The Mik Maks.

We are super excited to announce that The Mik Maks will be performing at the FREE Humans in Geelong Expo at 2pm on Sunday 5th December at the Geelong Racecourse. PLEASE SHARE and pop it in your diaries. Local band, The Mik Maks are famous for putting the ‘Rock’ into kids’ music and they are so pumped about getting back to performing live. Their performance is being made possible by kind sponsor AmAble Community Networks. AmAble support young people with Autism and Disability.

Back to The Mik Maks. Eleven years ago, brothers Joel and Al decided to write a kids’ song. It was to entertain their own children and their children’s friends while on summer holidays. The kids loved it, so along with their lovable friend ‘Drums the Panda’ they wrote many more songs! Now the brothers’ music is streamed by over 1 million kids each day! They’re original, fresh and completely unique.

Recently, Joel’s talented 13-year-old daughter Ava has also joined the group. The Mik Maks are now into their 10th year of performing live shows across the country and kids continue to go NUTS for their music. 

“There has been plenty of bumps along the way in The Mik Mak journey. No more so, than tragically losing our younger brother and pink Mik Mak Deano. He was an incredibly talented musician with a very cheeky smile that children just adored. Dean lit up the stage and just loved the buzz of connecting with young kids through music.

Dean’s passing has truly served as inspiration and provided heightened purpose for the group. We’re so blessed to be able to continue Dean’s work and share it with the world.”

The Humans in Geelong Expo is a free community event with something for everyone. Non-stop live performances, guest speakers, exhibitors, artists and lots of free fun for the kids. There will be face painting, glitter tattoos, giant bubbles, an appearance by Ana and Olaf, Roaming Reptiles and Jumping Castles. The program can be found here: https://humansingeelong.com/humans-in-geelong-expo-2021/ Kids, check out the Kids Kindness Art Competition that is being run in collaboration with VALiDS Peer Action Group. You could win one of three $100 vouchers.

Photo supplied.

Belmont Toy Library.

Imagine a place for kids . . . not far from here . . . filled with toys, games and activities. The Belmont Toy Library is a wonderful place for kids and families to come along and select a ‘Santa sack’ sized bundle of toys to enjoy and take home. For a small membership fee, bubs, little kids and big kids are able to borrow toys from our collection. When our kids find a toy that they really enjoy they can renew the item and keep it longer or, when the novelty’s worn off, return them for something new.

We have toys to spark kids’ imaginations; outdoor and indoor toys; toys to encourage physical activity; costumes that transform them into characters; toys to construct; create and problem solve.  Some of our favourite items to play with at the Belmont Toy Library are our kick bricks, scooters and ‘Green Toy’ collection. Who said Christmas comes once-a-year?

Another appealing attraction of our toy library are our special party packs.  They include a range of games to choose from including a roller coaster, stepping stones, parachute and even jumping castles too, which create exciting and affordable parties for our families.  

Our aim at the Belmont Toy Library is to provide quality educational items, for a range of ages and stages, and to keep memberships inexpensive for families. Our welcoming volunteers provide great connection for families in the community. It is also a very planet-friendly way to enjoy an endless array of toys!

Like many community activities during COVID-19, we have had to open and shut our doors like a perpetual game of ‘peek of boo’. At times when restrictions are in place, we offer a click and collect option for contactless pickup. But from the words of Anna, from Disney’s Frozen, ‘love is an open door’ and we are hoping we can stay open and continue to build many new memberships in the community. We also hope to build partnerships with local kindergartens, schools and business to allow as many local kiddies as possible to enjoy what we have to offer!

The Belmont Toy Library has been established in the Geelong Community since 1987. The South Barwon Community Centre has been our home for 30+ years. We can be found there every Saturday morning and the first Wednesday morning of each month. Please check us out on Facebook, Instagram (@BelmontToyLibrary) or at https://www.belmonttoylibraryvictoria.org.au

Toy Library information will be at the Humans in Geelong Expo on Sunday 5th December 10-3pm at the Geelong Racecourse.

Written by Michelle Chambers on behalf of the Belmont Toy Library Committee.

Sandy J

Are you, or do you know, a victim or survivor of an abusive relationship? Here’s how Sandy J, a survivor of an abusive relationship, is helping others. “I have just passed the 1-year milestone with my podcast Tiaras Tears and Triumphs reaching out to victims and survivors of abusive relationships, and the podcast has had over 3,000 downloads to date. 

“The podcast provides a safe space for women to tune in and access support, encouragement and inspiration to help them with the challenges they face, to help them not feel so alone in what they are going through. 

