May / June, 2015 Edition
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'Community & Economic Development Matters' Newsletter


Welcome to the May / June, 2015 edition of the Community and Economic Development Matters Newsletter. There are so many innovative initiatives happening around the globe in terms of community and economic development. Hopefully this edition of the Newsletter will excite you about your own potential to make a difference locally through the stories and inspiration of others. 
This edition seeks to honour a number of outstanding young Australians who are inspirational community builders. Firstly, that dynamic team of Bridie Ritchie, Kate Fitzgerald and Lachy Richie who comprise Sprout Ventures. Their innovative place-making work saw them win a National Social Enterprise Award in early June (read more about this in the localism section of the newsletter).
Secondly, Rhys Williams from Mandurah, Western Australia who recently was acknowledged as the “Young Person of the Year for Western Australia” due to his community empowerment initiatives (read more about this in the youth section of the newsletter).
Finally, our most recent recipient of the Global Community Builder Giraffe Award is Emily Messieh. Emily is a dynamic, passionate 25 year old. She lives with a permanent physical disability from a car accident 6 years ago, but always advocates that we should be focusing on people's abilities, not disabilities and break the stigma attached. She coordinates a community hub in Northern Illawarra, NSW called the Thirroul Neighbourhood Centre, and started doing so at 21 years of age. Since starting at the Centre, she has increased the volunteers involved from 4 to over 60, and Centre projects from three to 12. She advocates for what her local community aspires, and the Centre is a reflection of the community around her. Her signature projects include transforming graffiti hot spots into mural hubs, and her “Know Thy Neighbour Exhibition” which tells stories of local people in a photo and story display. Emily is involved in many other projects, including the coordination of a pop-up restaurant at Lighthouse in Wollongong where 80-100 people are fed the best quality food in Wollongong for free once a week. Emily is also involved in championing the ABCD Illawarra Network, coordinating the Illawarra SOUP {Northern} project (based on Detroit SOUP) and mentors many young emerging community workers in the area. An amazing young woman!
No excuses for the length of this Newsletter – so many great community initiatives to share. Enjoy!
Go well.
Peter Kenyon  (Director)                    
Maria D'Souza (Executive Officer)

Emily Messieh, recent Global Community Builder Giraffe Award recipient.


‘The great events of the world take place in the brain’. (Oscar Wilde)

‘If you think it is expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur’. (Anon)

Visit to OZ by Cormac Russell, Director, ABCD Europe – August, 2015

One of the best exponents of Asset Based Community Development is Cormac Russell from ABCD Europe. He is a brilliant presenter, and will be in Australia from 15- 29 August. Click here to learn more on Cormac and his insights on ABCD. Also, click here to watch ‘Cormac Russell Talks ABCD’.   If interested in having Cormac present for a workshop, contact Peter Kenyon or mobile 0417 183 719.

“The Future of Communities: Power to the People” Conference - August, 2015

This unique Australian national conference, organised jointly between BOI and the Municipal Association of Victoria will be held 26-27 August, 2015 with Cormac Russell from ABCD Europe as one of the keynote presenters. Click here to download the flyer. Click here to register.

2015 Safe Cities Conference: July, 2015

This one day event provides an opportunity for a diverse range of safety professionals to come together to discuss thought provoking ideas and concepts to improve safety in our communities. The Conference will be held on the 8 July 2015 at the Pullman Melbourne on the Park. Visit the conference website for more information.

2015 ICTC Mainstreet Conference People, Places and Partnerships - Creating Liveable & Loveable places: July, 2015

This Conference is being held at Novotel Wollongong from 21 - 24 July, 2015. A joint industry event, the 15th International Cities Town Centres and Communities (ICTC) Conference and 5th Mainstreet Australia Conference is being held in Wollongong, NSW - one of Australia's largest and most vibrant regional cities. Featuring speakers from the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Click here to download the registration brochure.
Developing Northern Australia Conference: July, 2015
The Conference will bring together industry leaders, government department heads with researchers, academics and interested parties to discuss the opportunities, needs and concerns regarding the development of the Northern Australia Region.  The program features nine keynote speakers, over 45 presenters, study tours and poster presentations addressing issues ranging from infrastructure, land and water management, defence growth, indigenous participation, sustainable development and community building. Click here for the program and further details.

