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As part of the LGSC Program participants form project teams to complete community projects. All projects have direct benefit to the Great South Coast region and must align to the Great South Coast Strategic Plan priorities.

Projects can be put forward by participants, Alumni, LGSC Committee members, LGSC staff, local government and community representatives.

Diverse teams engage in action learning allowing them to engage with the community in ways that are not possible in their professional life.

All projects engage local leaders as mentors. Mentors provide connections, support and advice the project team.

Projects are presented to the LGSC Committee.

Projects are generally completed by December annually and may be extended in consultation with the Executive Officer.





Our Story

This project aims to create awareness of cultural diversity through media and art in the Great South Coast region.

The Our Story project will:

  • Give a profile and a story to the migrants and refugees of the Great South Coast.
  • Create a broader understanding within the community of the challenges and hardships faced by migrants and refugees.
  • Create a reflective art piece that encompasses the stories and experiences of migrant and refugees.

This project aligns with the Great South Coast Strategic Plan Goal 4.3 Increase inclusion and participation in recreation, arts, culture and community life and Goal 5.4 Build and foster collaborative networks within the Great South Coast region, identifying and addressing barriers to cooperation.

The outcomes of this project will be staged. The first stage is to have five migrant and/or refugee stories published in local media. The second stage is to have a significant art piece that encompasses the stories and experiences of migrants and refugees.


Our Story publications

Meet the 2017 Leadership Great South Coast team and read about their personal motivations behind bringing Our Story to life Intro article


Caffeine Dream

This project aims to raise awareness of the impact non-biodegradable single use coffee cups have on our environment. Project aims:

  • Raise awareness of the waste story in our community by focusing on the issue of non-biodegradable single use coffee cups.
  • Empower individuals, businesses and organisations to change behavior with a campaign to #BYOCoffeeCup
  • Encourage cafes to join the www.responsiblecafe.org movement.

This project aligns to the Great South Coast Strategic Plan section 3.4 Promote and advocate for programs that encourage sustainable waste management and better management of environmental hazards and 3.2 Support activities and other measures that help us to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Outcome: With local cafes coming onboard keep an eye on www.responsiblecafe.org 


Project initiative October 2017 Warrnambool Victoria

As a Project initiative, Caffeine Dream team gifted 150 FREE #BYOKeepCup to help the Warrnambool community start their own #WarOnWasteAu

50 FREE keep cups each day across 3 separate cafes.

Piccolo’s  – 50 given away in 45 mins

Dr Tully’s – 50 given away in 15 mins

Cafe Lava – 50 given away in 40 minutes



This project aims to create an interpretive arts installation that represents the unique cultural, historical and geographical features of the Koroit area.

The SculptED17 project will;

  • Contribute to the continuation of the arts trail in the GSC region (adding on from the Ngatanwarr Mural, Charged Landscapes and Play Cones).
  • Increase the awareness of the Port Fairy – Koroit rail trail region and  encourage further use of the trail.
  • Facilitate the development of an arts piece aims to inspire users of the trail to learn more about the cultural, historical and geographical features of the Koroit area through interaction with the piece.
  • Profile and promote environmental sustainability in design and construction of a significant public art(s) piece along the Port Fairy -Koroit rail trail.
  • The creation of an interactive art piece along the rail trail aims to excite and inspire local artists to tell a lasting and impactful story within their own region.

This project aligns with the Great South Coast Strategic Plan Goal 3.5; Promote sustainable nature-based tourism within the Great South Coast region, ensuring the environment and cultural values of our natural assets are acknowledged and protected


Connecting with Mental Health Carers in the Great South Coast Region

The project aims to conduct research to identify the needs of mental health carers living in the Great South Coast region. The team will produce a resource that communicates carers’ stories and support needs.

The Project will:

  • Identify and document the stories and needs of mental health carers from the Great South Coast region.
  • Compile the findings into a comprehensive resource including recommendations for delivering unmet needs.
  • Present the report to stakeholder organisations including Fight For Your Life, Wellways Australia and Headspace.

This project aligns to the Great South Coast Strategic Plan section 2.4 Identify and seek to address the connectivity needs of all of our communities, 4.2 Strengthen community health, wellbeing and resilience and 4.3 Increase inclusion and participation in recreation, arts, culture and community life.

