LIFTING UP MY COMMUNITY
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall
Community service is part of my DNA. I grew up helping my parents activate their community, volunteering my time and helping raise money to fund community services like the Blue Nurses (now Blue Care) and QATB, the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade (now Queensland Ambulance Services QAS). Fast forward, I am still contributing to the community. While growing Spare Harvest, I spent a lot of time in various communities uncovering spare kitchen and garden resources that could be shared. I am a social entrepreneur at heart, and social entrepreneurs put the community (and environment) first.
With a purpose to lift people up, I spend my time with my community activating change that lifts people up so that they might be able to experience a better life and participate more fully in creating a regenerative future for all.
As a community leader, I contribute in several ways to build a regenerative community and fulfil my purpose to lift people up.
Sunshine Coast Council
The Sunshine Coast Community Strategy Leadership Group (CSLG) is an initiative that brings together key partners in implementing the Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041, providing a structure for the delivery of the Community Strategy priority areas and actions. The Group will lead and guide the delivery of the Community Strategy Action Plan, and track and report upon its progress and impact.
As a member of the CSLG Helen is working with the Sunshine Coast Council to advise on implementing the Community Strategy. As a contributor to the 2019-2041 Community Strategy and a strong voice to include social enterprises, Helen is actively guiding the implementation and growth of the social enterprise eco-system during her period as a member of the Leadership Group.
Permaculture is the art of designing beneficial relationships. Originating in the 70’s by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren permaculture is typically applied to gardens and land management. The relationships between plants, insects, soil, water and the climate is complex and permaculture is a guidance system for managing the complexity.
Human relationships are just as, some would say, even more complex, but permaculture as a system can help guide us through the complexity. Using the 12 principles of permaculture, we explore how we can apply them to social situations and the human experience. Helen delivers an interactive human permaculture workshop as part of Permaculture Design Courses and for interest community groups.
ABC Sunshine Coast
For the past three years Helen has been a regular contributor on various radio shows on ABC Sunshine Coast. Joining Sheridan Stewart for conversation that promote sustainability, social connection, regeneration and local action.
Topics vary depending on what is happening locally, encouraging locals to participate in their community and contribute to a more connect and resilient Sunshine Coast.
We promote opportunities for community action such as having their say on the new proposed town plan. We promote local events that encourage living sustainably and the community together.
Working with several diverse local stakeholders, Helen is helping seed a new community social enterprise called Food Harvest.
Food Harvest is a community inclusion project centred around growing and sharing food; and health and wellbeing through connection to nature.
Using private land, Food Harvest will work with its partners to invite the most vulnerable in our community to grow food, improve their mental wellbeing, grow their connections of community and the land, while sharing the food grown with the wider community.
Housing Affordability and Security
As a member of the Maleny Housing Network, we are working on a campaign to change local laws and town plans to enable people to live in a community. How people want to live and housing types have changed, and our local council needs to catch up.
The growth in caravan, bus and tiny home living has exploded as more people want permanent housing that is affordable and flexible.
Our local laws currently recognise these types of housing as temporary solutions, and our town plan does not recognise the increased interest in community living. As a community leader I am advocating for change to give tiny living some certainty and security.
Regen Sunshine Coast
Regen Sunshine Coast was born from several conversations during our Transition Towns gatherings. We noticed how there were many people doing great work in the community, but they were doing it in isolation from each other. In order to move our community towards a regenerative future, we need to work together.
Regen Sunshine Coast brings the community together so we can collectively contribute to the pressing social and environmental issues that are faced by residents. A social network for local regenerative champions, we bring together the wider community to network, share information, and create collective solutions across a variety of interest areas.
It is free to join.