“A lot of my wife’s childhood was spent growing up with her grandmother in Vietnam and this is where she first formed her compassion towards elderly people. After moving to Australia to study and seeing how the government and NFP’s look after disadvantaged people here, she knew that she definitely wanted to get involved. So, she decided to enrol in a Masters of social work after completing her first Masters in Marketing. She is now a proud government employee working in social work.
“Since the COVID epidemic we’ve been hearing about how the elderly demographic are more vulnerable to the virus. This brought out more of Kelly’s compassion for the elderly community and her need to help. So, she convinced me to start up a business to supply good quality face masks to the elderly and people in need. We thought we couldn’t do this alone so we started the initiative of donating one for every face mask purchased and that’s how our company ‘Good Deed Face Masks’ was born.
An old saying but so true. Ocean Grove, Groove Cafe, owner Tony Zhang has proven this. He’s up early every day, and he catches more than the worms. He catches all the early tradies. The place is buzzing! Hot coffee, breakfast, and food for the day. My early morning walking exercise to buy the Advertiser confirms this statement.
The logo on the coffee cups, umbrellas, windbreak screens, large neon display sign, and all advertising shows the rooster. The main steel silent rooster sits above the cafe and quietly observes everything as roosters do. “The early bird gets the worm,” says Tony. He’s the brains behind the café with his always warm, friendly, and speedy service. Staff and Tony make a point of knowing their regular customers by name.
Tony and his wife, Ivy, came to Australia to visit friends twelve years ago. Following that holiday, a decision was made to move away from the overcrowded, and bustling city of Beijing. They also wanted to live in a small town and enjoy a healthier life, have children, and a good education. The most important goal was to live a happier stress-free lifestyle. Ocean Grove was the choice.
“I was the definition of a giraffe on roller skates, but I had a blast and it confirmed in my mind that this place filled with oddballs (myself included) was the place I needed to be.”
Meet Chris Bennett, Chemical Engineering graduate turned designer for the arts, pursuing a career in doing what he loves, right here in Geelong.
“I would describe myself as a maker, designer and all-round nerd. I got my start by making props for the musical theatre industry until COVID-19 arrived and a majority of arts were put on hold. Some of my favourite projects include a giant sausage and pretzel hat for the musical The Producers, 3D printed fixtures for antique windows and a large LED light sculpture for the Geelong Youth Choir (which unfortunately was unable to be realised due to the event being cancelled).”
As Roald Dahl wrote in his famous children’s story ‘Matilda’, books have the power to send an important message: that we are not alone. I had the pleasure of speaking with Kaye Baillie, a local children’s book author. Kaye grew up on an orchard in Invergordon, Victoria, with a handful of books she loved. “I wished I could be the children in Enid Blyton’s ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ and ‘The Enchanted Wood’, she says. “It’s like entering a new world”. Kaye dreamed of being creative but could not imagine writing as a career, instead moving into secretary work and amateur theatre. When Kaye was in her thirties, she started a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing during which she published two educational books.
“I want to capture an idea, play with it, mould it, make it real,” Kaye says. “I don’t have the patience to write for adults, and the themes of children’s stories can be just as rich and diverse.” Friendship, grief, migration, war, loneliness, fear, history, family, love – all of these can be found in children’s books. Kaye’s most recent book ‘Boo Loves Books’ tells the story of a young girl, Phoebe, and a huge rescue dog, Boo, as they overcome their fears and learn to love reading. The book is inspired by a true story about a Book Buddies program where kids who had insecurities or worries about reading could read to homeless cats at an animal shelter in Pennsylvania. One boy’s transformation captured Kaye’s attention. He adored cats, but hated reading so much he argued with his mother and called himself stupid. Through the program, the boy ended up loving reading to the cats so much he convinced his mother to adopt three cats. “I loved the whole story and wanted to write a story to help children who might feel like this boy.” Kaye hopes that ‘Boo Loves Books’ will help young readers realise that they are not alone with their anxieties and that with some encouragement, that they can do things in their own way.
“Art making is a great thing, you can get so lost whilst working on a painting, when you come back the next day, pause and look at it, you realise you’ve actually resolved something maybe by accident.”
Making art is a “battle” and an “exhilarating place” for Mickey Egan.
“I had a tumultuous childhood, a lot of traumatic things happened. Drawing as a child was constant, it was my escape or refuge. I always came back to it. Eventually it became the reason why I went to art school. Art is a form of escape, composure and catharsis,” Mickey says.
Mickey’s drawings and paintings reflect his love of the natural world, and his fascination with how landscapes can connect us.
Be inspired by short, snappy, fun and informative clips from changemakers of our region; the amazing humans who have been featured in our project, and some. These clips will remain available to watch anytime and will reach a wide audience.
Superhero Competition – ‘What is a Dad?’ This entry to this year’s Superhero Competition comes from Isabella of Grade 5 at East Geelong Primary. We thought it very fitting to share ‘What is a Dad?’ on Father’s Day.
Kids, you have two more weeks to get your entries in. This fun, creative competition lets you choose your medium:
you might write up to 150 words as a poem, story, song etc
send in a picture
Use photos or
a short 90 second video
Entries close Friday Sept 18th. There are heaps of great prizes to be won and the winners will be announced at the Humans in Geelong Online Expo 2020, Sunday October 11th. This exciting, fun competition, where you submit an entry about your local Superhero, is brought to you by @humansingeelong and @bethany
There can’t be too many people that can say they are an accomplished cellist, breakdancer, and Mandarin Chinese speaker, whilst juggling several jobs, and actively pursuing their fitness passion… of skipping, all at the age of 24. Take a look at @skiphiphooray’s vibrant skipping videos and you can’t help but be impressed and inspired. So, let’s find out about the man that’s been skipping around town, Carter Harris-Smith.
“Skipping has changed my world! It all started a few years ago when my mum asked me what she could do to improve her fitness, besides running. I did some research and concluded that skipping would be ideal for her, so I bought us a rope each and we went from there.”
Five years ago, on a blustery Wednesday night, 40 people gathered in the elderly Citizens hall in Yooringa Ave in Norlane, to listen to various adaptations of classic Country Music songs. One of the couples there were Terry and Emmy Shelley. Little did they know that singing along to various renditions of their favourite Country songs, would bring about a huge change in their lives as the Outgoing President was about to end the Music Clubs existence. So, Terry put up his hand and Volunteered to become the new Club President with Emmy as his ‘Right-hand Girl’.
Pre Covid, each Wednesday night this Non-for-Profit organisation gathered to sing along with the performers, share in a light supper, buy raffle tickets where you could win a variety of donated gifts such as a meat tray provided by Daniel from “A Cut Above Family Butcher” in Corio Village. Once a month the Club would arrange a BBQ or Pizza night supplied by the money they made from the raffles and door entrance fee. Membership is $10 per year which aids in the rent of the hall. Often these weekly Country music get-togethers were the only social gathering a large number of the members had.
“I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in 2017 and looked for a way to connect with other local people sharing this unwelcome experience. There was none! Complaining to a friend, she said ‘You’ll just have to start a support group yourself’.
“And so, Beyond Pink was born.”
Beyond Pink Metastatic (Advanced) Breast Cancer Support Group, is a small local Geelong not-for-profit. Judy Margolis tells us more.
“Every member of Beyond Pink is living with MBC. Sharing the lived experience helps to ease the burden of the many challenges of this incurable disease.