Outcome: A survey has been conducted to gain feedback from mental health carers living in the Great South Coast region. The survey closed on 20 September 2017. Results and recommendations will be presented to the Fight For Your Life, Wellways Australia and Headspace (November 2017).


Alumni Project

Great South Coast Economic Migration Pilot

The 2016 LGSC Alumni have instigated this Pilot in partnership with iGen Foundation and the Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development (see below). The Pilot aims to encourage metro families to move to western Victoria to assist in driving economic development in our region.


The Pilot aims to support a small number of families, originally from Africa, to relocate to the Great South Coast. These families aspire to move to regional areas to gain employment, particularly in agricultural industries, to create a new life for themselves and contribute back to our communities.

These families are Australian Citizens who, after living in metropolitan regions for approximately 10 years, wish to move to rural areas similar to where they have come from where their agriculture skill-sets are best placed and utilized.

An online interactive database will be established as a platform to match families with employment prior to arrival. Families will be supported locally with links to housing, schools, training providers and service clubs to ensure community integration.

This Pilot is based on a case study from Mingoola, NSW that was recently showcased on ABC’s Australian Story. We encourage you to take the time to view the episode.


September 2017

Click here to see our – Welcome Weekend September 2017 You Tube clip Our first families took a tour of Balmoral, Penshurst and Casterton in the beautiful Southern Grampians Shire.


Pilot Partners

  • Leadership Great South Coast – supporting our Alumni to engage in community projects that have direct benefits for our region and align to the Great South Coast Strategic Plan.
  • Lynda Ford, CEO of iGen Foundation – Lynda is an internationally acknowledged specialist in community development with experience spanning non-government, government, industry and public research organisations. Lynda will provide the project with strategic planning and policy advice.
  • Emmanuel Musoni, Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development and featured on Australian Story, has been crucial to getting this Pilot off the ground and provides the link with the families wishing to relocate.

LGSC, iGen Foundation and GLAPD form the Pilot Leadership team to oversee the Pilot and a Working Group will be established on the ground to provide local knowledge and guidance.

An initial Working Group established in the Southern Grampians Shire with aims to relocate families to the shire by January 2018.

A researcher from the University of Melbourne has been engaged to evaluate the success of the Pilot so that the model that can be replicated across regional Victoria.

This Pilot will ensure population growth and, in turn, enhance the economic and social base of rural communities in the Great South Coast.



Shop in a Box

The ‘Shop In A Box’ project envisions a vibrant town centre experience, encouraging local entrepreneurship and drawing tourism. The Portland Pilot aims to provide a framework to reactivate our CBDs through temporary uses of empty shops, modelled on the Renew Newcastle idea of free, short-term contracts between landowners and tenants.

A passionate community committee has been established as a sub committee of The Committee for Portland, who sponsor the pilot in partnership with LGSC.

With two shops NOW OPEN in Percy St, Portland the Committee are now working to revitalise more shops in the CBD.

Follow https://www.facebook.com/littlecanineco/ the first Shop in a Box and https://www.facebook.com/Naturalsoycreations/

Contact https://www.facebook.com/portlandshopinabox/ if you have business idea or are a landlord

Access the Shop In A Box FAQ





Accessible and Inclusive Play Equipment

This project will provide accessible and inclusive play equipment for a community within the Great South Coast. Specifically, the project aims are to:

  • Install an all-inclusive piece of play equipment within the Warrnambool City Council.
  • Compile and distribute a research report to  Great South Coast Local Government Areas specific to the project.

This project aligns to the Great South Coast Strategic Plan section 4.3 Increase inclusion and participation in recreation, arts, culture and community life.

 Outcome: With $25k funds from Variety an all-inclusive carousel will be installed at the Cramer St, Warrnambool Play Space in early 2017. The project total is $37k

Literacy Buddies Great South Coast

This project plans to introduce the Ardoch Literacy Buddies Program to the Great South Coast by supporting one primary school in the region to participate in a Pilot letter exchange program with a group of volunteers. Project aims:

  • Introduce Literacy Buddies to the Great South Coast
  • Provide pathways for students to use their literacy skills in the real world by exchanging letters.
  • Provide a fulfilling avenue for retirees within the community to assist primary school students to improve their skills and engagement at school.
  • Provide a pilot for other schools to adopt this program in the future.

