The Dance.

Join us for the exciting launch of The Dance and the announcement of the winners of The Song Contest. It’s free and it’ll be loads of fun. It’s part of Geelong Design Week 2021 and our talk is at the Geelong Library, Level 5, arrive 7pm for a 7.30pm start, Tuesday 23rd March. Get in quick because numbers are limited.

Be inspired and uplifted by positive local stories. Hear from team members Jacqui Bennett and Bec Picone. Meet the team. Special guest speaker, Kyle Jdali of Atman. We’ll have our Humans in Geelong Books and Bags available for donations.

The winning song provides the backdrop to our home grown film clip which has been edited by our amazing team member, the talented videographer, Hadeel Hani @hs.stories.photography

Sixty clips from community groups, team members and talented individuals make up this fun video called ‘The Dance’.

It showcases the best of Geelong’s gorgeous scenery too. We can all be proud.

Geelong Design Week 2021 is made up of over 60 exhibitions, workshops, tours, open studios and more. The full program can be found here: https://www.geelongcityofdesign.com.au/geelong-design-week/

Our Library Talk and launch of The Dance video is part of Geelong Design Week 2021, an initiative of Geelong UNESCO City of Design and the City of Greater Geelong. Presented in partnership with Geelong Regional Library Corporation.

March4Justice

Very proud Geelong! There was a massive turn out tonight for Geelong’s March4Justice. It’s the first of many. It was organised by the Geelong Women Unionists Network and they suggest you follow them to find out about more action. Sarah Hathaway, from the group spoke, followed by Christine Couzens MP and Councillor Belinda Maloney.

The message was ‘enough’! There needs to be justice, no more violence against women and equity.

This March was one of many throughout the country.

Raise Mentoring.

Could you make a difference in a teenager’s life?

Local schools, including Belmont High School, are seeking volunteer mentors to support students through evidence-based, best-practice mentoring programs.  For more information please visit:  https://raise.org.au/mentor/

From vulnerable and disengaged to resilient and confident – Raise’s youth mentoring program is proven to help young people thrive. At Raise they match everyday people from the community with a young person at a local High School for a one-to-one mentoring experience.

All you need is the desire to make a difference! Raise provide you with expert training enabling you to mentor a Year 8 student who needs a trusted, neutral adult, willing to listen.

Once matched with a student in your community, the program is structured, managed and supported by a qualified Raise counsellor.

Raise aims for a powerful mentoring movement that creates thriving communities.

Airey’s Inlet Open Mic Music Festival, Andrew.

One of Victoria’s most unique music events, the Aireys Inlet Open Mic Music Festival, is on this weekend (13-15 March). Featuring 150 acts, including 50 bands, over three days on nine different stages, the event completely takes over the coastal town of Aireys Inlet.

The program features everything from rock bands to choirs, youth acts and solo artists like myself.

What makes the festival unique? Well, for starters, it’s free to attend – it has a ‘Pay What You think it’s Worth’ policy so you make a donation if you’ve had fun.

Secondly, it features talented performers you may well not have seen before. The festival, now in its 14th year, focuses on talented newcomers, enthusiastic veterans and serious but not-yet-famous acts. The next wave, if you will.

Continue reading “Airey’s Inlet Open Mic Music Festival, Andrew.”

Man Up, Man Down, Scott Andrews.

“I would spend days crying for hours on end. It led me to believe heaven and hell are not places, they are thoughts.” Local, Scott Andrews, also known as The Travelling Alchemist, tells us more about his project, ‘Man Up, Man Down’. A book of 50 stories and photos of men and their mental health journeys. The stunning, soul revealing photos are achieved by using an age-old photography process called wet-plate.

“I created the ‘Man Up, Man Down’ project shortly after going through a very dark phase in my life, in 2019 which lasted about 6 months. I was alone, having just come out of a relationship. I lost a lot as a result of that.

“I had trouble even leaving the house, I suffered severe anxiety and depression. I felt like everything was ending, my whole world was turned upside down. I would spend days crying for hours on end. Anytime I wasn’t in public I would be crying and this just got worse and worse.

“Thankfully, I eventually spoke to my GP and started on medication, it took time, but slowly I came good over the next six months or so.

Continue reading “Man Up, Man Down, Scott Andrews.”

Clean Up Australia, March 7.

