PO Box 351, Port Fairy, VIC 3284
0408 627 066 | 03 5568 0511
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What’s Been Happening




Meet our 2018 Program Participants


Join us in welcoming our 2018 aspiring community leaders:


  1. Blessing Furusa, Sinclair Wilson
  2. Kate Haberfield, Wannon Water
  3. Andre Barr, AB Electrical
  4. Penny McDonald, Corangamite Shire
  5. Julie Neeson
  6. Pamela Nix, Victoria Police Force
  7. Melanie Bennett, Glenelg Shire
  8. Phil Dennis, DET – The School for Student Leadership – Gnurad Gundidj Campus
  9. Tony Harrison, Lyndoch Living
  10. Trevor Carr, Portland Aluminium
  11. Jason Kanoa, Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative
  12. Lauren Peterson, Grattons Gate Dairy Farm
  13. Richard Wade, Moyne Shire
  14. Guy Sevior, Westvic Staffing Solutions
  15. Julie Perry, Warrnambool City Council
  16. Mark Brennan, Primary Care Partnership
  17. Alison Quade, Southern Grampians Shire
  18. Peter Gaffey, WestVic Dairy


LGSC Congratulates our new Alumni


Alison Kennedy, Behavioural Scientist and Research Fellow at Deakin University and National Centre for Farmer Health Sponsored by South West Community Foundation

Shane Stenhouse, Team Leader Parks Gardens and Environment Warrnambool City Council

Juanita Dickinson, Social Worker, Portland District Health

Amanda Wearne, Inclusive, Diversity & Wellbeing Officer, Wannon Water

Vicki Askew-Thornton, Major Project Liaison and Economic Development Officer, Moyne Shire Council

Brendan Hawkins, Apprenticeship Employment Assistant Manager, Westvic Staffing Solutions

Leon Senchenko, Student Management Officer, South West TAFE

Garry Peterson, Program Manager Biodiversity, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Jacinta Lenehan, Health Promotion Officer, South West Healthcare

Jordan Smith, Organisation, Health and Wellbeing Leader, The School of Student Leadership

Delna Plathottam, Associate Nurse Unit Manager, Lyndoch Living

Rhonda Henry, Head of Dairy South West Victoria, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Sponsored by The Gardiner Foundation

Leon Carey, Hands on Learning Artisan Teacher Leader, Warrnambool College Sponsored by The Koroit Lions Club

Teremayi Manozho, Director/Coordinator, African Experience
Sponsored by Wannon Water


2017 Closing Retreat


By no means was the Closing Retreat the end for our fabulous participants who extended their Leadership journey this year……

It is with very mixed feelings that journey has finished. I will try and keep living my own values and those extra ones acquired on this journey. It can be difficult to achieve this when under pressure. Now it’s time to spread our wings and go out into the community. We have been set free to fly and choose our next path in the journey of life. Rhonda Henry


LGSC challenged me to recognise my strengths and identify the areas I need to build on so I can become a more effective leader. During the past 10 months I have revised my definition of leadership and reconnected with the values and issues that matter the most to me. My knowledge of and passion for the Great South Coast region has been enhanced through the excellent presenters and field trips I was privileged to experience in this program. The community project component of the program was a valuable opportunity to practice the skills I had learned and work with a team of diverse and skilled people. I have been inspired by each of the program participants and created links with new networks that will benefit my future volunteering roles. From the confidence and skills that LGSC has given me, I plan to seek community networks and new volunteering opportunities that will enable me to make a real difference in my community.
Vicki Askew-Thornton


Do you have two left feet and can’t dance?


Great South Coast Leadership participants attended their final program day having their eyes opened to the value of volunteering—for both themselves as developing leaders and for their communities. On a day where particpants were exposed to volunteering experiences of the State Emergency Service (SES), Warrnambool Food Share and the personal stories of Vickie Jellie (Peter’s Project) and Matty Stewart (Standing Tall), there was much to be learned.

Dr Bernadette Northeast opened the day at Warrnambool SES, encouraging particpants to view volunteering as more than a positive and personally fulfilling way of giving back to the community. She spoke of volunteering as an opportunity to hone your skills as a leader in order to keep fellow volunteers engaged and active. As Dr Northeast explained, “volunteer leadership roles require strong skills. People are under no obligation to stay as a volunteer, so to lead in this capacity you need skills to make people stay because they want to”. While she painted a realistic picture of volunteering—encouraging participants to do their due diligence before taking on a volunteer role—Dr Northeast motivated LGSC participants to experience “volamnesia—the moment you forget you are volunteering to help change lives because it is changing yours”.

An informal roundtable discussion provided LGSC with insight into the personal stories of Vickie Jellie—Australia’s Local Hero Award winner for 2017—and local radio personality Matty Stewart—nominee for Australia’s Local Hero Award 2018. Vickie’s story of turning the loss of her husband to cancer into a passion for developing local cancer services was told humbly, yet reiterated a selfless demonstration of why volunteers are the core of our nation’s community and that with persistence, nothing is impossible. Matty’s larrakin personality shone throughout his story and was a core driver of his ability to engage people and generate enthusiastic support for life-changing programs such as Standing Tall and Look Out.

Next stop was Warrnambool Food Share where the group got into the spirit of volunteering by organising food donations for the following week’s delivery to hungry families. In the previous week 119 hampers—feeding 165 adults and 136 kids—were distributed in the Warrnambool area, demonstrating the ongoing (and growing) demand for this service to the region.

The afternoon saw a return to the SES for an impressive demonstration of volunteer skills in a mock road rescue exercise. An impeccably trained and impressively organised crew exhibited what volunteer time and effort can achieve—life saving rescue in the toughest conditions.

The day confirmed that there is a volunteer opportunity to fit every individual. It just takes a bit of time and effort to find what fits you best. So, back to the question ‘Do you have two left feet and can’t dance?’ Then volunteering is definitely for you. Despite your two left feet, we all have two hands—one for helping ourselves and one for helping others! And would you believe it, second only to dancing, volunteering is Australian people’s greatest source of joy in life.

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