This project aligns to the Great South Coast Strategic Plan section 4.1 Drive educational attainment and build a learning community.

Outcome: After a successful pilot in 2016 the literacy buddies team are working to hand over the pilot project to East Warrnambool Primary and Lyndoch Living to run in 2017.

Mental Apportunity

This project aims to develop a mobile APP. The App will include a calendar of events throughout GSC Region that specifically benefit mental health. It will include, but not be limited to, events that are hosted by mental health organisations as well as other not-for-profit community events that have known mental health benefits. It will also provide information about mental well-being and relevant contacts. The project aims to:


  • Provide knowledge and local support via events and networking for all mental health communities
  • Bridge the gap between mental health events/support/information and individuals and carers challenged by mental health conditions
  • Educate, support and inspire the community via the App
  • Assist in breaking down misconceptions about people with a mental illness and ‘normalise’ the 
spectrum of mental health
  • Support a collaborative approach between mental health support networks throughout the region


This project aligns to the Great South Coast Strategic Plan section 2.4 Identify and seek to address connectivity needs of all our communities – Deteriorating levels of social connectedness, decreased levels of social isolation

 Outcome: www.headout.com.au is currently under construction, to be launched in early 2017.


Supporting the Basalt to Bay Landcare, Green Line Sustainable Shelter Belts Project 

The Green Line is a 37 kilometer strip of former railway line from Koroit to Minhamite. This project aims to education the community about its critically endangered native grasslands and woody grasslands leading to greater appreciation of its environmental importance.


LGSC Project Team will support to a number of the following project priorities. Woolsthorpe Siding actions:

  • Establish 2 x 20m wide by 400m long belts fenced in Woolsthorpe siding site
  • Establish belts be used to demo creating a shrub shelterbelt method e.g. till direct seed, one tube stock planting.
  • Complete weed control trials using fire and/or steam to kill pasture grasses and stimulate native species growth prior to planting (no herbicide)
  • Plant species tube stock to replicate a Victorian Volcanic Plain grassy woodland using plants grown from seed collected on site and nearby
  • Produce a YouTube video showcasing project
  • Install interpretive sign on site about works.

This project aligns to the Great South Coast Strategic Plan section 3.3 Help to educate our community about sustainable use of natural resources, including groundwater and inland waterways, the marine environment, land use etc.

Outcome: The project team have competed 2016 support of the Green Line project and will volunteer in 2017 when onsite fencing of the siding occurs.




SculptED aimed to establish an arts trail to reveal and celebrate the geological and cultural history of our region.

The 2015 SculptED project developed one large scale interactive and educative artwork (up skilling local artists as part of the process), with the long term vision for the Great South Coast to proudly host a trail of works scattered across our region offering creative, inspiration and an opportunity to learn about our shared history.

Project Outcome – The initial sculpture titled Charged Landscape was launched on the Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail (off Regent Street, Port Fairy) on 18 March 2016. See our Gallery and News tabs for more details.

 We suggest you visit Charged Landscape both day and night to experience the glowing elements of the work. Dusk is a perfect time to visit the piece which is only a short walk (5 mins) from the Regent Street, Rail Trail, car park.

This project aligns with the Great South Coast Strategic Plan, section 4: Strengthen the communities of the Great South Coast- 4.3 Increase inclusion and participation in recreation, arts, culture and community life.


Standing Taller

The Standing Taller Project has delivered a professional marketing prospectus to the Warrnambool Standing Tall Youth Mentoring Program and represents a template for other Standing Tall groups and not for profit organisations in the Great South Coast Region. The prospectus aims to promote the work and benefits of the Standing Tall Program and to develop mutually beneficial business partnerships. Underlying this project was the need to support and enhance educational attainment for young people in the south west. The potential benefits for young people through educational attainment flow on into their relationships, health, economic and social wellbeing and that of our whole community.

