That was 2014

bowlHere I am with bowling shoes! I don’t bowl, but as we near the end of the year, it was time to take a break and do something different and fun…if you call endless gutter balls fun! But I did get a few strikes.

The game was a bit like this year. As I see everyone start talking about their achievements and challenges this year, it’s made me reflect – did I achieve what I wanted to?

I had a few goals for the year. I wanted to contribute more to my local community. So I joined the board of a neighbourhood house. It was an interesting experience. Finance pressures meant there were tough decisions to be made. Running community organisations is challenging – the need to find qualified board volunteers with enough time to devote, conflicts between management and staff, changing political pressures and evolving consumer tastes. I truly admire anyone involved in this type of work. It did feel more like throwing gutter balls than strikes at times but overall, we made significant progress.

I have spent a lot of this year studying in cultural heritage. So I wanted to move more towards museums and other cultural organisations. Museums have an important role in the community as educators, meaning makers and creators of shared experiences. Totally up my alley.

In January I was invited to produce a series of oral histories for a local museum. This involved interviewing local residents about their memories of places. It was a fabulous experience and I was glad to be part of it. It lead to a permanent part time museum position, quite a change for me but has been great for creating some structure in the family. It’s put some pressure on my other work as I’ve been fitting A LOT into my other working hours, but overall, I think it’s worth it. The amount of dust on shelves and piles of laundry I’m now dealing with as things slow down for Christmas might say otherwise. I am learning to say no to some projects that I can say yes what has the most potential for positive impact.

There’s more biggies coming up next year. My eldest is changing schools, and my youngest will be starting kinder. I’ll be starting a new business venture and, of course, looking for more opportunities to build communities.

So, next stop, setting aside some serious time to re-evaluate and develop some goals for the year, like I do at the start of every year. I’ll again be looking at how to juggle everything, what else is new, and seeing what other big events I can be involved in (the self guided tour I produced for Melbourne Knowledge Week was a highlight this year).

Thanks to everyone that has helped with my adventures in community building, social marketing and place making this year – my wonderful family, the friends who picked up the kids when I couldn’t, the fabulous clients and work colleagues, board members, volunteers, teachers, business advisors and of course my blog readers. I hope you all enjoy a fabulous break and are ready for a prosperous and purposeful new year.


Going beyond toys this Christmas

Our house is filled with plastic toys that don’t last too long (lost, broken etc) and are easily forgotten.

This year for Christmas, I want to do something different for the kids. Give them an experience to member. So I’ve been researching my options, and here’s what I’ve found..

For the science lovers

Scientriffic and The Helix magazines from the CSIRO

The Animal lovers

Zoos membership and close encounters experiences

Melbourne Aquarium annual pass

Cultured kids

National Trust family membership

NGV kids club

Museum Victoria membership

Little Passports

Sovereign Hill membership

For kids who love the environment

Twigz gardening club

Koala kids club from Save the Koala

Gould League membership

Phillip Island Annual pass


The kids book club

Just for fun

Luna Park Annual Pass

Melbourne Star Annual Pass


Most are Victorian based there will be your state equivalent. Some interesting options there! Feel free to add any more in the comments section.


Rebels have great stories

Anyone following my social media pages will know that as part of the City of Melbourne’s recent Melbourne Knowledge Week, I created a self guided tour of the CBD.

The focus of the tour was on the stories of Idealists – those rebels and changemakers that worked to create a model city of thinking and fairness to rival anything in Europe.

It was a great experience. There are so any smart changemakers working to build Melbourne for tomorrow who where showcased during the week too, so we were in great company.

There’s still a few copies of the guide left. And they are now $8 instead of $12. Bargain. If you want to learn a few things about our forbears, you can order here: