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News & Updates

5/6/2016

Committee for Geelong's Weekly Addy Opinion Piece - Community Leadership

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 learning.

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 life.

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 exist.

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 can be.

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 together.  

Rebecca Casson is the Committee for Geelong Chief Executive Officer. Follow the Committee for Geelong on Twitter @Comm4Geelong.

 

 

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