On the Community Heroes Podcast we talk to individuals and groups that are doing incredible things within their communities, locally and globally. We celebrate the stories of these unique individuals that are using their superpowers to create positive change through the areas of medicine, health, personal development, ethnic cultures, breaking down barriers of societies beliefs and much, much more.
Every episode is designed to show you that one person taking one action can create a positive impact and massive change.
Alen is an unstoppable force; he is Mr Joy Bomb! From Zagreb, Croatia, Alen had every reason to feel like a victim. Born with Arthrogryposis, he cannot walk and has a limited range of motion in his hands. However, Alen never had the point of view that he is a victim: To quote him:
“I never judged my body for not being able to walk and do stuff others do.I was always comfortable in looking different.” Since he can’t use his hands as others do, he uses his mouth to paint, take photos, type on the laptop and phone with my lips and a lot of other things - basically, his mouth are his hands!”
It was with Alen’s exceptional drive and determination that saw him accepted to the prestigious Fine Arts Academy in Zagreb, Croatia. From there, his talent and conviction led to his work being shown in multiple cities across the globe.
Alen is a creator and a seeker, he is never still and always craves more!
“For Alen, nothing is impossible. He invites others to the possibility of creating change in their own lives.”
CONNECT WITH ALEN:
Warren Wright from Tamworth New South Wales has always loved challenging himself and helping people out. He is a qualified personal trainer and has also worked in the nursing industry for 26 year's.
During his life Warren has experienced moments of mental health challenges and Beyond Blue was always there for him when he needed it the most. The caring, understanding and help staff were pivotal in providing him solutions and action steps to help get my mental health back on track.
Being an adventurer at heart, Warren has pledged to walk over 40,000 kms around Australia to raise awareness of mental health and money for Beyond Blue.
Warren left his home town on the 21st of September 2020 and predicts that it will take him 3 years to complete the full lap of the incredible country of ours.
So if you see a man with Blue hair and a bright blue buggy please wave or stop by to say hello, it's our mate Wazza.
You can follow along on the journey on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Wazza-Bluey-2-walk-around-Australia-for-Beyond-Blue-for-mental-health-103109744795053/?notif_id=1610534938136020¬if_t=page_fan&ref=notif
To donate: https://fundraise.beyondblue.org.au/wazzas-walk-around-australia-for-mental-health-and-awareness-for-beyond-blue?fbclid=IwAR0-Ef840dKS7cMMlSTL1ShUQjtlfp3BToAb-Rl_Viz3OPiDgFDS9XNs1nQ
Today we hear from the incredibly inspiring CEO & Co-Founder of School Beyond Limitations Martina Geromin. For Martina Education has always been part of her life. As a 5 years old child she dreamed of becoming first a teacher and then a school leader who would take care of her own creation. She wanted to make space for the wonder of learning and knowledge, for the beauty of each single individual – something that deeply inside her felt like being the most important purpose of life: finding her/his own potential and making it available to oneself and society as a whole.
Martina fulfilled her childhood dreams and became an expert in education, knowledge management and leadership. As a teacher, university lecturer, trainer, adult educator and executive in international educational institutions. Her motivation has always been and continues to be, committed to helping each person realize their uniqueness and bring it to the world. Having worked internationally, she sees education and personal development as the vehicle for real change.
One day she called me (I was a participant of one of her marketing coaching courses), by asking me: ‘Martina, where does your heart belong to?’ Promptly I answered that it beats for education and giving young students the opportunity to live their full potential.
After 30 years in the field Martina was asked by a good friend Katharina & now business partner ‘Wouldn’t it be possible to create an online school?’
That was the starting point for the creation and the design of School Beyond Limitations: A school that would see the student as a whole human being – a school that would go beyond limitations.
CONNECT WITH MARTINA:
Your voice, your body language and your mindset create the unconscious messages that undermine your presence. Dr Mahler trains these to deliver confident messages instead. She will give you the authentic manner of a leader who commands respect whether you are negotiating an eight-figure sale, presiding over a boardroom meeting, pitching for new business, being interviewed or trying to inspire the crowd from a stage.
Dr Louise Mahler, is one of the most original thinkers in business communication today. Louise began her further education studies with an economics degree majoring in statistics, it’s an interesting journey of how she has now become an expert in presence and influence! Louise spent a decade singing opera in Europe with some of the greatest divas of our time or a soloist’s contract at the Vienna State Opera, but it was a Masters in Organizational Psychology and a ‘PhD in Business’ that brought it all together.
Louise has established The Mahler Method which is a complete program of building presence and influence that changes lives. Her work has had a transformative effect on many people’s lives. Dr Mahler’s extensive knowledge is supported by cutting-edge processes that identify and resolve your personal stumbling blocks. She will then guide you through the process of developing the professional style that identifies you as a force to be reckoned with. That tells people you are here to lead.
Louise is a guest presenter for leaders and leadership-teams worldwide and coaches federal politicians, heads of international business and rising corporate talent when the need to give voice arises. Louise makes regular TV appearances, has a series of videos with the Australian Financial Review and is a constant feature for comment on radio and has published a book ‘Resonate’ with Penguin Random House is for ‘people who need to be heard’
CONNECT WITH LOUISE:
Our guest today is Untypical in more ways than one! Neil Butler started his professional life as a school teacher in the early 1980s. After 5 years, he stepped out into the corporate world where he has spent the past 30+ years sharing his Energetic personality and highly competent transformation leadership skills across a wide range of disciplines and industries within Australia and in national, regional and global roles.
Most recently, Neil has taken a more entrepreneurial path, establishing a range of products under the business name Untypical - a name that reflects his untypical approach to problem solving and the generation of ideas. These include business transformation, broadcasting and most, recently, community and business-focused podcasting activities, with a specific focus on regional Australia.
Neil is passionate about helping regional communities to flourish, not just exist. His newest podcasting product is Regional Podcasts - a service that provides a voice to the people who live or work in, and/or around, a regional town or city.
Conversations with decision-makers, business people and other local characters - providing entertainment and information with a focus on your community. Also with the launch of Smallbiz TV Neil provides an affordable option for small businesses who want to use video but don't have the budget and/or expertise to create their own.
