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The Silent Struggles


It is difficult to know where to begin and virtually impossible to fit everything in, the common theme that resonated on our Building an Inclusive Community Program Day was the silent struggles that each of our presenters face. It can be so easy to put on your game face and show up, but to reveal what is hidden beneath the surface takes true strength.

Alma Besserdin’s self – awareness and emotional intelligence was very apparent, every example she gave highlighted the importance of understanding your own behaviour and how other might perceive you.
Alma has learnt something from every uncomfortable interaction. If we do not put ourselves forward and make ourselves accountable, why should we expect others to?

The bravery and vulnerability shown by our afternoon speakers saw a few watery eyes around the room. Ishmael Musiliza’s raw and open account of what is was like to flee Congo with his older brother and finally land safely in Australia was captivating, he did not ask for pity. It was humbling to see just how grateful Ishmael is to be here in the Western Districts and how appreciative he is of the things that most take for granted. His positivity and enthusiasm for life is infectious.

Jason Smith was equally as vulnerable and his story took a direction no one saw coming. Breaking the ice by talking about his own leadership journey and winning Young Farmer of the Year led into the challenges of coming out as gay in the agricultural community. He is a vibrant and energetic young farmer and despite being very busy with his business Jason takes time to help others battle the stigma associated with being LGBTI and working in agriculture. Ongoing seasonal challenges and unpredictable markets are challenging in themselves; the agricultural community should lead by example and support each other irrelevant of race, gender or sexual orientation.

The day was full of emotion and certainly opened up my eyes to the importance of remaining inquisitive and welcoming; everybody is fighting a battle we know nothing about, we are all the same in different ways.

Kelly Barnes, 2019 Program Partcipant

Thank you to our Speakers Alma Besserdin; Ishmael Musiliza; Jason Smith and Carly Jordan


2019 Community Projects Announced


Four community projects will be delivered this year by the LGSC 2019 participants, the projects will provide support to a variety of groups in our South West community.

Creating intergenerational connection Cycling Without Age aims to facilitate social interaction. The goal is acquisition of a special bike to carry up to two passengers to transport the elderly in order to tackle isolation issues and improving their health and well-being via regular outdoor experiences.

Aiming to improve mental health and social inclusion the Veterans Retreat is a weekend of activities for veterans where they can interact and learn what the Great South Coast region has to offer and how they can engage in community.

EATS Great South Coast will scope support needed to showcase the regions produce increasing tourism.

Finally empowering community to go solar and generate annual income to keep community projects happening, Community Owned Solar will create the opportunity for community groups and building owners to work together to promote solar and community projects in the region.

A busy year ahead for the participants of the 2019 LGSC program, the journey has just started. Keep an eye on our Projects page for more updates about our evolving projects.


Juan Donis, 2019 Program Participant 03/04/19


Practical Project Management


Envisage an overcast and damp Port Fairy, beyond our window the Port Fairy Folk Festival infrastructure is being dismantled!

This apt scene got me thinking about the project management skills required to run a four day event, involving hundreds of acts, thousands of visitors and volunteers.

Kevin Bennett from KB Business Solutions defined a project as “A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a product or service”.

Kevin then launched into a fast paced day covered the key phases of project management – initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and closing and the importance of reflecting, analysing and evaluating each new piece of information.

A range of tools, methods and tips were provided throughout the day including the 80/20 rule, work structure breakdown, responsibility matrix’s, critical paths, risk management etc. By the end of the day we had covered five project management processes, seven tools, three behaviours and thirteen concepts!

As the project management day unfolded we gained new skills and importantly it allowed the participants the opportunity to interact with one another and helped us to analyse our own strengths and weaknesses, and each teams unique dynamics and the varying leadership roles

Jason Cay, 2019 Program Particpant 19/03/19


The Future is a Quantum Leap Away


Today’s technology developments are moving forward at a fast pace. 3D printing has revolutionised the world and the challenge to introduce these new technologies is very real, and how do we manage these new developments ethically and with so many complexities?

We’re told, it’s been proven that we can print a house at a fraction of the cost. We can print food with the same nutritional value. There will be less waste, safer jobs, better quality products available and it will help grow regional areas of Australia. How will this impact current industries like farming and construction and what future industries will it create?

Dubai alone have set a target that 25% of buildings will be printed by 2030. So where does Australia fit into all this? Is Australia falling behind in this technology mainly due to strict regulations? We know the technology is coming, we just don’t know when. We need to prepare for it now, however how do we do this? Educating people for jobs that don’t exist yet is a difficult task. Preparing for something when we have no idea when it’s coming is a huge challenge that exists today.

This technology is coming whether we like it or not. Standards and regulations will be challenging and we need to embrace the change with a strong focus on Ethics, people and communities.

Together we can implement and support these changes to improve our region and for the benefit of our future generations.

Adam Kent, 2018 Program Participant, 06/03/19

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