27-Jan-2016

Do you volunteer?  There are both intrinsic and extrinsic benefits to volunteering. The intrinsic include a feeling of connection with a community, the satisfaction of selflessly helping others and the friendships you make. The extrinsic benefits can be improving your profile and employment prospects making business connections and potentially working your way into a paid role. 

 

The benefits to the country are profound, and Australians have an international reputation as generous volunteers. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has calculated that if we had to pay every volunteer in Australia for the work they do for free, it would cost each household $4,000 a year. Volunteering does not necessarily mean menial labour (although it ofte...

1-Jan-2016

At this time of year there are communities everywhere celebrating with Christmas Carols,New Year's Eve Fireworks, Holiday Markets, literally dozens of events to fill the social calendar. I sometimes hear people criticise these events as a waste of money, I disagree, events help build strong communities. If you want to know how they build communities watch the first few minutes of the attached video and if you want to sharpen your event skills you are welcome to sit through the whole 2 hour training. The video was taken a couple of years ago, I was invited by the Redlands Shire Council to be the keynote at a workshop for community event organisers where they launched a great resource the "Event Management Kit".

 

The full video can be fo...

16-Dec-2015

 

Have you ever thought about the talent that comes from Regional Australia? The number of internationally successful sportspeople, CEO’s inventors is truly astounding. The Australian Institute of Sport recognises that you have more chance of winning an Olympic Gold Medal if you did NOT grow up in a capital city and they have coined the phrase the “WAGGA EFFECT” to explain this.

 

Just recently the new CEO for PCYC Queensland was appointed and he is a Toowoomba lad which makes both the Chairman of the State Board and the Chief Executive Officer Toowoomba locals.

 

Whatever the lifestyle factors that cause Regional Australia to “punch above its weight” in so many fields, is something that communities need to nurture and develop their own local s...

14-Dec-2015

It seems that, the powers that be, are always after a ‘silver bullet’ or grand gesture that will build a community. There is no such thing. In times of crisis or shared tragedy, communities do band together to help each other or share their grief but communities are also built on thousands of daily ‘small gestures’, not grand gestures.

 

After many years of working in a range of communities it has become obvious that something happens in the GOOD communities that is lacking in the SAD communities. It is the small things that count; the quick chat about the weather at the petrol bowser, the conversation over the fence about the kids’ sporting triumphs, the shared excitement at the shop counter about an upcoming community event. All of these s...

7-Dec-2015

 It always amazes me the skills you pick up over the years. I can remember an Art Class at school where we learnt screen printing and then printed off t-shirts for use at a sports day and like many other teenagers, I thought at the time "when will I ever use this skill, why can't they teach me something useful", well I'd like to say a big thank-you to the teacher that took time over several lunch breaks to teach me screen printing and if he is out there ... to let him know that I have finally put it to use and I am grateful. Thank you to all those teachers. out there. that inspire our kids and plant seeds of knowledge that can sometimes germinate decades later.

 

30-Nov-2015

I heard some truly amazing tourism figures today at Toowoomba Regional Council's Tourism Advisory Committee. If 1/2 the people in Toowoomba Region invited someone to come and stay overnight then we would increase the economic impact to the region by $30 million a year. I rather like the idea of growing Tourism by simply visiting friends and family more often, we don't need to build theme parks, all the attractions have already been built either by mother nature or the local community. As a local have you ever been to the Tourism Information Centre, if not give it a go, play tourist for a day in your own backyard and I guarantee you that you will be surprised at all the things our region has to offer.

 

Tourism is a powerhouse in Australia bu...

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