Master Class in Sustainability, David.

GreenLight, the not-for-profit social enterprise of Geelong Sustainability Inc has launched an online Sustainability Master Class, specifically designed for an intensive, interactive, online, adult learning environment.

It is part of a new suite of services to give households and business owners the ability to put their sustainability goals into action.

GS David Spear - GreenLight Executive Officer April 2020 (1)

GreenLight executive officer David Spear tells us more “Many of us strive to live as sustainably as possible, working within the limits of our own knowledge and resources.

“Each Master Class is delivered in four 2 hour online sessions via video conference; with one session delivered each week over four consecutive weeks; 8 hours of tuition in total.

Continue reading “Master Class in Sustainability, David.”

Mother’s Day Classic goes virtual.

Sunday May 10th is Mother’s Day. This year, the Mother’s Day Classic (MDC) is going virtual.

All registered participants will receive automatic access to their virtual platform. The MDC Virtual 2020 program will include inspiring community and fundraising content, fun photo competitions, fitness videos and dancing competitions. There will be a series of exclusive wellness tips and tutorials, pilates and yoga classes, sponsor prizes and giveaways and fun kids’ activities – something for everyone!

Click here to access the virtual portal or here to register for the Mother’s Day Classic Virtual 2020.

In previous years, the Geelong MDC has been held at Eastern Beach Reserve, Waterfront Geelong and involves a 4km and 8km walk and run. For more than 15 years, the Mother’s Day Classic fun run and walk has provided communities with a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day and raise awareness of and much-needed funds for breast cancer research.

Photo: supplied

Mothers Day Geelong

Free Conversations 3 & 4.

3. “You should talk to my wife, she is sewing scrubs for healthcare workers. It’s through @RonaScrubs – Australia They are asking for volunteers to sew much needed scrubs. Spotlight are donating the fabric and you are sent the pattern. If you want to help out, just join the @ronascrubs-Australia page.

“It is based in Melbourne but a young guy delivered the material to us as he was visiting his girlfriend down here. There must be a few people in the region helping because he was making 6 deliveries. My wife is a very good quilter and she’ll have 3 scrubs done by the end of the week. It’ll fill in her week. She’s off on a 24km run at present.

“We’ve been in the area for 30 years. I’m a retired civil engineer and she’s a retired Primary School teacher. I still lecture at Deakin occasionally.”

Scrubs to use (2)

4.“I don’t have a story,” Maryanne. “Yes she does!” adds her husband Michael. Back to Maryanne. “I’m a nurse. I’ve been on a break for 5 weeks. We were caravanning and made it to Portland when we had to come back. I was telling my son, this is the first time in my almost 40-year career, that I’ve actually felt very anxious about going back.

“I also make natural cosmetics and hand sanitizer. You can order it through my facebook site @mezmakes or give me a call on 0425 165 505. I’d been selling it through my friend’s $2 shop at Highton, but they had to close. I use all-natural ingredients, aloe vera, glycerine and the correct ratio of alcohol. It comes in lemon, lavender, tea tree or marjoram. I’m offering it at a discount to NFPs and schools.

Continue reading “Free Conversations 3 & 4.”

Connected Grandparents, Deb.

Are you missing your grandkids? Humans in Geelong writer Deb Howcroft has tackled the challenges of lockdowns and physical distancing from her grandchildren by writing a guide for grandparents on how to connect with grandchildren ‘virtually’.

“While in isolation I thought I’d learn how to self-publish an e-book through Amazon Kindle. I decided to write about something close to my heart; how to maintain the bonds with my young grandchildren through the COVID-19 pandemic, which has imposed the separation of many grandparents from their families.”

connected grandparents

Deb said she wrote the small book she called Connected Grandparents: A practical how-to guide for ‘virtual’ grandparents – great ideas to keep grandkids entertained and connected to far-away family, because she hoped that it could be a useful tool for other grandparents during the isolation restrictions.

Continue reading “Connected Grandparents, Deb.”

Have your say about the Geelong Sustainability Framework.

Do you care about our environment? If so, please make a submission by 30 April to Geelong Council about their proposed Sustainability Framework. If you don’t have time to wade through the lengthy, technical Framework, you can gain a valuable insight and submission suggestions from Geelong Sustainability and other concerned environmental groups, at this google doc

The Framework was developed in response to community demands for Council to declare a climate emergency. Environmental community groups have serious concerns about the content of the Framework, and the process of its development. They state:

Tree Planting 2019

“We need as many Geelong region residents to make a submission, using the link to let City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) know that the Framework is inadequate, misrepresentative and deflective of the main issues it should have addressed. CoGG has invited community input, which is open until 30 April 2020 – here:

Their call to action is:

  • Use the points in the google doc to assist you in creating a submission, before April 30, for the survey
  • Share this document on Social Media and encourage your friends to participate.
  • Write to your councilors and express your feelings on the framework.
  • Write a letter to the editor about the lack of scope in this framework.
  • Continue to submit questions to council question time.

Photo from previous tree planting story 2019.

Lockdown Buddies, Kara.