WA Men's Shed Conference: September, 2015

The 2015 Beyond Tools Men’s Shed Conference will be held at the Cannington Exhibition Centre on Monday 21 September, 2015. Participants will have the opportunity to share the experience of the leaders of some established Men’s Sheds, to build and connect to a rapidly growing Men’s Shed community and obtain information that will help communities to establish and further develop their Men’s Shed. Click here for more details.

2015 Collective Impact Summit: September / October, 2015

The 2015 Collective Impact Summit is being held in spectacular Vancouver, Canada, from Sept. 28 – Oct. 2, 2015. This five day learning experience is intentionally designed to introduce participants to new ideas and techniques, but also provide the opportunity to renew passion for one’s work and connect with peers in similar positions. It will provide knowledge and specific tools to offer the leadership needed to connect, engage and mobilize citizens and communities to generate a shared vision and action plan for change. This year includes a special focus on transformative techniques to unite diverse opinions into a common agenda. Click here to visit the event website.
SAVE THE DATE: 8th International Urban Design Conference – November, 2015
The 8th International Urban Design Conference is being held at the Sofitel Brisbane from the 16 - 18 November 2015. This conference will showcase these innovations and projects which embrace and create transformational change in urban environments, ranging from the modest but high impact idea to the new eco-city, from technological experimentation to multicultural cities, from the use of big data to physical city making.
For further information please visit the conference website.

Imagine Better Assemblies, New Zealand: November, 2015

This year, Imagine Better is bringing a fresh approach to its annual conference by introducing two-day Assemblies in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch with a new group-discussion format. Bringing together community members, leaders and thinkers from across the street and around the world, participants will explore the theme of “Connections, Community, Citizenship”. Click here for more details.

The New Barn-Raising – international webinars on sustaining community and civic assets: April – December, 2015

What is your community, town or city doing – and what can it do - to sustain key assets such as parks, libraries, theaters and museums? This may seem like a local issue, but communities, towns and cities globally are all asking these same questions – from Amsterdam and Accra to Brasilia and Beirut. The New Barn-Raising inaugural webinar series - starting in April – captures 28 examples of global best practice (from 10 countries across 6 continents) on how best to sustain community and civic assets. Click here to find out more and register.

 Rural & Small Town  Development 

Why Your Small Town Needs Co-working

“Co- working is like shared office space, except it's more than that. Co-working works best when it's a community, too. If you're trying to build more entrepreneurship in your town, coworking is a smart place to focus”. This is an informative article from our friends at SmallBizSurvival. Click here to view and subscribe.

Announcing a New Way to Save Your Town: a Pop-Up Fair

What is a Pop-Up Fair? It’s a festival of local businesses, artists, direct marketers, home-based businesses and others who have neat stuff to sell, creating pop-up temporary businesses right on  downtown sidewalks, just for one day. Like an old-fashioned sidewalk sale, but with a decidedly new feeling of life and interesting new vendors. Another great resource from our friends at SmallBizSurvival, click here to learn more about this great idea.

Grassroots Scheme Bringing Cheaper Groceries to remote APY Lands

A grassroots scheme to bring cheaper groceries to South Australia's remote APY Aboriginal Lands could be a model for remote communities across Australia. For the past six months, a triple road train has been making deliveries from Adelaide once a week to five general stores across the APY lands. It is being run by the Mai Wiru organisation and has reduced the cost of fresh foods by 25%. Click here to learn more.