CONNECT WITH NEIL:
For the last 40 years Tim Ferguson has been a staple feature in numerous TV shows, comedy acts, movies and well pretty much everywhere! For the last 30 Tim has been living with Multiple Sclerosis. Tim's view on the whole situation - “I don’t suffer Multiple Sclerosis; it suffers me!” Despite his condition, Tim has vowed to never stop making audiences laugh.
Tim continues to pursue his love of comedy. He continues to work in international stand-up, making movies & TV. He loves giving Keynote Speeches about overcoming challenges (like his MS) as well as promotes employment for people with disabilities. His mission is to teach writers & producers how to create screen comedies based on his teaching of lifelong learning from his mentors and colleagues & ancient comic writings, synthesised in Tim's comedy writing manual, 'The Cheeky Monkey'.
Behind the screen Tim is also a very accomplished artist, just like his comedy his art work is unique, remarkable, outstanding and nothing like you have ever seen before.
To make this episode even better Tim was gracious enough to make time on his birthday! There is even a special guest camo by Maynard the JJJ Legend!
Get in touch to commission your very own Tim special, or to become a screen writer or discover your comic genius at:
Naomi Lambert is the founder and CEO of The Cool To Be Kind Project and self-professed Kindness Ninja. After a devastating battle with infertility and a subsequent hysterectomy, Naomi found other ways to make an impact on this world and proudly shares her story of survival, courage and finally finding her reason. She offers peer support advice and visits (both in person and virtually) to other individuals / couples currently struggling with becoming parents.
The Cool To Be Kind Project started in January 2018 now it is a global social initiative with the important goal of sharing kindness wherever and whenever we can. That human quality within us all which often gets forgotten in the hustle and bustle of life.
So far their Kindness has been found in Australia, US, Brazil, England, Spain, NZ, Thailand and South Africa. And because kindness doesn’t cost anything there are no boundaries to where we can be or who we can help.
Naomi is determined to ensure this movement will be around for a long time because unlike the latest fad, kindness will always be cool.
There are so many terrible things going on in the world right now so it’s as good a time as any to share the kindness and make people smile.
CONNECT WITH NAOMI:
Driven by ambition and motivation Katrina Houghton has exceeded expectations academically and through her sporting career. A skilled and passionate public service professional with over 10 years experience at Manager and Director levels. She has also represented Australia in Junior Hockey.
In 2018 Kat’s world fell apart when Kat was diagnosed with HER2+ breast cancer at just 37. She had 3 cancerous lesions in my right breast and after further scans, found that the cancer had also travelled to her lymph nodes.
Katrina immediately put her full time job as an economist on hold and started a cancer management journey which included 16 rounds of chemo, double mastectomy, 25 rounds of radiation, and 18 weeks of herceptin.
During Kats cancer journey she decided it was important to use her skills and experience to help fellow cancer warriors. This kickstarted the Know Your Knockers Breast Cancer Pocket Guide, which provides lots of content and information on products and services available for patients. She then started to design and manufacture her own range of pocketed fashion. Utilizing the talents of a local designer they set the sights on producing and showcasing Australian made products. They are determined to ensure delivery of amazing products to all of the beautiful women that have been touched by this disease!
CONNECT WITH KAT:
Growing up on the family cattle property in north west Qld, Alicia did distances education until she was 10. She finished school at boarding school in Cairns then went on to study fashion design in Brisbane. Alicia was inspired by her mother and grandmother who despite the limitations when living in the harsh rural and remote areas of Australia, they never compromised on their sense of style and femininity. Because of this, Alicia grew up expressing herself through what she wore.
After university Alicia moved back to the station for what was meant to be only 1 year to pay off her HECS debt - however it turned into 10 years. In this time she travelled around Australia, overseas, brought a property off her dad and got her helicopter licences.
During her time on the farm and working at other properties she was always limited to the standard blue, green, pink and red work shirts that bore a striking resemblance to her brother’s. They didn’t quite fill the fashion conscious girl with excitement each morning, so she began her quest to create a fashionable solution, and Antola Trading was born.
An authentic, empowering and reliable work wear because life is busy enough on the land without having to worry about your wardrobe. Antola Trading shirts have been designed for long days in the sun, and they're ready for any hard work you do while you're wearing them.
As a commitment to the amazing women that live and work in her community, Alicia has named each shirt after the property on which she lives or grew up on because they represent what Antola Trading is all about and to remind you of the close community of strong and vibrant women you are a part of.
CHECK OUT ANTOLA TRADING!
Share The Dignity has quickly become a household name! Rochelle Courtenay founder and Managing Director; affectionately known as the ‘Pad Lady’ a title she is most proud of, leads a team of volunteers collecting around 2.7 million sanitary products across Australia.
When Rochelle first learnt of homeless women going without basic sanitary items during their menstrual cycle, she decided the question was not, “why is no one doing anything” but rather, “what’s stopping me from doing something?” In March 2015, Rochelle took matters into her own hands collecting sanitary items with her local community and distributing to local shelters.
As a result, a simple idea of giving dignity to women, Share the Dignity was created and has grown to a national charity. It now has over 5,600 volunteers Australia wide, and most noteworthy, provides multiple initiatives aimed at giving dignity to women.
Share the Dignity works to make a real, on the ground difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness, fleeing domestic violence, or doing it tough. We distribute period products to those in need and work to end period poverty here in Australia. When someone is doing it tough, the last thing on their mind should be dealing with their period.
Further to her simple, genius idea Rochelle has grit, determinations and drive to support and serve others is a way that gives you Goosebumps and forces you to look at how you can give back, help and support in anyway possible. Warning there is some ugly crying involved in this episode which only further highlights the nature of this remarkable woman and incredible story.
FOLLOW THE SHARE THE DIGNITY:
We always hear about the incredible people being nominated, being finalist and winning the esteemed awards such as Young Achiever, Regional Achievement and Community Awards. I never considered the business and massive effort behind these awards programs. These awards make such a huge impact on individuals and communities with having their efforts noticed, rewarded and celebrated in a prestigious and public way.
In this episode I speak with Annette Vawser - Annette is Co-Director of Awards Australia, a family owned business, with the sole purpose of finding “ordinary Australians doing extraordinary things in their communities’ and recognising them with their Awards programs which they run in every state and territory of Australia.
