Dean Gibson and Kate Perry, this year's winners of Wesley Mission Queensland's Campaign for Change initiative.
Dean Gibson and Kate Perry, this year's winners of Wesley Mission Queensland's Campaign for Change initiative. Photo: Wesley Mission Queensland

Campaign for Change unearths Queensland’s best and brightest social innovators

An app challenging age discrimination and a series of video stories to celebrate the lives of Indigenous men have taken out the 2017 Wesley Mission Queensland Campaign for Change initiative.

In a tightly contested field of five finalists, Kate Perry from Ipswich, and Dean Gibson from Brisbane’s north have each been awarded a $25 000 grant to kick-start their own social change initiative.
 
Ms Perry’s winning idea for social change is to challenge age discrimination by providing older Australians an online place to share their experiences.
 
“The Wiserr Network will connect those rich in knowledge with those in need of know-how through entrepreneurship, employment, mentorship and volunteering opportunities,” she said.
 
“My aim is to turn age discrimination on its head and bring generations together to share skills, appreciate one another and add value.

“Wiserr provides an opportunity to help anyone who has feelings of disconnect, worthlessness and financial strains to connect with someone cross generationally and improve the wellbeing of the community.”

Mr Gibson’s idea, ‘The Black Man Project’ aims to share empowering stories of local Indigenous men.

“The Black Man Project is important to me as an Aboriginal man living in Brisbane, because there is a real disconnect when it comes to empowering men in our community,” he said.
 
“Face-to-face groups aren’t for everyone, but there’s a real need to connect, empower and inspire men around the city, and especially those who share an Aboriginal heritage.
 
“This project will involve a series of empowering videos so that similar men in our community can be inspired and spark their own change.
 
“My hope is to break the stereotypes around Indigenous men and share the real stories of pride, passion and courage.”

Campaign for Change was designed in 2012 as a way to enrich the South East Queensland community by providing individuals or groups the opportunity to share in a grant and expert mentoring to establish their very own community support program.

Wesley Mission Queensland’s Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Batkin said with more than 60 applications and then five outstanding finalists, it was inspiring to see such a strong response to the initiative.

“Dean and Kate’s ideas are innovative and demonstrate the passion that Queenslanders have for their local community and finding solutions to support people in need,” he said.
 
“We would like to congratulate everyone who put forward their ideas, they were all fantastic initiatives for bringing about positive change”.
 
“Wesley Mission Queensland has long been committed to improving the wellbeing of the community and the success of this latest campaign highlights the capability of the Church and not for profit sector to instigate social change and encourage people to discuss community needs at a local level.”
 
Campaign for Change was made possible this year thanks to the support of the Queensland Government.

“We are proud to support this wonderful initiative to give people the opportunity to see their bright idea become a reality and improve their local community,” said State Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman. 

The winners were presented with their award at the finale event on 9 February.

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