The Story of Talbot, Victoria

Click here to read a booklet by Max Kau about how this plucky little Victorian town reversed its downward spiral, rose up from the dying country town syndrome and made a conscious decision and effort to survive, revive and thrive. This booklet describes how the people of Talbot, having recovered from some of the most dreadful times in the 20th Century united  to save their town.

Rural Towns Look to Refugees for Revitalisation

Nhill, Victoria and Dalwallinu in WA share similar stories of successful refugee integration into rural communities for a win-win situation. Click here to see the report on Nhill by The Project. Click here to read an excellent article on Dalwallinu and its story from The West Australian.

Scarecrows Tell of Rural Decline

Click here to read a bitter sweet story of the town of Nagoro, Japan where one woman has replaced lost residents with scarecrows. The scarecrows now outnumber residents 150 to 35.
(Photo courtesy of Elaine Kurtenbach and The Guardian)

 Community Building 


‘We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.’
(Dorothy Day)

Remembering Judith Snow

On May 31, 2015, the inspirational Judith Snow passed away. She was a faculty member of the ABCD Institute and contributed so much to the development of this approach. Despite huge physical challenges, she was  an artist, theologian, thinker and maker of mischief and fun. Click here to read Cormac Russell’s tribute to an exceptional lady.

Wairoa Survey

Click here to view one of the best examples that we have seen of a survey for community consultation on how people feel and think about where they live.  This survey was designed by the Wairoa District Council and Te Matarae O Te Wairoa Trust.  Click here to read an article based on an interview with Peter Kenyon about Wairoa’s strengths and identity.

Pierott’s ‘Walk for Water’

Click here to see the promotional material from an innovative initiative instigated by a local hair dressing business in Kalamunda, Western Australia.

Travelling the Road to Recovery – video series

In this series, disaster psychologist, Dr Rob Gordon discusses some of the emotions and emotional stages community members may experience after an emergency, and suggests strategies to manage these feelings throughout the post disaster recovery. Click here to view.

Why Wait for the Cavalry? – Small Towns, Committees and Leadership

Click here to read this great article – there are some good tips for community organisations.

 Localism & Social  Connection 

“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.”
“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don't need a lot of money to be happy - in fact, the opposite.”

(Jean Vanier, Community And Growth)

Sprout Ventures Wins National Social Enterprise Award

Sprout Ventures in Western Australia, who have pioneered some amazing community building approaches, are the well-deserved recent recipients of a National Social Enterprise Award.  Sprout is pioneering new ways to deliver community infrastructure and build social capital in new housing developments. While residents of rapid growth areas can often face a decade long wait for community centres, SproutHub provides an immediate, scalable partnership model that delivers small community facilities that can grow and adapt with the community over time. Basically a SproutHub is a portable community centre featuring a cafe, co-working space, event space and digital community portal. Click here to read the article. Click here to visit their website. Well done Lachy (pictured), Kate and Bridie.

Creative Ideas for Engaging Neighbours on Important Issues

Click here to get some creative ideas for engaging neighbours from the famous Candy Chang of New Orleans.

Codesign Studio – Reinventing Neighbourhoods

CoDesign Studio delivers neighbourhood placemaking projects that build community, inclusion and environmental quality. We especially recommend their Rapid Urban Revitalisation Toolkit – a set of flashcards to help with practical ideas on how to design and implement projects that can quickly and cheaply transform a neighbourhood. CoDesign have also pioneered concepts and practices of Tactical Urbanism – see their  Guide and Courses – Tactical Urbanism is an approach to neighbourhood building that seeks to create quick, inexpensive, high-impact changes that revitalise streets and public spaces and engage local communities to drive long-term change.

Make the Lives of the Elderly Better: Give them Bike Rides

Click here to read about a great initiative connecting seniors with their communities.

Food is Free Laneway,  Ballarat

A great little initiative by some Ballarat residents that started out as a two container boxes of assorted veggies, a small recycled shoe rack stand with various herbs in jars, and one small vase of flowers all from their gardens.  The word spread and now take a look at the picture above to see what it has grown into!  The Laneway now gets over 100 visitors a day and has a very active Facebook page.

In their own words…’Food is Free is all about sharing & caring more for our community members, establishing connections and knowing your neighbours/greater community, ensuring surplus food gets utilised, teaching good nutrition and eating seasonally, introducing you to foods you may not know existed, promoting a safer neighbourhood and greenifying unused spaces’.

Senior Citizens Learn Graffiti in Workshop that Banishes Ageist Stereotypes

Click here to read about a wonderful initiative from Lisbon, Portugal bridging the generational gap and smashing stereotypes.
(Photo courtesy Artfido)

 Local Economic  Development 

‘In the new economy, information, education, and motivation are everything’.

(William J. Clinton)

"Strive not to be the best company in the world, but the best company FOR the world."
(Sue Barrett)

F*#@ Up Nights

Fuckup Nights is a global movement born in Mexico in 2012 to publicly share business failure stories. Hundreds of people attend each event to hear three to four entrepreneurs share their failures. Each speaker is given 7 minutes and is able to use 10 images. After each speaker, there’s a question/answer session, as well as time for networking. Click here to visit the website.

Photos courtesy

Consumer Owned Health Care to Grow - the Harper Review recommendations on competition policy in the human services sector

The recently established National Health Cooperative based in Canberra featured in a media discussion on the topic of how consumer owned ‘social cooperatives’ would benefit from the recommendations in the “Harper Review” on competition policy in the human services industry.  The discussion focused on the need to increase “diversity” in service provision approaches in the human services sector - diversity which would lead to different, more people-centered and enterprising pathways to human services, and perhaps to more useful and comparable social outcomes. Click here to hear the excellent discussion. Click here to view the chapter on competition policy in the human services area which can be seen on pages 218 to 250 in the Harper Review Report.  Thanks to Alan Greig for sharing.

Community Buyout of a Butchers Shop - a great cooperative social enterprise story

Click here to read about a unique cooperative venture in the Mallee region of Victoria, where the residents of Birchip came together and purchased the butchers shop that was heading for closure.

Pop Up Tree Office

Click here to read about a pop up office encircling a tree in a London square that blurs the boundary between workplace and nature.

(Photo courtesy The Guardian / Jack Hobhouse)

Social Enterprise Legal Models

The Social Enterprise Legal Models Working Group (LMWG) – which was originally convened by Centre for Social Impact as part of the Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Alliance (SIEE) – has been operating as a working group chartered to investigate the issue of social enterprise business models/legal structures. They have just released a “Legal Models Comparison Matrix” for social enterprise to compare the regulatory requirements of each of the forms of incorporation in Australia.  Click here to learn more. Thanks to Alan Greig for sharing.

Nundah: Keeping People with Disabilities in Long-Term Employment

This article is worth reading. A lot of businesses exclude people with disabilities from general society. If you were creative you could actually look at how you design the work around the person. 2015 Small Social Enterprise of the Year Nundah Community Enterprises Cooperative is doing just that. Click here to read their story.

The changing nature of jobs - World Employment and Social Outlook 2015


How is the world of work changing? Are permanent contracts the norm or the exception? Click here to discover the new World Employment and Social Outlook 2015 (WESO).

Terrific Trading E-Newsletter

If we have said it before, we will say it again - the Terrific Tips monthly e-newsletter is a fantastic resource packed with anecdotes, ideas and examples on service excellence, customer focused selling, motivation and marketing and well worth subscribing to.   The June Edition had some great articles.  We especially recommend ‘10 Simple Tips for Having a More Extraordinary Life’ and ‘In Retail Nothing Stays the Same’. Click here to view the June Edition. Click here to subscribe.

The Enspiral Collective, New Zealand

Click here to read an interesting article about a decentralised network of social entrepreneurs striving to find the balance of autonomy and collaboration, and innovating new processes and tools in business, technology, and social change. Especially interesting is the financial model they have adopted.  Click here to visit their website.


