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Be brave. (Even if you're not, pretend to be).

If the past years of entrepreneurship and launching startups have taught me one true thing it's to feign brave, even in the face of uncertainty.

Entrepreneurship is hard. 

There are no road maps, no rules, many ups, as many downs, big wins, crushing losses, wild guesses, giant leaps, incremental joys and plenty of days when you wonder why the F you started. 

No startup comes easy. It's hard, hard work. Relentless. And you've got to really want to do it because no one else is going to push you to get up every day and keep working on your big idea to build a winning team and sticky customer base that enables your (temporary) survival.

It's a race to market, so you've got to get out there (even on the days you don't want to) and bang your drum so you stay visible, keep finding a way to GSD (however scrappy), gain traction, engage with mentors who've navigated the path before you and tap the rich seams and opportunities of the local support ecosystem (we have a thriving hub of accelerators, industry supporters, investor meets and entrepreneurship initiatives proliferating in Melbourne right now, so Victoria is indeed ripe for startups to seed).

Entrepreneurs know all this. That it's up to them to work their secret sauce (and the talent they can convince to come along for the ride). 

Entrepreneurs also know it's hard work because they've already made their first difficult choices, stepped away from safety, challenged status quo and begun to smash their own glass ceilings because they've seen an opportunity where others didn't, a better idea, a white space. (Ideas are the easy part, of course).

Many of the exceptional individuals I met in the University of Melbourne's Master of Entrepreneurship last year (you know who you are!), any of whom could use their abundant talents in traditional workplaces, had already decided that their passion for entrepreneurship, business acumen, quest for innovation and incurable curiosity combined with a healthy risk appetite meant traditional work pathways weren't going to cut it. (Watch this space as their stars rise in the years to come.)

But the facts remain. The odds are stacked against entrepreneurs. 

Nine out of 10 startups fail*, the market is full of products no-one wants, founding teams regularly implode, funds atomise and customers need to be insatiably wooed and squarely won which often takes a critical combo of cash, luck and rapid pivoting for product market fit. (And let’s face it - if the dog won’t eat it, you go hungry.)

So you work out pretty fast that you need to use the ecosystem to give yourself the best chance at success. 

Yes, you need to pitch. Yes, you need to hustle. Yes, you need to do your homework. (And yes, you need to prove people are actually willing to part with their dollars for your product.) But mostly you need to use your networks, and use them well and wisely.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet with and learn from Silicon Valley front runners (on Katie Mihell’s Women In Focus Innovation Tour in September 2017) and many of Australia's leading startup game-changers, VCs and industry leaders over the past years. Taking the hard-won advice of those who’ve started, survived and scaled is invaluable. You can’t get it unless you seek it.

But so too, the hard lessons learned from the unique starting, stopping and painful skinning of your own startup ventures is how you learn where your own roadblocks are.

Entrepreneurship can be taught and, more importantly, learned, but it would seem that much of what holds one back from startup success is not our businesses but ourselves.

The startup ecosystem right here in Victoria is full of people with varying talent and drive and dynamism but who, like all real entrepreneurs, have significant imposter syndrome and self-doubt when they fall down startup rabbit-holes. 

The critical difference between those who can and those who can't is their willingness to be brave, back themselves, challenge status quo, use networks, weather startup stumbles, and to keep getting up, pushing hard, pivoting, validating and pivoting again til they eventually land on a market. 

Then they swim like mad. Without the maps.

It's the mindset that makes an entrepreneur.

Make yours a brave one this year.

Madeleine x

#juststart #beashark #startup #stepup #girledworld @girledworld

*Forbes 'Entrepreneurs' 2016
 

THIS POST FIRST APPEARED ON GIRLEDWORLD
Building a generation of female leaders and founders, one girl at a time. Proudly supported by Airbnb.

