There's no doubt that leadership
is most effective when it starts with a thorough understanding of a
community - the challenges it faces, the fears it harbours, its
biggest issues, but also the opportunities that exist if a
community bonds together.
Ten years ago, the Committee for
Geelong created a series of leadership programs to grow leaders
from within many different sections of the Geelong community -
social services, education, health, justice and business, to name
just a few.
This week, the participants of
the 2014-16 Leaders for Geelong program presented the projects they
created at the annual Project Presentation Breakfast, held at
Geelong's Mercure Hotel.
One of the groups identified
that many primary school students don't get enough time with their
grandparents, due to busy lives, working parents and
extra-curricular activities. At the same time, an ageing population
creates a growing need for aged care services.
To address this societal issue,
the group developed the Adopt a Pop, Gain a Granny project, to
connect primary schools with aged care facilities, foster concern
and care for our older citizens and to encourage intergenerational
Another group saw a gap in
supporting upcoming digital projects in Geelong, and created an
online platform that supports anytime anywhere idea generation, and
then allows digital service providers to bring the projects to
During its pilot the Bounce
Project has already generated more than $30,000 worth of work for
digital businesses, creating connections that would not otherwise
As our labour market continues
to change, educators and employers must work together to create a
workforce that is sustainable, capable and flexible. To achieve
that, the Geelong Education Mentor Study was undertaken, delivering
practical recommendations to Newcomb Secondary College's PTECH
Pathways to Technology Steering Committee around the most
successful approach to mentoring for young people.
On a completely different level,
the Geelong Region International Network looked at ways to improve
how we promote our region to people across the country and, indeed,
the world. This group worked on creating tools and mechanisms that
will allow representatives of different backgrounds to shine the
best possible light on Geelong.
Similarly the Transforming
Geelong Roadshow project team sought to educate and inform
metropolitan audiences about the abundant opportunities available
to invest, work and live in Geelong via a series of events in
Canberra and Melbourne.
The health of our community will
always remain a focus, and Healthy Minds Geelong, delivered an
online resource that assists people with matters relating to mental
health, provides information and also connects them with others
going through similar situations.
All projects presented at this
week's breakfast are built upon an invaluable combination of local
knowledge, understanding of our community, sector expertise and a
passion for our region. This kind of leadership will continue to
play a vital part in transforming Geelong into the best place it
As the Committee for Geelong
celebrates ten years of its leadership programs, the work
undertaken by participants of the Leaders for Geelong program is a
prime example of what a community can achieve
Rebecca Casson is the Committee
for Geelong Chief Executive Officer. Follow the Committee for
Geelong on Twitter @Comm4Geelong.