Hero Town Geelong, Sylvia

Speaking at the #HumansinGeelongExpo on Sunday 8th October, Deakin Waterfront, at 2:30 pm is local Hero trainer, Rotarian and co-founder of Hero Town Geelong, Sylvia Gray. Find the group at Exhibition Site 36. The mission for Hero Town is to empower locals to enact positive change for themselves, for others and for their community. Sylvia, co-founder Atticus Gray and the Hero Town team were featured on Humans in Geelong at the end of 2015, during the Hero Round Table with renowned social psychologist Dr. Phillip Zimbardo. Hero Town has continued to grow remarkably since then.

Hero Town MHFA

“Our incredible team of volunteers has focused on refining and delivering Hero Training,” Sylvia enthuses. Ellie Jacques, another of Hero Town’s outstanding Hero Trainers, developed the module on the Hero’s Journey. Along with Tameeka York and Karli Mynott, the three have developed a school curriculum to feature the Hero’s Journey, Mindset and Social Resilience. Hero Town was also delighted to bring on Simon Dwyer as a Mindfulness trainer for another course in mindset and mindfulness.

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Young Achiever Award, Sarah

Sarah Kenworthy is our 2pm guest speaker at our Expo. With a strong laugh, a big smile and an even bigger heart, it is no surprise that Sarah Kenworthy is so deserving of the Victorian Young Achiever Award in 2016. I sat down with Sarah to discuss her achievements and humanitarian work in Mannya, Uganda. Here, she volunteered in the health centre delivering babies, administering injections, travelling to remote villages and looking after the patients there. With the help of St. Bernard’s Belmont and the Cotton On Foundation, Sarah travelled to Uganda to work towards her dream of helping people in third world countries with her medical expertise.

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While talking with Sarah, I found it astonishing how much these people lack that we in Australia take for granted. The children need to walk several kilometres for the only source of water, which is dirty; they have to go to bed as soon as dark falls as they have no lights; and the animals need to live inside in order to keep them safe and warm. Uganda has an alarmingly high maternity morality rate and many children die before reaching the age of five. In Uganda, patients must pay to see a doctor, meaning that they often cannot afford treatment that we would receive through free healthcare programs. On one occasion, a pregnant woman came into the clinic where Sarah worked with a urinary tract infection that she could not afford to have treated, and she cried when she could not afford a $1 item. “I realised how blessed we are in Australia,” Sarah says.

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Deakin University, Professor Jane den Hollander AO

We are honoured to announce that the Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University, Professor Jane den Hollander AO will be officially opening the #humansingeelongexpo at 10am on Sunday 8th of October in the Courtyard at Deakin Waterfront Geelong.

Professor Jane den Hollander AO has been Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University since July, 2010.  At Deakin, Professor den Hollander introduced LIVE the future, an aspiration for Deakin to drive the digital frontier in higher education, harnessing the power, opportunity and reach of new and emerging technologies in all that it does.

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Professor den Hollander holds a BSc (Honours) First Class in Zoology and a Master of Science degree from Wits University, Johannesburg.  Her PhD is from the University of Wales, Cardiff.

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Art of the Minds Festival, Jules

Today is ‘Are you OK?’ Day. My passion for mental health in the community comes from being a young person with a lived experience of mental illness, so it was my journey to sort out who I was. What I learnt was how important all my art was to my recovery. Then through working in the mental health and disability sector and seeing how valuable art is as a mode of communication, I’ve discovered that anything that makes ourselves ‘sing’ – art and music, gardening, cooking – is so fantastic for our mental health and well-being.’

Jules HaddockSurfcoast resident, Jules Haddock, is committed to Mental Health Education in the Geelong region. She is the initiator and driving force behind the Art of the Minds Festival, a variety of events taking place on the Surfcoast during Mental Health Week in October. The theme of the festival is ‘Hope’.  Jules has just been acknowledged as a semi-finalist in the Victorian Regional Achievement Leadership Awards for this project.

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My Daddy’s Important New Job, Scott

‘Following my sudden (and shock) diagnosis of stage 3 brain cancer in 2016 after a random seizure, I was recovering in bed in the Alfred Hospital, wondering how my death would have been explained to my two children should I not have been fortunate enough to wake up. I quickly researched what resources were available, and couldn’t find anything that my young children could comprehend.’ We hear from Scott Bennett, author of ‘My Daddy’s Important New Job’.

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‘Following the diagnosis and treatment plans, I set about writing them a book that explains death in a non-confrontational manner, that is easy to understand from a 2 and 4 year old’s perspective and that they could look for their loved ones in everyday occurrences.

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Imogen Brough

Geelong’s own, amazingly talented Imogen Brough will be performing at the FREE COMMUNITY EVENT #humansingeelongexpo at 11am Deakin Waterfront Courtyard, Sun Oct 8. I had the pleasure of catching up with Imogen.

What inspired you to pursue music?

I’ve always loved and appreciated music. I grew up with Enya and Coldplay. Music that was listened to as I was growing up also inspired me. That’s why Celtic Irish music is a favourite. I feel in love with these genres. I was born and bred in Geelong and went to Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College where I took singing lessons and I had the wonderful opportunity of touring Europe with their band the Sweethearts. My Mum plays the piano and my Dad plays the guitar but I was the first in my family to pursue music professionally.

Imogen Brough

What got you to where you are?

 My supportive family and the opportunities I gained at a school that appreciated music. They have a great music department. Being surrounded by music has led to a deeper level of emotional connection for me. It led to me becoming a singer-song writer. Music is the universal language and nourishes on so many levels.  I was in the finals on The Voice in 2013. At that stage I had finished my Bachelor of Music and being on the show helped set me up. I started securing corporate gigs and amazing opportunities. This journey is a great part of who I am today especially with the publicity behind The Voice.

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Geelong Mums, Kate

They say that it takes a village to raise a child, and in Geelong this theory holds true. Amongst the industrial buildings in South Geelong, a beautiful act of giving is taking place. A team of around ten volunteers is sorting, packing and labelling packets of baby supplies such as clothing, nappies, as well as bulkier items such as prams and changing tables. Geelong Mums works with 500 social workers from 54 agencies to provide high quality, certified safe nursery supplies for disadvantages families in the Geelong and surrounding regions.

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I spoke with Kate Kent, Geelong Mums General Manager and one of the few part-time workers on the team of this charity organisation Geelong Mums. Kate has worked in the welfare system prior to joining the Geelong Mums team. As such, she is acutely aware of the needs and disadvantages that families in Geelong face. When the organisation was founded, there was no other service like it in the Geelong region, revealing a dire necessity. Kate along with the other founders joined forces with St Kilda Mums and Jessica Macpherson to start up Geelong Mums in 2013. And this year, they are looking to expand their community of giving even further with a fundraiser called Share the Joy.

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