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Madeleine Grummet - FEATURE PROFILE The League of Extraordinary Women

Interview with Madeleine Grummet
Founder Do Re Me Creative, Co-Founder girledworld and Master of Entrepreneurship, University of Melbourne

"...girledworld was born of a gap. Women continue to be vastly underrepresented in STEM, startups, and corporate boardrooms across this country.

I saw this fixed pattern of too many women of my generation selecting out, standing back, playing second fiddle in their careers and their lives. They were bringing up their girls to do the same. As a mother of four daughters, I felt compelled to do something about it, so I joined The University of Melbourne’s Master of Entrepreneurship, delivered at Wade Institute, and saw the business possibilities of that change begin to take shape."

FULL INTERVIEW CONTINUES BELOW

"The Master of Entrepreneurship at Wade Institute gave me access to some of the most incredible thinkers, academics, and entrepreneurs of our age."

To apply for a $25,000 scholarship at Wade Institute, click below.

What was the catalyst for you launching your business?

I’d been working on the Wise Women social project with a fellow journalist, interviewing women all over the country about their choices, challenges, triumphs, and the glass ceiling that still exists. I saw this fixed pattern of too many women of my generation selecting out, standing back, playing second fiddle in their careers and their lives. They were bringing up their girls to do the same. As a mother of four daughters, I felt compelled to do something about it, so I joined The University of Melbourne’s Master of Entrepreneurship, delivered at Wade Institute, and saw the business possibilities of that change begin to take shape.

girledworld was born of a gap. Women continue to be vastly underrepresented in STEM, startups, and corporate boardrooms across this country. girledworld takes a proactive approach because girls can’t be what they can’t see. Hence, we are building the next innovation generation of female founders, leaders and STEM champions, because we know Australia needs this to harness the full talents of the future workforce.

We’re in an age of extraordinary innovation. Finding solutions to the world’s biggest challenges can only be achieved through harnessing the talents and conversations of the collective. Diversity will fuel this. Diverse teams make better decisions. We need the girls and women at the tables to step up, lean in, mark their mark. The Master of Entrepreneurship gave me access to some of the most incredible thinkers, academics, and entrepreneurs of our age.

What do you love most about what you do now?

I’m fueled with purpose because girledworld matters, so it’s not hard to find the motivation to get up every day and build this business with my truly awesome Master of Entrepreneurship Co-founder, Edwina Kolomanski. The rewards are rich – there are countless opportunities to connect and converse with female thought-leaders, game changes, trailblazers and status quo shakers who are shaping the next generation, and the world as we know it. And the girls we engage with are AMAZING: bursting with potential, possibility and power. We couldn’t have done this without the learning, support, wisdom and entrepreneurial ecosystem of Wade.

Who knows where we’re all heading, but I’m excited by the possibilities of exponential technologies, the collaborative economy, and a new diversity-led global-scape where everyone’s voices, values and visions are acknowledged, leveraged and used to solve some of the world’s most wicked problems.

Describe the biggest setback you faced when establishing your business? How did it affect you and how did you push through?

There are always never enough hours in the day, but this year, I also had to juggle the demands of family, multiple professional commitments (running my creative agencywww.doremecreative.com, consulting to NFPs, and board commitments), launching girledworld, and completing the Master of Entrepreneurship. Yes, it was a full dance card, but I pushed through it by triaging, using Kanban, visualising goal-setting, being buoyed by my Co-founder, and by hopping in the bath with a rocking poetry book whenever I could. Words and water soothe me.

Everyone has days where they feel flat or uninspired - do you have any tricks or tactics for overcoming these feelings?

Flat days and flat moments are part of our human fabric. You wouldn’t be normal if you didn’t have your downtimes. The best things I find to do on those days is to set the expectation bar lower, and accept that it’s ok to reduce productivity for the day –  the sky won’t fall in if you don’t move a thing on your Kanban board and stay in your nightie! It’s so easy to get caught in the spinning vortex, and by allowing yourself the time and space to take stock, to be human, to sit, to feel, to be real, to admit being overwhelmed, is when the authentic and raw YOU gets to be. If you can tap this, you always refuel. It’s where the gold is.

