Pictured Left to Right: Penny Jacobson, Abe Watson, Rob Stephenson, Shivali Chatley

We are really interested in bringing people together who are proactively getting in there and creating solutions to the challenges they see are important in their community.

It’s going beyond the complaints. It’s recognising there’s an issue and doing something about it.

We had the chance to do this at our recent Outside the Square – Creating Our Future. Here’s how we can all get going to create the future we want:

  1. Make a wish – Think about what it is you want for the future and what you’d like to do now to get there
  2. Share with others – Have as many conversations as you possibly can
  3. Don’t worry about the naysayers – There’ll always be people that knock your vision, or don’t understand it, or don’t think you can make it happen. Don’t worry about them, keep having conversations to find your supporters and collaborators
  4. Take one action now – Know that you don’t’ have to fufil your entire wish in one day. Change takes time, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Start by focusing on just one next step now
  5. See if you can join in with an existing initiative rather than starting up your own – sometimes what we want is similar to others and it can save a lot of time to link in with what others are doing already.

Here’s what some of the attendees at Outside the Square are wanting for the future and what they are doing now to make it happen:

John Roberts (pictured above) is interested in supporting the aged and people with dementia. He want’s to make sure people know the options available to them and has started by sharing this vision with people around him.

Low cost housing for women over 50 is something Jacqui Stocks (pictured on the left above with Make a Change Karen Corr) is passionate about. As a first step she wants to build a team to help get a new project off the ground. She made a whole lot of new connections at Creating Our Future, and now has many phone calls to make following the event.

Isaac Blencowe (pictured above left, with David Hughes, Be.Bendigo) sees the need for people to slow down, relax and be more present. He started a business to run mind body exercise classes and is looking to meet like minded people to help grow this vision.

Tom and Jahmeile provide a voice for young people through youth produced Ambedo Magazine. They attended Creating Our Future out of interest and came away with way more than they thought. They connected with many new people including Tayla from Young People for Refugees, Leanne from Boomerang Bags, and youth leadership presenter Gabrielle Giggins, and are keen to showcase all of them in their magazine. They’re also now attending a wild food workshop run by one of the attendees Sparrow Daley.


Here’s some other great initiatives you can get involved with that may align with your own vision for the future:

Supporting multicultural families and individuals settle into life in Australia

Become a volunteer and support individuals and families to settle into life in Australia.  Volunteers can undertake a number of roles, including tutoring, reception duties or supporting programs such as playgroups.
Contact:  Sylvia Phan on 5441 6644 or [email protected]  http://www.lcms.org.au/about-us/volunteer-opportunities/

Career Horizons

 Career Horizons is a unique web portal designed to link education providers and students to a range of workplace and career experiences offered by local businesses in Central Victoria.

Contact: Julie Andrews [email protected] 5434 6097

Bendigo Sustainability Group

The Bendigo Sustainability Group is made up of local people and businesses interested in all aspects of sustainability. Latest initiatives include Bendigo Community Power Hub and Sustainable House Day.

Contact: Chris Corr | [email protected] | 0427 148 270

bHive Bendigo

bHive is a new cooperative for Bendigo, an online platform that will allow local enterprises and people to own Bendigo’s sharing economy.

Contact: Ian McBurney | [email protected] | 0408 512 234

Bike Bendigo – Bike Palooza

Bike Palooza Bendigo is a month of events for bikes, celebrating cycling of all kinds from everyday riding to the shops, university, school or work to mountain biking, road riding and BMX.

Contact: Jac Torres-Gomez | 0410 002 600 | [email protected]

#RightTrack Community Conversations Project

Generating positive conversations across all political spectrums in the community about refugees and asylum seekers, by getting people to host kitchen table conversations for discussion where they invite their own friends and neighbours to attend.

Contact: John Murphy | [email protected] | 0417 541 155


A movement, for people who value the health and wellbeing of themselves and others. Looking for nominations to become ambassadors for GREATER (yourself or others you recommend)

Contact: Andrea Sloane | 03 5454 6579 [email protected]

Creative Links – Golden City Support Services

We are looking to link individuals with a disability to areas of their interest in their local area. One way we do this is through volunteer mentors who may have similar interests or experience that they can share. If you would like to know more about being a volunteer mentor please contact us.

Contact: John Willis | 03 5434 2777 | [email protected]

Synergize Hub

A co-working space in Bendigo – a collaboration of businesses passionate about creating a bright future for our clients and the wider community. Desks available including 1 scholarship for a social enterprise.

Contact: Brenton Johnson | 1300 303 138 | [email protected]uptakedigital.com.au

Make a Change Changemakers Network

Help kick start a national grassroots network for changemakers, starting in Bendigo

Contact: Karen Corr | 0419 006 243 | [email protected]

Random Hacks of Kindness – RHOK Bendigo

Random Hacks of Kindness Bendigo (RHoK) is a not for profit local group that is part of a global movement of technologists who are hacking for good. We invite participants to work together to produce practical, open source software to help solve social problems including those related to disaster risk, major crisis (like bushfires, floods and earthquakes), and societal challenges which our communities face.

Contact: https://www.meetup.com/Random-Hacks-of-Kindness-Bendigo | rhokaustralia.org

Divestment Bendigo

Take action on climate change by joining the Central Victorian Fossil Fuel Free Charter and divesting from fossil fuels.

Contact: Bernard Tonkin 0459 472 558 | centralvicdivest.org | Divestment Bendigo FB Page

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!