Synchronicity, Chris Mackey.

Have you ever experienced a coincidence in life that leaves you feeling as though you are on the right path? Geelong local psychologist Chris Mackey (of Chris Mackey and Associates psychology group) certainly has, and here he shares his personal journey from suffering depression, to making a career out of assisting others through positive psychology, a TV show and, most recently, a pod cast series.

We can all relate to life events that have the potential to shape the person we become, and Chris is an example of someone who spiralled up and out of the darkness to a happier place, where he can now make a positive difference to the lives of others.

Chris Mackay

“The most influential personal experiences were going through two bouts of severe depression in my early adult life, the first occurring before I started working in the mental health field. On each occasion I was very fortunate to have been helped by a very understanding and capable therapist. That led me to more fully appreciate what a positive impact a psychotherapist could have on people’s lives and to recognize the privilege that goes with being entrusted by people who are at a point of being so vulnerable.

Continue reading “Synchronicity, Chris Mackey.”


Masters Summer League Geelong was launched on a wing and a prayer in early 2020 because 60+ men over 35 were bursting to play soccer but a competition couldn’t be organised by the sport’s governing body.  It became clear that volunteer action was needed.

Soccer Masters League1

There was a strong belief that such a competition could be a success in spite of past failures. So, inspired by this belief and a lot of determination to turn a dream into a reality, a new concept was designed and driven by founders Barboros Kara, Ross Abraham and Simon Blanch.  There were lessons to be learned from past seasons, and with those in mind, the new concept includes shorter game times, safer rules, a single venue each week for games, with a supporting venue for fellowship.


Room 64, Josie.

Josie had been travelling around Australia for six years, with her husband Michael and her little dog (a nine-year-old toy poodle), in a forty-foot bus converted into a motor home, when she was diagnosed with cancer. Well that put a spanner in the works! It impacted on her travelling and she came to Geelong to be further supported by her daughter.

Josie was accessing palliative care through the Barwon Health Palliative Care team and agreed to participate in a Room 64 podcast.

Palliative Care

Josie says that her initial thoughts about Palliative Care were all wrong………

“….. I thought palliative care was when your number was up and this is where they put you to finish out your days. This was the end. But it’s not.

“Take advantage of it. Ask questions and don’t come in with stupid ideas like I had. Cause as I said, I thought they were going to put me in here and say, ‘That’s it. Gone.’  But it’s not like that and they will do everything they can do to help you.”

Continue reading “Room 64, Josie.”

NVW 2020, Brandon Dellow.

Brandon Dellow is the most caring, giving, selfless 23-year-old who is ‘changing communities, changing lives’ through his tireless volunteering. He is a fine example to our youth. He’s a volunteer team member of Humans in Geelong and in this role he:

– writes inspiring stories about our multicultural youths

– has attended and reported on the CEOSleepOut, which raises awareness of homelessness, twice

– MCed Humans in Geelong Expos 2018 & 19

– Choreographed two dances

– is the IT team expert & podcaster

– attends community meetings and events.

His amazing volunteer work won a Geelong Youth Award in 2018.

NVW Brandon

Brandon is an advocate for Type1 Diabetes, Mental Health & the Northern Suburbs of Geelong. He regularly collects care packages for Samaritan House. He participates in Movember.  He has also made strong connections with the new-arrival refugee community.

He does all of this while studying secondary teaching and working in Youth Development at The fOrT, Corio.

Continue reading “NVW 2020, Brandon Dellow.”

NVW 2020, Deb Elliott.

Whilst in isolation after returning from New Zealand, Deb Elliott, was contacted by the Rotary Club of Sunbury to see if she could make 1,000 nurse’s scrub caps for Royal Melbourne Hospital. Deb loves a challenge and in 4 weeks, she and her team have made over 12,000 caps for 25 Hospitals and clinics including Geelong Hospitals. Deb and friends started a Facebook Group ‘Helping Our Hospital Heroes Australia’.  There are 6 administrators and the group have 1,600 members made up of sewers from all over Australia. They’ve even had requests for caps from overseas.

NVW DebHospHats_RHosking-3 (002)

Deb tells us “This volunteer project is about contributing, connecting, sharing, pride and trust.  The response from hospital staff who have received caps has been one of joy and feeling supported by the community.

“My mum was a volunteer, I’ve volunteered since I was in my 20s and I have the children next door making scrub bags. It is good for them to be introduced to the joys of volunteering.”

Continue reading “NVW 2020, Deb Elliott.”

NVW 2020, Judy Lidstone.

Judy Lidstone is amazing; she overcomes the challenge of arthritis, to do weekly feed outs to  rescued horses, ponies and animals. Having a love for animals and the outdoors, Judy, a retired vet nurse, volunteers at The Winged Horse Equine Welfare Centre in Portarlington. After moving to the region 5 years ago, she attended an open day at the Centre and has been volunteering there ever since.

NVW Judy Lidstone and Casper 2

The Centre is run by Carolyn Bischof and is home to 43 rescued horses, sheep, goats, 3 pigs and chooks. Many of the horses have been referred by the RSPCA.

“I use to have horses of my own. Volunteering at the centre has been an amazing journey. I’ve met up with people from all walks of life who have the same interests as me. It’s great exercise and cheaper than going to the gym.” Judy tell us.

“Once this is all over, we’d gladly welcome more volunteers at the Centre.”

Continue reading “NVW 2020, Judy Lidstone.”

NVW 2020, Scott Cooper.

Scott Cooper was nominated for the position of National Volunteer Week Ambassador by two groups, The Golden Plains Shire and genU. The Shire had this to say about him, “Scott is a committed, reliable and enthusiastic volunteer for Golden Plains Shire Council. He goes above and beyond to be of service anywhere he can, he is a great support for our community transport team and always willing to lend a hand anytime he is needed. He always tries hard to do his best and is a great example of a committed volunteer who just wants to help out in any way he can. He is an asset to our team.”

NVW Scott Cooper 2020

genU tells us “Scott started his journey with genU as a student and over the past 12 years he has completed several foundation courses with genU whilst also being involved in many other programs. Now Scott is giving back to other learners by volunteering as a mentor in the Certificate I in Transition Education course.

Continue reading “NVW 2020, Scott Cooper.”