Tricks and tactics: Mindfulness, calling old mates, walking the bay, hugging the dog, digital detoxing, star gazing. Always does the trick.

What has been your most effective marketing tactic or strategy?

If you want to rock your marketing, on and offline, you need to use the seven wonders, and always tell a story that matters. Storytelling is the most powerful thing we can do. It’s how we make sense of ourselves, the changing world around us, and how humans connect about the deeply human stuff which sits at the heart of our desires and motivations.

Tell a story.
Be likeable.
Be interesting.
Be consistent.
Be trustworthy.
Be amazing.
Be you.

Words of Wisdom / Personal Quote

I’m fuelled by quiet heroes – ordinary people doing extraordinary things, transcending status quo. They’re the ones that shake the world. And anyone can do that. You’ve just got to spend your days doing it.

This quote sums it up beautifully.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

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Fenton & Fenton Schools A Gift Exhibition

Proud, purpose-fuelled and privileged to be part of the Fenton & Fenton Peace Of Art Exhibition 2016. 

Peace Of Art is a biennial online art auction showcasing the works of 100 of Australia's coveted emerging artists, with 100% of proceeds benefiting School's A Gift - an Australian not-for-profit organisation that helps children living in poverty by working towards building schools in remote parts of Ethiopia.

In 2014 Fenton & Fenton raised more than $100,000 for @schoolsagift and the funds have since been used to construct a new secondary school in a remote region where previously no secondary schools have existed.

The founder, Georgina Fenton, with the help of her fab sister Lucy, said so far the charity has managed to enable over 1500 children in remote areas of Ethiopia access to secondary education with more than half of them being girls. This is transformative, life-changing work, and work that we at girledworld dig deeply.

This year Fenton & Fenton aim to surpass the figure raised from the last event which will enable @schoolsagift to continue their work in improving the livelihoods of children living in rural Ethiopia.

Artists this year include @antoinetteferwerda @anyapaintface @armellehabib @barbarakitallides @beciorpin @emmalipscombe_ @jaivasicek @merciperci @laurablythman @madeleine_stamer @mwestonart @taisnaith @b_a_k_e_s__b_a_k_e_s @peachesandkeen and more.

BID BIG, GIVE BIG, BE BIG. 
Good for your walls. Good for the world. Get on it.
Online auction now open. Be nimble. Be quick.

Madeleine Grummet
Co-founder girledworld
'Dazzle Deep'

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THERE IS A CRACK IN EVERYTHING. THAT'S HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN.

I can't help but see the world through a prism this morning.

This was pinned to the wall of one of my four daughters classrooms.

It's a series of questions and inquiries about light.

I thought I'd answer a few of the questions.

 

I WONDER.

Does the sun turn off?

Yes it does. It can. It did. One dark, divided day in 2016.

 

How are the lights made?

The lights are made when strong people see something in the dark, so they stand up, and then something awesome starts to shine out of them and it makes your eyes hurt.

 

Why do we need light?

We need it because without it, we'll stay in the dark ages. And we don't want that. Lots of bad stuff happens there.

 

I wonder what happens when you shine different lights on objects?

Well, usually, you get to see right through them - if they're transparent. If they're not, it's sometimes hard to make sense of what you're looking at.

 

How many different things create light?

Light can come from the most surprising places.

A famous man called Mr Leonard Cohen once said: "There is a crack / a crack in everything / that's what lets the light in."

And a famous woman called Maya Angelou once said: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be?”

 

I wonder if light can go through glass.

I wonder too. I believe it can. If there's enough of it. If all across the world you got lots of light at the same time. Then yes. The big glass ceiling would break.

 

Can you change the colour of fire?

No my darlings. Fire is orange.

 

I wonder what that room would look like if we turned the lights on?