Having worked for over 20 years in the Events, Engineering and Finance industries, Annette brings a breadth of skill sets to Awards Australia. Her job role includes Finance, HR, software integration, social media marketing, content strategy and podcast production – a diverse role which keeps her very busy.
Established in 1989, Awards Australia has created Corporate Partnerships with a point of difference.
Specialising in awards recognition programs on a state and national level, our corporate partners and the community receive win/win opportunities and outcomes through established marketing and branding, media and event management expertise.
This year through COVID, she created an Alumni group from Winners and Finalists as far back as 2005 and has initiated and is the Producer on a Podcast sharing the Alumni’s story and highlighting their achievements and passions.
Connect with Awards Australia and Annette:
PLEASE if you can help Robert in his plight to save his farm from being cut up for a highway, I urge you to reach out to him at the details below. Hear the details of his fight in the episode.
We all know farmers are the salt of the earth. None more so than Robert Mackenzie! Robert is 5th Generation Producer of the Prestigious Mack’s Australian Black Angus Beef. This incredible mans grit and determination to uphold the legacy passed down from his Grandfather and Great Aunties is a story this great country was built upon. He shares openly about the challenges, struggles and constant knocks a farming life offers. This stoic people deserve all of our love and respect with the mammoth amount they selflessly give to their animals, the land, industry and especially their community.
Even in the midst of one of the toughest years, without any help or support from the government, still found ways to donate left, right and centre to make sure those in need received help, support and a decent feed. The Mackenzie's have even gone to massive extremes to support charities by riding postie bikes across Australia!
Hearing how Robert is assisting and constantly advocating better protection of farmers produce shows a real unique ingenuity. Link below to read more of this game changing innovation that will save our farmers millions of dollars.
Mack’s Australian Black Angus Beef - this is a family success story built on passion, quality and commitment.
CONNECT WITH ROBERT:
High achiever, hard worker and committed are just 3 describers for the awesome Eloise Grace.
Eloise is a mum of 3 kids, including 7 year old Will who has severe autism and is non-verbal. Eloise is a lawyer, tv journalist, writer, actor, model and photographer. working as a tv journalist in around 20 newsrooms, solicitor in a very respected firm in Sydney covering all areas before specialising in Employment Law and representing clients in Court Australia-wide.
Eloise is also the co-owner of Andy Grace Media, a software and video production company. She has started selling her photographic work under the name EloiseG and aims to work on more arms of the business.
Connect with Eloise:
Teacher, writer and social activist, Dr Ger Graus has recently been awarded an Order of the British Empire for services to children. Ger is a renowned figure in the field of education and currently he holds the position of the first Global Director of Education at KidZania.
Ger Graus has been at the heart of innovation and project development such as ‘KidZania World Online’, ‘KidZtalk’, ‘KidZania Careers Week’, ‘KidZania LitFests’; education ‘Think-Tanks’, ‘Ambassador Schools’ Ger is now spearheading a ‘Futures Awareness’ campaign to introduce careers education into the primary phase. After all, as he frequently reminds us: “Children can only aspire to what they know exists.”
Ger started at KidZania London in 2014, where he has been responsible for developing the UK-wide education strategy, including partnerships with schools, Higher Education, commercial and third sector learning partners.
KidZania is a place where children aged 4 to14 can experience the world of work through role-play, and is designed to inspire and empower: “from inspiration to aspiration”. Since its inception in 1999 in Mexico City, KidZania now has a presence in 24 cities on 5 continents with plans for further developments in some 20 locations
Ger now works with and advises organisations globally on the learning agenda.
Mother and Daughter team like no other! Raising the standards for children with disabilities, mentally and physically, and making sure they are seen, respected, and have the technology needed to thrive in their education. Sharon Murphy joins us to share her story, and that of Keeley's Cause and what a story and message it is!!
Sharon Murphy is the Director of Keeley's Cause, and mother of 3 children, 2 of those have Autism and youngest , Keeley, has an Intellectual Disability on top of her Autism diagnosis.
Keeley's Cause was founded by Keeley In 2017 at age 13, created the Organisation after her own personal journey with the inability to learn current taught curriculum in schools without the use of an iPad or technology. Keeley decided the gap for children with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities needed to be bridged, and Keeley's Cause was created. Keeley’s Cause provides iPads for children diagnosed with Autism and Intellectual disabilities. The cause was established by Keeley and her mother Sharon after seeing first hand the benefits technology can bring to children with Autism and Intellectual disabilities.
Keeley's Cause is now a National Charity assisting children across Australia, with a number of Awards including the Diana Award in the UK on July 1st this year For Outstanding Contribution in Society in memory of Princess Diana. Keeley was 1 of only 2 Australian recipients to receive this prestigious award.
Since recording the episode Keeley has since been nominated for Victoria’s Young Australian For Australian of the Year Awards and received 2020 Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards. CONGRATULATIONS KEELEY! You are an absolute superstar!
CONNECT WITH KEELEY'S CAUSE:
The journey of Wil Massara is one you don't want to miss hearing! I am in awe of this young mans determination, vision and mission to re-engage youth within schools and communities around Australia through Youth Leadership and Empowerment. To build a positively sustainable future through youth leadership and empowerment and ensure all young people have access to skills that empower them, regardless of their financial situation.
Since the age of 13, Wil has demonstrated a willingness to step forward and take on leadership roles within his own community, including his school’s Student Executive and the Shire of Collie Youth Advisory Committee.
In 2016, Wil took his leadership skills outside his own community and volunteered to obtain grant funding for the Magic Moments Foundation. This led to the Australian Youth Committee hosting an international event at Sydney with over 300 participants from 10 different countries.
At the age of just 15 - Wil launched the Youth Leadership Academy Australia (YLAA) with the mission of empowering future leaders.
Wil has been recognised for his work, by being one of four finalists in the WA Youth Awards in Community Leadership for two consecutive years. In early 2018, Wil was awarded 2018 International Young Philanthropist and was also a semi finalist in the 2020 WA Young Achiever Awards.
Wil is on a mission to help youth develop leadership skills that have positive ripple effect of young people impacting young people.
