Geelong Maitri – Onam Festival
This week’s grant for spotlight in THE CATCH UP involves Geelong Maitri and their annual ‘Onam Festival’.
This is an event bringing together and celebrating Geelong’s multi-cultural community at the Geelong West Town Hall, and a $1,000 grant from GCC helped make this year’s occasion the most successful in its history.
George Vacken from Geelong Maitri joined Our Man Fitzy and the Bay FM team to recap the event and talk about how the organisation has grown to over 200 members and counting.
“This year was the biggest one we have ever had,” George said. “It’s a good time for family and friends to come together.”
To hear the full segment and to get the latest on what is happening with GCC, press play on the audio file below.
2017 Geelong Volunteer of the Year Award
The focus for this week’s CATCH UP with Our Man Fitzy is the 2017 Geelong ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’.
One in three people living in Geelong is a volunteer in some capacity and on Tuesday, December 5 (International Volunteer Day) there will be a gala event in the Presidents’ Room at the Geelong Football Club to honour some of the most important. The event will be hosted by the Kardinia Rotary Club in conjunction with Volunteering Geelong and GCC will provide a $5000 grant to the cause via our ‘Community Safety’ category. Volunteers can be nominated in eight different award categories by visiting the Volunteering Geelong website, with entries closing on November 17.
Special guest Jason Doherty from Volunteering Geelong said anybody could be nominated, and anyone could do the nominating: “There is some prize money attached to all the awards, but part of the prize money is also for the winners to nominate a charity, or they can give the money back to the organisation who nominated them,” Jason said.
‘Fitzy’ told the Bay FM team that supporting this event epitomised what GCC was all about: “When this organisation was created, it’s major premise was to support volunteering and community work in Geelong and particularly small organisations or organisations who struggle to source funds.”
To hear more from Fitzy, click on the audio file below.
Business and Professional Women Geelong
This week’s special guest is Sharon Hill from the Geelong branch of the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women.
Sharon talks to the team about the ‘Making a Difference’ program, which is a two-year mentoring program designed for young women from North Geelong Secondary College who are studying Year 11 and 12.
Once selected, these young girls have monthly catch-ups with ‘BPW’ volunteers, who are professional women from the Geelong area, where they receive crucial advice about their potential careers after school.
Sharon said the mission of the program was to help its graduates (there have been 50 since develop the next leaders of Geelong.
“The program helps these students work on their confidence, public speaking, networking skills, goal-setting, time management and just their general employ-ability,” Sharon said.
“It’s only through the support of companies such as Geelong Connected Communities that this mentoring program can run the way it is – the grant we have received is just wonderful.
To hear more about this program and the latest news from GCC, click the play on the audio file below.
Gateways Support Services
This week’s special guest is Bernadette Walker from Gateways Support Services – an organisation which empowers and supports those with a disability or additional needs and their families to help them maximise quality of life and build positive relationships in the community.
Bernadette tells the team about the $4,000 grant from GCC that has helped Gateways establish an ‘Equipment Library’ of therapeutic items and equipment that people with a disability or additional needs can access to improve their lives.
“We are obviously in that new funding space in terms of the new NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) and, for a lot of families, there is a lot of equipment that they need. We can support them by going through the NDIS and requesting that piece of equipment, but we have to show evidence that it is the right piece of equipment to suit that family,” Bernadette said.
“The NDIS are happy to fund something, but they just have to know that it is the right piece of equipment. What we have not been able to do in the past is trial things to get that evidence. But with the amazing donation from Geelong Connected Communities, we have been able to develop a library of equipment.
“Now people can come in and trial this equipment from the library so we can work out that it is the right piece of equipment for them and then we support the family in completing the application to the NDIS so they can have that equipment for themselves.”
To hear more about Gateways Support Services, click on the audio file below.
This week’s special guest is Kate Kent from Geelong Mums, as she joins ‘Our Man’ Fitzy and the 93.9 Bay FM team for the ‘CATCH UP’.
Kate talks about a unique, 24-hour fundraising event coming up on Tuesday, September 12, supported by Geelong Connected Communities.
“We will launch an online, 24-hour fundraising appeal with a difference. Between midday on Tuesday, September 12 and midday Wednesday, September 13, every dollar that is donated by the public will be quadrupled,” Kate said.
“We have ‘matcher donors’ such as Geelong Connected Communities and others. For every dollar donated by the public, three dollars will come across from our matcher donors,” she said.