“The podcast is available on:

 iTunes https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/tiaras-tears-triumphs-sandy-j-podcast-helping-victims/id1527213561

Spotify 

Podbean

https://tiarastearsandtriumphs.podbean.com/

“In the past year, I have established a free Facebook group for women which also supports victims and survivors of abusive relationships called Rise Up with Tiaras Tears and Triumphs, which has grown to over 400 members. https://www.facebook.com/groups/tiarastearsandtriumphs 

“I have also created a regular online workshop to help women rediscover the treasures within themselves to build their self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth so they can go from victimhood to become empowered and able to take positive proactive steps to rebuild a life they love. To access this course and information about the work I do, visit https://www.sandyj.com.au/

Victims of abuse often lose themselves and their voice from the cycle of abuse. Sandy is on a mission to use her voice to help others find their voice too. “On top of the podcast, I have been making time to perform with my husband and some other local musicians in a group called Sandy and the Soul Mates. Many of the songs speak to the pain of relationships gone wrong and the desire for all to find ways to learn to live together peacefully. Music is such a great way to heal and performing has been a big part of my own healing journey.

“I believe that there are many different paths to healing and it all starts with us giving ourselves the permission to explore different paths to see what works best for each of us.”

You can meet Sandy J and a host of other amazing local humans, at the Free Humans in Geelong Expo on Sunday 5th December at the Geelong Racecourse. She’ll be exhibiting and speaking at 1pm in Room 2, upstairs.

Photo: Supplied

Thanks Awesome Foundation.

Thanks Awesome Foundation, you are absolutely Awesome! We met up with them to accept their October $1000 grant. This money is going towards making this year’s Humans in Geelong Expo even more Awesome than ever.

They’re our kind of people. They talked about community, tree planting, Clean Up Australia Day and supporting kids in need. They give out a grant to deserving recipients once a month. You can read more about the Geelong Awesome Foundation in our story: https://humansingeelong.com/2021/01/11/the-awesome-foundation-geelong/

Join in all the fun at the free Humans in Geelong Expo on Sunday 5th December from 10-3pm at the Geelong Racecourse. Program: https://humansingeelong.com/humans-in-geelong-expo-2021/ You might even get to meet the Awesome Foundation there.

Photo: Pete, Bron, Ali, Jacqui and Kim. Pete and Ali are from the Awesome Foundation, their team member Cath, took the photo.

Free Fun for Kids.

Meet Ana and Olaf from Frozen at the free Humans in Geelong Expo on Sunday 5th December at the Geelong Racecourse. All the fun begins at 10am and runs until 3pm. TJs Face Painting and these special characters will be there from 11 – 1pm with Face Painting, Glitter Tattoos and Giant Bubbles.

All day free fun for the kids includes Jumping Castles, a mini train supplied by Torquay Lions Club and the Roaming Reptiles. There will be Henna, Craft for Kids and Wooden Tic Tac Toe making with St Leonards Men’s Shed.

View the Angel Abrabanel living statue by D. Gordon and demonstrations by Geelong Crusaders, skater Yavisht, Skip Hip Hooray and friends. Find out about the SES from their information trailer.

Read a story to the Story Dogs and listen to children’s author Kaye Baillie book reading. Listen to a talk by the Chook Whisperer, Elaine Janes and meet her famous chooks.

There’ll be roving Magic by Dazzling Dan from 1pm and Laughter Yoga Sessions.

Make sure you grab a bite from the diverse food trucks before The Mik Maks take the stage at about 2pm. The Mik Maks put the ‘Rock’ into kids’ music.

Bring along some cash because not all stalls will take card.

Decorate and take home a free Humans in Geelong bag.

There’s even a Kids Kindness Art Competition where you can win one of three $100 vouchers. This competition is run in collaboration with VALiD’s Peer Action Group who you can meet in the Exhibition Hall. https://humansingeelong.com/2021/10/31/kindness-art-competition/

All the information and full program of speakers, performers, exhibitors, artists and entertainment is on the Humans in Geelong website at: https://humansingeelong.com/humans-in-geelong-expo-2021/

Come join the fun!

Orange the World.

“We have taken the Clothesline Project one step further. We’ve dyed many, many T-shirts orange and distributed them to members to decorate with slogans and then hang them on their front fence, letterbox or prominent places where they can be seen by passers-by as well as photographed for the Clothesline Project.” Zonta Geelong tell us what the ‘Orange the World’ and the ‘Clothesline Project’ are all about.

“It’s all part of the 16 days of activism which starts on 25 November, The day of Elimination of Violence Against Women, through to 10 December, Human Rights Day. The 16 Days of Activism is against Gender-Based Violence and aims to raise public awareness and mobilize people around the globe to bring about change.

“This year, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign invites you to ‘Orange the world’, using the colour designated by the UNiTE campaign to symbolize a brighter future without violence.

“Orange events are planned in more than 70 countries around the world, ahead of and throughout the 16 days. They will include the orange lighting of major landmarks like Niagara Falls (Canada/USA), the European Commission building (Belgium) and the Council of Europe building (France), the archaeological ruins at Petra (Jordan), the Presidential Palace in Brasilia (Brazil), and the Palais de Justice (Democratic Republic of the Congo).

“You can join us to ‘Orange the World’ by hanging orange from our clotheslines or outside your homes. Orange streamers could be hung from your car aerials.

“Everyone is invited to join us when we walk along the waterfront on Thursday 25th November 5-7pm, starting at Cunningham Pier. Wear orange and bring your streamers. 

