Red Frogs, Graham

“The next generation needs help and guidance. By me doing this, I can support the people who are helping keep the kids safe at Schoolies.”  Meet Graham Trevaskis. For the past 2 years, Graham has been donating half a day a week to clean the windows of the Bellarine Lakes Country Club, asking simply for a small donation to his favourite charity, The Red Frogs.

Red Frogs Graham

After hearing Red Frogs founder, Andy Gourley speak at his local church about how The Red Frogs crew head to schoolies each year acting as a mate to school leavers providing support services, direct relief like an emergency helpline and safely walking them back to their hotels, Graham knew he wanted to get involved, but how? He believes that “the world wouldn’t survive without volunteers. There are so many opportunities for people to do good. It’s amazing what people can do, even just small things in life to make life better for other people”. And although he could not physically attend Schoolies as a volunteer, Graham didn’t let that stop him. He decided to become a Red Frogs fundraiser instead!

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PHNA Geelong, Leonie

“Suffering is a normal part of life and we aim to ease that suffering. We don’t have a lot of money but we have a lot of passionate volunteers who like to lend a hand.” Pastoral Healthcare Network Australia, PHNA, was founded in Geelong in 2005, by Nurse and Midwife, Leonie Rastas. It is a nondenominational Health Promotion Charity whose core business is health promotion and illness prevention and addresses all three human dimensions: Mind, Body and Spirit.

PHNA Leonie

Carmel O’Dwyer who is retired principal from Sacred Heart became the patron and the group is currently operating with a team of 20 Professional and non-professional volunteers, providing low cost services engaging with the elderly, marginalised, lonely, bereaved, disadvantaged and socially isolated members of the Geelong community.

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GDP Industries, Graeme

One could easily mistake the deafening bang, to be from a shotgun, but it was actually faulty airbags being exploded. We had the pleasure of meeting Graeme Baltetsch who took us for a tour of GDP Industries (Geelong Disabled People’s Industries) in Baxter Rd. The enthusiastic and knowledgeable Graeme has been working with GDP for 46 years.

Graeme GDP

Graeme is the tour guide but also known as the generous handyman who helps out fellow workers with items from their homes that need fixing. Management affectionately and proudly told us of how he always goes above and beyond to help others.

Pictured is some of his handy work. These gorgeous wooden pieces of furniture are made from recycled wood. The vegie boxes and furniture can be made to order. GDP recycles almost everything you could imagine including polystyrene which is melted into blocks and sold to China. Then it comes back here as picture frames etc. They also dismantle electrical goods and recycle every piece possible.

Old fence palings are made into custom made seed trays for a Melbourne nursery and vegie boxes and the beautiful Wathaurong glass presentation boxes are made out of pine. In another corner of the deceivingly enormous factory, paper is being shredded.

GDP is an ADE (Australian Disability Enterprise) offering long term supported employment to people with a disability. They are a not-for-profit organisation registered with the Australian Charities Commission and have been operating in Geelong for over 52 years, Graeme’s almost been there from the start. They also manage the City of Greater Geelong’s Geelong Resource Recovery Centre in Douro Street where you can drop recyclable items for free and have centres at No 9 and No 21 Slevin Street.

Graeme One Off Chair

Please note, everyone at GDP will be taking a well-earned break from Thursday 20th December until Tuesday 15th January 2019.

Keep up the great work Graeme and all the workers at GDP! We love what these guys do on so many levels. Reduce, reuse, recycle, renew!

Story: Jacqui Bennett Photos: supplied

Omid Qayummi.

“My mum worked very hard for us, working in many different places such as an almond factory, shoe factory and cleaning, just so we could go to school. Life was hard in Pakistan with my 4 sisters, my mum and I. We’d left my country Afghanistan in 1999, when I was only 3 years old, because of civil war, that’s why we ended up in Pakistan, away from our family and home.”

Omid

Omid Qayummi has been living in Corio since 2013. “Before I left Pakistan in 2013, I heard a lot about Australia and Melbourne. It was my dream to see this beautiful place one day! Now, I’m very grateful that I’m in this country.” Omid attended Northern Bay College where he also began to learn English. He graduated Year 12 in 2015. “I had some great years at Northern Bay with some great and very helpful teachers. I’m very thankful to them.

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Spiritual Counsellor & Hahnemann Healer, Olivia White

When asked; “Who are you?”, Olivia White smiles.  This is a question that she usually asks her clients.  As a spiritual counsellor and Hahnemann healer, she is not usually in a position where her own story is the subject of the conversation.  “I am a spiritual entity who uses the wisdom from my past lives to face challenges in this life.”

Oivia White HuG (002)

As a child Olivia was gifted with a strong sense of determination and a desire for honesty and authenticity.  Coupled with a strong intuition and interest in understanding the world, she began studying a degree in Commerce which led to a career in Human Resources.  This was followed by the study of Psychology and a dream to become a Psychologist.

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Shaz Martin by Mischa

Shaz Martin was raised in a community where they didn’t have much. Though her and her family were less fortunate, her mother still found a way to provide and give a little extra to other families. Shaz has always loved people and less fortunate kids, mostly because she can relate to them but also God has given her this gift of selflessness and uncontrollable love.

Writing comp - Shaz Martin

Shaz believes that sacrificing herself for others is not an act of selflessness but, a gift God has given her. From a very young age her mother has presented many principles of love, that is what inspires her to love others the way God does and see those the way God sees them.

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Tallis St, Jessica

Tallis St P-8 Campus of Northern Bay College is a proud campus that has seen improved student engagement through a focus on a growth mindset and positive psychology. Healthy food, mindfulness, meditation and physical activity are all a key part of the everyday program delivered at the campus. Campus Principal Jessica Kelly recalls when she began at Tallis Street, seeing such potential in her staff, students and local community.

Tallis St, Jessica

“We decided to get our students outside and active. We used our love for healthy minds and bodies as motivation to get outside.  We started to grow our own Tallis Street vegetables and were energised by the motivation of the students and parents. It was such a success that we wanted to go bigger – and with the generosity of Geelong Grammar we are extending to ‘The Farm’. Growing food, preparing and eating it will be a large part of our school program moving forward.

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