Geelong Mums are an organisation of mostly volunteers who re-home new and pre-loved baby goods and nursery equipment to families in need, working closely with social workers throughout the Geelong area.
To hear more about the Geelong Mums organisation, click on the audio file below.
‘Breakfast in a Bag’ Project
This week ‘Our Man’ Fitzy has two special guests as he joins the 93.9 Bay FM team again for the CATCH UP – Chris Barker from the Bendigo Bank and Debbie Parsons from Aussie Helpers.
Bendigo Bank, the Founding Partner and major funding provider for GCC, and Aussie Helpers are teaming up in a project called ‘Breakfast in a Bag’.
Aussie Helpers is an organisation that exists purely to support farmers in need.
“Right across Australia we’ve certainly got some challenges with farming… so what ‘Breakfast in a Bag’ is all about is getting the public involved,” Debbie explains.
“This year it’s about getting a bag, just a normal shopping bag, and filling it with Aussie breakfast produce that is non-perishable… and dropping them into your local Bendigo Bank.
“We then collect those and give them to farmers in need.”
Chris, the Bendigo Bank’s Geelong West branch manager, said it is part of the Bank’s ethos to believe it can truly “make a difference”.
“We are passionate about the community and that’s why a lot of us work for Bendigo Bank,” he said.
“We get involved in a lot of different things and we can see it in the community. The people that come through the door know what we’ve been doing with lots of different businesses and community organisations around town, and it makes a difference.”
To hear more about this wonderful project, click on the audio file below.
‘Breakfast on the Bellarine’
Our man Fitzy joins the 93.9 Bay FM team again for the ‘CATCH UP’ – and this week his special guest is Jo Plummer, the chairperson of Geelong Regional Football Committee (GRFC).
Jo speaks about the exciting ‘Breakfast on the Bellarine’ event on August 18 at Simonds Stadium, which will bring nearly 300 people from the business, sport, community and media sectors together.
The funds raised from the breakfast will help the GRFC invest back into soccer in Geelong, the highest-participated club sport in Australia and the fastest-growing in the Geelong region.
This is one of only four events of this type delivered throughout the state by Football Federation Victoria.
Fitzy also provides a recap of the ‘$1 million Celebration’ Geelong Connected Communities hosted at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club to celebrate the $1 million in grants GCC has provided to more than 400 community organisations.
To hear more from Jo, Fitzy and the Bay FM team, click on the audio file below.
Anam Cara House Geelong
Our man Fitzy joins the 93.9 Bay FM team again for the ‘CATCH UP’ – and this week his special guest is Helen Hunter, CEO of Anam Cara House Geelong.
Helen provides an insight into the extraordinary work taking place at Anam Cara House, which specialises in helping those in the unfortunate position of managing the end-of-life care of a loved one.
Anam Cara House was recently assisted by a grant from GCC.
“Geelong Connected Communities has been very generous in enabling Anam Cara to offer day hospice places and overnight nursing, which gives carers some respite and, if need be, we also do end-of-life care. The funds that we received from Geelong Connected Communities go 100% directly to caring for people.”
Fitzy also reveals that Bay FM’s own Roxie Bennett will emcee the $1 million party Geelong Connected Communities is hosting on July 25 at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club to celebrate the $1 million in grants GCC has provided to more than 400 community organisations.
To hear more from our man Fitzy, click on the audio file below.
Andrew speaks about the incredible work the 120 volunteers at Samaritan House are doing to help make life better for homeless people in Geelong – including giving them a room, meals, medical and mental health treatment and much more.
“We give these people hope, and hopefully we can transform their lives,” Andrew said.
Fitzy and the team also look forward to the $1 million party Geelong Connected Communities is hosting on July 25 at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club to celebrate the $1 million in grants GCC has provided to more than 400 community organisations.
To hear more from Andrew and our man Fitzy on what GCC has been up to over the past fortnight, click on the audio file below.
Geelong Symphony Orchestra
Our man Fitzy joins the 93.9 Bay FM team again for the ‘CATCH UP’ – and this week his special guest is Jon Mamonski from the Geelong Performing Arts Centre.
Jon praises the support GCC has provided the Arts industry in Geelong and, most recently, a grant given to the Geelong Symphony Orchestra.
“Geelong Symphony Orchestra really is alive and well today because of the support it gets in the community, like the grants from Geelong Connected Communities,” Jon said.
“Geelong can be justly proud that it has its own symphony orchestra.”
To hear more from Jon and our man Fitzy on what GCC has been up to over the past fortnight, press play on the audio file below.
