Bird Boxes

We started making bird boxes for rosellas with the local school kids and loved it so much we ended up making 150 boxes for 9 different species “I used to keep birds in cages – I would never do that anymore”, said Bob. He is quietly passionate about looking after our wild bird populations and helping them to flourish. We spoke to Bob Evans and Shane McManus from the St Leonards Men’s Shed.

Mens Sheds Bird Boxes Photo Sophie Small

‘We‘d like to raise awareness about the immense value of those old gum trees for our native animals. And also try and protect the ones that are left and give them the potential to regenerate seedlings. Those old gums need 100 years to produce the hollows that are suitable for wildlife. Many people are using these old gums for firewood so that is why there is a need for breeding and habitat boxes for birds and mammals.

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Hope the Elephant

River’s Gift and The Mik Maks have released their brand new music clip to the catchy kids song ‘Hope the Elephant’! ‘Hope’ is River’s Gift’s beautiful big blue mascot – she’s bright, cuddly, colourful and kids all over the world will just love her. Our music clip also sends the very powerful message of uniting together to help ‘Stamp Out SIDS’.

River's Gift Hope the Elephant

River’s Gift, founded in Geelong, is the largest source of funding for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) research in Australia. We’ve generated over $1 million to help fund research, provide safe sleep education and build awareness awareness around this tragic and heartbreaking syndrome. You can read the story about River’s Gift here:

River would have been seven on Monday. The River’s Gift supporters have long been referred to as the River’s Gift family and sadly, on Easter Monday this year, we lost an integral part of that family, Dean McInnes, loved and cherished member of the Mik Maks. This was the last video that he filmed.

We hope your family enjoys the clip, ‘Hope the Elephant’. PLEASE SHARE. Please let us know what you think in the YouTube comments, please like and share! Click here to view. 



CEOSleepout Geelong, home truths

2.45am – It’s frighteningly freezing, the ground is excruciatingly hard. Being a still night there’s no howl of the wind but contrastingly, the menacing mechanical noises are accentuated. There’s the torturing sound of trains roaring past, the relentless drone of traffic and harrowing rumble of trucks.

We’re undercover, have been fed by the Vinnies soup kitchen and are watched over by security, so fear and hunger don’t come into our equation.

Sleepout 1

The two guest speakers for the night opened our eyes to the fact that anyone is only an incident away from being struggling or homeless. Two educated women told their stories. This could happen to anyone.

One night for me, sleeping between friends, endless lonely nights for others. Let’s work together to ease this suffering.

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A couple of big nights.

Tonight, we’ll be sleeping outside at GMHBA Stadium, in freezing conditions, with nothing more than a piece of cardboard and a sleeping bag. Bec Picone, Brandon Dellow and myself, Jacqui Bennett will be representing the Humans in Geelong team. We are doing it to raise awareness and much needed funds to help our local homeless. It’s not too late to donate. Go to  and donate to the Humans in Geelong Team.

Last night my partner and I had the pleasure of attending the Kardinia Rotary Club’s changeover dinner. Very unexpectedly, I was honoured to be awarded with a Paul Harris Fellow for my commitment to Humans in Geelong. Kardinia Rotary were the first group that I presented to and I thank them for their belief in the Humans in Geelong project and continual support. Thank you to Rotarians Althea Abraham and Kathy Ryan who joined our team. They bring a wealth of understanding, compassion and expertise. Thank you to all our team members and the community.

Sunset 20.5.18

This beautiful photo of last Wednesday’s sunset was sent in by loyal follower Michelle Mikk Nichols.

genU, Emily

“Volunteering led me to where I am now. I graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Health Promotion. I wanted to work in the field of preventative health measures, to impart knowledge and strengthen the community. I quickly found the positions that I was applying for were going to people who had at least 5+ years’ experience in the field. I felt a little deflated after my investment and expectation of completing a degree at university. This led me to consider volunteering while working part-time – I signed up with Lifeline for 2 years and this was the edge I needed to get into my preferred field of employment.

GenU Emily (002) (002)

“I highly recommend volunteering if you lack industry experience” Humans in Geelong met Emily Learey at the Gordon Skills and Jobs Centre where there was a panel talking about the benefits of volunteering for your career.

Emily is employed as the genU volunteer program lead. In 2016 Karingal and St Laurence merged and were rebranded genU. “It stands for Generation You and we work with younger people through to the elderly in the fields of disability and aged care.

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WithRefugees, Farah

“I grew up not knowing or seeing the stars. I was only three years old when my family had to flee war torn Iraq. We left our home in Baghdad, we were split from family and friends. We fled to Jordan and lived all together in one small basement room, in very cramped living conditions. It wasn’t safe to go out at night so I never saw the night sky.” Farah Al-Dabbas, 23 tells us her story to conclude Refugee Week 2018 #withrefugees

Refugees Farah Al-Dabbas

“It was a tough life. My parents worked illegally as cooks so they could put my brother and I through school. You didn’t have a name, you were a number, a case number. We’d been registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and added to the long list of people seeking safety in a new country. Finally, we found we could travel to Malaysia without a visa but we had to leave my father behind.

“Malaysia turned out to be false promises. Eventually my Father joined us. We knew that we’d have to move again to find a home.

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Jeniffer, Uganda

“I really don’t know how to thank you enough.  You have been my confidence, inspiration, motivator and above all my best friend.” These are the grateful words from a deserving young lady whom Geelong local Sally Higoe has devoted much of her time and energy into helping with the basics of life.

Uganda 2

Eleven years ago, a chance encounter with 7yr old Jeniffer in Kabale, Uganda was where Sally began her quest to improve the quality of one life. Since then, Sally’s fundraising efforts have positively affected the lives of many in Jeniffer’s community.

‘When I met Jeniffer in 2007, she was selling bananas from a basket on her head, walking the streets and chatting to tourists, so that she could raise money to pay for her own schooling.  She inspired my husband and I, and after a great little chat with her, we bought some bananas and said our good byes. The next day she came running up to us in the street – she wished to return our 10 cents change!’

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