I don't think we'll do that. It's a bit scary in there. Let's wait til your older. And then you can turn on every light you see. Go nuts.

 

Can you make electricity from the sun?

Yes. Indeed you can. The sun's amazing. The sun gets to get up every day, yawn, look down and say WTF? What happened down there?!

Look! There is a crack. A crack in everything. (That's how the light gets in).

 

#hilary2016 #election2016 #election #trump #letthelightin #girledworld

@girledworld

 

POST SCRIPT: After publishing this earlier today I have since learned and it has been officially confirmed that Leonard Cohen has died today, aged 82. 

Cohen was rare, cherished, and a visionary. 

A gifted Canadian poet, songwriter, novelist and artist, he became, and will remain, an international legend. 

He once famously said: "I wish the women would hurry up and take over."

We will.

Together with the good men amongst us.

One day very soon.

#RIP #leonardcohen

 

POST POST SCRIPT: This article expresses the opinion of Madeleine Grummet, Co-Founder of girledworld, and mother of four daughters.

It was written at a moment in time. A moment when the world was left momentarily wondering.

The bigger story is that Madeleine believes the future is bright, will be full of light, and will be full of girls who step up and women who lead.
 

girledworld looks forward to playing a part in this.

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If you want to change a generation, start with the girls.

By Madeleine Grummet, Founder Do Re Me Creative

For those of you who know me in the real, you'd know who I am, where I'm at, and my take on girls in the world.

You'd also know that as a Mum to four awesome daughters, princess-ery, damsel in distress-ery, Barbie-ery, anti-STEM-ery, chattel-ry, tradition-ery and any sniff of 'gender disablement' is disallowed in our casa. 

Because truth be told, we don't do a lot of weeping, sweeping or role keeping in this house. 

This is because the gender of my offspring has never been a determinant of their capabilities, possibilities and opportunities. My daughters are humans in the world, and frankly, the world awaits their (hopefully awesome) human doings. #watchthisspace! 

Except for the small fact, of course, that the world that awaits them has a forcefield of cultural, institutional and organisational gender barriers that will close many doors before my girls can step through them and test their worth. 

And except, of course, that only 1 in 4 IT graduates and 1 in 10 engineering graduates are women.

And except, even after all these years, it looks like we've still got a long way to go, babies, before diversity, parity and gender equality is anywhere near reached in the boardrooms, businesses and backwaters of this country. 

Last month’s Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality Report threw up some startling stats worth ogling:

  • The full-time average hourly earnings for women are 13.9% less than men’s full-time average hourly earnings.
  • The gender pay gap in ASX 200 organisations is 28.7%.
  • Average graduate salaries for women are 9.4% less than for men of equal qualification and experience.
  • Average superannuation balances for women at retirement are 52.8% less than those for men.
  • One-quarter (25.1%) of Agency reporting organisations have no key management personnel who are women.
  • Women hold 14.2% of chair positions, 23.6% of directorships, and represent just 15.4% of CEOs in Agency reporting organisations.

I could go on. But you get the drift. 

Clearly, there’s some serious work to do.

Closing the gender gap, enabling workplace meritocracies, changing workplace culture and cultivating a new tribe of female leaders is going to take a seismic generational shift. And this change won’t happen unless change happens.

So we’ve been working on it. 

This year, at the University of Melbourne's Wade Institute, alongside my Co-Founder and fellow Master of Entrepreneurship colleague Edwina Kolomanski, we’ve been quietly understanding and building out an ecosystem to ensure girls in the world get what they need to step into the future.

It’s called GirledWorld.

And what we do is inspire, empower, educate and activate girls to help them build their futures by giving them real world experiences inside startups, alongside leading entrepreneurs, and immersed in businesses where they can learn as they go. 

This is stuff that schools can't teach. 

And it's what will take today's girls into an uncertain future equipped with the mindsets, skill-sets, tech-cred and personal capabilities to make a disproportionate difference to the world.

With innovation, entrepreneurship, diversity and female leadership firmly on the agenda right now, we think it’s time to build the future for girls from the bottom up. And that for Australia’s startup ecosystem to reach its future full potential, today's girls need to lean in, step up and make tomorrow's mark.

So we’ve partnered with some of Melbourne’s leading female business people, business organisations and startup co-work spaces including One Roof Women, Collective Campus and depo8, who are all working with us to connect and prepare the next generation of female entrepreneurs via work experience placements, experiential learning opportunities, mini internships and tertiary and startup pathway programs.

Supporting accelerators and incubators including LaunchVic, Startup Victoria, MAP, the Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship and the University of Melbourne, we are partnering with businesses big and small and working to make Victoria the destination for entrepreneurial cultivation, opportunity creation and a new generation of female leaders.

All of this, we think, will start to shape the change we need to see.

Our mission is simple.

GirledWorld will:

  • Get girls to step up into STEM and entrepreneurship by building connections with professional mentors, career advisors, leading universities and educational institutions. 
  • Educate, inspire and encourage girls and women to participate in startups, entrepreneurial activities and innovation career pathways
  • Offer experiential learning opportunities, mentoring events and innovation education to girls and women to increase participation of girls and women in the innovation ecosystem
  • Cultivate female leadership capabilities for application in key industry, business and government sectors through mentoring, education and events
  • Build a value-creating network of experienced female business mentors who will work with us to inspire, connect and prepare the next generation of female leaders and entrepreneurs

If you'd like to join our partnerships and pathways program or register to be part of our summer 2017 cohort please get in touch at hello@girledworld.com 

The future starts here.

A University of Melbourne Wade Institute startup, boldly changing the world, one girl at a time.

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Sustaining Creativity - GECC GREEN School Holiday Workshops

Sustaining Creativity: September School Holiday Workshops

Sustaining Creativity: September School Holiday Workshops

We're super pleased to be facilitating a creative festival all about sustainability over the month of September at the light & bright Glen Eira Council Gallery!

Drop into the Gallery during the September school holidays to engage in stacks of open-age FREE creative explorations using sustainable materials. All are welcome, with plenty of free interactive activities on offer, including collage, paper sculpture and nature drawing. Fabulous fun for the whole family! No bookings required. 

But if you're in Melbourne and looking for something to keep the kids fully immersed in creativity and sustainability, then check out these hands-on, project-based green design workshops for 5-9 years OR 10-14 years - these are also FREE but booking are essential as places are limited.

Workshop 1: Totally Totem
Age group: Primary, five to nine years

Sunday 18 September, 2.30pm–4.30pm
Create a traditional totem pole using recycled cardboard cylinders, colourful paints and recycled textiles.

Workshop 2: Perfect Paper Sculpture
Age group: Secondary, 10 to 14 years
Wednesday 21 September, 2.30pm–4.30pm
Explore the possibilities of recycled paper sculpture — learn folding and construction techniques to create unique 3D forms.

Workshop 3: 3D Vessels
Age group: Secondary, 10 to 14 years
Saturday 24 September, 2.30pm–4.30pm
Create extraordinary art from everyday materials. Upcycle vintage vessels into stunning 3D sculptures with found object assemblage techniques.

Workshop 4: Woven Wonders
Age group: Primary, five to nine years
Wednesday 28 September, 2.30pm–4.30pm
Weave your way to creating a wonderful textile bowl using salvaged cardboard, upcycled yarn and hands-on fun.

Venue: Glen Eira City Council Gallery
Glen Eira Town Hall, corner Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield
Gallery hours: Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm. Weekends, 1pm to 5pm. Closed public holidays.

Bookings are essential for the workshops. Limited places available.
Book via Glen Eira City Council website.

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1950's Fashion Workshops! Sunday June 26 + Sunday July 3! Glen Eira Town Hall.

