Volunteering Geelong, Lucinda & Alison

‘We feel like match makers. We see a whole other world out there. We all know the traditional volunteering roles but it is amazing when you also get to know all the non-traditional roles and the different ways volunteering can help those who are keen to participate and those who offer them places. We want people to enjoy what they are doing, after all, they are doing it for the love of it.’ We caught up with two of the three paid workers at Volunteering Geelong. Alison Duff, 10 years in her role and Lucinda Tucker, 7 years. Volunteering Geelong was established on August 22nd 2000.

Volunteering Geelong

‘We help people who might be new to the area or new to volunteering. There are lots who are over 55 and volunteer 15 hours a week to gain the Newstart allowance. Our ‘Step by Step’ project helps those with disabilities. We also connect people with non-English backgrounds and international students.

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Pride St Op Shop, Torquay

Everyone needs a place where they are able to have a chat with willing and open ears. We also all need a place where bargains and treasures can be found. The St. Luke’s Op Shop, Pride St. is one place that offers both to the Torquay and surrounding community. Many of the customers who go to the shop visit just as much for the company that the friendly staff provide as they do to shop.

Pride St Op 1

Staff is made up of no less than 20 unpaid volunteers who pride themselves in their friendly and cheerful attitudes. Working hard with smiles on their faces, they ensure that their customers get what they need, and that their friendly and efficient reputation is kept at its peak. These volunteers give up their own time to help their community. They are always looking for more volunteers who are ready and willing to help.

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A Clever Creative Future

CREATING A VISION – From September ‘16 to May ‘17, over 16,000 #humansingeelong expressed their aspirations for #geelong and region and how it should evolve over the next 30 years. This involved 162 workshops, event appearances, community meetings and school visits.

At the Our Future Assembly on Saturday 6 May ‘17, 350 people discussed, debated, deliberated and, in the process learnt more about each other’s aspirations, values and goals. Finally, they voted on a community-led vision for Greater Geelong’s future.

City of Greater Geelong 2013

The result is a community-led blueprint to be recognised regionally, nationally and internationally, as a Clever and Creative city-region.  A vision document was created capturing how our community want to achieve this vision which includes Greater Geelong’s community-led aspirations, contributing to a clever and creative city-region. The vision document can be found online at www.geelongaustralia.com.au/clevercreative or at any City of Greater Geelong Customer Service centre.


-a prosperous economy that supports jobs and education opportunities

-creativity drives culture

-a destination that attracts local and international visitors

-an inclusive, diverse, healthy and socially connected community

-a leader in developing and adopting technology

-a fast, reliable and connected transport network

-people feel safe wherever they are

-sustainable development that supports population growth and protects the natural environment

-development and implementation of sustainable solutions

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The Simpsons, Mitch

If you are a fan of The Simpsons, then do we have news for you! Two of the top Simpson Podcasters/Bloggers live here in #Geelong and have released a new book via #Penguin Publishing. The book entitled “Homer’s Odyssey: An Embiggened Simpsons Guide” is available now in all good book stores, in time for Christmas. Their weekly podcast Four Finger Discount has a 5-star rating on iTunes and they have over 139k followers on Facebook. We caught up with one half of the show, Mitch Grinter, to discuss their success.

mitch and dando

‘My co-host Brendan Dando was the one who originally pitched the idea of a podcast where we go in-depth looking at each Simpsons’ Episode. We make a good team, he’s the real driver who does the vast majority of the technical work. We started this from scratch, and he was able to build our social media following to where it is now. Meanwhile, I’m able to call on a background in writing and acting to really look at why the show is so great. I jumped at the idea of a podcast because I’d always loved radio. Shows like Martin/Molloy, Get This or Hamish & Andy were big influences on me, so to be able to test out my ability in this medium was a great challenge. Of course, it helped that I’ve always adored The Simpsons.

Whilst the boys try to keep the show fun & light-hearted, there have been some unexpected reactions along the way.
‘The greatest feedback we’ve had has been from listeners who write in and say we’ve got them through some really dark times, whether it is helping them get through depression or a breakup. You sometimes question if all the time is worth it, but responses like that really drive you to keep going.