Connect with Wil and YLAA Team:
Hear the inspiring journey of a dedicated freedom fighter and advocate for those in need of the wonderful Lauren Sherson. Her entrepreneurial journey started at just 8 years old! From this age she has embraced her natural ability to solve problems and provide solutions for those in need to build, run and exit many businesses. The pandemic has only ramped up her drive to help and serve those in her community and during this time has founded four businesses to help Australians through the pandemic. Drive-in Gigs to give live entertainment a safe stage and artists paid gigs; Backyard Business, an ebook for parents to give their children entrepreneurial skills that prepares them for unknown futures and The Local Venture Group, which has invested in two ventures designed to increase social connectedness and drive local business activity.
Lauren is an entrepreneurial behaviourist who develops people, ventures and communities. Her mission is to help people create healthy minds and healthy businesses through social connectedness and generating local business activity. She has spent a decade lecturing at Universities in Entrepreneurship, started and exited two data companies and was the Liberal Candidate for Melbourne in the 2019 Federal Election and currently running for her Local Melbourne City Council. Lauren looks at the psychology, entrepreneurship and politics of a situation, specifically the social interactions that make progress. She is on the Board of Self Employed Australia advocating economic policy and also completing a Graduate Diploma in Psychology at Melbourne University.
Connect with Lauren:
"To invigorate and inspire community mindedness for better connected, inclusive and resourceful communities across the world" - Vision of Community Minds Inc.
Zizi Charida is a strong advocate of empowering people and building their capacity and skills as opposed to just "helping" people and communities. I also strongly believe that in working with people there is an exchange of learnings and benefits regardless of the context in which that exchange takes place.
Zizi is the Founder and CEO of Community Minds Incorporated. Community Minds Inc aims to work with community (sector, as well as groups and citizens), schools, businesses, corporate and government to strengthen and build capacity of staff, services and programs and to work collaboratively with community stakeholders to build, engage and strengthen communities, to ensure that communities are empowered, resourced and citizen-driven.
Community Minds Inc believes that no desired change can occur in our local, national or global communities if we do not instill and harness community minded thinking in people, to encourage thinking, perceptions and actions that benefit others, ultimately contributing to health and wealth of communities. And that the 'work' of a community doesn't lie in the hands of community 'professionals' rather it's everyone's business.
With Over 20 years experience in community development and capacity building projects Zizi is pairing her vast experience and passion to create a unique position of understanding and working with both the community sector and business and corporate sector, and has created the opportunity to work on the ground in developing social enterprises. She has organised and presented workshops on various aspects of community development and engagement, as well as cultural diversity, where we look at innovative ways to engage and celebrate cultural diversity.
CONNECT WITH ZIZI and COMMUNITY MINDS INC:
Julia Spicer is a vibrant rural woman, a real Change-maker for Regional Business Futures.
Julia was named in the Top 100 most influential women in 2018 by the Australian Financial Review, has completed the Australian institute of Company Directors course and has held many roles and positions on boards at a local, regional, state and federal level.
Founder of two regional businesses based in Goondiwindi, Qld - Engage & Create Consulting and the Goondiwindi Business Hub; Julia's mission is to contribute to the vibrancy and viability of rural and regional Australia by helping businesses grow.
Growing up in a small rural community, Julia learnt from an early age the value of everybody contributing.
She founded Engage & Create Consulting upon these principles - that by helping to achieve something much greater than ourselves and contributing our unique skills and leveraging our community, we bring together diversity and empower people to create their destiny.
Engage & Create consulting helps rural, regional and remote businesses and nonprofits to grow! We do this by facilitating strategic planning sessions, sourcing and writing grants, offering workshops & training and one on one coaching. Engage & Create Consulting is based in Goondiwindi Queensland, but operates all over Australia.
Julia believes ”Strong regional futures are inspired by people who are authentic and true to themselves. Passion and community fuel our growth, and it is so important to remember that we are part of something bigger, and always working to create something better.
With the company of her husband, Tony & a menagerie of animals both large and small, Julia's passion may be spread far and wide but her home truly is where her heart is.
CONNECT WITH JULIA:
Pioneering a new path for social enterprise in Australia, Josh Reid Jones is developing entrepreneurial businesses with a social conscience.
With a decade of entrepreneurial success under his belt, Josh has turned his hand successfully to a number of fields building a unique and broad skill set with a common theme of social and business development.
Josh is the founder of the Just Be Nice Project which aims to move people to an equality of opportunity through three core streams: housing, employment and mental health.
The Just Be Nice Project fills the space between buzz-words and actual outcomes for people in need, through partnering with and building character-led organisations and individuals.
Josh's passion is to help people, help people. With a belief that making it easy for people to do the right thing builds long lasting and sustainable positive change. Passionate about bridging the gap between social responsibility and corporate accountability to commercial outcomes, Josh extensively consults and mentors businesses and entrepreneurs, both non-profit and for-profit entities to provide commercially viable, socially responsible outcomes.
CONNECT WITH JOSH:
Trish Ryan is The Founder of Meg's Children, a Registered Charitable Trust established in 2005 to support vulnerable Nepalese Children who do not have any family support.
Meg's Children works in partnership with Siddhi Memorial Hospital to support the upbringing of vulnerable and at-risk children in Nepal, by providing for their daily living needs and meeting their right to education.
Therefore we support the upbringing of vulnerable and at-risk children in Nepal to help them grow and flourish.
Meg’s Children Nepal believes that every child has the right to education and the right to have their daily living needs fulfilled. They strongly believe that Education is a basic human right.
These necessities, and the children’s health and safety, are therefore enabled solely by funds raised through our trust, which is run by volunteers in the Albury-Wodonga district.
They are proud to say that 95 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to our children in Nepal.
CONNECT WITH TRISH & MEG'S CHILDREN:
Sarah Prime is an award winning social entrepreneur, speaker and change agent.
In 2015 when she returned to her roots in Eyre Peninsula to find many communities had reached a tipping point of no return. This spurred her into action to establish the Champions Academy - an initiative to champion change in rural communities at the grassroots level. Her flagship program which was initially delivered through sporting clubs, is now a social enterprise in its own right, with programs and events for schools, government and a range of business and community groups.
Champions Academy's mission is to teach people how to recognise their human potential and show them how to apply it to a cause greater than themselves to catalyse positive change on the people and communities around them.
Sarah is an authority on rural contraction, decline and exodus, and is widely regarded for her experience in community resilience, revitalisation and next generation empowerment.
