10th Bells Beach Surf Film Festival.

“The surf is up and surf films are back in town! This Thursday 2nd January will see the Opening Night for the 10th Bells Beach Surf Film Festival.” John Foss, award winning filmmaker, environmentalist and member of the Surfrider Foundation Surf Coast Branch tells us more.

“The Bells Beach Surf Film Festival is celebrating 10 years of bringing the best surf films to Torquay”

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“This year the festival will run for five nights from 2-6th January featuring 14 surf films from Australia and around the world. These include ‘Trouble: The Lisa Anderson Story’, ‘Pacifico’ and local surf film ‘Delama Warri’. Our closing night special is Jack Coleman’s ‘Zone Frequency’. The festival takes place at the Australian National Surfing Museum which is at 77 Beach Rd. Torquay.

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Inter-generational Friendships.

On September 9th this year, inter-generational friendships were formed between the children at Kardinia Childcare & Kindergarten and residents of Percy Baxter Lodge that is located at the McKellar Centre. The aim of this program is to bring together the older generation with younger ones.

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Early childhood educator Courtney tells us more about their first visit. “We have witnessed the benefits through our Hug-a-bub program that brings one of our staff’s mothers into our classroom every Wednesday! It has brought her confidence and happiness as the children welcome her each week. She has learnt from the children and is surprised each week with their capabilities. In turn she brings her values and love for children.

“We wanted to be able to share this with more members of our community and this is why we have asked Percy Baxter lodge to be a part of it.

“Our first experience was wonderful. Some children were a little shy and decided it was best to play with all the toys we brought to share with the residents and the residents were giving feedback such as.

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K’Sparkle

At the tender age of 31 years, surrounded by her loving family and friends, Katrina Louise Wakeling (nee Hastings) died in December 2009. Katrina had suffered a sudden and totally unexpected stroke during the night and despite every attempt to save her, Katrina left this world leaving behind her devastated family, friends, beloved soul-mate husband Lachlan and their adored 4-month-old son Lewis.

Driven by grief, Katrina’s Sparkle was founded by 15 of Katrina’s family and friends as a legacy to the life she lived – one of laughter, fun, passion, adventure, travel, integrity, profound love of family and a deep professional concern for the wellbeing and safety of others.

K'Sparkle

I found out more from her brother Simon who tells me the Foundation is now more purpose driven. Here is an insight of our conversation.

“She was my best mate, only 18 months older than me. I was about to commence study to become a paramedic at the time. Her passing meant we took on a lot of responsibility for Lewis. This was a steep and confronting learning curve for me as I had little experience caring for young babies.

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Highton Library, update.

We’re all invited to the reopening of the Highton Library, Monday 23rd December at 10am. PLEASE SHARE. The library has been refurbished and we’re all invited to the celebration. You may recall the fight to save Highton Library, which we posted about on May 7, 2017. https://humansingeelong.com/2017/05/07/save-our-library/

Three small libraries in our region were under threat of being closed; the Highton, Chilwell and Barwon Heads Libraries. It was the action of our community that saved these libraries. There were rallies, letters written, a media campaign and visits to Council meetings. The group voiced the need for these local services.

Highton Library protest

We love the quote “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” By Margaret Mead. This quote is also used by local action group Geelong Sustainability.

We hope to see you all there.

Information and photo: Jacqui Bennett

Julie Elkin.

“Being in a place so long, it will be very hard to leave but I feel the time is right – despite a few students saying ‘No, come back for another year’. I’m tired and the ever-changing demands placed on teachers by the Department make it difficult to just do what most of us love doing – being in the classroom, shaping the lives of young people. I will miss the staff and other community contacts, I will miss my car-pooling buddies, but most of all, I will miss the kids.”

Julie Elkin

Julie Elkin sees the conclusion of her working career as she moves into retirement at the end of the year. Born and raised in Geelong West, Julie went to Bell Park High School (now Western Heights), went to Uni in Melbourne and returned to Geelong to start teaching.  An employee of the Department of Education for close to 41 years, Julie has spent two thirds of her teaching career at North Geelong Secondary College, beginning in 1979. Julie’s life was not always in the classroom. Add a dairy farmer to the mix. “I found that really interesting but demanding work. The scientific part of managing the growing of the pastures, the irrigation techniques and the feeding in the bail to maximise production appealed to me. The getting up early and hosing down the yards in the middle of winter with frozen water in the pipes, not so much!”

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Crossin the Bor, update.

They’ve done it! They’ve arrived in Perth. The Crossin the Bor team of 12 Deakin Geelong medical students, have ridden bikes 3,500km for 16 days across the unforgiving, mind-numbing Nullarbor. They’ve raised awareness of mental health issues and raised $50k for the Black Dog Institute. Here is the story of one of their riders.

“I am fortunate to say that I have fought and survived depression. My hardest years we’re in my late teens. A time that I was still finding my voice and identity. So, I struggled in silence with an illness that I did not have words to describe, hiding my suffering from my friends and family until I was saved by my Mum.

“The ride to me is a way of creating a story of understanding and compassion around mental illness to replace the stigma and silent suffering that have prevailed for far too long. I hope our ride gives those suffering in silence, or those worried about a loved one, the words or a reason to reach out.” @olilegrouse

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Club La Vida Salsa dance for Geelong Mums.

Club La Vida Salsa Inc had the pleasure of volunteering their time to dance for the amazing Geelong Mums’ volunteers end of year celebration which was held at Cockies Brewery in South Geelong.

On the 28th of November Geelong Mums posted “259. That’s the number of babies and children in the Geelong region on our waitlist who need support before Christmas. 25 babies don’t have a safe cot to sleep in.

One of the babies on the list was due to be born early December. “His Mum escaped a violent relationship, fleeing to her parents’ home. When they found she was having a baby, they kicked her out. She’s since found a place to live and all she wants to do is set up a safe place for him. But she’s struggling to buy food and pay the electricity bill, let alone buy nursery equipment, new or second-hand.”

Continue reading “Club La Vida Salsa dance for Geelong Mums.”