Project Outcomes – Standing Tall Prospectus was completed and presented to the Standing Tall Committee to assist in attracting Business and Industry financial support for the program.

This project aligns with the Great South Coast Strategic Plan, section 4: Strengthen the communities of the Great South Coast -4.1 Drive educational attainment and build a learning community.


Your Paddock Classroom – Sustainable Growing for Tomorrows Generations

Your Paddock Classroom is a social enterprise project to assist in supporting disengaged youth to develop a small acreage farm enterprise. The aim is to improve educational and entrepreneurial opportunities for young people who are disengaged from the formal education system. An informal group have been meeting previously (in Hamilton) to improve educational attainment explore employment opportunities for youth through non-traditional pathways, pursue sustainable local food production and stimulate the local community.

Project Outcome – Objectives of creating a strong foundation including formation of steering committee, governance model and securing public land to run the trial were all met. The value of this foundation phase should not be under estimated in the progression and ultimate success of “Your Paddock Classroom” in to 2016 and beyond. If the trial is successful, the model can be easily rolled out in other communities within the region.

This project aligns with the following Great South Coast Strategic Plan objectives: 1.2, 1.3 and 4.1.


Shop in a Box

The ‘Shop In A Box’ project envisions a vibrant town centre experience, encouraging local entrepreneurship and drawing tourism. The project aimed to provide a framework to reactivate our CBDs through temporary uses of empty shops, modelled on the Renew Newcastle idea of free, short-term contracts between landowners and tenants. 

Project Outcome – Stage One produced a  feasibility study analysing the issues, options and path towards facilitating such a program. Shop In A Box Feasibility Report 1215

This project aligns with the following Great South Coast Strategic Plan objectives: 1.3, 1.4, 1.6 and 4.3.

 Update April 2016 – Both Warrnambool City Council and Glenelg Shire have shown interest in taking the Shop in a Box project to pilot. Projects are currently being discussed/scoped.



Ngatanwarr (Welcome) Mural – Preserve Past Embrace Tomorrow

A community project delivered by Leadership Great South Coast 2014 participants to implement an arts/environmental community project.

The Ngatanwarr (Nat an war) Mural was painted by world renowned artist ‘Adnate’ www.adnate.com.au on the corner of Merri and Kepler Street, Warrnambool March 13th-16th, 2015.  The mural incorporates information detailing and celebrating significant cultural sites and narratives of the Gunditjmara people and Great South Coast region.

The project has been led by a steering group consisting of Leadership Great South Coast in partnership with Warrnambool Art Gallery, the F Project, Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative and South West TAFE.

The project aligns with the Great South Coast Group’s Strategic Plan goal to ‘better integrate nature based and indigenous tourism products into state, national and international marketing structures’ and the goal of ‘building rural communities sense of place through investment in community arts projects’.

Funding for the mural has been made possible through seed funding from the Hugh Williamson Foundation (Bug Blitz) and through contributions from the State Government (Anti-Graffiti funds), Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative and the Isobel & David Jones Family Foundation.

Project Outcomes – The Ngatanwarr Mural was opened on 20 March 2015 by Marcus Clarke, CEO Gunditjmara Cooperative, members of the Gunditjmara Community and the Steering Group. The mural is located on the corner of Merri and Kepler Streets Warrnambool. You can view the making of the mural here .

September 2015 Update – Philanthropic support was secured to install flood lighting of the mural. We suggest you visit the mural both during the day and in the evening to view the art work in varying light.



Active Great South Coast was an evidence based project as research indicates that increased involvement in physical activity has a positive impact on physical and mental health. We aimed to link services which work with vulnerable individuals and families to low cost accessible movement orientated activities – through the Community House Network benefiting the community as a whole.

Great South Coast Strategic Plan alignment includes “Enhance the quality and increase the use of community and sporting assets and open space areas in rural communities.” Pg. 35 and “Improve access to housing, employment, recreation and education facilities for rural communities and disadvantaged groups.” Pg. 45

The project aimed to get people involved in physical activities and support/encourage them to have a go at some new activities/sports in a supportive environment. Utilising existing Community House Network to develop links between services working with vulnerable people and existing fitness and health activities and opportunities.