'We can never forget the beautiful places we have been.'
(Lailah Gifty Akita)

Small WA Towns Need Big Plans to Grow

Kim Huston, author of Small Town Sexy, gives the WA town of Jurien Bay some tourism advice – ‘think regionally not just locally’. Click here to read the article from the West Australian.
(Photo: Jurien Bay Jetty, courtesy Wikipedia)

Memorials Record Shift in Attitudes

Click here to read an article from the West Australian about a recently released book entitled ‘Remembering the Wars: Commemoration in Western Australian Communities’ by Curtin University academics John Stephens and Graham Seal.  Their research has revealed a wealth of knowledge around local attitudes and values in relation to conflicts and their consequences.

 Youth Empowerment & Participation  

‘Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life’.
(Samuel Ullman)

‘Good habits formed at youth make all the difference’.

Mandurah's Rhys Williams wins Western Australian of the Year Youth Award

Congratulations Rhys! Click here to read the article from the Mandurah Mail.

(Photo courtesy Mandurah Mail and Richard Polden)

Youth Represent Promise – Not Peril

Involving youth in peace building processes the world over is essential to lasting global stability and stemming the growth of radicalism, according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in remarks delivered to a Security Council session devoted to the role of youth in countering violent extremism and promoting peace. Click here to read the full article.

Youth Resource - UNDP's Youth Strategy 2014-2017: Empowered Youth Sustainable Future.
Worldwide, youth face a myriad of challenges in terms of access to equal opportunities to jobs and having a voice in decisions, which affect their lives. In response to the worldwide phenomenon of young men and women calling for meaningful civic, economic, social and political participation, including in recent consultations on the post-2015 development agenda, UNDP’s Youth Strategy identifies development challenges and issues facing youth today, and more importantly offers forward-looking recommendations for strategic entry points and engagement of  a broad range of partners, including young people themselves, in addressing youth empowerment issues around the world.
Click here to download.

Young People Key to Relations with Jakarta

Click here to read a wonderful opinion piece for The West Australian by Ross Taylor, Chairman of the Indonesia Institute about how easier entry into Australia for Indonesian young people could be the key to developing better relations between the two nations.

FRRR ABCD Heywire Youth Innovation Grants

Earlier this year, 40 bright young minds came together at the Heywire Regional Youth Summit to develop eight ideas to make regional Australia an even better place for young people to live. The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and Heywire offer $100,000 in grants to community groups, to adopt and implement these ideas. Click here to find out more about some of the great ideas that were put up.

 Food / Community  Agriculture 

‘The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world.’ (Michael Pollan)

‘Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.’ (Edward Stanley)

LOCAVORE – A Definition

A locavore is someone who gives precedence to food that’s locally grown. In many cases this leads the locavore to know who grows his or her food. Jessica Prentice, a Bay Area chef, food writer, and community kitchen incubator, created the term in 2005. According to her, the term means a person who bases their diet on foods that are grown and produced in the geographic region where they live, are in touch with the seasonality of their food systems, and seek to cultivate relationships with local producers and processors. Locavores also have some kind of hands-on interaction with their food (cooking, gardens, baking, fermenting) either domestically or professionally. Prentice coined it by first looking at the Latin root for “place” — locus, which is now we get words like “local” or “locomotion” — then coupling it with the vorare, the Latin verb for “to eat” or “to swallow.” It’s also the root of “devour” and “carnivore.” Putting the two roots together gave her locavore.
(Thanks to the Lexicon of Sustainability for the definition and photo).

Why be a Locavore?

This article reminds us of some of the reasons why the local food movement is an important component of community development. Click here to read.


L.A. School District Goes Locavore

In an effort to support local farmers and bring healthier food to school children, the USA’s second-largest school system has pledged to take whatever high-quality produce the local farming alliance can grow. This is a great story of one local farmer, Bob Knight and his farming Alliance group. Click here to check out the story, Thanks to Local Food News [] for the story.