Peter talks to the team about an important Business Charity Luncheon coming up to raise funds for Headspace Geelong.
Headspace Geelong is a place where young people between the ages of 12 and 25 who are going through a tough time can go and talk to staff – and Peter shared some confronting statistics relating to young people in Geelong.
The fundraising event will be held on May 26 at the Geelong Football Club, with former AFL player Mark Eustice appearing as the guest speaker to share his riveting journey filled with many challenges playing for three AFL clubs – Essendon, Richmond and Sydney.
Former professional golfer and SEN presenter Mark Allen will host the event, which will also feature Geelong President Colin Carter, current Cats player Tom Lonergan and Western Bulldogs AFLW star Katie Brennan.
To hear more from our man Fitzy on this event and what GCC has been up to over the past fortnight, press play on the audio file below.
Reconciliation in the Park
Our man Fitzy’s special guest this week is Norm Stanley from Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group.
Norm speaks to Fitzy and the team about the ‘Reconciliation in the Park’ event coming up on Sunday, May 28th from 10am to 3pm at Johnstone Park.
The event is free and will give Geelong residents the chance to learn more about indigenous culture, with activities like indigenous dance, artefacts, storytelling games and boomerang making.
GCC has provided a grant to Geelong One Fire to help them coordinate the organising of this year’s event, which is projected to be the biggest in its history, Norm told Fitzy and the Bay FM team.
“We really encourage [Geelong residents] to come along and reflect on what reconciliation means and what taking the next steps can mean to everybody,” Norm said.
To listen to more from Norm and more from our man Fitzy on what GCC has been up to over the past fortnight, press play on the audio file below.
Our man Fitzy’s special guest this week is Flavia Kaucic, the president of Geelong’s Galaxy United FC women’s soccer club.
Galaxy United is currently in its second year as a club, competing in the Women’s National Premier League where it fields representative teams in under-13s, under-15s, under-18s and a senior women’s team.
They play against the best teams in Victoria, and Flavia says the main purpose of their club is about providing an opportunity for talented players to reach the top level.
“It’s a really about a development pathway for talented female soccer players in the Geelong region, and that was something that was really missing,” Flavia said.
“Engagement at community level competition is fantastic, but if a talented player was ever identified [before now], they would have had to travel to Melbourne a minimum of four or five times a week to train.”
Galaxy United recently benefitted from a $1000 grant from Geelong Connected Communities.
Click play on the audio file to hear more from Flavia and Fitzy and the team.
Our Fitzy’s special guest this week is Melissa Pearce, a regional manager at GCC’s Founding Partner – the Bendigo Bank.
Melissa speaks to the team about the community-minded efforts Bendigo Bank has made throughout the Geelong region over the past decade, and moving forward, in helping to return funds “to where they are really needed”.
“We did a tally in November last year, looking at what we had returned locally to the community, and the conservative figure was $6 million,” Melissa said.
“In 10 years, we have returned $6 million via our community network – and $165 million nationally,” she said.
“We are extremely proud of what we do as an organisation, and extremely proud of our customers who believe in us and allow us to do what we do in the community.”
Bendigo Bank customers can play a part in helping GCC award more grants to deserving community organisations by linking their new or existing accounts to GCC.
When this happens, the Bendigo Bank pays out a commission to GCC – at no cost to the customer.
Click play on the audio file to hear more from Melissa about what the Bendigo Bank are doing in the community.
Royal Geelong Yacht Club
Fitzy’s special guest this week is Phil Clohesy, the general manager at Royal Geelong Yacht Club.
Geelong Connected Communities is the naming rights sponsor of the shoreside entertainment for the upcoming “Festival of Sails” along Geelong’s Waterfront.
Mr Clohesy reveals in the below radio interview that there will be “some significant changes” this year, with the Festival set to start on the second last week of January from now on.
“Australia Day will float between that weekend and… the Cadel Evans Road Race on the next weekend,” he said.
“Through Geelong Connected Communities and the City of Greater Geelong, we will be able to run the Australia Day weekend celebrations [in that period] across the foreshore as well.”
Our man Fitzy’s special guest is Mike Beck, speaking about the “Pivot Summit” staged in Geelong last weekend.
The event at The Arena showcased the latest advances in digital, technology and entrepreneurship and how Geelong can benefit in the future from exploring these areas.
Geelong Connected Communities was a sponsor of the event, which trended No.1 on Twitter last Friday – with 2,000 tweets and 7 million tweet impressions.
Hear more about this and other grants GCC has given out this month by clicking on the audio file below.