The  pilot project was based in WCC. The intention is to build linkages that continue beyond the end of the project.

Project Outcome – Objectives were successfully met, within the reduced  project scope (WCC  only). The project was downsized to a localised pilot project and achieved higher than expected results with strong uptake of offered activities with significant support and enthusiasm from the Warrnambool Community House. Project plan and report were made available to the Community house to assist with planning a sustainable project within the local area and to encourage roll out across the region.


On the Shoulders of Giants – Inspiration through Conversation

This community project recorded 13 initial audio conversations with professionals from our Great South Coast community, who shared their wisdom, strength and stories in overcoming challenges; providing insight into their professions and how education played a role in their achievements.

A hyperlink to the YouTube channel will be made publicly available  as a resource for young people who require career advice and inspiration.

The project aims to inspire and encourage retention of students to Year 12 or equivalent by providing an online medium through which they can learn from other’s career pathways i.e. professionals articulating alternative pathways to higher education (both vocational and university).  

This project aligns with the Great South Coast Strategic Plan Goal 4.4 – Provide opportunities for young people to participate in decision making process

Background Stats

One of the key Priority Projects identified in the Great South Coast Strategic Plan, is the Great South Coast Education Attainment Project (Beyond the Bell).

The fact is that whilst the average attainment rate of students completing Year 12 is 74% across the state of Victoria, our region fairs poorly in comparison.

The following statistics highlight the challenge; Warrnambool 60.6%, Colac Otway -57.2%, Moyne – 57%, Southern Grampians – 56%, Corangamite – 52.5% and Glenelg – 51% (2015)


Project Outcome – On The Shoulders Of Giants YouTube Channel is now available. This resource can be used by students, parents, teachers and career advisors to assist young people in making informed career decisions


The Strengthening the Strong Project assisted in establishing a group of high profile Western Victorian female dairy leaders with a view to expanding leadership capacity within the group and act as a support mechanism for aspiring female dairy leaders.

The project aligns to the Great South Coast Strategic Plan Goal 1.4 – Build the capacity of our agribusiness sector to become the Australian centre for agricultural/dairy research. Pg. 19,
Goal 1.6 – Build our leadership and entrepreneurial capacity, particularly in the small and home based business sectors. Pg. 19 and Goal 5.3 – Build leadership and knowledge capacity by establishing reference groups with expertise, experience and influence in key areas of regional focus. Pg. 53

Project Outcome – Through a facilitated process the project team assisted the group to establishing an agreed network structure, Terms of Reference, code of conduct and proposed annual meeting schedule. As well as advising the group to link to existing dairy networks (including but not limited to The Gardiner Foundation and Dairy Australia/ WestVic Dairy) where additional support can be provided.  

Group members were involved with the DairySage mentoring program in Dec 2014/Jan 2015 and organising a social ladies lunch for upwards of 300 women in March 2015. Beyond March the group will come together and plan using the process that this project assisted them to develop.



The Turf2Surf project team ran a free camping weekend (summer 2014) for farming families within the Great South Coast, to provide easy access to health and wellbeing services which may have a beneficial impact on health and wellbeing awareness.

The project aimed to increase farmer’s awareness of health and wellbeing services available to them by providing an opportunity for farming families within the Great South Coast to get off their farms and participate in a free camping weekend. Health and wellbeing information and services will be made available over the weekend.

Project Outcome – The free camping weekend was held for farming families over the Wunta Festival weekend 2014. Activities included a Friday night meet and greet, BBQ dinner Saturday with Guest Speaker Dr Bernie Crimmins (topic men’s health). Health checks and referral services were made available to all participants. Physical activities e.g. karate and bike riding were offered.

A survey of participating farming families included: postcode, farm type, when was last break from the farm, if weekend was not free – would you have taken a break from the farm, has this weekend improved your knowledge of local Health and Wellbeing service providers available in the GSC region. The survey identified if farmers engaged with health and welfare organisations and activities. Survey data and recommendation report were made available to 2014 participants with a view to picking up the project.


The Milk in Schools project team  investigated potential interest and partnerships with the view to commencing a milk in primary schools pilot program. The project aims to provide a nutritious dairy drink option to primary school children in the GSC with the AIM to improve physical and oral health outcomes.