It’s Clean Up Australia Day! You can find your local site at https://www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/join-a-clean-up I’ll be over at the Wandana Heights Oval at Tim Hill Reserve running a site from 9.30-10.30. We ran our local school Clean Up at Highton Primary on Tuesday and hundreds of kids enthusiastically helped out. One boy told me he wants to be a Marine Biologist and he knows that cleaning up rubbish helps it from getting washed in to our water systems then out to sea where it could harm marine animals.

If an area is clean, people are less likely to drop papers in the first place. So, no matter where you are on this beautiful Autumn day, you could simply pick up a few papers to make a difference.

Cute photo borrowed from The Awesome Foundation.

Hands Off Spring Creek.

“This is a critical time in what has been a long campaign, but we’re so close to ending this disastrous proposal once and for all.” Torquay local, Damien Cole, is the National Campaign Director for Surfrider Foundation Australia, and is also on the board of the Greater Torquay Alliance, who are currently working hard to save the Spring Creek Valley in Torquay from urban development. 

Last time we heard from Damien and Surfrider Foundation they were busy with the ‘Fight for the Bight’ campaign. Without a moment of rest, they are calling on more support for this issue, which is a little closer to home.

You may have seen the ‘Hands Off Spring Creek’ signs around the area, maybe you wrote one of the 3,161 submissions, (94% of which were in favour of no urban development in the Spring Creek Valley), or perhaps this is the first you’ve heard about it. Whatever the case, the campaign is still in full swing.

Continue reading “Hands Off Spring Creek.”

Michael Lawrence

“In Finland, every school is a good school.”

I’m speaking with Geelong Author Michael Lawrence between the sounds of pop music and helicopters flying over Waterfront bay. Michael is an avid music fan, having taught for 30 years in English and music across a wide variety of schools and year levels. His first book, Showtime, documents Cold Chisel’s performances and reformation in 1998. At the time, there were no books on the band and Michael decided he would fix this oversight. Luckily the book was perfectly timed as the band was planning a comeback and Michael was able to network with DJ Billy Pinnel and worked with the band to have up-close access to their journey.

 “If you want to do something about it, then write something,” Michael says.

This brings us to the topic of his latest book ‘Testing 3,2,1: What Australian Education Can Learn From Finland’. In Australia, 30-50% of teachers leave the profession within the first five years after graduating. Meanwhile, 90% of Finnish teachers remain in the profession for their entire career. Hoping to find the secret to Finnish success, Michael accepted an invite into their schools to bring their knowledge back to Australia. After arriving the Finnish teachers asked questions about standardised testing and ranking students Michael didn’t have answers for, prompting him to look at our education system and find the answer.

Continue reading “Michael Lawrence”

Sons of Sun.

There’s an uplifting 1950s rock and roll play coming to town.  ‘Sons of Sun – Elvis, Jerry Lee, Johnny and Me’ is playing at The Globe Theatre in Winchelsea on Saturday March 6th. We hear more from the writer and producer of this Sydney based show, Kieran Carroll.

“The charismatic Matthew Charleston (pictured here) plays the character of Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records and the first man to record Elvis, Jerry Lee, Johnny Cash and many others.

“In the mid 1950’s, Sam Phillips’ discovery of Elvis and the subsequent invention of rock and roll made Sun Records the most famous record label in the world. The Australian play, ‘Sons of Sun – Elvis, Jerry-Lee, Johnny and Me’ tracks that journey and the glory of the music created at the Sun studio.

“The show features a three-piece live band fronted by John Kennedy, performing thirty-five songs from Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and many more.

Continue reading “Sons of Sun.”

Pako Festa 2021

Pako Festa has been reimagined for 2021, and Diversitat have ensured that there’s plenty on to keep you busy this weekend and beyond!  Jump onto their website to see the festival guide, as you will need to book ahead for this COVIDSafe event. 

Pako Festa 2021 spreads across 13 different locations, each offering cultural entertainment and dining.

For Art lovers, Pako Festa have you covered. Follow the ‘Elements of Culture Arts Trail’ featured in shop windows along Pakington St (between Gordan Ave and Church St) showcasing artwork from both professional and emerging local artists until March 27th.  

And don’t miss the Night Projections! Featuring over 30 diverse communities, Night Projections offer an audio-visual alternative to the usual Pako parade, and will be running nightly from 8:30pm-11:30pm on the Geelong West Town Hall until March 13th.

Further information can be found at: https://www.pakofesta.com.au/

Photo: Matt Houston