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Appointment of Community Partners

The Grit and Resilience program are thrilled to announce four community partners have been appointed to the Consortium to provide a community perspective in the program’s governance. 

Caz Sammon and John Davis have been successfully appointed Community Partners, with Chelsea Wilson and Ruby Sait appointed as Community Youth Partners. 

In total, 18 applications were received for the four available positions. The Grit and Resilience program were blown away by the diverse experiences and skills of all applicants, and their passion for making the Rural City of Wangaratta Community even better. Applicants were required to submit a written application in response to key selection criteria, with shortlisted candidates proceeding to interview and final selection with a panel.  

As Community Partners, John, Caz, Ruby and Chelsea will govern the Grit and Resilience Program alongside representatives from the Rural City of Wangaratta, Victoria Police, The Department of Health and Human Services, Albury Wodonga Health, Murray Primary Health Network, Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service, Gateway Health and Headspace Albury Wodonga. 

Congratulations to our community partners Caz, John, Ruby and Chelsea and thank you for helping to make the Rural City of Wangaratta Community even better!

Meet your Grit and Resilience Community Partners

Carolyn (Caz) Sammon is Mum to three boys and a Wangaratta resident of 20 years. She has a strong interest in general and mental health and well-being and has a background in physiotherapy. Caz is an engaged community member and volunteer, with extensive experience leading teams from grass roots to Board level. Caz is a graduate of Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program, and has had involvement with many community organisations from creating an impromptu play-group, serving as Cathedral College Wangaratta Parents and Friends’ President, and as a keen roller derby player at NERD.
  
What interested you in the Grit and Resilience program?
I believe in the strength and value of community, and I have a strong commitment to ensuring that people in our region thrive. In this extremely challenging environment, which is compounding disadvantage and isolation, I believe we have an opportunity and need to create transformative change with our community. Using well-developed connections, knowledge and experience, together with my enthusiasm and passion, I am committed to making a strong contribution to the Grit and Resilience Program.

As an Anglican Priest for the past 40 years, recently retired John has called the Border and North East Victoria home for twenty of the last 40 years. Through his work, John has extensive connections and contacts across the whole region. He provided emergency ministry at the Wangaratta evacuation centre during the January 2020 bushfires and is currently the president of Voices for Indi - a grass-roots movement, encouraging quality representative government and stronger community participation. In 2019 John and his husband became the first Anglican same sex clergy couple to marry in Australia. 

What interested you in the Grit and Resilience Program?
Bringing the skills and community connections I have, I am keen to be part of a locally-based team doing everything it can to make the life experience of people in this part of North East Victoria that much better. Especially for the most vulnerable in terms of mental health and community wellbeing.   Now, as it happens, even more so in these COVID-19 times.
 

Ruby is 18 year-old with a passion for journalism, completing her senior year of VCAL at GOTAFE Wangaratta. Between the age of 16 and 17 Ruby lived in Residential Care, an experience which motivated her to apply for the Grit and Resilience program. Ruby has presented extraordinary communication skills, invaluable insight and a willingness to lend a hand when needed.

What interested Ruby in the Grit and Resilience Program?

Through my role as Community Youth Partner, I hope to help the youth in our community feel welcome and able to engage in events held within the Rural City of Wangaratta.

Chelsea is an empathetic young person, passionate about mental health, advocating for others, and helping the world change. Chelsea aspires to become a social worker and to work with children, youth and families going through trauma and mental health issues. 

What interested Chelsea in the Grit and Resilience program? 
I understand the value and significant need for connection in and between our communities and I want to help create those connections and be a voice for youth within the Rural City of Wangaratta. Through this opportunity, I also hope to develop my leadership skills and gain insight into the needs of our community.  
 

Hearten Up Community Program

Through a partnership with The Grit and Resilience Program, funding is being provided to cover the overhead costs for the self-paced eLearning component of the Hearten Up Program.

The Grit and Resilience Program see this program as an opportunity for us to build strength, knowledge and connection with each other, as we make our community even better together.

To find out more, click here.

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