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Alliance Bank Do Good Community Award.

AWA’s nomination for the Alliance Bank Do Good Community Award (Jacqui Bennett) has reached the final six from a competitive field of 22.

See below a summary of what Jacqui has done to be AWA’s nomination for the Alliance Bank Do Good Community Award.

After the sudden and unexpected loss of her Mum, Jacqui started to question ‘what is this all about? She knew she wanted to make a difference, she always has. When her children were little she ran the playgroup, was memberships officer at the Toy Library and weekly helper at kinder and school. She still runs a Clean Up  Australia site, mentors a young Mum and is on the Parents Association at school. But she wanted to do more, something big.

Jacqui BennettJacqui Bennett
Alliance Bank Do Good Community Award Nominee
Jacqui founded Humans in Geelong in July 2016. She was sick of all the bad news and wanted to shed light on all the positive things that were happening locally. Humans in Geelong is on facebook, a website, Instagram and twitter. It celebrates the people in our community who are making a difference, highlights creativity, sustainable practices and opportunities within the region. Two stories are shared a week, so over 150 stories have been told and the facebook page has a following of almost 7,000. She organised a Humans in Geelong Expo last month at Deakin Waterfront . Individuals and groups who have been featured were invited to participate and the response was over whelming. There were 40 exhibitors, 16 speakers and 8 live performers. Humans in Geelong have provided a platform for these inspirational people.

Jacqui is taking this local, positive, inspiring initiative to the streets. She presents regularly to a wide variety of groups eg Rotary, Probus, VIEW, BNIs and school groups. The stories are acknowledging the amazing things locals are achieving. You can see in the comments on stories people tagging each other, others asking how they can help. The story about Samaritan House boosted their winter fundraising campaign. A team member shared the story with her family and now her sister is volunteering at the House cutting the men’s hair.

This year Humans in Geelong held their first ‘Discover Your Inner Journalist’ writing competition for students. They have the chance to win prizes and have their stories published on the site. The students were asked to write in the style of Humans in Geelong telling a story about someone who inspires them, who is making a difference. eg entries were about footballers, coaches and Grandparents. There were 100 entries from Primary and High Schools from around the region. Humans in Geelong plan to make this and the Expo annual events.

The benefits of Humans in Geelong work on many layers. Jacqui has grown the team of volunteers to around 25 consisting of writers, photographer, editors, Expo organisers, ideas people, marketing and PR.

Until the team grew it was a one man show, with Jacqui conducting several interviews a week, taking photos of the subjects with her phone, writing stories up and getting them edited by her husband who has a Masters in Linguistics. It took a lot of door knocking, believing in the project and the good will of others. The project is run by volunteers and has no revenue. Applying for grants and sponsorship for the Expo was a lengthy, time consuming and soul destroying effort. Then on the other hand the project comes with so much good news.               

We wish Jacqui well in her endeavours to make Geelong a more caring and connected community.

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