a cow and veggie garden in the backyard and spent all our time by the ocean.
Most of my teen years were in Colac. I always vowed when I left I would never go back but my first job in radio, out of pure luck, was at 3CS in Colac!
I came to Geelong in my second year of university at Deakin Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus, went to Melbourne for a few years, got into radio and travelled around the state then settled back here.
I have an amazing family including my partner, son Jack, daughter Sabrina and dogs Alfie, Pearl and rescue cat Barney Squirrel.
You must have quite the schedule. What do you do for you?
I love to paint and this year I’ve taken up yoga and meditation – they really help me to be in the moment.
What do you love about our region?
The people and the community aspect. I’m a country girl at heart and I think Geelong is a country girl at heart.
As much as we might grow (and we’re growing phenomenally) I don’t think we’ll ever lose that. There are so many amazing businesses, some international, operating here that no-one even knows about. Our art gallery , GPAC and the Dome all make me feel really good.
Your thoughts on the word ‘community’?
One thing I have learnt over my journey is that a truly healthy community is one we all contribute to. You don’t have to do a lot and we can all contribute in different ways. It might be that you mow the lawns at the local kinder. Whatever it is, our community is so much richer for it.
I really think that Geelong is one of those communities where we’ve got enough bigger organisations to give some real impact, and a lot of individuals who feel a very personal responsibility and who contribute in such a big way.
I can’t imagine a life without contributing some kind of service to the community.
What can audiences expect to hear about when you speak at the #HumansinGeelongExpo on Sunday?
I love the idea of celebrating the unsung heroes in our community. One of the things I’m going to touch on is what I credit to me having the view I do about community, social justice and society.
Any words of wisdom for the Geelong community?
I always say to my kids (one of my many life lessons) never underestimate the power of your presence in public or whenever you are with people. You never know how much you may impact them.
Don’t miss Roxie on stage at midday this Sunday in the Lecture Theatre. No need to book, rock on up!
Visit https://humansingeelong.com/humans-in-geelong-expo-2017/ for more information
Photo: Sara Taylor Photography AUS
Interview: Rebecca Thompson