by Kristina Freeman December 16, 2021
Reflections of another rather interesting year
We release our 2021 Impact report
I am one of the co-founders, Kristina, I am the director of social enterprises and I have been asked to write a blog on reflections from this year. Full disclosure: I would rather poke my eyeball than to do this. Every part of my body wants to finish my to do list then really mooch about with my beautiful family.
I started sorting piles of paper as a tried and tested way to procrastinate from the task at hand. Amongst the mountains of notes and scribble I found this sentence:
A key to being resilient is a tolerance to uncertainty.
Oh how many times have we heard ‘uncertain times’ this year! Change is inevitable but change, as we all know, can kind of suck. And it’s hard to be comfortable with it. We need friends and from what the literature has been telling us lately – we need allies of change itself. These being: wonder, adventure and wisdom and what great allies to have!
So before poking my eye ball I was struck with the possibility that these allies of change might actually help me to begin to remember and reflect on the change that happened throughout 2021 and thankfully I now found myself feeling inspired to share some key moments of this year.
WONDER. I feel deep love for this word. The sound of it, the way it looks written and the meaning. Wonder is a feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar. Wonder definitely helped me through most days. Sunrises, the ever changing colours of the spring blooms in our local our cemetery and the AMAZING EDUCATORS we get to work with. You are truly remarkable and it is one of the highlights of my day speaking with you.
There was one particular interaction this year that has stuck with me. I was talking with Sam Clifton the Assistant Principal and Head of Wellbeing at Hillvue Public School, one of our Project Flourish Scholarship recipients, after lockdown was lifted. She was sharing how much the students were loving using the program and how they were preparing for a visit from a Department of Education representative so they could see some of the recent initiatives the school had taken on.
As the conversation moved to back to school transition challenges she shared they were struggling with low attendance, due to fear of a recent outbreak spreading to communities at risk and testing facilities that were tricky to get to. This was going on at the same time as floods were threatening the town and creating further obstacles in getting students back into school. Despite all the challenges, some really beautiful projects were happening with the students. They had been drawing their own portraits of flourishing like our beloved flower dude character and naming their strengths. This was building confidence and reminding them of qualities and tools to support themselves to navigate their current predicament and the results were stunning!
It is commitment, passion and dedication like Sam’s, to continue to support students wellbeing no matter what that I have been blown away this year. I have been lucky to meet many educators like her have deep admiration for these rockstar educators.
When I think of adventure, I think of overseas travel and that certainly wasn’t a part of our 2021 existence. Earlier this year however we enjoyed a different type of adventure. We went for a bush walk – our favourite type of adventure, with a bunch of awesome humans. What was unusual and exciting about this bush walk was it was for a documentary about women, some of whom had faced some serious tragedy, trauma and challenge including the impressive Australian of the Year, Grace Tame. All of the participants were doing their bit to contribute positively to the planet.
The documentary is called: Walking With Hope. Not only does Grow Your Mind feature, we also think it offers a positive contribution in the all important conversation about mental health and the continuum we are all on. You can check out a snippet below, which features some brilliant kids from one of our schools too! They offer an uplifting lens on hope, resilience and positive mental health. What a great outcome from a little local adventure.
We are lucky to be surrounded by a very supportive and wise community and this year that was extended. We were chosen alongside 7 incredible hand-picked social enterprises to be part of the second cohort of Social Impact Hub’s Scaling Impact Accelerator.
Over 23 weeks, we were challenged by the most seasoned coaches – serial social entrepreneurs, leading impact investors & top VCs, and industry professionals – taking major steps towards preparing for impact investment. It is rare you get opportunities like this to review and refine key areas of your business. It has allowed us to strategically map out where it is we want to go. You can watch out Pitch video here and to hear more about that
So watch out 2022, we are ready, flexible and have our allies for change by our side. Bring on a lot of day time napping before then.
Happy holidays everyone – over and out!