We're flicking skirts with Glen Eira City Council this month bringing the gallery annexe to 1950's life with an interactive dress-up activation for kids, School Holiday Creative DIY Workshops for kids and a month-long participatory giant FASHION collage artwork we need YOU to help create! 👗

Pop in anytime to see CELEBRATING STYLE: A 1950s AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S FASHION EXHIBITION showcasing 1950s women’s vintage fashion and couture, and capturing the international influences, panache and elegance of fashion during this transformational decade. Immerse yourself for a moment in the decade that brought you the bikini, atomic, Bobby sox, Breton hats, the iconic Chuck Taylor All-Star, hobble skirts, horn-rimmed glasses and flat tops! 

Enjoy ogling rare and stunning garments and accessories, and iconic fashion photography by renowned Australian photographers Athol Shmith and Bruno Benini sourced from public galleries and rare private collections.

Only $15.00 per child & proudly brought to you by Glen Eira Arts & Culture, Glen Eira Gallery & Do Re Me Creative.

SCHOOL HOLIDAY WORKSHOPS
Telling Tales – Do Re Me Creative Children's Workshops, part of the Storytelling Festival.
LOCATION: Glen Eira City Council Gallery
BOOKINGS: Online at www.gleneira.vic.gov.au

DIY 1950s Signature Bag 👛
Create a signature fashion accessory to celebrate the flair of the fashionable 50s!
DATE: Sunday June 26, 2016
TIME: 2.30pm-4.30pm

Audrey Hepburn Hat-Making Workshop
Learn millinery techniques and craft your own elegant 1950’s Hepburn-inspired hat! 👒
DATE: Sunday July 3, 2016
TIME: 2.30pm-4.30pm

Get in quick. Spots selling 50's fast.
$15.00 for a 2-hour creative experience to kick off the holidays!
Enjoy exploring the exhibition while the kids create!

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Kids School Holiday Creative Workshops: SOUTH MELBOURNE MARKET

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Like WOW Watercolour

GET CREATIVE AND LEARN HOW TO PAINT SUPER STUNNING WORKS OF ART!

A fully supervised kids school holiday workshop, ideal for children aged 5+.

Lose yourself in the art of seriously wonderful botanical watercolour! Hone your drawing skills creating still-life sketches of foraged botanicals and bright bursts of winter flowers, then dabble in delicate ink line-work, and finally bring your masterpiece to stunning life with vivid watercolour! This one’s a keeper! All materials provided.

WEDNESDAY 29 JUNE
1:00 PM TO 3:00 PM

The Neff Market Kitchen

Stall 90, Cecil Street,  South Melbourne, 3205

Polish Pajaki Workshop

LEARN HOW TO MAKE BEAUTIFUL COLOURED PAPER CHANDELIERS!

Fully supervised school holiday workshop – ideal for children aged 5+.

Celebrate Poland’s 'pajaki' folk craft and create a gorgeous, colour-popping hanging paper chandelier for your bedroom using vintage beads, tissue paper, fluoro pipe tubing and handcut vintage world map paper rounds. Hands-on fun for all ages!
All materials supplied, including music you can bop to while you craft! Bookings essential.

WEDNESDAY 29 JUNE
10.00AM - 12.00PM

The Neff Market Kitchen

Stall 90, Cecil Street,  South Melbourne, 3205

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The Power of Possibility: YGAP Sydney Vision Dinner 2016

Change only happens when people make it happen.

This was evidenced in the real last Thursday night in Sydney when our YGAP team brought together a roomful of extraordinary change-makers, politicians, entrepreneurs and world-shapers for their annual Vision Dinner.

This was a truly incredible event celebrating YGAP's past, present and future, uniting people around the possibility of change, and fuelling an even greater commitment from all who attended to improve the lives of one million people living in poverty across the world by 2018.

