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Governance Mentors

Governance Mentors Update

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News No Comments

We developed a marketing plan for Governance Mentors in 2013, and this year we have been implementing this plan.

Governance Mentors is a not-for-profit social enterprise that builds community through governance. The program was developed by Volunteering Western Victoria, a volunteer resource centre based in Horsham.

Governance Mentors is currently being tested in Melbourne and piloted in Horsham.

2014 marked an exciting start to Governance Mentors. As a part of the program, mentors are provided with training on governance and mentoring. Three training sessions have been held so far, and we have been able to document video testimonials from mentors, to build the narrative of the program.

Mentor interest in Governance Mentors has been high. In Melbourne, there is currently a waiting list of ten mentors, who will be taking part in a future training session.

In Horsham, a breakfast was held for regional mentors. Mentors were provided with an update of the program, and had the ability to network and meet their peers.

Alex Makin at the mentor breakfast in Horsham

Alex Makin at the mentor breakfast in Horsham

Governance Mentors has attracted mentors who are passionate about the not-for-profit sector, and have a genuine interest in governance.

Interest from organisations has also been strong. The types of organisations that have expressed interest has been broad, including community centres, NGOs, disability providers, as well as organisations that support culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Areas of interest identified by organisations include time management, financial management, risk management, committee process and collective decision making, stakeholder engagement and planning for the future. Four matches have been made so far.

Governance Mentors now has a dynamic new website www.governancementors.org.au where you can learn more about the program.

If you are based in Melbourne or Horsham and are interested in nominating your organisation for the Governance Mentors program please send an email to: natalia@governancementors.org.au or visit www.governancementors.org.au.

Harmony Day – Wish You Were Here

By Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, News, Presentations No Comments

Harmony Day is part of Cultural Diversity Week, designed to celebrate Australia’s multicultural society.

Maroondah has significant cultural influences, including the role of the Mullum Mullum Creek in Wurundjeri culture, European migration that settled into the area after World War II, and more recently communities from South Sudan and Burma.

Alex as Master of Ceremonies for the Maroondah Harmony Day Exhibition and Concert

Alex as Master of Ceremonies for the Maroondah Harmony Day Exhibition and Concert

Eastern Volunteers in partnership with Victoria Police, Relationships Australia Victoria, EACH, Department of Justice, Migrant Information Centre and Maroondah City Council, held a day of cultural festivities on the Main Stage at Eastland Shopping Centre.

Performances included traditional Wurundjeri dances, music from the Chin and Karen communities from Burma, reggae from an African solo guitarist and Scottish highland dancers. I served as the Master of Ceremonies for the proceedings, providing an introduction to each performance, as well as highlighting activities throughout the day.  I also kept the audience engaged, by discussing the activities of the partners and showcasing the range of festivities planned for Harmony Day.

The Harmony Day Concert was supported by a postcard exhibition, featuring community entries depicting cultural diversity.  Entries were received across Maroondah, including from schools, community centres and migrant groups.

The Maroondah Harmony Day Concert and Exhibition featured a range of community performances.

The Maroondah Harmony Day Concert and Exhibition featured a range of community performances.

One of the highlights was Maroondah signing a formal declaration stating that it welcomes refugees.  The Council resolution, declaring Maroondah as a refugee welcome zone, was one of of my last actions as a Councillor in 2012.  Maroondah’s formal signing of the declaration reaffirms this commitment.

The Maroondah Harmony Day Concert and Exhibition enabled the community to showcase the cultural diversity and welcoming atmosphere of Maroondah.  It was a pleasure to perform the role of Master of Ceremonies and to promote cultural understanding through the event.