Sarah has also recently launched The Global Rural Community, this will be a place where visitors are able to connect directly with the change makers of other communities if there is something that they would like to know more about, or if they have something to offer.
She is a thought leader in the field of change and is highly sought after to coach other trailblazers, movers, shakers and ruckus-makers. In 2020 she was formally appointed a W100 Mentor in Residence by the Westpac Foundation.
Sarah has won a number of awards for her efforts, including the national Agrifutures Rural Women's Award, Westpac Social Change Fellowship, Telstra Business Womens Award for Purpose & Social Enterprise for SA, and was also a state finalist for the Australian of the Year ‘Local Hero’.
What started as a whim of an idea whilst driving through the canola fields of rural NSW lead Jenn Donovan to create a platform that seemingly exploded overnight and has seen her win 2020 Ausmumprenuer People's Choice Award for Making a Difference. After chatting with this vibrant, lively and down to earth woman, it is easy to see why she won one of the most prominent award for women in business. Jenn started a Facebook group called Buy From a Bush Business. Encouraging rural and regional crafters, artists, producers, suppliers to showcase their business and wares. In less than 12 months the group now has nearly 280,000 members! More than that it has created opportunities for people to promote their products in an engaged environment which has seen many business soar in trying and difficult conditions.
Millions of dollars has been exchanged through the group, seeing money come back into remote and rural communities where drought and bush fires has caused devastating effect on many regions. Now Jenn has partnered with 2 other women to create a marketplace - they are aiming to make it Australia’s top marketplace to buy from the bush! You can shop online to discover unique products, services, activities & experiences from regional and rural businesses across Australia. Because when you shop on Spend With Us, you’re making a difference (& plus a small business owner does a happy dance!)
Jenn's purpose is to help small business owners embrace technology and the digital world we live in. Having grown several businesses using tools such as social media, websites and other marketing strategies, Jenn wanted to share her successes, triumphs, failures, and everything in between to help businesses learn from her mistakes and excel from what she know works!
From law to retail to speaking and keynoting – Jenn's journey has been as steep as her learning curves and she's still loving every minute!
After 15 years in law, Jenn bought a retail business in a regional town in Victoria. She built that
business into a highly profitable 7 figure business and eventually sold it. Since then, Jenn has been
assisting other small business owners, in retail, service based and tourism, around the country, to
achieve their business goals. Jenn specialises in helping start-ups turn ideas into businesses, online
and offline marketing, social media and email marketing. Founder of Buy From a Bush Business, Co-
Founder of Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business Marketplace and host of the very popular
podcast Small Business Made Simple, Jenn is all about community and humans interacting with
humans! Jenn talks the talk but importantly walks the walk!
CONNECT WITH JENN:
Geologist, Explorer and World Visionary Susan Morrice is leading the way in how businesses and large corporations operate. Grounded by her love of nature Susan lives to create positive change in the world and is renowned for her down-to-earth approach. She has a passion for the protection of our precious environment and a vision of uncovering the true potential of everyone with whom she meets and works. Susan story and journey of how she found oil in a country everyone had said there was none is one of the more powerful and inspirational stories I have heard. Susan is now on a mission to help everyone find their "Oil" within so they can live at their full potential.
“ Let the Energy of the Earth Ignite the Energy of the People ” - Susan Morrice
Susan was born and raised in Belfast Ireland, with a MoD degree in Geology from Trinity College Dublin.
She began her career as a frontier geologist, working all over the World. Her work with Englishman, Sir Ian Rankin, took her to Belize where she fell in love with the people and the Country.
After 15 years of exploration, finding no oil, Susan and her business partner, Mike Usher, attended the Educo Seminar - a specialised seminar on Human Potential and the power of the mind. Through utilising what they learned, on 24 June 2005 Susan and Mike, and their BNE team, did the unheard of and struck oil on their first well.
BNE has become a global oil industry beacon that has made a real difference in the Country of Belize. It was through Susan’s gift of exploration, and an understanding of the power of untapped human potential that she was able to find oil where it was believed by all of the Majors in the oil industry that there was none.
In 2015 BNE celebrated ten years of production and over ten-million barrels of oil, contributing significantly to the economy and for over 7 years has been the number one revenue generator for the Belize Government. In addition to 55% of BNE’s revenue stream going direct to the Belize Government, in just over 9 years, the BNE Trust has invested 9.3 million Belize dollars in education throughout Belize. This included 1,072 student loans and 380 direct job creations in addition to over 150 in BNE.
In October 2015 a major trade treaty was signed at the United Nations between Belize and the UAE. This unification is not just economic, but represents a true understanding between the two nations. The UAE are interested in BNE and Belize because of the Educo Model, which is all about empowering the individual and channeling the energy within.
Susan has a passion for sharing the steps she took for the transformational Vision of Belize to become a reality. She feels everyone can take these steps and bring out their visionary capacity to change the World and welcomes people with an interest in finding out more to contact her direct.
Tom Dawkins is one of Australia's, and the Worlds, leading thinkers, action-takers and change makers in the social entrepreneur space. I dub him the Social Impact King! His journey is a real inspiration, full of adventure, giant leaps of faith, hilarity and many key takeaways to influence everyone that listens.
Be sure to check out these projects that Tom mentions in the episode:
As well as his new venture he gave the heads up on which is launching on the 18th of September. The Start Some Good Community Network - be sure to keep an eye on the facebook page for more info on how to get involved! https://www.facebook.com/StartSomeGood
Tom Dawkins is the Co-Founder and CEO of social impact crowdfunding platform and innovation agency StartSomeGood. Tom is a leading speaker and advocate for social enterprise and teacher of community-building and fundraising skills. StartSomeGood partners with companies, funders and governments to inspire, unearth, skill-up and launch innovative social impact projects. Tom also founded award-winning youth organisation Vibewire, opened the first co-working space in Australia and was Director of the Australian Changemakers Festival.
StartSomeGood is an award-winning social enterprise with a mission to connect innovation to capital for social change. StartSomeGood.com, a crowdfunding platform which has raised more than $14 million for social benefit projects globally with the highest project success rate in cause crowdfunding, the Good Hustle social enterprise design course and the #StartingGood Virtual Summit. They also power impact accelerators and educational programs for partners across business, foundations and government, including ING, Optus, Austral Fisheries, The United Nations Development Program and the Cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Parramatta and Perth.
