Moo K’Phru.

“I was born in a Thailand refugee camp, known as Mae Surin, but around the age of 3, my family and I moved to Karenni Refugee Camp 1. We lived there until we came to Australia. I lived there with my brother and both parents. I went to a school with my brother. We would finish and come home at lunchtime whereas my parents would come home late because of work. After school, we either studied or we’d go and play with friends. Over the weekend, I’d spend my time with family. On Sunday I went to church and Sunday school. I was provided with everything that I could possibly get, but sometimes things could get tough, especially when I had to spend late nights alone with my brother due to both mum and dad working.”

Moo K'Phru

Moo K’Phru Say is a 20-year-old Karenni refugee. “I came to Australia in 2009. I was 9 years old, there was only four of us at the time we came to Australia, but mum had another baby here. I was very excited when I arrived in Australia! Everything was different: the housing, the streets, shops and many other stuff. I even got to see my relatives who I haven’t seen in a long time.”

Continue reading “Moo K’Phru.”

CLAN – Care Leavers Australasia Network, Leonie.

“That man in the painting is in his 70s and he still sleeps with an axe under his bed because of the abuse he suffered in an orphanage. CLAN, Care Leavers Australasia Network was set up to support these people. I will not stop until they receive justice.” I interviewed Leonie Sheedy, one of the founding members of CLAN, in the temporary home of the Australian Orphanage Museum at 62 McKillop St. Geelong. Leonie was in St Catherine’s Orphanage for Girls from 3 – 16 years of age.

CLAN 1

Leonie was pointing out the portraits of the people on the outer edge of the impressive memorial painting, ‘The Raft of the Clan’. It is painted in the style of ‘The Raft of the Medusa’ by a Melbourne born artist, Peter Daverington to acknowledge the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2012 – 2017) launched by Julia Gillard.

Leonie told me many harrowing stories and a visit to the museum is well-warranted. Care Leavers are also called ‘Homies’ or ‘Wardies’ and used a lot of prison language because that was what it was like.

Continue reading “CLAN – Care Leavers Australasia Network, Leonie.”

Geelong Mummas Mingle.

“Geelong Mummas Mingle is about making connections, finding your tribe, building a support network and having lots of fun and adventures!  It’s a smaller, sister group of the Geelong Mummas Facebook group which has over 9000 local members. The main page is for mums to be able to seek advice, recommendations and to share the daily struggle of being a mum in a non-judgemental environment. Respect, compassion, friendship, empathy, advice and understanding are our values.

Geelong Mummas Mingle
“The sister group, Geelong Mummas Mingle, was created to help create support and friendship within our community. We hold a range of different catch ups each week and welcome new members. We have so many fabulous plans for Mingle in 2020 and we would love to share a glimpse of what is ahead. We are shaking things up and doing some rearranging of pre-existing events to make them even better.

Continue reading “Geelong Mummas Mingle.”

2019 Reflection.

Wow! What a year! Humans in Geelong, or HuG as we affectionately refer to it, are a team of dynamic volunteers who tell the stories of locals throughout our region who take action, one way or another and make a difference. Our aim is to inspire, connect and strengthen the community. And boy, thanks to your help, have we been achieving these aims!

HuG Team Pic

Besides sharing two or three inspirational stories every week on our website and social media, and delivering around 30 informative talks to schools and community groups throughout the year, there were also so many extraordinary developments for our group.

Continue reading “2019 Reflection.”

10th Bells Beach Surf Film Festival.

“The surf is up and surf films are back in town! This Thursday 2nd January will see the Opening Night for the 10th Bells Beach Surf Film Festival.” John Foss, award winning filmmaker, environmentalist and member of the Surfrider Foundation Surf Coast Branch tells us more.

“The Bells Beach Surf Film Festival is celebrating 10 years of bringing the best surf films to Torquay”

Bells FG0F1860 1

“This year the festival will run for five nights from 2-6th January featuring 14 surf films from Australia and around the world. These include ‘Trouble: The Lisa Anderson Story’, ‘Pacifico’ and local surf film ‘Delama Warri’. Our closing night special is Jack Coleman’s ‘Zone Frequency’. The festival takes place at the Australian National Surfing Museum which is at 77 Beach Rd. Torquay.

Continue reading “10th Bells Beach Surf Film Festival.”

Inter-generational Friendships.

On September 9th this year, inter-generational friendships were formed between the children at Kardinia Childcare & Kindergarten and residents of Percy Baxter Lodge that is located at the McKellar Centre. The aim of this program is to bring together the older generation with younger ones.

Percy Baxter 2

Early childhood educator Courtney tells us more about their first visit. “We have witnessed the benefits through our Hug-a-bub program that brings one of our staff’s mothers into our classroom every Wednesday! It has brought her confidence and happiness as the children welcome her each week. She has learnt from the children and is surprised each week with their capabilities. In turn she brings her values and love for children.

“We wanted to be able to share this with more members of our community and this is why we have asked Percy Baxter lodge to be a part of it.

“Our first experience was wonderful. Some children were a little shy and decided it was best to play with all the toys we brought to share with the residents and the residents were giving feedback such as.

Continue reading “Inter-generational Friendships.”

K’Sparkle

At the tender age of 31 years, surrounded by her loving family and friends, Katrina Louise Wakeling (nee Hastings) died in December 2009. Katrina had suffered a sudden and totally unexpected stroke during the night and despite every attempt to save her, Katrina left this world leaving behind her devastated family, friends, beloved soul-mate husband Lachlan and their adored 4-month-old son Lewis.

Driven by grief, Katrina’s Sparkle was founded by 15 of Katrina’s family and friends as a legacy to the life she lived – one of laughter, fun, passion, adventure, travel, integrity, profound love of family and a deep professional concern for the wellbeing and safety of others.

K'Sparkle

I found out more from her brother Simon who tells me the Foundation is now more purpose driven. Here is an insight of our conversation.

“She was my best mate, only 18 months older than me. I was about to commence study to become a paramedic at the time. Her passing meant we took on a lot of responsibility for Lewis. This was a steep and confronting learning curve for me as I had little experience caring for young babies.

Continue reading “K’Sparkle”