Every day I come across people that want to create change.
Like Axl who wants to create a space where anyone can come and learn how to be a comedian in a safe and supportive environment, gaining skills and confidence at the same time.
Or Kia and Dan, university students who are passionate about sustainability education and community gardens.
Or Jenny who wants to give children the opportunity to learn in the bush.
Or Michelle who wants to encourage random acts of kindness in our community.
Or Verity who wants to redefine our concept of waste
And the list goes on and on .....
I tune in to people that are passionate about creating change and there are so many people out there, you would not believe! I don’t know why I tune into them. Maybe it’s because I too am passionate about creating change and I recognise that sparkle in their eyes when they talk to me about the things they are most passionate about. Maybe too I recognise the struggle and the pain they express when things get hard or when they see the scale of the change that needs to be made is way too big it becomes overwhelming.
Trying to create change can sometimes feel really hard. I know this all too well. I’ve been involved in many changemaking initiatives over the last few years. I’ve had lots of highs and lows. The most stressful time I had was during the time I had the responsibility to get the Goldfields SolarHub project off the ground. A $450,000 grant to roll out a large solar panel project, a grant 90% more than the BSG had ever received, sounds exciting doesn’t it! Well it really was. But getting this off the ground trying to do a full time job in 2 days a week, with a little boy at home, dealing with the horrible government contract issues as well as the pressure to enable people to sign up before government rebates were stopped was a part of it that was not very fun at all. By the end of the six months of me doing this role I was completely burnt out, and I thought – there’s gotta be a better way.
It was at this time that the idea of Make a Change Australia started to form. An organisation that is set up to help people that want to make positive change do so in an effective, and supported way, that provides the skills we need but also helps changemakers come together to learn from and share with each other.
Creating change doesn’t have to be hard. In fact it’s easy if we have the inspiration, skills and support to do so. Not only that, being involved in creating positive change has got to be one of the most fulfilling and worthwhile things to do.
Despite the hard times getting the Goldfields SolarHub project off the ground, the program ended up assisting 648 households and businesses to install solar PV, resulting in a total installed capacity of 1.9MW as well as provide $50,000 worth of donated systems to not-for-profit organisations in Bendigo. Now that was worth it!
So when Bryley approached me earlier this year with the idea of public talks to generate discussion and excitement and learning around doing things a little differently to create positive change, it didn’t take me long to see that this was a perfect fit for Make a Change. And then to be able to show case our local changemakers who I am so inspired by, well how could I say no. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be creating this with Bryley, she has put so much time and effort into it you would not believe.
To see it come to life over the last three months and have the opportunity to connect with everyone that comes along is an absolute buzz.
If you come along to one of our Outside the Square events, we hope you enjoy the night and come away with a dose of inspiration, a new sense of belonging to a group of people up for change, and perhaps an incite or two you can take away for your own changemaking ideas!