Connect with Tom and the team from Start Some Good:
This episode was a massive eye opener for me!
On average 30,000 people die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Australia each year! This is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. SCA usually causes death if it's not treated within minutes. This was the unfortunate experience that World Champion athlete Guy Leech experienced when one of his closest friends collapsed and was unable to be revived despite Guys and the paramedics best efforts.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest kills more Aussie's than anything else
That’s 600 people every week, this includes kids, teenagers & fit adults.
Right now if you experience Sudden Cardiac Arrest you have a 6% chance of surviving. Having a defibrillator used on you within 180 seconds, your chance of survival increases to 90%. Guy's mission is to get Heart180 Defibrillators EVERYWHERE! Sporting clubs, shopping centres, homes, service stations, cars. The more out there in the public the higher the chance of one being available when it's needed.
I was absolutely astounded by the statics surrounding SCA. What I really love about this episode was learning about the Heart180 device and how intuitive it is in helping people use the machine also. Guy explains in detail just how easy and useful these life saving machines are.
Further to championing the importance of having a defib available. Guy is advocating the importance of heart health and creating awareness of the necessity of getting regular check ups. Using is vast knowledge and experience in the health and fitness industry Guy is educating people on ways to care for their heart with the goal to reduce SCA deaths by 20,000 a year.
Known as Australia’s “#1 Fitness Guy” Australian Ironman surf lifesaving champion Guy Leech has a slue of awards, championship titles, medals to numerous to count and the winner of channel 9’s Celebrity Survivor.
After retiring from professional sporting career he turned his attention on creating a raft of fitness related products and programs and worked with some of the country’s leading health organisations like Diabetes Australia and The Heart Research Institute of Australia.
In 2016 A shocking tragedy that made Guy rethink his entire life purpose and question everything that he was doing both personally and professionally.
From this experience Guy founded Heart180 which is a national based defibrillator company.
Heart180 provides a total solution for its customers – from the defib that will best fit your needs, free online CPR & Defib training course as well as professional counselling support for anyone associated with the use of a Heart180 device in the management of an event.
Guys mission now is to help people become Heart Smart by making sure that we have defibs available, and people are trained in how to use them confidently in the case of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The reality is we can get the defib on the patient in the first 180 Seconds, to give them their best chance of living.
Find out more: https://heart180.com.au/
In my eyes Darren Bourke is Australia's Number #1 Business Coach/Mentor. His approach to business and the way he operates is like nothing I have experienced. His unique approach is to not only make businesses profitable and operating optimally, but greatly focuses on give the owners time and improving their relationships with themselves, families and their employees. To ensure that they are leveraging their business to achieve the lifestyle they desire, whilst also having less stress and more happiness. In simple terms he helps them get more of what they want without the heartache. One of the areas he encourages businesses owners to invest in, is community. He attributes some of his most valued connections, friendships and business relationships from providing service to charities and community groups. Through this service he was also able to be introduced to many inspiring people that he would not normally have the chance to cross paths with.
Darren dedicated four years to volunteer mentoring within the charity The Reach Foundation. Reach aims to help at-risk youth pursue their dreams and Darren got involved in creating and delivering programs, workshops, business incubators and one-on-one mentoring. Utilising his business expertise worked with the teens to create businesses, development employ-ability and work skills. From this experience he became in awed by the the work the youth were undertaking, he learnt a lot about the potential of youth and the commonality of what the youth are really craving - to be heard, listened to, understood and encouraged to achieve their potential.
Darren Bourke is a consultant, coach, and mentor to small and medium-sized businesses. With more than thirty years of business experience, he has an intuitive understanding of what makes entrepreneurs and businesses succeed. He has worked with over a thousand businesses throughout his career.
A Chartered Accountant by profession, Darren’s entrepreneurial journey kicked off when he jointly founded a start-up permanent and contract placement recruitment agency, hiring hundreds of finance and management personnel for clients.
His unique combination of financial, management, people, and business skills then led him to create Business Influence, where he specialises in coaching businesses. Darren’s passion is to help small and medium business owners and their teams create sustainable success.
Having filled his coaching business with clients using his own leveraged model, Darren has successfully quarantined time for other important activities. His commitment to a lifetime of learning has seen him study philosophy, meditation, marketing, non-fiction writing, screenwriting, digital media, speaking and publishing.
When he’s not spending time with family and friends, Darren’s passion for AFL and thoroughbred racing is complemented by his love of music, film, literature, and wine.
A screenwriting course led to his light bulb moment of combining a love of business and a love of writing through the storytelling metaphor adopted in his book The Fourth Moon.
Connect with Darren and get some free resources:
For Free e-Book https://darrenkbourke.com/giveaways
To receive Blog https://darrenkbourke.com/the-fourth-moon-blog
To purchase The Fourth Moon book on Amazon https://www.amazon.com.au/Fourth-Moon-Step-Step-Sustainable-ebook/dp/B00SU3XMSG/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=The+Fourth+Moon&qid=1599024974&sr=8-1
To contact Darren https://darrenkbourke.com/contact
Every little girl looks at their Dad as their hero. I was no different. I think the world of my dad and am so proud of the service and achievements he has made to his community, the nation and impact he has made on my life.
Happy Fathers Day Dad.
Joining us for the second time Steph dives in deep on her belief and lived truth on what it takes to make your Dream a Reality. The passion and desire to ignite the potential in every person is fiercely strong in this incredible and determined woman’s heart. Her ability to overcome adversity, help others see what is possible and reach far further than they thought achievable, is the most phenomenal gift. We are fortunate to have her share so openly and honestly about the trials and tribulations about what it took to create the wondrous enterprises.
Stephanie Woollard is an award-winning Australian social entrepreneur and speaker, who believes that a far more tolerant and compassionate world is achievable in our lifetime if we each take steps to make a difference within our individual capacity. She has founded several enterprises with social impact: the aid organisation Seven Women, the Kathmandu Cooking School and the tour company Hands On Development.
Through Hands On Development, she has taken hundreds of people from around the world to Nepal and into Australian Aboriginal communities to learn, connect and contribute to creating real and lasting change. A passionate advocate for responsible business practices, Steph uses her platform as a corporate speaker to educate audiences about the link between the demand for ethical production and the proven positive impact of social enterprise.
