Be a local hero, Jane

Clean Up Australia is this Sunday March 4th. Please Share. We caught up with Jane Shearer of the Caring For Our Bays program that is delivered through the Bellarine catchment network. ‘One of our main aims is to raise awareness about the impact litter has on our unique marine species that call Port Phillip Bay and Corio Bay home. That’s where the ‘Be a local hero’ campaign comes in, to connect our community and visitors alike to the bay as habitat and to share how we can all protect our heroes of the bay.

‘We’ve used 5 iconic species of our region, as the faces for the campaign. There’s the Australasian Gannat, Growling Grass Frog, Weedy Seadragon, Australian Fur Seal and the Burrunan Dolphin. You may be interested to know this species of dolphin was only discovered a few years ago. It is a relative of the Bottle Nose dolphin but a different species. In 2011, Principal Researcher and Founding Director of the Marine Mammal Foundation (MMF), Dr Kate Charlton-Robb, formally identified and named Tursiops australis, known commonly as ‘Burrunan dolphin’ following Australian aboriginal narrative. The Burrunan dolphin has already been listed as ‘Threatened’ due to its small and isolated populations.

‘A big part of what we do is education and engagement. We are working with many schools on the Bellarine, in #Geelong and around Corio Bay. We are making students aware of our bays’ unique species, the impacts of plastics and how they can contribute to caring for our bays.

‘You might have seen us at the Pako Festa withGeelong Sustainability. We believe it is important to tie in with other projects and organisations. You may also see our ‘Be a Local Hero’ materials at Eastern Beach and in many other coastal reserves along the Corio Bay and #Bellarine Peninsula coastline, as we have strong partnerships with multiple local land managers.

‘Our work is based on regular data collected by volunteers and partner organisations through litter audits at 12 hotspots around #Corio Bay and Northern #Bellarine. We collect data on the amount and type of rubbish found and the infrastructure present. We base campaigns on these findings and discover gaps in knowledge or the need for more bins or signage. Our aim is to see a decline of litter at all sites and an increase in responsible disposal of litter.’

If you would like to get in touch with Caring For Our Bays Or if you would like to find a local clean up site for this Sunday

Story: Jacqui Bennett. Poster of the Burrunan Dolphin supplied. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Catch up on all our stories on our website.

Eating Disorder Help, Madeline

I’m Madeline, pictured on the left, I’m 21 years old and I just graduated from Clonard College in 2017. I obtained an ATAR over 90 and have been accepted into Deakin University’s Bachelor of Vision Science/Masters of Optometry. My twin sister Rachael, pictured on the right, will soon be graduating from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Psychological Science. Why didn’t I finish school earlier? I’d been diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder, major depression and anorexia nervosa along with obsessive compulsive disorder. I’ve been fully recovered for 4 years.


I’ve always loved life and have a deep passion to create change. I’m one to make the most of all opportunities and despite some hard times, I’m glad to be where I am today. I want to start an eating disorder recovery program that supports individuals in their recovery. I was fortunate in winning the 2016 Upstart Challenge with this idea.

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The Nature of Survival, Doug

‘I’m Country and I’m a bloke, whose written about overcoming struggles with mental illness and grief. Not many blokes write about this sort of thing but there is a need. My book ‘The Nature of Survival’ has been really well received.’ Doug Lang was on ABC Landline on the 8th October 2017, it was their Mental Health Week episode. He spoke recently at the Belmont Library. He is inspiring thousands.


‘I’ll never forget the day I was in the Innamincka Hotel. I’d taken to the Strzelecki Desert with my swag to focus on writing. They told me there was a Police Bulletin out for me. I’m thinking, ‘must be a broken pipe on my property or something’ but I was devastated to hear that Rebecca, my daughter, was undergoing surgery in Melbourne for a brain tumour. I was 6 days drive at least from Melbourne. They’d only known me 5 minutes and they had me on the next mining jet out of there and had organised for my ute to go on a road train down south. The kindness and generosity of people never amazes me. I still keep in touch with them.