“Have you seen the four ‘Orange the World’ community signs around town? They raise awareness about the need to eliminate violence against women.

“Come along to the Humans in Geelong Expo on Sunday 5th December from 10-3pm at the Geelong Racecourse in Orange and say hi to Zonta.”

Photos: supplied

Keeden Graham.

Meet our local Victoria Young Australian award nominee: Keeden Graham

“Since that moment I’ve taken opportunities that don’t let me become comfortable and complacent.” Torquay local Keeden Graham describes a meaningful moment in his personal journey, recalling the day when he’d lost his job. “I was pretty upset about it. But then I gave my Dad a call and, surprisingly, he said “Good! Did you really want to be doing that for the rest of your life? You have so much potential!”. 

Keeden Graham has ever since gone on to make a difference in the lives of Aboriginal youth in the local community and beyond, and is now most deservedly a 2022 Victoria Young Australian of the Year award nominee!

Keeden is a Yorta-Yorta, Wiradjuri, and Dja Dja Wurrung man, a board member of the Ngarrimili Charity, a member of the Victorian Youth Congress, a former council member of the Youth Council at the Commission for Children and Young People, and is Manager and Deputy CEO of Strong Brother Strong Sister, “a 100 per cent Aboriginal-owned-and-operated organisation, that provides a culturally appropriate and safe place to help Aboriginal young people thrive.” 

Now 22yrs old, Keeden has been involved in improving the lives of young people for the past four years, inspired by what he learned when searching for his own sense of identity and belonging as a teen.

“From that personal journey I saw heaps of other young indigenous people who don’t have that sense of belonging and that connection to their community and their family. This is what inspired me to help and walk along-side them. It’s hard to find your purpose if you don’t have that sense of connection to your local community.”  

Continue reading “Keeden Graham.”

EdConnect

WHY DID I VOLUNTEER FOR THIS?

I was new to Geelong.

No family or friends.

Online, I noticed an opportunity to join EdConnect.

They train and support volunteers to work in local schools to provide a safety net for young people who might otherwise struggle to realise their potential – in school and life.

I am semi-retired, (due to health issues – like growing old) who misses the cut and thrust of being self-employed.

As a professional business coach and mentor, I felt that I may be suitable to mentoring children.

How easy could this be?

How wrong was I?

And so we begin…..

Kids are so vulnerable.

Their life is governed by their upbringing and surrounding lifestyles.

Choices are made for them.

Compared to adults in business – who have the choice of making their own decisions.

Back to the story.

Continue reading “EdConnect”

Kindness Art Competition.

Kids, win one of three $100 vouchers. Make a Kindness Art piece, about the size of A4, it could be 2D or 3D, that can hang from a tree or fence at the Humans in Geelong Expo 2021. Bring it along and attach it on the day. Sunday 5th December from 10-3pm at the Geelong Racecourse.

Make sure you have your name, age and school name on it. You could add a kindness/inclusiveness message.

We have teamed up with VALID’s peer action group, the Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability to present this competition.

The International Day for People with Disability (IDPwD) is on Friday 3rd of December. The art pieces will be collected and distributed by this group.

Be creative! This can be made at home or at school.

SOEL.

Offering unforgettable eco-tourism experiences with wild dolphins and seals, James knew he had a responsibility to help sustain and restore the health of the ocean environment. Therefore, he integrated an environmental levy onto each dolphin ticket sold to generate funds to support SOEL and their research initiatives. Southern Ocean Environmental Link (SOEL) is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2019 by Sea All Dolphin Swims director James Murphy.

SOEL exists to foster and implement unique programs that change humanities attitude towards the marine environment. To ensure tomorrow’s generation are prepared to sustain and restore the health of our oceans. Our purpose is to educate tomorrow’s leaders about current trends, future implications and take responsibility for the place we call home. We do this by supporting research initiatives that help us to understand our ocean and the pressure it faces. Through sponsorship and fundraising efforts, we facilitate inclusive marine experiences, known to create marine advocates for life.

Already SOEL has helped to support significant research and environmental concerns in the Port Phillip Bay marine environment. Our current projects include Popes Eye Marine Park above and submerged live stream camera, Artificial Intelligence for monitoring Burrunan Dolphin, Australian Fur Seal and Weedy Seadragon species, as well as our one-of-a-kind Plastic Recycling Workshop. Further details about each of these projects can be found at www.soel.org.

Our favoured education program is the Grassroots Plastic Recycling Workshop. This innovative program will be exhibited at the Humans in Geelong Expo to bring awareness of plastic’s negative impacts on our local marine environment. Participants will be invited to become actively involved in the process of plastic recycling in this hands-on and motivating workshop. During the workshop, participants will be educated on the short- and long-term impacts of plastic pollution while sorting, cleaning, and repurposing the plastics into valuable items. This program creatively creates awareness of this global issue by educating participants on the active part they can play to make a positive impact.

The Free Expo is Sunday 5th December at the Geelong Racecourse from 10-3pm. The fun-filled program can be found at: https://humansingeelong.com/humans-in-geelong-expo-2021/