Held at the Ettamogah Pub, the day got off to a cracking start with lively music and a spectacularly lit venue. As the guests arrived, a mass of youthful energy filled the space. In a corner, a group of “young fairy-girls” started a spontaneous dance. There was an equal mix of genders and it was great to see a number of parents and grandparents also participating.
It proved to be an entertaining and enlightening day for youth and adults alike. The incentive of course was the free entry to Aussie World for the young participants after the program. The presentations gave much inspiration for handling life’s challenges as we evolve. Some very moving personal stories were shared. The sincerity of the speakers must be commended, in expressing their experiences and in involving the audience with some interactive activities.
Vicki Magic, the founder and host and provided a steady stream of energy, enthusiasm and community spirit from start to finish. The speakers were equally inspiring and had a wide variety of backgrounds. What was unanimous, was the strength of character each person had exhibited in spite of trying circumstances, either in their own lives, or in those close to them. The speakers encompassed fields such as wedding planning, finance, athletics, aromatherapy, chiropractic, and emotional management. We had the opportunity to hear significant parts of their life stories, as well as strategies to handle our own lives.
Having self awareness, looking within and drawing strength from within, was a central message. We were encouraged to view difficulties as challenges that arise at various times and to be assured there will be a beginning and an end.
The speakers presented useful practical techniques and encouraged us to use them moment by moment. All presenters spoke from the heart and were willing to admit their weakness, which made their presentations even more engaging. After each speaker finished, time was provided to discuss key questions raised by the presentation, with the guide of the facilitators at each table. Some important issues were thus raised and explored. Counsellors were on hand to provide more specialised assistance if need be.
It was commendable to see the male presenters setting an example and openly expressing their emotions. Amy from McGrath Estate Agents spoke from her experience of moving forward as a young person in an unhappy situation to a much better place and the importance of being yourself. Kim from Twenty8 spoke of her time as an Olympic long-distance runner and of her son’s overcoming his adolescent hurdles. Dan from Fox Finance spoke of his story of a colleague and friend from his youth who took his life due to financial issues and called for greater financial education for youth. Paula from Suncoast Cleaning Solutions gave an incredibly moving account of her personal journey of empowerment in losing a limb. David from Hendry Chiropractic spoke from personal experience of being bullied, as well as being a bully and covered techniques to handle this key issue. Chris from Sunny Kids children’s charity, gave a brutally honest account of his difficult childhood, which brought a profound calm to the room. Blase from Experientia provided a show-stopping presentation, aimed at encouraging people to manage their emotions more constructively, through engaging exercises. Congratulations on setting such a great example to males.
Some of the feedback from the day included:
Food for the soul
Takes you out of the familiar and into opportunity
Positivity, success, expansion, connection
Allows you to experience your inner potential, power, unity, joy, peace, bliss, harmony, power
Gives you a role to play
An outlet for all your energy in a constructive manner
Opportunity for learning on many levels and at all stages of life
Water the flower of good action
The day wrapped up with a presentation from Vicki, including many inspiring ideas to help us nurture our self-awareness and draw from the strength within. She emphasised that real magic is “believing in yourself” and that “when you are happy, things will change. She encouraged us to “start watering the flowers, not the weeds.”
What are your thoughts on youth issues, particularly on the Sunshine Coast and how can these be addressed?Read More
The Modern Australian Communities report was produced earlier this year by Australian Seniors Insurance Agency as part of their The Australian Seniors Series. It sheds light on the impact the voluntary contributions of seniors have on their local communities, as well as their concerns about the future of the sector.
The positive relationships people create in their local communities strengthens the social fabric that keeps our society healthy. This fabric connects people across many different lines through shared regional values. Volunteering plays an important role in maintaining the social fabric as people donate their time and skills for the benefit of others.
Watch the video below for an overview of the report’s findings:Read More
The inaugural Disability Expo Sunshine Coast will be held at the Lake Kawana Community Centre on Friday 14 September. The Expo will be the Sunshine Coast’s most comprehensive gathering of product and service providers in the disability space.
The Expo will be the ultimate one-stop-shop for local families, carers and people with a disability. There will be a wide range of exhibitors from various fields including:
Volunteering Sunshine Coast was honoured to be nominated for a Sunshine Coast Australia Day Award in the Community- Group or Organisation category. The ceremony was held on 23 January at the Events Centre, Caloundra and was emceed by Creek to Coast’s Scott Hillier.
A welcome to country was given by the Gubbi Gubbi Dance Troupe who performed a number of dances that provided insight into the indigenous cultural heritage of the Sunshine Coast region.
The Daniel Morcombe Foundation ultimately won the Community Organisation award in recognition of their tireless advocacy for child safety and their work with schools and parents providing resources to start a discourse around these important issues.
Denise and Bruce Morcombe were also joint winners of the Citizen of the Year award to celebrate their extraordinary strength in using the tragedy they suffered to take action through the creation of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. Their work with Government and other interest groups has contributed profoundly to increasing general awareness of the issue of child safety.