Geelong’s ‘Lockdown buddies’ are looking for those vulnerable in the Geelong region who need help to self-isolate. Lockdown Buddies aims to pair elderly/at risk people in our community with a volunteer to provide contactless support and company during isolation. Whether it be as simple as a regular phone call, dropping around a cup of sugar, or heading to the shops to grab a list of groceries, volunteer Lockdown Buddies will be on hand to help out. Who knows? New lifelong friendships could be formed.

Lockdown Buddies

“Please share: speak to your parents, grandparents and elderly neighbours and find out if they could benefit from a lockdown buddy or know of anyone who would. They can sign up for help on the Lockdown Buddies website“ we hear from Kara, one of the founders.

Lockdown Buddies was created by cousins Kara and Rachel, both local community-minded, caring Mums of young children. “I saw our elderly neighbour go out and come home with only one bag of groceries after 3 hours” Rachel tells. “This was what inspired us to start Lockdown Buddies.

Continue reading “Lockdown Buddies, Kara.”

Our Identity creates our Action, Rhys, Mindset Coach.

You are amidst the opportunity of a lifetime… Consider this – The butterfly emerges from a cocoon, completely different to the caterpillar that went into it. Right now, you have an unprecedented opportunity to do the same physically, mentally or emotionally – let me explain…

If there is one saying that you learn, whilst in isolation, it is that ‘Our Identity Creates Our Action’.

Mindset Coach, Rhys

As someone who has helped people change their Mindsets for almost a decade now, there has been one common theme with every case: Whoever you think you are, you are.

If you have ever admitted to yourself ‘I am not a morning person’, you would know that usually in the mornings, you don’t function well. Alternatively, those who are ‘Early Birds’ or ‘Morning People’, just seem to function fine as soon as the alarm goes off, almost jumping out of bed with a spring in their step. Notice how those who identify as having a ‘Sweet Tooth’, end up craving sugar, and people who refer to themselves as a ‘Gym Junkie’ just seem to be consistently motivated?

It all comes back to this one saying – ‘Our Identity Creates Our Action’.

Continue reading “Our Identity creates our Action, Rhys, Mindset Coach.”

OneCare Geelong, update.

“OneCare Geelong use to provide 70 sit-down meals to disadvantaged and isolated people per week, now we are providing 500 pickup and delivered meals per week.

“People can register for assistance at our website and follow the COVID-19 links. Note that we can only deliver to certain postcodes.

OneCare update

“Once you are registered, if you can come to us, we’d love to see you on a Tuesday and Thursday between 10am and 12pm at 61 Candover St Geelong West.

“Our takeaway meals and emergency pantry packs will be available. We are committed to continuing our service while adhering to additional hygiene needs and safe social distancing restrictions. We might not shake your hand when you arrive but we will give you a big smile!” OneCare Geelong.

Continue reading “OneCare Geelong, update.”

Asylum Seeker, Eshan.

Eshan (his name has been changed to protect his identity) is an enthusiastic, hardworking, young man seeking asylum in the Geelong region. Did you know that asylum seekers who lose their jobs due to Covid-19, aren’t eligible for any government income support? How are they meant to eat, cover basic living expenses let alone find the funds to pay legal fees for their visa or appeal processes? CRAG, the Combined Refugee Action Group for this region are helping many people like Eshan with their legal costs. If you can help with these legal costs, please sign up for their newsletter for more information or donate via their website, email

Unfortunately, Eshan’s initial application for asylum was rejected however, a barrister has found a number of points of merit for an appeal to the Federal Court, which has given Eshan some hope of securing a protection visa and being able to stay in our beautiful country.

CRAG Eshan

Under the current ‘fast track’ process, Eshan doesn’t have access to a thorough case review through a tribunal. The only avenue for appeal is through the court system.

Continue reading “Asylum Seeker, Eshan.”

The Free Conversations Movement.

The Free Conversations Movement. Thanks Adri, from Barcelona, for reaching out and introducing me to Free Conversations. Adri is forming a global group of storytellers, with the aim of collaborating and sharing ideas. Before lock down, in Barcelona, Adri would take to the streets with two chairs and a sign, Free Conversations. On Easter Sunday I tried it at my oval, social distancing observed. Here are the first two, of a number of conversations.

1.“As a nurse, I don’t know how they are coping. I had to deal with 5 deaths in a day but how you would deal with a 100… It took me weeks to get over it. Being in ICU and knowing that there is nothing you can do but try your best. We are very lucky here in Australia that have such a great health system but hearing about what is happening in Milan and NY is so upsetting. Hopefully it won’t get to that stage here.

“Mind you, it has brought out a really positive side in people. You walk your dog and everyone is waving and saying hello. Everyone is being really kind.

2.“What’s your favourite thing at school?” Prep child on bike “I love learning.” Turns out Dad works for Ford Motor company. They are making face shields for medical workers. Mum is a midwife at Geelong Hospital, they’re still there. Elective surgery has been stopped and lots has been moved to St John of God or the Epworth. “There has been lots of preparing, we’re just hoping it is all for nothing.”

Stories: Jacqui Bennett. Photo: Adri in Barcelona

Free Conversations