Thursday, 27 May 2010

Canowindra Food bank

It is great to see a good idea working well in your own community!
Through the hard work and imagination of the local Uniting and Anglican Church's the Food Bank has become a reality for the Canowindra community.
The main service the food bank provides is to allow people on fixed incomes access to grocery items that would normally be beyond their budget. The goods are provided by companies and churches in Sydney to this and other food banks across the state.
There is a food bank operated by the Uniting Church in Narromine. The Narromine people see this as an important part of their Christian mission in the township.
The Canowindra people have been joined by people of the other churches in town and see this activity as an important community building project.

The Moderator of the Uniting Church Rev. Niall Reid visited last Tuesday to meet the people and see how the food bank works.

Kel Hodge

Monday, 24 May 2010

What do the youth do

I have been doing quite a bit of work with small communities looking at some goals that they want to achieve in the next 12 to 24 months. Inevitably when we are looking at some of the things they would like to do it is the young people that they are worried about. In many places there is very little at all for the kids to do. In the last week this is come up at two separate places.

The first is Ivanhoe. This is a small community of just over 200 people 150kms from the nearest town. In the past Ivanhoe has had football teams, cricket clubs and various other activities. Now however there is no organised sport left. The nearest picture theatre or maccas is 375km away. The nearest skate park is 200km, none of which is practical on a regular basis. The town does have a swimming pool which is great in summer.

Ivanhoe also has a Youth Centre which houses some broken gym equipment and other old sporting gear. It is this centre that some of the locals and the Aboriginal Working Party and now trying to raise money for so that it can become a place kids can use. My input has been to run a Grant Writing Workshop in the town and also to provide some help with grant applications.

The other town is Goolgowi, which is 60km north west of Griffith and has a population of about 100. The town has a swimming pool and basketball courts at the school (that can’t be used outside school hours). A very enthusiastic local committee there is well underway to building a half tennis court and wall for ball practice. They also have plans to put in a bike track and incorporate some bike road safety training. My role in this process was to help get the committee together, run the goal-setting workshop and get members of the local church involved.

Both committees have a passion to make it better for their kids and it is great to work with these enthusiastic people and to represent the church in these places.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Back from Holidays

 Back in Australia and back at work after 4 weeks working with the church in Bali. It has been an amazing 4 weeks and if you are interested you can read about some of the things I did at

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Mike Gecan

It's not often that you get the chance to meet a person who has achieved celebrity status in their field because of their achievements. This week I had the opportunity to meet Mike Gecan, a community organiser.
You may never of heard of Mike and yet in the cities of New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston his name is synonymous with the citizens organisations that agitate for a fairer society in those respective cities.

Mike has had over thirty years of experience in building and equipping citizen coalitions and was sharing his knowledge with members of the Sydney Alliance. Some of the success stories from the USA encouraged people to believe that the Sydney Alliance may achieve great things for Sydney.

I was encouraged as well, because Mike spoke to me about regional alliances such as the one we are beginning to build in the Bathurst- Orange region. Regional alliances may have less resources at their disposal and yet with good will are able to function well.

It is early days for our regional alliance in Orange and Bathurst and yet all things begin with the first small steps.

Kel Hodge


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