Here is the complete list of winners:
Citizen of the Year: Bruce Morcombe/Denise Morcombe
Senior Citizen of the Year: Donald Moffatt
Young Citizen of the Year: Olivia Lindsay
Community – Group or Organisation: Daniel Morcombe Foundation
Creative: Judy Pippen
Environment and Sustainability: Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors
Sport and Recreation: Sunshine Coast Lightning
The Queensland Government is currently trialing the new ‘My Account’ online dashboard that will allow Queenslanders to interact with government in a more efficient and user friendly manner, with development prioritising senior services.
The online senior services, developed by the government’s ‘One Stop Shop’ team, form part of the Queensland: An age-friendly community action plan which was the product of an online survey and consultations with various stakeholder groups.
The streamlined platform aims to consolidate and personalise information and application processes for ease of use. One trial service will enable seniors to apply for a seniors card and other concessions in one place. The Queensland Government is currently seeking feedback for this service.
More broadly, the ‘My Account’ platform will enable all Queenslanders to manage their details across multiple government departments, track the progress of applications, discover services they may be eligible for and more.Read More
In 2016, The Australian Government consulted with stakeholders on potential improvements to dementia consumer supports. Discussions arising from the Ministerial Dementia Forum held in December has led to the creation of a consultation paper outlining a range of redesigned consumer supports.
This consultation paper is the final stage of public engagement on the issue and, after all feedback has been received, the Government will proceed with finding a suitable service provider to deliver the redesigned national dementia consumer support services.
This consultation runs until 15 November 2017. If you would like a have your say on the proposed reforms, download the consultation paper here.Read More
The Federal Government is considering amendments to the Social Security Act 1991 which would change the compliance requirements of job seekers aged 55-59. ‘Schedule 9’ of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017 requires people aged 55-59 dedicate a minimum 15 hours per fortnight to job search or other job-related activity, such as work for the dole. Currently, their mutual obligation to serve at least 30 hours per fortnight engaged in an approved activity may be fulfilled entirely through voluntary work.
Volunteering Australia has raised a number of concerns regarding this proposal:
This proposal is a worrying sign that the government does not appreciate the value of volunteering to our communities and the prospects it provides jobseekers.
Read Volunteering Australia’s full response the the bill here.Read More
The Sunshine Coast Council’s commitment to a strong, connected and vibrant older population was the focus of its Sunshine Coast Positive Ageing Strategy 2011-2016. Looking forward, the council’s Community Planning and Development Branch will continue this work through the Positive Ageing Action Plan.
The Council is asking local seniors to have their say by completing a short survey. This survey will provide important insights that will shape council’s priorities for the future. Residents under 65 are also welcome to fill out the survey.Read More
Volunteering Australia’s research department recently placed the value of a volunteer’s time at $40.35/hr. This is based on the average hourly wage in Australia, as determined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
This wage value has increased from:
The Sunshine Coast’s 64,000 volunteers contributed between $162-324 billion to the local economy in 2014, along with $245 million in unpaid wages. That is higher than the Clean Technology
industry’s estimated economic contribution of $214 million on Sunshine Coast Council estimates.
The economic value of volunteering nationally has been placed at between $200-290 billion when accounting for factors such as lives saved, the financial worth of emotions and latest inflation rates. This would place the volunteering sector above mining, agriculture, defence and retail in terms of its economic impact.
Visit the ABS website for more information.
Every now and then, you meet someone truly inspirational. Jake Fulwood is such a person. Here is his story from his proud Mum, Sharon:
I would like to introduce you to my son, Jake. He is 21 years old and has Spina Bifida. He is studying Linguistics – Japanese at Griffith University (although deferred this semester to concentrate on his training). Jake recently competed in the Under 23 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Toronto, Canada, where the Aussie Spinners won the Bronze.
As you can imagine, it hasn’t always been the easiest road to get Jake to this standard of basketball. Jake has had numerous major operations before the age of 10, and only ever wanted to play team sports. Just after his 10th birthday, we introduced him to wheelchair basketball; and although he had another operation just after, and had 3 months off, he went to his first Australian Junior Nationals at the age of 11.
Playing sport has been the best thing we have ever done for Jake. It has improved his self-esteem, confidence, the way he sees his disability. He’s made friends, met mentors, paralympians and most importantly, found a reason for living.
The road to Toronto has been a long one, with a lot more operations in his late teenage years. But when he won the player of the match against Italy, we both think it was the culmination of all the hard work and determination he possesses.
Basketball has also been fantastic for my other children too. My next son down has high functioning autism, and although he cannot spend a lot of time at the courts, always volunteers to help along with his sister at the wheelchair basketball tournament that is held here on the Sunshine Coast.
Jake’s involvement in basketball has led me to volunteer for local, state and interstate teams in many fulfilling positions over the past 12 years. Thanks to his passion, I have been able to grow and now incorporate what I have learned in this time as a volunteer into my business as an Event Manager.
Having children with disabilities hasn’t always been easy, but it sure does ensure you as a parent grow.