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It Starts with You!

Thanks Ellen

Thanks Ellen

It is time to take the negativity out of *mental health and start talking about mental health, positively. Yes, talk, communicate, connect, belong, isn’t that what being part of a community is all about?

Personally I believe we have it pretty good in the Great South Coast, I feel very fortunate to be living in one of the most liveable regions of the country, even more so considering the epic year we are having.

Epic, it’s a big word isn’t it? But in reality, we have had to adapt and change on a grand scale to a global event.  And we are doing a great job, we have adapted our work, school, and social lives accordingly and we are still thriving.

So, what makes people be at their best, to thrive and flourish?

It all starts with you. Looking after yourself so you can feel good and function well. You are no good to anyone if you are not well yourself.

We are all human and life will be difficult sometimes and we are all our own worst enemy, we are harder on ourselves than we are on others.

It is time we started to show ourselves some self-compassion.

Show yourself some kindness, encouragement, understanding, empathy, and patience and treat yourself with the same care and concern that you show a good friend.  Be nice to yourself.

Allow time for mindfulness, to take time to be in the moment, acknowledge and understand your feelings.

Set yourself a new goal, to be kind to yourself. Only then can you truly live and work productively and able to make a valuable contribution to our amazing community.

*According to the World Health Organisations mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

Catherine Fitzgerald 2020 Program Participant

Thanks to Ellan Jackson from Potential Psychology for coaching us on the benefits of self-care – check out her Podcast here


Looking Through the Green Triangle Window


Portland Aluminium, with an annual turn-over of $550M per year and employing hundreds of locals is currently facing the challenge that they may cease production in the coming years. The potential closure is relating to the inability to secure a new power contract for the plant that most people have come to put on a pedestal as the towns major employer.

What is our regions strategy?

Other industrial businesses in the town have been working diligently to pick up the slack and remove their eggs from one basket in a bid to maintain the towns proud stance as the Great South Coast’s industrial epicentre.

Ranging from 160 metre giant wind towers that populate our state’s landscapes produced at Keppel Prince to the 5.36 million tonnes of product handled last financial year at the Port of Portland, the two next largest business in town are evolving and expanding.

And there is a new player emerging from the shadows. One that has the potential to further invigorate the region and push it into the spotlight for whole world to see. It has the potential to produce 3,000 tonnes of green fuel per annum, using green fuel to do so setting the benchmark high.

So, what is it?

A mass production hydrogen processing plant is being scoped by the Committee for Portland for the Heywood area with potential to create 650 new positions and feed our country and the hungry Asian market with the clean fuel. It also has the potential to feed the Hycel project – hydrogen fueled power cell research being spearheaded at Deakin University’s Warrnambool Campus. A project working toward further eliminating fossil fuels.

It’s a matter of when and not if the smelter will cease production. The “when” part is yet to be determined. Portland has no need to be worried, as it is well placed to dominate Victoria’s industrial green scene and lead us into the future.

Jason Van Der Heyden, 2020 Participant


Midyear Workshop Smiles


Our aspiring leaders took time out to develop their leadership skills  – including communication skills, coming to fully appreciate and feel the benefits of honest empathetic feedback and understand their personal brand is a jigsaw that starts with the your visual voice and extending to body language, social media presence and so much more.

We had conversations we needed to have in these ever changing times – it is leadership in action we are adapting and supporting each other. Thanks to our Lead Facilitator the wonderful Corrinne Armour https://corrinnearmour.com/ click our Gallery tab for more pics.

Our Lead Facilitator

#leadership #community #bethechange Regional Leadership #greatsouthcoast


Keeping our Community Safe


Bevan Warner, CEO of Launch Housing in Melbourne, states that many Australians have a ‘meritocracy’ belief that if you work hard you will succeed.  If we follow that same line of thinking, if you don’t work hard, you will fail and what more visible sign of failure could there be than homelessness?  According to the Barwon South West Homelessness Network, the causes are complex but the most common reason people seek housing assistance is family and domestic violence.

Statistics tell us that victims of physical, sexual and emotional violence are predominately women – so are the majority of those seeking housing assistance.  A common question of the uninformed observer is “Why doesn’t she just leave?”  Local and Specialist Family Violence Prosecutor, Carolyn Howe, relates that of different types of abuse suffered, female victim report that psychological abuse is the most debilitating.  The perpetrator coercively controls the victim into believing she is not a good person, is mentally unstable, worthless, and not worth helping.

A South West Victorian woman and her children summoning extraordinary courage to flee an abusive household may be supported to stay in a hotel or caravan park for just 2-3 nights. There are 968 households waiting for social housing in the South West region, victims may have no alternative than to return to the perpetrator in the family home.  The informed question of “How does she keep going?” seems more appropriate.

In our COVID-19 environment, the statistics are hard to interpret whilst interactions with teachers, friends and workmates are suspended.  This means that opportunities to confidentially report have evaporated.  As schools and workplaces gradually repopulate and social activities resume, a further increase in personal assault reports and additional demand for housing support is expected.

What harder daily work could there be than to maintain your own and your children’s mental and physical health, whilst seeking refuge from family and domestic violence? A permanent and safe home would surely be the ultimate success.

Anyone seeking refuge from family violence can contact: Safe Steps, Emma House, Djirra (Indigenous support) or Brophy Youth and Family Services.

2020 Program Partcipants: Joy Coulon and Liam Arnott

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