Steph has recently launched a Facebook Grouped called INSPIRING HUMANS - this group is for a collective to support and engage with others who see and believe in the human spirit and that it’s possible to change the world with this type of alignment. The groups purpose is to connect, inspire, collaborate, and co-create with one other, which can only enrich our lives and support the transformation needed in society.
Join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/804226133450054
To connect with Steph you can contact her through the Seven Women social media pages or website
Kylie Allen, an entrepreneur, mother, wife, teacher and life changer. She is a risk taker who is always looking to improve the lives of those around her. She is committed to focusing on the mental health, confidence, social and emotional learning of kids.
Kylie is the director and one of the teachers at Inspiring Minds Studio.
At Inspiring Minds Studio they change the lives of kids, offering a variety of programs that nurtures and supports the well-being of kids . Their programs help kids build their confidence and independence whilst learning important literacy and numeracy concepts, developing their fine motor skills and learning important social and emotional skills to help them through life.
Not one to let challenges of any sort hold her down, during lock-down Kylie has taken to supporting families by providing an online program for preschool children. She even found time to co-author her first book, "Empowered Women Empowering the World" launching in September and a children's book in the pipeline.
Kylie and her team share resources, ideas and inspiration on ways to interact and engage kids minds frequently on their Facebook page follow along at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringmindsstudio/
Get in contact or find out more information about Inspiring Minds Studio on their website https://inspiringmindsstudio.com.au/
Mark Watt believes that together we can make a real difference.
The story of Marks life is a testament to his sheer love for others, and determination to break to the cycle for disadvantaged and at-risk youth.
Mark Watt is passionate about assisting young people reach their full potential through opportunities and relationships. He has worked with Australian youth for over 30 years through establishing White Lion and his involvement in Youth Justice at correctional centres. Last year Mark launched Social Engine which is a unique and multi-faceted social enterprise whose focus is on offering diverse employment opportunities to ‘at-risk’ young people aged 18-25. They currently operate 4 business - 2 cafes, a packaging warehouse and a coffee van.
Mark is also the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia, this opportunity allows him to continue to work with others to have a positive impact and assist in changing the lives of Australia's youth. Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia provides long-term, one-to-one mentoring to help change the course of vulnerable young people's lives. So that they have the opportunity to unlock their potential, creating a brighter future for themselves and their community.
Marks passion and dedication are infectious; I hope that this inspires many others to get behind our youth and offer whatever support we can. Get on board with You(th) Are Not Alone - Youth Loneliness Solutions Summit Friday the 28th of August https://bit.ly/ylss28aug
Connect with Mark:
Providing extraordinary adventures for young people to help them build and embrace their confidence and passion is the incredible work Paul Kooperman is undertaking with the award winning Social Enterprise The Field Trip
The Field Trip sees a world where all young people embrace their unique powers to lead our communities. This vision will be achieved by turning learners into leaders, providing young people with extraordinary adventures and empowering them to use their unique extraordinary powers to lead their communities.
Because the world will be a better place if they do.
Paul's life journey is diverse, star studded and amazing in so many ways. He is a Guide for the internationally renowned ABCDE community development learning sites program. Paul has been an in-house writer for Channel Seven and Home and Away, as well as for Hollywood production companies. Paul is an expert facilitator and has had vast experience working with and supporting not for profits, companies and enterprises to develop their business plans, organisational culture and professional development programs and strategies for growth.
I left this call wide eyed and bushy tailed about the possibilities of how we can work with our young people - I hope it does this for you too!
Connect with Paul:
Jules is an advocate for female founders and wants to put the spotlight on the extraordinary things women are doing in business.
Jules is the host of a TV show called She's The Boss and has a podcast called She's The Boss Chats, she's also the founder of Handle Your Own PR, a DIY PR platform and she's built a community of kick-arse female founders on the back of the pandemic!
Everything about Jules is bright, bubbly and FUN, energy which she shares abundantly to everyone around her. If you are a female either in or aspiring to be in business then I highly recommend joining in on She's The Boss Free Friday Lunch. https://www.shestheboss.com.au/lunch No agenda just a great way to meet and connect with other women.
Here the juicy details on Jules next adventure - I cannot wait to see this powerhouses venture! You Rock Jules!!
Gareth Benson is the leadership voice in the Future of Work and for the Future of Education. His goal is to create opportunities for One Million Australians in empowering the future of work by 2022. A qualified Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria Gareth is a keynote professional speaker and Higher Education lecturer. He has delivered keynotes and lectures at conferences and Universities around Australia.
Gareth advocates for the Future of Education including on behalf of international students and employability outcomes that ensures that no one is left behind. He is passionate about how education will shape the future of work and actively works with students and entrepreneurs in sharing skills and information about preparing for the new working world - The GIG economy.
Through all of his extensive and varied working life Gareth has found that finding and working on your purpose path is where the real Gold of life is. Having personally been coached by Gareth to help me with my purpose I can honestly share how powerful the experience was for me.
Connect with Gareth through the links below and if you happen to hear this before the 11th of August I highly recommend attending his Digital Entrepreneur Summit - https://growwithhemievents.com/webinar-registration-408090661596153884433?fbclid=IwAR3qL6Tmws-PWPhL0vykspTQQj3MIXn-J_YYPc8UmCc9zz0oOSaLMHxBHlU
Get ready to hear from one of the most inspiring and insightful beings I have even met! Stephanie Woollard began Seven Women at age 22 after meeting seven disabled women working in a tin shed in Kathmandu. These seven women were struggling to make a living in the face of harsh discrimination.
15 years on and over 5,500 women have been educated, trained and employed by Seven Women, providing the tools to lift themselves out of poverty. Stephanie has been internationally recognised with numerous global awards including the UN Rotary International Responsible Business Award and more recently the Order of Australia.
Seven Women is dedicated to Empowering disabled and marginalised women in Nepal through drawing out their human potential.
Steph shares insights on her belief that to making real and lasting change, is about drawing out the full potential in others; starting with oneself.
It was a true honour and privilege to speak, connect and learn from this inspirational lady, who is no where near finished in providing help, support and value to the world.
