Small Communities


Small Communities

It was a fresh morning for the LMCLP visit to Donald on 11th May for our first session at Kookas Country Cookies. Kerry Vogel provided the group with freshly baked kookies & the history of Kookas, which was both enlightening & inspiring. The group were heard to say “how inspiring it was to have such resilience in time of adversity”. It was suggested to the group by Kerry that if every person purchased a packet of Kookas biscuits they would be in a position to purchase a new factory. LMCLP participant Justin DiCaprio from Watchem said “we should get a photo taken at Weirs IGA in Donald holding a packet of biscuits we had purchased and put it on Facebook asking each person to do the same and see the response”. The response to Cohuna participant Lara English’s facebook post has been overwhelming with over 11,000 shares in less than two weeks. Charmaine Delaney from Donald contacted Kookas to get an update on sales and was told they have increased! Truly amazing to see the power of people and social media. Kookas is grateful for the support and look forward to next year’s participants visit.

Julie Slater, LMCLP 2003 graduate, took the group through their paces of working with written and social media. We all walked away with hot tips and the message of “keep it simple and choose a headline that will attract the journalist”, such powerful words.

Anthony Judd (CEO of Buloke Shire), Rose Harris (Community Development Officer) and Sarah O’Brien (Donald High School), all LMCLP graduates, showed how young members of the Buloke Shire can be both engaging and down to earth, it was a pleasure to listen to the presentation on “engaging small communities” and hear about community projects. Anthony’s words of “there is no power for change greater than a community discovering what is cares about” were very empowering. Rose Harris was delightfully funny with her witty banter and down to earth approach and everyone agreed her message of “be transparent” would be appropriate regardless of what industry you are working in. Sarah’s passion for her community was evident and it was great to hear about the positive impact of her community project.

Sam Goldsmith shared his success story of the Esoteric Music Festival in Donald and how when faced with adversity he thought outside the box to find success, truly inspiring.

Graham Harris (‘Pickles’ as he is fondly known) is a passionate supporter of local initiatives and shared his understanding of business in a small community, and his ideas on how government zoning is the way forward to improving small communities.

Everyone left feeling pleasantly surprised by how Donald appears to be the hidden gem and what it has to offer residence, tourists, travellers and future LMCLP participants. It was the first visit to Donald for many of the LMCLP group and quite a few highlighted this was ‘the best program day so far’. Definitely a great showcase for our theme of ‘Small Communities’.

LMCLP thanks Donald Learning Group Inc., Community Centre for hosting our program day.


Written by Charmaine Delaney, 2018 LMCLP participant.

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