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I think it might be safe to generalize, and say that Make a Change Australia readers are people who like to help to make other people’s lives better.

Vivien Philpotts is the Coordinator of Lancefield Neighbourhood House and the inspirational changemaker we are profiling this month.  She began her interview describing herself as a person who “loves it when a great idea comes along that will make other people’s lives better.” She loves rolling up her sleeves, “…and working out how to make it happen.”

Of course, as changemakers, what we all want to know is “how to make it happen?”  Vivian has managed large and small community projects from setting up a Men’s Shed, running a monthly farmers market, op shop and community resource centre, to playing a lead role in the Lancefield Cobaw Fire Recovery from the 2015 October fires.

“It’s about the people that you work with that makes ideas happen,” Vivien explains. “The projects that I have been involved with have got off the ground when others get interested in what you are doing.”

Changemaking for Vivien is enthusiasm, the initial energy that is ignited by a great idea. She goes on to explain that the initial ignition needs to transform into something even greater. “You need to become strategic beyond the enthusiasm.  You need a team of people and resources; the where, why, who and what.”

A lot of Neighbourhood House coordinators, like me, are micromanagers.  We like to get things done. But really it is about letting the idea go and let others run with it.  When the ideas and the people are ready, change will happen.”

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