The Local Dish

The Local Dish is a campaign with a big dream – to encourage people to enjoy more of the fresh and delicious food that's grown in Ontario, Canada. The campaign calls on local residents to create Toronto's largest collection of local food recipes, and make it easy to choose local more often at home, on the go, and when dining out. Click here for more information. (Thanks to Local Food News Ontario for this story -

Imagine a Garden in Every School

This amazing Campaign exists in Ontario, Canada. Click here to discover more. (Thanks to Local Food News Ontario for this story -

People Are Falling in Love with “Ugly Food”

The “ugly food movement” is taking off around the world, particularly in Europe and Australia, as an answer to the problem of food waste. “Ugly” foods are those that sellers and buyers often reject because of their appearance, like misshapen vegetables and bruised fruits. Farmers dump them. Supermarkets and restaurants reject them. Consumers historically have avoided them. But there is a growing market and trend to watch. Click here to see the Time article. Click here to read another great article from The Guardian.
(Photo courtesy Imperfect Produce – a US company set up to deliver imperfect produce from farmer to consumer).

First 'Farm to School Salad Bar' in NL

Instigated by a group of students, this self-serve all-you-can-eat salad bar allows students to pick from a variety of vegetables and fruits. The produce is locally sourced (as much as possible) and changes with the seasons. Click here to read more. (Thanks to Local Food News for this story -

In L.A., Now You Can Use City Land for A Free Vegetable Garden

Yes, it is true - all thanks to some committed citizens! Click here to read the brief article and view the TED talk by Robert Finley – the man who started it all.

 Leadership & Personal  Development 

‘Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak. Sometime in life you will have been all of these’. (Unknown)

‘A person who wants something will find a way; a person who doesn't will find an excuse’.
(Stephen Dolley Jr.)

What does Leadership Mean in the 21st Century

Click here to read an insightful article on changing approaches to conventional leadership..."Good leadership is no longer about ‘taking charge’ or imposing a strategic vision but about creating the platforms that allows others to flourish and create."

Centre for Sustainability Leadership


The Centre for Sustainability Leadership is offering a life-changing intensive leadership program in the stunning surrounds of the Great Barrier Reef. Discover yourself to help define your role as a change maker for the future.
Click here to apply. Click here to visit the website.

Ten Things You Should Know About Volunteering’s Immeasurable Value

Click here to read an article outlining ten core features of volunteering that should be considered to understand this integral, yet generally overlooked, part of our society.

‘Imagine there’s no councils. It’s easy if you try’

Click here to read about an idea that proposes an alternative to conventional local government leadership.

Sustainable   Development 

'Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.’ (Albert Einstein)

Harvested – Australia’s first pop-up food waste café

Bristol has  done it . Berlin has  done it and now Sydney is doing it. Thanks to OzHarvest, this venture will transform food destined for landfill into high quality restaurant meals. Click here to read more.

Green Village Taking Root in Old City Bus Station

Adelaide is set to have its own little inner city 'CERES' as The Joinery, home to ConservationSA and Australian Youth Climate Coalition, stokes up a crowd funding campaign to develop the grounds. Click here to read more.

France Enacts Two Laws Every Country Should Have

Congratulations France!  This year they have passed two exemplary laws in the pursuit of a more sustainable future.
Click here to read how every new rooftop in France must have solar panels or be covered in plants.
Click here to read about how supermarkets will now be made to donate all their waste product to charity, for animal food, or compost in an effort to cut waste.

(photo courtesy Shutterstock)

Chennia, India is Raising an Army to Fight the War Against Plastic

Click here to read an article about record breaking people power. It started as a simple beach cleanup. Now, it is a movement that is sweeping a nation.

Powerful Bee Murals Throughout London Illuminate Colony Collapse Disorder

Click here to view some street art by Louis Masai to raise awareness towards saving the bees.