Thank you to our amazing team of Front of House volunteers who came out in the rain, to Mark Carnegie for generously allowing temporary occupation of his rather extraordinary home, and to visionary Founder + CEO Elliot Costello, Partnerships Manager Patrick O'Callaghan, Spark International's Aaron and Kaitlin Tait, Creative Manager Alexandra Hooper, Creative Impact all-rounder Mario Gordon, and the tirelessly talented kitchen crew from Feast of Merit (Spicey, Nick and Caitlin) - dream team :) I'm looking forward to seeing what else we can collectively achieve in 2016.

For more pics of the Sydney Vision Dinner jump on the YGAP Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/YGAP.main/ 

And for more on YGAP's extraordinary impact work, jump over to their site.

YGAP
Driving and backing profitable social ventures, YGAP initiatives to date include Richmond's cult farm-to-fork 'Feast of Merit' restaurant and bar space, the 5 cent campaign collecting small change to drive big change in access to education for children, the high profile Polished Man innovative fundraising campaign challenging men to end violence against children and ambassadored by Michael Klim, Josh Gibson and Tony Richardson, plus scores of other life-changing impact initiatives out in the field driven by fundraising efforts to fuel their work.

It's awesome stuff, spearheaded by YGAP CEO + co-founder Eliot Costello, whose simple and searing belief is that a world without poverty is possible; where everyone receives a quality education, earns a fair wage and lives in a good home.

In 2015, YGAP merged with Spark* International, shifting its impact model and joining forces to empower impact entrepreneurs around the world with local solutions to local problems. The Spark* accelerator impact model and startup pipeline is now a world leader, and fuelling the fires of YGAP's vision of backing 1,000 entrepreneurs to change one million lives by 2018. I look forward to playing a part in that. And hope you will, too.

Madeleine x 

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Stories not told.

To our great surprise we made the cover feature of this month's Modern Home magazine! Back in March, we picked our undies up off the floor, gave the place a spit and polish and opened our doors to the ace @modernhomemagazine crew who cleverly captured our colourful midcentury casa's best angles.󾓯

Thanks to Nicole England for her beautiful photography and the styling and editorial crew for the 12-page feature and interview. It's all super sparkly, a great story, and we feel like we're living in a magazine!

Except we're not. 

Because I've gotta say looking at all that gloss that a picture tells only a thousand words but it's the rest of the story that matters more. 

On the surface the stories of our lives may be jammed with big colour, perfectly placed green drinks, sun-drenched travel, glistening workouts, champagne throw rugs and uber-fabulous happy shiny social feeds, but in reality there are always hard human stories playing out, too. 

We may smile our selfie smiles, angle our faces so they don't carry shadow, edit our lives within an inch of themselves and only put our best selves forward, but I reckon the pictures we don't see matter just as much.

Because we have a bunch of beautiful people very close to us suffering badly right now. So I feel compelled to both stand back from our bloody great glossy good fortune and acknowledge it, but also to reassert that all is never as it seems.

We have plenty, while billions of others do not. We may have space and endless comforts, while some have nada. We may have each other, our health, our sanity, our means, and abundant love, but there's also the dark side of human life stuff happening every day around us, with dementia, death, cancer, depression, destruction, addiction and random acts of injustice, terror and nature tumbling into orbit and throwing ours, and others, lives relentlessly, indelibly and chaotically sideways.

This is not new, of course. Or earth-shattering. Or unusual. And it won't make social fodder. 

But just putting it out there because in light of horrific current world events, recent illness, trauma, death and the hard, raw stuff of everyday living playing out in our lives and those of others near and far, perfect homes, sparkly styling and glossy social feeds don't matter a bit. 

What matters are the real lives being lived, the stories not told, and how we're managing ourselves, our kin, our choice-making, and our commitment to making a real difference to those around us who need us most. Amen ;) Mx

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I got this.

Because we're all about story, we're bringing our best to the National Simultaneous Storytime event happening across the country this week at 11am Wednesday May 25.