‘Brendon and I both have full time jobs, so it can be difficult managing our time, but the rewards have been amazing. We’ve been lucky enough to interview some of our idols, Brendon was in LA for his honeymoon and managed to get a tour of the animation studios, and becoming published authors was something we’d never dreamt possible.

Grinter, though, says that they won’t be letting success go to their heads.
‘One thing we’ve noticed is that all the people working on the show are amazingly humble and giving of their time, and that’s been a real inspiration to us. We’ve tried to give back as much as we can to people who want to start podcasts of their own but are unsure how. We all have the technology at our finger tips, so readily available, there’s nothing holding you back.

So, what’s next for Mitch?
‘I’m keen to get into schools and talk to kids, to inspire them to follow their dreams. I recently rang to thank the High School English teacher who inspired me, I’d love to inspire other kids to write. Not everyone is the creative type but those who are often feel like they don’t fit in at school. I want to tell them the way they are is perfect and there are lots of opportunities out there for them. #clevercreative #humansingeelong

Interview: Jacqui Bennett Photo: supplied by Mitch, Mitch on the left with Brendon.






CRAG, Linda & Lisa

“If you are appalled by the inhumane situation on Manus Island, here is a simple way you can take action. PLEASE SHARE! Call Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s office on (02) 6277 7700 and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s office on (03) 9326 1300.  Say you are horrified by the treatment of refugees held in PNG and Nauru, and that they should be evacuated immediately to safety.”

CRAG Linda left & Lisa

We caught up with Linda Cusworth and Lisa Gleeson from CRAG (Combined Refugee Action Group).   CRAG is a network of groups from around the Geelong region, all advocating for fair and decent policy for refugees and people seeking asylum.  CRAG is made up of coastal and rural refugee support groups, students, church groups, political groups, union members and concerned individuals.

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Peter Carey

Twice Booker Prize winner, Peter Carey was in Geelong. This is an abridged version of an article by Lisa Hill, first published on www.anzlitlovers.com Nov 18, 2017. Published with her permission.

At the opening night of the 2017 Word for Word Non-Fiction Festival in Geelong was Peter Carey in conversation with Maria Takolander. Carey has a connection of sorts with Geelong: his parents sent him to board at Geelong Grammar where, he said, he had a good time but didn’t realise until afterwards that he’d been holed up with the ‘ruling class’. But apart from occasional ventures to the bookshop and the beach with his grandfather (to collect shell grit for the chickens), he doesn’t feel a strong connection to the city; it was more of a place to drive through, on route to his parents’ holiday house in Torquay.

Peter Carey 2015 (Heike Steinweg) (002)


Photo: Heike Steinweg

Carey says he is a contrarian by nature. His school reports suggested that he should concentrate on maths and science, and he says he did ok at school. He loved his year at Timbertop (the school’s bush camp) where he discovered a world unlike the landscape between Bacchus Marsh and Geelong, and fell in love with the bush. But when he went on to do chemistry…the misfortune of having a bad car accident meant that ‘he had an excuse to fail his exams’ – which he did. They gave him a second chance with a supplementary exam, and he failed that too.  (Just imagine, had the fates not decreed otherwise, he might have had an entirely different life…)

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Sun 7th Oct 2018, #humansingeelongexpo

Save the date! Sunday 7th October 2018. #humansingeelongexpo2018 Thanks City of Greater Geelong, Victoria for confirming funding. Thanks also to Deakin University for backing it. Here are some pics from the 2017 Expo After Party. Lots of fun and laughs were had by all! We’d like to thank Geelong’s newest refugee group, the Syriacs, for coming along and teaching us a dance. Loved your dance moves Peter Doyle of Royal Geelong Yacht Club. Geelong’s own Dame Edna Average almost stole the show, yet again. The The Country Women’s Association of Victoria Inc. – CWA did a brilliant job of helping us with the catering. Beavs Bar was a fabulous venue.

After Party 1