Many people generously contribute time, energy, expertise, resources and good will to our programs and to each other.

Our work would not be possible without the effort of individuals and organisations who step up to play a part in shaping now and tomorrow.

Last Thursday’s Creating Our Future with 100+ people, was no exception and caps off three terrific Outside the Square events for 2017.

The evening started light heartedly with a magic trick by MC Ian McBurney of Live Ecological, demonstrating how the “future is in the bag!”

Ian McBurney, Live Ecological and MC for the night. Photographer: Ashley Taylor


Rob Stephenson of La Trobe University welcomed us all and shared how La Trobe has created a vision to welcome the community, transform Flora Hill, reach out and embrace Bendigo and connect to the world.

Creating the Future starts with being inclusive and it was wonderful to hear Daniel Giles, a representative of the Bendigo’s Inclusive Communities Reference Committee, as the first of seven short talks from local people involved in different initiatives.

Daniel Giles, Inclusive Communities Reference Committee. Photographer: Ashley Taylor


Daniel shared about the importance of his role on the reference committee. As someone living with autism he said “we are the experts because we have lived experience.”

Abe Watson who’s involved in many arts initiatives from working at Ulumbarra Theatre to performing in the Bendigo Theatre Company, shared his vision and passion for the arts. He said he fell in love with theatre when he was younger and it brings out the best in people. Abe wants to see the future in arts careers for young people. “Art is important for health, community and should be more respected.”


The Bendigo economy is worth $25 billion and Julie Miller-Markoff spoke about bHive Bendigo, a new initiative that aims to keep more of this money circulating in Bendigo.

Creating the Future for David Hughes of Be.Bendigo means a “strong sense of community, socially diverse and economically strong”. He said we are already here, but as we grow we need to ensure we maintain and expand on this.

Tayla Hansen of Young People for Refugees  (YPR) was honored to be there on the night. She said rather than speaking about her own vision, she posed the question to her members to see what they all wanted which included diversity, connection, multiculturalism and youth empowerment.

Garage People working session. Photo supplied by YPR

It was great to hear more about the YPR Garage People initiative – where young refugees come together in Tayla’s garage to make art. This art is then sold and 100% profits go back to the artists themselves. In the process they form new relationships, build confidence and gain valuable business skills.

The Bendigo Sustainability Group has a big vision for 100% renewable energy by 2036. Colin Lambie talked about the importance of community ownership in this and how $100+ million can stay within the local economy.


Including young people as critical agents of change, was the vision shared by Gabriella Giggins, the past president of Bendigo Senior Secondary College.

“It’s incredibly important opportunities are made available for young people, and students are encouraged to take them up.”

Gabriella shared what difference it had made to her own leadership development to have opportunities such as being on the Student Representative Council, being a Rotary Ambassador and an exchange student.

Participants at Outside the Square Creating Our Future. Photographer: Ashley Taylor


We certainly were all inspired as we continued discussions in groups and informally over a cuppa. 100% of people who completed our survey said they were inspired to make a change following the event.

Find out more about how we can all create the future we want and what else we discovered from the night…

REGISTER now for our next event Future Movers, Thursday 26 October

This initiative is part of Greater Bendigo’s Curriculum for Change: a series of discussions and events throughout 2017, underlining how each and everyone of us can play a part in creating the future we want. Sign up to our e-news to stay in the loop, receive updates and direct event invitations !

Proudly supported by: