Make a Change Australia has now been supporting people for six-months—from the Romsey, Lancefield and Cobaw regions—to make great stuff happen; recently hosting Let’s Nut It Out.

Local communities are full of people with great ideas, interesting projects, and the very best intentions to invest themselves in a better future, for us all. ‘Nutting it out’ is about taking focused time to work out what’s needed; married with the support of local experts who can help us through the ‘road-blocks.’

Supported by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and the Romsey and Lancefield Neighbourhood Houses; we wanted to share with you this amazing day of sharing, learning new skills, problem solving and lots of networking. Changemakers from the arts, sustainability, health, performance, sport and community sectors, spent time prior to the event establishing what aspect of their project they will focus upon.  Skill Mentors, who are leaders in the local community with expertise in a particular area, were on hand to delve deeper into the focus areas of strategic connections, funding, marketing, community engagement and project stakeholders.

Participants such as Chris Hyett (pictured below) reflected, “Attending today affirmed the value of my project idea.” Chris is developing a story-telling project to address mental health issues. “I’m working on a social-history project; recording people’s different histories and life in the district.” Chris was moved to begin the project after experiencing the tragic loss of a friend committing suicide. “Social isolation can be the cause of mental ill health, and I wanted a way for people to connect with community. Stories will be presented in an audio and visual way.”

“The next step for me from today, is to do lots of follow-up and contact all the people I have connected with today—and their suggestions of contacts!” Dawn Banforth is a singer, and she also works in aged-care; programming recreation activities for residents. Her initiative is to develop a local resource—such as an artist directory—to connect aged-care-centres to artists and musicians.

“I wanted to think about engaging community and letting them know that we are more than a library,” says Sara Bryant of the Romsey Library. “We have space and resources for community groups to use.” She is interested in finding out about projects that are happening out there, and seeing how the library can partner with them.

Jackie Nieuwenhuizen is an entrepreneur and a reading specialist. Having started a new business to support people to be great readers, she realised that this could exclude people simply due to cost. “I am investigating business models—to provide young people who are in the justice systems access to opportunities to receive literacy support.” Jackie’s aim is to ensure that every person in this area is able to read.

Expand Your impact—the next event on the schedule for this community—is the last free formal program in this series.  You are invited to get on board and utilise this amazing free resource providing support, training and inspiration to move your projects forward. It offers free professional, community, and personal development—for people who want to make stuff happen for themselves, their communities, or at work.

This essential day for people who want to make things happen, is taking place on Saturday the 13th of August.

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