Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project Latest News...
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1000 Conversations

Community comes out in force for conversations

Our 1000Conversations community consultation brought the community out in force to have their say on what makes for a happy healthy childhood in  Greater Shepparton. A total of 1012 people from all walks of life shared their passion and ideas for  better supporting young people in the region. We managed to get to all corners of the community including many of our small towns and communities. We talked to kids, parents, grandparents, refugees, CEOs, teachers, the employed and unemployed, the disadvantaged, social workers and researchers, footb all coaches and university students. It seemed there was almost no stone unturned in our efforts to understand what's working, what's not and what more can be done. One thing was clear, people care very deeply and feel much more can be done to better support all young people before they slip through the cracks, Just about everyone said that stable, supportive families are the key to raising happy, healthy kids and a lot of our work  will focus on supporting families  and schools with quality volunteers and mentors.Dozens of you put your hands up to help as volunteers and we will approach each of you to understand your skill set and how you can best contribute.
Thank-you to everyone who took the time to share their wisdom and understanding of  what kids need to thrive.  We are now ready to embark on a whole of community change initiative that we hope will reposition Shepparton for future prosperity.


Lisa reviewing feedback from the 1000 Conversations' with Lighthouse Project facilitators Ann Sexton and Fiona Smolenaars.

Volunteer Program Success

From Little Things Grow

Our volunteer program,  is going from strength to strength with several large organisations recently coming on board.
A review has shown the program is extremely popular with our trial primary schools - Wilmot Rd, St Georges Rd, Gowrie St and Mooroopna Park. The schools say the volunteers bring much needed skills, connections and resources to the partnership. Volunteers say they totally value the time spent at schools interacting with little people.
Opteon North East recently started reading on a Wednesday morning at Gowrie St. Staff are loving being back in the classroom and supporting some of our more vulnerable little ones get a handle on reading.
Goulburn Broken CMA has been on board for several years and could not be happier with their role helping run an after school homework program at WIlmot Rd.
"We have staffing lining up to be involved, It's great fun and genuine connections are being formed with young people from all walks of life,'' HR manager Kate Pendergast said.
GV Water recently signed on and will partner with St Georges Rd around reading, careers, leadership and water initiatives. Shepparton Villages has come on board and will provide hot lunches and craft sessions for kids from Gowrie St.
The Commonwealth Bank is expanding its offering at Mooroopna Park Primary School and will now run family sports days.
ANZ Bank are keen to get involved and look set to start with reading. It seems there are no shortages of businesses with ideas who want to spend time supporting young people to achieve in Greater Shepparton.
Many individuals are also signing up to lend there skills and expertise.
Interested in getting involved? Email Lisa McKenzie


Youth Services Mapping

Focus on crisis

A  research project undertaken by Greater Shepparton Lighthouse has found more than 118 programs delivered by 39 agencies supporting young people aged 12 to 18 in Greater Shepparton.
The report highlighted that many of the services responded when young people were in crisis while very few were working to prevent young people  to stay engaged.
Executive Officer Lisa McKenzie explains: "If you imagine all of our young people at the top of a cliff.  At the moment, there is no fence and no signs directing them away from the cliff. We wait for them to fall and then  the services come along and collect them.
"We think by harnessing the skills and capacity in the wider community we can do a lot more preventative work - build a fence at the top of the cliff,'' she said.
Greater Shepparton Lighthouse will engage  the community to expand and implement  preventative programs such as mentoring, and  school retention initiatives.
Meanwhile, we are undertaking a census to understand just why so many of our young people are falling through the cracks and disengaging from school.
"We are going to go out and track the kids down and hear first hand why they are not working or studying,''  Lisa McKenzie said said.
We can then advocate  for changes to support more young people to stay on a healthy trajectory.
The Fairley Foundation is funding this research. If you would like to be involved email

Reporting and Planning

Priorities for Action

Following our year of research and planning, Greater Shepparton Lighthouse held a community forum I in mid November to present the findings and outline priority action areas. 
Chair Adam Furphy welcomed more than 85 people attended the forum including Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Dinny Adem and a number of Councillors, Members of Parliament Suzanna Sheed, Wendy Lovell and Steph Ryan and many community leaders.
They heard priorities were identified across the conception to career timeline including early years language, promotion of primary school hubs, expansion of the volunteer program, increased participation in sport, music and art, a  middle years camp experience, careers pathways and system planning, co-ordination and measurement.
Working groups have been formed around a number of the activities  to develop business cases and attract resources. Email Lisa McKenzie if you are interested in getting involved.

Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Chair Adam Furphy


 1000 Conversations Co-ordinator Ann Sexton


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Our contact details:
98 Drummond Rd
PO Box 6881
Victoria 3632
Phone: 58328 218

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