Great South Cost Strategic Plan Alignment 4.1 Address the lower than average health and wellbeing status of our people.

A strong emphasis of the Great South Coast (GSC) Regional Plan is the building of human and social capital by improving the health and wellbeing outcomes within our community. By concentrating on children’s physical health (which includes their oral health) whilst striving to support the social determinants of health; ensures positive steps to building a lifetime of wellbeing.

Health and wellbeing is a focus the Milk in Great South Coast Primary Schools project team have concentrated on.

According to the GSC strategic plan (p44) risky behaviours such as unhealthy eating (this includes consumption of highly acidic and sweetened beverages), occur at significantly higher rates than the Victorian average and are also higher than the rural Victorian average. As a consequence, the region has high levels of obesity.

Project Outcome – After extensive researched the project team identified an appropriate healthy milk product. A UHT option was found to meet the health requirements (fat and sugar content) as well as transport and logistics requirements. Due to lack of stakeholder engagement the pilot project did not proceed. The project team foresees an opportunity to progress a pilot in the future with confirmed stakeholder engagement.


The Work Experience Framework for Business project team planed to develop a draft framework document to act as a best practice guideline for the placement of Yr. 10 students in work experience. The purpose of the framework document was to enhance work experience for both students and local businesses. It was intended that the draft document would have input from the local schools and businesses.

The project aimed to improve relationships between secondary schools students and local employers and in turn develop clearer pathways for career choices and assist in increasing the aspiration and retention rates for Year 12 or equivalent attainment.

Project Outcome –Although project outcomes were not achieved in the documented timelines the project Lead and team members gained valuable project management and stakeholder engagement skills throughout the project.


The  Year 12 or Equivalent Attainment Project team has developed a database of key stakeholders across the Great South Coast region that can be used to run community and stakeholder forums to inform the community based action plans.

The project aimed to assit the Great South Coast Yr. 12 or Equivalent attainment Project 10 understanding contributing factors to the relatively low Year 12 or equivalent attainment rate and retention rates of year 10-12 students across the Great South Coast. The project will closely consulted with the Great South Coast Yr. 12 or Equivalent attainment Project working party to ensure alignment.

Project Outcome – As documented the project team developed and populated a regional stakeholder database that was completed and handed to the Great South Coast Yr. 12 or Equivalent attainment Project/ Beyond the Bell Project in 2013.



The Healthy Active Environment project investigated ways of enhancing Great South Coast participation in national Health and Environment Days specifically National Tree Day 2013.

The team planned to increasing awareness, support and participation for National Tree Day event at the Killarney Reserve on 28 July 2013.

Project Outcome – The project team achieved increased participation on National Tree Day 2013 at the Killarney planting site. Increased participation included volunteers who had previously not participated in environmental activism.


The Youth Mentoring project team investigated youth mentoring opportunities within the Great South Coast region. The Standing Tall Program was identified as an organisation with an ongoing commitment to developing youth in the GSC region that would benefit from LGSC support.

The project team are assisting Standing Tall to set up fundraising systems that will be of ongoing benefit to the organisation and the region into the future.

Project Outcome – The project team developed a 20:20 Vision with a view to increasing financial support from individuals to the Standing Tall Programs. Deliverables included a web presence indicating coverage of the program across the region i.e. in Hamilton, Warrnambool, Heywood, Camperdown and Colac.

The project established a My Cause online portal where individuals can make donations to Standing Tall.


The LGSC Alumni project looked at establishing the parameters for the LGSC Alumni Program and Community Skills Bank to ensure ongoing linkages with former Program participants who have a strong affinity with the objectives of the LGSC program.

The team surveyed current participants to confirm parameters and framework for the Alumni program and assisted in the establishment of a future Alumni Program.

Project Outcome – 2012 Program participants were surveyed to inform the structure of the LGSC Alumni schedule. Results informed the annual calendar events which included targeted professional development and networking opportunities.

The calendar has grown since 2012 to include participation in the Victorian Small Business Festival annually and hosting of an event. LGSC annually run the AICD Governance Foundation for NFP Directors course.


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