Community Award Finalists
Community Award Finalists
So, the finalists in the Do Good Community category.
The Uniting Church Pantry
Lucy Earl and the team at The Uniting Church Pantry partner with Oz Harvest to provide a free community pantry to the local Southern Highlands community every week. This provides a strong community connection and an invaluable service to people across all sectors of the community who are needing practical support and access to fresh and packaged food.
During a year of bushfires and COVID, they provided consistent and COVID safe service to people in need. While many outlets were closed, the community pantry was easily accessible and provided a safe and friendly contact point for people who may have been lonely or experiencing stress.
The service began before COVID and the bushfires, and continues to play an important role within the Southern Highlands community. They have also established connections with local schools and giving programs. Through the partnership with Oz Harvest, the community pantry also helps to recycle unused food and to reduce waste.
Yvi Henderson is passionate about community and has a deep understanding of the obstacles migrants face when they begin their new lives having migrated to Australia herself.
In 2016 the Cooma Multicultural Centre opened its doors and Yvi stepped up to manage it. The Centre provides multicultural communities with their own space to learn, share and connect. It also provides support for people to help them overcome the challenges experienced traversing the immigration system and finding their feet in a new country.
I am passionate about my work and love learning about different world views.
She has also started the Multicultural Activity Group in Communities which is made up of a group of people from a wide range of cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds. The Group organise cultural celebrations for the wider community and has raised more than $20,000 to start a social enterprise DiversiTEA, a tea room… with a difference. The project provides training, practical work experience, social opportunities and a pathway into the wider workforce.
Yvi Henderson and the ladies at the Cooma Multicultural Centre
Collin Peebles - Geelong Food Relief
Collin Peebles is the CEO of the Geelong Food Relief Centre, a not-for-profit Food Bank that provides emergency food relief to around 37,000 people in the region. The organisation is supported by 90 volunteers and partners with a range of welfare agencies.
He currently over sees two centres and is in the process of securing a much larger premises which will enhance the experience for the families and individuals they support.
Collin says it is personally rewarding to be able to help children particularly.
We provide nutritious food to our younger generation via our School Breakfast Programs.
The bushfires of last summer and the COVID pandemic has placed greater demand on the Food Bank and saw Collin delivering food hampers to those in isolation as far away as Colac. It is expected Collin and his team will have supported approx. 50,000 people by years end.
Tendayi Ganga is a beacon in the community and is acknowledged for her leadership as a Board member of the Multicultural and Refugees Settlement Scheme and ACT Multicultural Council. She is also CEO of the Born to Shine organisation, an author, inspirational speaker, community broadcaster and volunteer.
Tendayi encourages people to know their identity and purpose in life and celebrate their cultural diversity.
I am passionate about empowering others, especially women, for they carry the burden the most and are afraid to speak out for themselves.
She encourages them to rise above their challenges, to be influential, strong and proud of who they are.
Tendayi is passionate about supporting others to grow and fulfil their purpose without feeling discriminated against. As a result, she has been able to positively impact many people’s lives.
Shannon Graham - The Empowerment Challenge
Shannon Graham is a nurse and Chairperson and Co-founder of The Empowerment Challenge, a charity devoted to the well-being and support of young and expectant mothers in the Geelong region.
Most of the women come from uninvolved families, many whom have survived abuse, family violence, under-employment, generational poverty and/or mental health issues. The charity provides them with connection, support and mentoring. The outcome enhances health and wellbeing, personal development and independence.
Give a person fish and they have a meal for a day, teach a person to fish and they will never go hungry again sums up our mission perfectly.
There are also plans to create a mobile hub to reached out to younger mums during COVID. Shannon is passionate about the work she is doing and energised by the knowledge that she is changing lives.