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Since landing on Australian soil, Rocky has been aiming high and achieving the goals she has set for herself. “I’m from Afghanistan but was born in Iran. My family of 10 and I lived in a city named Shiraz. I was happy living there. I had many friends who were like my siblings. My childhood made me imagine, dream and create a passion within myself. Today I’m working towards achieving those goals and making my imagination and dreams come true.” Roghayeh ‘Rocky’ Sadeghi and her family came to Australia in 2012, they live in Norlane. “Although I couldn’t go to school until the age of 10, I had a big passion towards school and learning.


“My biggest role model is my mother, not only because of her kindness, selflessness and caring heart but also because of how hard working and resilient she is and how no matter what challenge comes her way, she still stands strong and looks after her big family all on her own.

Amongst many achievements, Rocky was a member of the 2016/2017 Victorian Student Representative Council (SRC) Executive, “a group of 15 young and passionate students working hard towards a better education system and to create a positive change in Victoria.” In 2017 she was a VicSRC ambassador. Rocky is also a member of the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY)), a foundation that aims to create a more culturally inclusive environment and to educate others through stories and experiences. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have other leadership roles during my time in Australia and have achieved awards such as the Newsboys Foundation Youth Leadership Award, the Richard Marles MPLeadership Award and Geelong Young Leaders Award.

We asked Rocky what she sees for herself in the future. “In the future I see myself studying law at Monash University and learning new lifestyle skills. I plan to be continuing to fights for the things I’m passionate about, things such as student voice, the rights of the LGBTQI+ community, Gender Equality, rights of refugees, Asylum Seekers and all those in need.

“I think living in #Geelong is the reason why I’m so passionate about a lot of issues because I know that multiculturalism is all around and valued. The mood is so positive here, and I think others need to experience what we experience. I love living in Geelong and I hope to be living here later in life as well.”

Story and photo: Brandon Dellow Save the date, Sunday 7th October #humansingeelongexpo2018 Deakin University Waterfront Campus



The Alliance Bank, Do Good Award

It’s been a big week of awards! As the Founder of Humans in Geelong, I am proud to announce I’m the joint-winner of the first ever Alliance Bank Do Good Award. Ironically, I am sharing the award with the Founder of AnonymousX, whose story inspired me to create Humans in Geelong. I read Sean Thornton’s story on the Humans in Melbourne Facebook page in June 2016. Due to the tragic death of his cousin, Sean sold his house to start the charity AnonymousX, which supports the homeless

Do Good Award

Graeme Scannell (CEO AWA Alliance Bank) congratulating Jacqui Bennett. Photo: Mitch Grinter

I believe story-telling to be such a powerful tool and like Chris of Humans in Melbourne, thought, hey, this is a way we can make a difference. Thanks to the Alliance Bank for acknowledging our charitable work and providing this award. Thanks also to all of those in the Humans in Geelong team, couldn’t do it without you, and the Geelong community – together we are stronger. By Jacqui Bennett

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Surf Life Saver, David

I can see why the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club nominated their life member David Renton for a story in #humansingeelong. Dave joined the Club in 1965 and has served every season. ‘It keeps you young’ he tells us. ‘I feel very fortunate because you can make a difference. I’ve driven the Rubber Duckies since they were first introduced at Ocean Grove and am proud to say some of our members actually developed them.’

Dave & Joy

‘I’m the Vice President of the Ocean Grove DSA (Disabled Surfers of Australia). My wife Lorraine and myself are foundation members since 2008. She had a stroke in 2000. Our beach is one of the only beaches with a disabled ramp that services all abilities and prams. We also have beach wheelchairs that are free to use. We held a DSA event day on February 4th and our next is March 4th. We’re keen to have as many volunteers there as possible. It’s shaping to be our largest event since 2008.

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The Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize, Larissa

Larissa Zanardo, Year 11 at Sacred Heart College, Geelong, wins The Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize competition. Out of 100s of entries Larissa, has been chosen as 1 of 22 students to represent Victoria on an all expenses paid overseas study tour to Darwin & Singapore. She is the only recipient from Western Victoria. The photo shows her holding her winning entry. Congratulations Larissa, we wish you all the very best on what will be an amazing trip! Below are the written statement and poem she sent in.


Description of artwork: Size: 61cm x 61cm Materials: Printed paper sheets, acrylic paint, charcoal on canvas.

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