Actively Contributing to Our Community
11,000 families. 62,000 people. 24,000 hampers. 217,000 meals. These figures are huge. This is the impact and reach Warrnambool & District Foodshare has had over the past 6 years in our region supporting our community through a dedicated team of volunteers led by the charismatic Dedy Friebe. The story of Foodshare is one of many we were privileged to be a small part of recently in a day exploring the true value of volunteerism in our region.
Volunteerism is strong in our region. This should come as no surprise when you dig a little into the opportunities available in the Great South Coast to be a part of the community by giving your time, skills, knowledge or just lending a hand to one of the many groups listed on the Volunteer Connect website. The value volunteers bring to our region is significant.
The value in volunteering is personal too. To be part of a group, build a network, extend your skills, knowledge and leadership, make social connections and test a new career are some of the many benefits volunteering can bring. Having a personal volunteerism strategy can be an effective way to find a meaningful pathway to contribute in the community while extending your professional experience at the same time.
Witnessing the dedicated SES team of volunteers in training as they extricated a passenger from a vehicle cutting it open like a tin can was a great example of the opportunities volunteering offers to build skills and knowledge. I’m grateful we have this crack team of emergency service volunteers on hand in our region after seeing their ability to work as a team and troubleshoot on the fly and under pressure.
Hearing several personal stories on this program day of journeys and adventures through volunteerism gives the 2019 LGSC participants great food for thought in considering where to next? In a year of significant personal and professional growth it’s fitting that our last program day of the 2019 program leaves us to consider how we can continue to contribute the best of ourselves as community leaders into the future.
Brendan Donahoo, 2019 Participant
A Day on Country – Budj Bim
What better way to learn about local Indigenous culture and history than a tour of the newly crowned World Heritage listed site of Budj Bim! And all the more perfect to have Tyson Lovett-Murray as our guide and tell us HIS people’s history; the good, the bad and the ugly.
There were some fascinating facts shared with us by Tyson:
Eels have been tracked migrating as far as 3000km to New Caledonia!
There are lots of different ways to catch eels, including placing wattle foliage in eel trap water which then releases something that knocks the eels out.
Totems are given to children when they’re born, Aboriginal people don’t eat their family’s animal or their totem animal. They are responsible for looking after this species. Other mobs may eat it but they/their family don’t.
Importantly we should note how harmonious the Aboriginal people were with the environment and their sustainable farming practices.
An interesting discussion arose about the changing of those local streets named after people or families we now know were responsible for persecuting local Indigenous people. One line of thought was if we did, would we run the chance of the history being lessened or forgotten? With decisions like this the most important thing to remember is to include the local indigenous people in these conversations, so we are not making the same mistake again of assuming we know what they want or what is best for them.
This could also help in the Aboriginal people’s need for self-determination. This is starting to happen; Koori Court and the push for spent convictions in Victoria are both helping Aboriginal people move towards self-determination. Aboriginal people should be responsible for deciding what is best for their people and their communities.
The massacres, genocide, poisoning, lies and mis-truths, missions, stolen generations, lack of any human rights (just to name a few), all tell of a very ugly, and not so distant, past. We regularly hear about WW1/WW2 veterans and victims (white man’s story [absolutely no disrespect intended, just trying to make a point]) and the atrocities they lived through, but very rarely do we hear the stories about the takeover of Aboriginal lands, which are just as atrocious. And for these story telling people who relive it every time the story is told there is no closing the book and picking it up again when they’re ready, they hold this in their heads and hearts forever. We should never underestimate the pain that is relived every time they tell the stories of the takeover of their land and the removal of their human rights.
Australian Indigenous history is very confronting, but for reconciliation to occur we must continue to acknowledge the injustices that occurred. This is essential for several reasons: so this ugly history is not forgotten and history doesn’t repeat itself; and to keep pushing for self-determination for Aboriginal people. They identified this is a priority need for them and it is our role as leaders to support them to achieve this.
It is encouraging to see that racism is decreasing with each generation and can only hope that this continues to be the case with each passing generation having more respect, understanding and acceptance than the last.
After all, we’re all only human doing the best we can with what we have available to us at the time.
Amy Sylvester, 2019 Participant
What Our Alumni Say…
Find your voice. Discover your ignorance. Supercharge your influence. Unexpected learning and exposure on every level. Phil
You will be stretched, and at times it will be difficult. At times, it will probably blow your mind, and it may send you a little crazy. You’ll probably cry. You will definitely laugh – quite a lot. You’ll meet and connect with the most incredible people along the way – often unexpectedly. You will learn more about yourself and you will understand others better. You will come out with a better understanding of your place in the world and where you’re likely to be able to do your best work. I cannot think of any other place where you’d get an opportunity like this – to have access to the insights and knowledge of so many different people on so many different topics. I recommend doing it. Kate
It is like becoming a parent – you think you understand what you are in for and you roll your eyes when people tell you to expect the unexpected but then BANG! Lauren
You will get back what you put into it, and if you do the work you will be richly rewarded. Mark
For applications tailored to Dairy…This is a course that will make you think differently. It will open your eyes to the world outside of agriculture. You will be challenged, inspired and equipped to come back into the industry and your business and have a positive impact. Tom
It takes a lot of effort and dedication and it is worth every bit of it. Blessing
You will meet great passionate people and learn about the opportunities and challenges in the Great South Coast region. If you care about your community and making a difference where you live, this is the course for you. Your leadership capability will grow over the journey and you will be better armed to take on the challenges that the future will hold. Peter
There are few personal or professional development programs out there that offer the opportunities, connections, personal growth and challenges that LGSC does. It will change you. Jacob
2020 Program Applications Open
Over $30K in Scholarships Available
Are you ready to take the next step in your leadership journey? Yes! click here
LGSC is for you if…
You are driven and passionate about your community and your growth.
You have leadership aspirations and potential for further professional and personal growth.
You looking to progress to a senior position in your sector.
You have the ability to commit the required time and energy to a development program and to engage as an active learner.