Connect with Steph from the links below:
Dynamic and driven serial Community Advocate Karen Corr shares her story from Environmental Engineer to Social Enterprise Founder.
Karen has shaped and led social enterprise Jump Leads - not-for-profit social enterprise that “Jump-starts” community and arts initiatives to change cultures and invigorate communities for a better future. She has also established Make a Change Australia and Pop Up Art, fostering many community initiatives and innovative organisations across health and well-being, environment, social disadvantage, inclusion and creative sectors.
Her driver is to activate and invigorate community led solutions, for which partnership with government agencies, visionary organisations and committed individuals is critical.
Connect with Karen:
Founder of SandyMcDonald.com and charity, CreateCare Global, Sandy McDonald is an author, a TEDx speaker, and a storytelling trainer, working with businesses to bring clarity of communication through purpose-led story.
CreateCare Global brings together compassionate, creative, problem-solvers that contribute small actions, that create a big impact on helping provide for vulnerable children that are in need globally.
After 22 years running a marketing communications company, she used purposeful storytelling to start a worldwide community that helps thousands of orphaned children in Africa today.
Knit-a-square has distributed over 90,000 blankets
since 2008 to warm and comfort the cold,
orphaned or vulnerable children of South Africa.
Sandy’s TEDx talk about this, Tell Your Story. Save a Life received a standing ovation, and her book, Clans, Supercharge your business details the framework that achieved this. Watch here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtuYmwKtiDE&feature=youtu.be
Sandy is using and teaching the power of storytelling to help change-makers seeking to build community and create to positive action, they exist to spread kindness and love across Australia, and around the world.
Connect with Sandy:
Yana Martens is a video content and confidence coach. Her expertise is based on an understanding of self-image and human behaviour from a degree in psychology, combined with years in front and behind the camera, as a model and photographer. She helps her clients to elevate their personal brand by increasing self-awareness, find their authentic voice, encourage them to get out of the comfort zone and face their fears of being seen and judged. With over 14 years’ experience in front of the camera, Yana knows exactly how it feels and how to address all negative thinking that might arise.
Yana has taken her work skills to become a much loved and adored team member and mentor in Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia which is committed to helping young people to reach their potential , providing them with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships, that change lives for the better.
We all hear the stories in the news about the detention rates, drug and alcohol abuse and dire circumstances that teenagers face in the Northern Territory. I am honoured to share this incredible guest with you that has taken this challenge and found a way to create positive change in these kids lives so that they can learn, grow and change their lives and be a role model for other youth.
Adam Drake trained actor/director and fitness instructor and founder of Balanced Choice, has taken his skills and experiences to develop evidence-based program that is designed to educate at-risk young males about balance of the body, mind and spirit. The aim is to promote positive physical and mental activities to encourage young people to nourish the body, mind and soul and to make positive choices to live their best lives and achieve their goals. To create better mental health literacy, practical life skills, healthier relationships with peers and family, increased self-efficacy and resilience, a positive sense of the future, and a greater sense of connection to self and others.
Balanced Choice works predominantly with young people in the youth justice space. They also facilitate professional development workshops based on team building and self-care to private organisations.
To contact Adam or find out more go to https://www.balancedchoice.org/
After retiring from a well established as an Electrical Engineer that Colin Lambie found his calling to provide support and assistance to companies, community groups and residents on the benefits and cost effectiveness of solar power. Always being curious about the power and versatility of natural power; it was his work with the Y Service Club of Bendigo which he had been a member of for 20 years. That lead Colin to become a founding member of the Bendigo Sustainability Group in 2007 whose focus is environmental sustainability, which includes reducing greenhouse gases by replacing electricity coming from coal burning power stations in Latrobe Valley with solar. Incredibly his work through both community groups merged and resulted in me running classes about climate change science, greenhouse gases and how to reduce them across Asia.
Big fan of Colin's story and his dedication to supporting those around him and serving his community it's awe-inspiring.
Here are the links to connect with Colin and his community involvement groups.
Born and raised in the city Vanessa and her husband made the tree change to regional Victoria. Being a driven and avid journalist she made her own way in connecting into the town through her genuine passion about sharing the stories of those in the area. Out of necessity Vanessa founded Join The Crew a movement like no other! Giving these community services, causes and groups the opportunity to share, connect, meet and attract people to them.
An exciting and inspiring journey with big ambitions! Join in with Join The Crew TV - follow their Facebook page for more information.
Kevin Mack was just 16 when he signed on as a Victoria Police cadet in 1978, and 18 when he was posted as a junior constable to Port Melbourne. However, as fate would have it he was sent back to his home turf in 1986 where it was here he found his calling to be more than just a policeman. It was here Kevin became a beacon of understanding, hope and the listening ear that changed the course of the lives who he encountered.
He has been known for decades around Albury-Wodonga as the community cop who took young people under his wing, founding a project to provide therapy and direction through camping in the wilderness of the high plains and rafting on fast-flowing rivers. He set about becoming a leader and mentor and adviser to young people who otherwise might have lost their way. From this work he was the 2010 Albury Citizen of the Year.
After many trips to Parliament, campaigning to become a Federal Minister and many hours spent rubbing shoulders and conversations with the powers that be of our nation. It's quite clear to see that Kevins passion and purpose lies with the heart of the people. Those that don't have the voice heard from the upper echelons of society, but whose food and produce we consume on a daily basis.
Rebel Black - syntropic entrepreneur, human agronomist - whose mission in life is to #thrive, #heal and #evolve!
Raised on a farm in rural NSW Australia and is the CEO & Founder of THE Rural Woman, a global business which she operates, with support of a remote team from her office on the opalfields in Lightning Ridge, Outback NSW. Rebel loves growing,harvesting, talking about and eating local food, creating safe spaces for people to heal through trauma, working online creating communities and inspiring rural women to #bloomwheretheyare.
THE Rural Woman is an innovation driven, creativity inspired, resilience building, productive, proactive, supportive eco-system of rural women from around the world, connecting, learning and discovering together on the topics that matters to us!
Rebel is a champion of Rural Woman, and also an advocate of collaboration, connection and support through her town of Lightening Ridge by providing space for Thai Food, Yoga classes and accommodation for tourists.
To connect with Rebel and THE Rural Woman go to: