They cannot take the sky.

Do you love an inspiring story? Don’t miss ‘They cannot take the Sky’, a multimedia installation that presents the stories of people with lived experience of seeking asylum. The stories are at times shocking, at times hilarious, extraordinary and devastating. ‘They cannot take the Sky’ is showing at the Eastern Hub’, Rachinger Gallery until January 31st. The gallery is open 9am – 5pm weekdays and there is no cost.

The men and women featured in this exhibition are diverse and individual, their experiences unique and often surprising. You can listen to voices that are so often absent from public discussion. You’ll hear about the reasons people flee their homes, their perilous journeys in search of safety, and the banality of daily life in detention.

They cannot take the Sky.

You can listen to audio stories and view videos on a range of screens. Photographic portraits accompany the show. This is a profoundly moving exhibition that shines a light on the lives of people willing to share their own individual stories in spite of the risks of retribution both here and overseas.

Behind the Wire, an oral history project documenting stories from detention, developed the exhibition in collaboration with Victoria’s Immigration Museum. From Geelong the exhibition travels to Bendigo, Shepparton and on to Ballarat.

Don’t miss this moving, unique collaboration between Behind the Wire and Road to Refuge.

Photo: supplied

Humans in Geelong Books.

We are SO excited to announce that we have more Humans in Geelong books available. The first lot where so popular, they’ve all gone. They went free to schools, libraries and community groups thanks to the State Government Grant ‘Pick my Project’ and our auspice Geelong Sustainability . Please DM or email if you are interested in getting your hands on some of these colourful, inspiring, coffee table books that are full of ‘good news’ stories of our amazing and diverse locals.

We’d like to thank our friends at Snap Geelong for making this reprint possible. Thanks to Villawood Properties for generously helping with storage and the guys at CBD movers.

Book cover Mockup 3

The books will also be available at the Pako Festa and when we present at Geelong Design Week . Pop Tuesday March 24th 7.30-8.30pm in the diary. Our Geelong Design Week talk is presented in Partnership with Geelong Regional Library Corporation at the Dome, The High Ground, Wurdi Youang, Level 5, Geelong Library & Heritage Centre. Tickets will be available via Eventbrite soon.

Continue reading “Humans in Geelong Books.”

Chris Hall, Wheel 4 MND.

Geelong’s Chris Hall has a goal – to raise as much money for motor neurone disease (MND) as possible.  And in just under four years of fundraising, Chris has ticked over $30,000 to support research towards finding a cure for the disease. His quest began after work colleague Jenny Simko, a nurse at Barwon Health, was diagnosed with MND. She passed away 14 months later in 2015.

Wheel 4MND

“Until then I didn’t know what MND was. I read up on it and found there was no treatment and no cure.”

Chris, who is confined to a wheelchair through Spina Bifida thought: “How can I raise money and help raise awareness of this disease?”

“There are now all sorts of treatments and preventions now for Spina Bifida but learning that there is no cure for the disease really got to me.”

Chris decided he could raise awareness for his charity work via ‘Wheel4MND’ – an initiative where he is wheeling 50km each month. This led to people wanting to sponsor his wheeling.

Continue reading “Chris Hall, Wheel 4 MND.”

Moo K’Phru.

“I was born in a Thailand refugee camp, known as Mae Surin, but around the age of 3, my family and I moved to Karenni Refugee Camp 1. We lived there until we came to Australia. I lived there with my brother and both parents. I went to a school with my brother. We would finish and come home at lunchtime whereas my parents would come home late because of work. After school, we either studied or we’d go and play with friends. Over the weekend, I’d spend my time with family. On Sunday I went to church and Sunday school. I was provided with everything that I could possibly get, but sometimes things could get tough, especially when I had to spend late nights alone with my brother due to both mum and dad working.”

Moo K'Phru

Moo K’Phru Say is a 20-year-old Karenni refugee. “I came to Australia in 2009. I was 9 years old, there was only four of us at the time we came to Australia, but mum had another baby here. I was very excited when I arrived in Australia! Everything was different: the housing, the streets, shops and many other stuff. I even got to see my relatives who I haven’t seen in a long time.”

Continue reading “Moo K’Phru.”

CLAN – Care Leavers Australasia Network, Leonie.

“That man in the painting is in his 70s and he still sleeps with an axe under his bed because of the abuse he suffered in an orphanage. CLAN, Care Leavers Australasia Network was set up to support these people. I will not stop until they receive justice.” I interviewed Leonie Sheedy, one of the founding members of CLAN, in the temporary home of the Australian Orphanage Museum at 62 McKillop St. Geelong. Leonie was in St Catherine’s Orphanage for Girls from 3 – 16 years of age.


Leonie was pointing out the portraits of the people on the outer edge of the impressive memorial painting, ‘The Raft of the Clan’. It is painted in the style of ‘The Raft of the Medusa’ by a Melbourne born artist, Peter Daverington to acknowledge the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2012 – 2017) launched by Julia Gillard.

Leonie told me many harrowing stories and a visit to the museum is well-warranted. Care Leavers are also called ‘Homies’ or ‘Wardies’ and used a lot of prison language because that was what it was like.

Continue reading “CLAN – Care Leavers Australasia Network, Leonie.”

Geelong Mummas Mingle.

“Geelong Mummas Mingle is about making connections, finding your tribe, building a support network and having lots of fun and adventures!  It’s a smaller, sister group of the Geelong Mummas Facebook group which has over 9000 local members. The main page is for mums to be able to seek advice, recommendations and to share the daily struggle of being a mum in a non-judgemental environment. Respect, compassion, friendship, empathy, advice and understanding are our values.

Geelong Mummas Mingle
“The sister group, Geelong Mummas Mingle, was created to help create support and friendship within our community. We hold a range of different catch ups each week and welcome new members. We have so many fabulous plans for Mingle in 2020 and we would love to share a glimpse of what is ahead. We are shaking things up and doing some rearranging of pre-existing events to make them even better.

Continue reading “Geelong Mummas Mingle.”

2019 Reflection.

Wow! What a year! Humans in Geelong, or HuG as we affectionately refer to it, are a team of dynamic volunteers who tell the stories of locals throughout our region who take action, one way or another and make a difference. Our aim is to inspire, connect and strengthen the community. And boy, thanks to your help, have we been achieving these aims!

HuG Team Pic

Besides sharing two or three inspirational stories every week on our website and social media, and delivering around 30 informative talks to schools and community groups throughout the year, there were also so many extraordinary developments for our group.

Continue reading “2019 Reflection.”