 Social Development  

‘Health is not simply the absence of sickness’. (Hannah Green)

‘Educate a boy, and you educate an individual. Educate a girl, and you educate a community.’ (Adelaide Hoodless)

Fundação Lafaek Diak (The Good Crocodile Foundation)

Fundação Lafaek Diak is a non-profit community development agency in Timor-Leste which uses the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach, building on strengths already within the community. It was founded in 2005 by a group of Timorese and international friends who decided there was a need for genuine commitment towards development in the rural areas in East Timor as a way to foster nation-building. They pooled their various gifts, talents and experiences together and created a non-governmental organisation that would serve the poorest of the poor in rural areas. They recognised the importance of building international links, drawing in people from other countries that could assist them and work in partnership to achieve their vision. Click here to read their Annual Report for 2014. Click here to visit their website.

The Empowered Communities Model

The Empowered Communities model has been developed by Indigenous Community leaders in eight regions of Australia to drive holistic development and eliminate disadvantage over a 10-year period. It harnesses resources that would otherwise be wasted on fragmented services and ineffectual programs to empower individuals, families and communities. Click here to find out more.

Shine a Light for Kakuma

This is a great initiative by the City of Stirling. The Shine a Light for Kakuma program is designed to raise awareness about the plight of refugees. The program provides information to the general public about what it is like to be a refugee, some of the issues people face that drive to them seeking asylum in Australia and what it is like to live in a refugee camp. Through activities such as movie nights and a quiz night culminating in an optional visit to Kenya to see the plight of refugees first hand, the City of Stirling hopes to set straight some of the misconceptions about refugees in the community. Click here to download an information sheet on the program. Click here to view the Facebook page. Well done Stirling!

Nepal Earthquake April 2015 Preliminary Employment Impact Assessment

Click here to download the fact sheet from the ILO.

Memorial Launch Prompts Reconciliation Between Farming and Indigenous Communities in Regional Western Australia

Click here to view a wonderful story and photos by Tara de Landgrafft about a unique memorial illustrating reconciliation just outside the small town of Ravensthorpe in Western Australia.

(Photo: The Kukenarup Memorial, courtesy ABC and Tara de Landgrafft)

Freedom Riders – a reflection 50 years on

Fifty years ago in 1965, Charles Perkins led a group of students, from the University of Sydney on a freedom ride. They travelled by bus to protest against racial discrimination against Aboriginal people in NSW country towns such as Walgett, Moree, Bowraville and Kempsey. Last month, a bus with current university students, university representatives, and original freedom riders travelled from the University of Sydney to Dubbo, Walgett, Moree, Bowraville, and Kempsey. The aim is to mark the anniversary of the original Freedom Ride by listening to the concerns of Aboriginal people in those towns, and beyond, right now. Click here to read the article.
(Photo courtesy of the ABC and University of Sydney)

 Inspirational People &  Stories 

‘After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.’ (Philip Pullman)

‘We're all stories, in the end.’ (Steven Moffat)

Jasirah Bin Hitam

Click here to read a great article on the marine science student Jasirah Bin Hitam who became an internet sensation with her ‘trust experiment’ on a Perth beach.

Eagle’s Spirit

Click here to read the heartwarming story of Jeff and his eagle Freedom helping each other get through tough times.

Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez

Click here to read about Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez, the 14 year old committed to changing the world. The Colorado teen is the youth director of Earth Guardians, a non profit organisation that encourages young people to connect and become involved in environmental activism.

(Photo courtesy Huffington Post)


Images that Sum Up How Smart Phones Are Ruining our Lives

We probably would not give them up, but click here to see some funny, yet thought provoking images of how smart phones are affecting our daily lives.

Some funny wordplay...

Funniey (Extra funny)
The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supplying a new definition. They also invited readers to supply alternate meanings for common words.  There are some very clever and funny responses, click here to view. Thanks to Gerry Osborn, from Nebraska, USA for sharing.



Click here to read some funny aphorisms. Thanks to Gerry Osborn for sharing.

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