National Simultaneous Storytime is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association and is part of the early adoption methodology for getting the little peeps across the country to get off digital screens and engage with the written word (and their amazingly powerful-way-beyond-digital imaginations!).

Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by a talented Australian author and illustrator, is chosen as the literary frontrunner! and read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and stacks of other places around the country. It kind of breaks records for reading. And also makes a whole bunch of kids and parents engage with literature and storytelling en masse. Which is an excellent thing.

The academic stance is that the Australian Library and Information Association by facilitating National Simultaneous Storytime, aim to:

·         promote the value of reading and literacy;

·         promote the value and fun of books;

·         promote an Australian writer and publisher;

·         promote storytime activities in public libraries and communities around the country;

·         provide opportunities to involve parents, grandparents, the media and others to participate in and enjoy the occasion.

And generally, celebrate the unique awesomeness of books, which will survive and thrive in a digital age because there is nothing like the stories we play out in our rich imaginings.

Testament to this is that in 2015 more than 500,000 children at over 3,100 locations across Australia took part in National Simultaneous Storytime, reading the book The Brothers Quibble, written and illustrated by Aaron Blabey , enjoying a range of supporting educational activities, songs, games, dress ups and lots of fun. 

This year it's I Got This Hat by Jol and Kate Temple.
And Do Re Me Creative is proud to be bringing it to life with a series of workshops across the Glen Eira Council district so you can join the whole of Australia as we read and share together a funny rhyming tale about the surprisingly large world of hats.

“I got this hat in China, I got this hat from a miner, I got this hat from a deep-sea diver, I got this hat from a racing-car driver ... “ Everyone loves wearing them! 

Pop Wednesday 25 May at 11am in the diary. And pop in to Carnegie Library and Community Centre and Elsternwick Library for some hands on, head on HAT crafting for preschool children aged 3 to 5!

See you there. Keep your hat on, and keep reading. :)

 

 

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Changing lives by changing the game

I've long been fuelled by purpose. Coupled with good people.

So I'm thrilled to be working across Partnerships & Engagement with the talented game-changers and impact entrepreneurs at YGAP this year - part of my Master of Entrepreneurship at Melbourne University's Wade Institute. 

YGAP is an exceptional entrepreneurial business quietly going about changing the world in multiple modes and rockstar ways. 

Driving and backing profitable social ventures, YGAP initiatives to date include Richmond's cult farm-to-fork 'Feast of Merit' restaurant and bar space, the 5 cent campaign collecting small change to drive big change in access to education for children, the high profile Polished Man innovative fundraising campaign challenging men to end violence against children and ambassadored by Michael Klim, Josh Gibson and Tony Richardson, plus scores of other life-changing impact initiatives out in the field driven by fundraising efforts to fuel their work.

It's awesome stuff, spearheaded by YGAP CEO + co-founder Eliot Costello, whose simple and searing belief is that a world without poverty is possible; where everyone receives a quality education, earns a fair wage and lives in a good home. 

YGAP set out to change lives. And it does - all the time.

In 2015, YGAP merged with Spark* International, shifting its impact model and joining forces to empower impact entrepreneurs around the world with local solutions to local problems. The Spark* accelerator impact model and startup pipeline is now a world leader - click through to read more on Spark's latest initiatives, including these just released powerful rockstar impact entrepreneur documentaries. The stories are compelling, and speak for themselves.

I'll keep you updated on the incredible work of YGAP and Spark* out in the field throughout 2016. In the meantime, please consider donating to the current 5 cent campaign, volunteering your time/skill, or attending the upcoming Art For Change unique exhibition at YGAP's new Richmond event space Feast Of Merit Next Door, which this year will not only showcase selected works from Australia's renowned and established local contemporary artists but will also feature work from top students across the country - Australia's future generation of leading artists. 

YGAP is on a mission to back 1,000 entrepreneurs and change one million lives by 2018. I look forward to playing a part in that. And hope you will, too.

Best, Madeleine

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