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Collaboration, Sharing and Gurus


When times are tough, people often get creative with how they operate. And the community you live in makes a huge difference to how successful you can be at surviving tough times.


Whilst always being part of communities wherever I lived, since Covid and now the aftermath of Covid, the war in the Ukraine, fuel price dramas, supply and delivery issues, and now the share market crashing, I think Community is becoming even more important.


We seem to be in a unique position at the moment, where the movement to help with environmental issues has coincided with a time when people need to take advantage of every opportunity to save money. Luckily for us, the two goals can coincide quite nicely in a lot of ways.


I am not an environmental expert, so my focus is on the small things. However as has been frequently noted, we need everyone to make small changes for there to be big change.


We all know that Ballarat is an awesome community, and there was recently an event hosted by Suggest It called Ballarat’s Best Ideas. There were lots of great things about this event, however one I really liked was that it is a collaborative ideas event. Not just great people putting up ideas; but rewarding those whose ideas had practical application with specific businesses that was achievable. Then assisting them with the means to help implement them.


We are proud that “Guru Sam” alias Samantha Davies of Platypus Coworking was one of the idea Winners!


Sam came up with a collaboration with Cobbs Coffee to assist coffee consumers with convenience and positive environmental impact via a practical way to allow the use of re-useable coffee cups. Sam recognised that while people had the best intentions of not using disposable cups, without the convenience factor of always having re-usable cups available and returnable people’s intentions often went unfulfilled.


To the credit of Cobbs Coffee, they are fully on board with her idea and recognise that busy workers struggle to carry their reusable cups everywhere. This trial collaboration could be the start of something huge.


The Ballarat’s Best Ideas event shows how collaboration and community can make a huge difference. It is heart-warming that there were hundreds of great ideas submitted, and all the Winners’ ideas are so valuable in our current challenging times.


Guru Stella from Loreto College and the Ballarat Soup Bus will work on care packs for those less fortunate, whilst Guru Cooper and Sports Central will hold an event that invites all people with disabilities to participate.


So in reality the real Beneficiaries will be the environment, those less fortunate, and people with disabilities. How exciting!


We don’t need to wait for the next event like this to get involved in sharing and collaboration to help people out. I am sure everyone knows someone they can share their extra home-grown veggies, their oversupply of chook eggs, or just their positivity and time with.


Some large companies like Concentrix based in Mount Helen have a sharing cart at reception where employees can put anything extra they have like plants, veggies, or tinned foods and others can take these items. A great way to get what is extra to those who will use it to reduce waste and help out.



We have numerous Opportunity Shops and many other great initiatives like The Food is Free Laneway in this area also that encourage generosity, reduce waste and help others.


However even groups of friends and co-workers help and support each other regularly. It is much needed, does not need to be expensive, and can assist in providing the goods, services and most importantly support that people need in tough times.


People often struggle to accept help from others. Now it is time to get used to giving and receiving and it will be easier for everyone. Then pay it forward and keep it going!


This is great for how we all feel, reduces waste, helps with expenses and is good for the environment.


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