Cathy Robertson shares the story about how the education program got started.
I spent a happy hour on Wednesday morning last week with Candice Edye from Canberra’s Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre discussing my idea to develop entirely new approach to outdoor education called Kids’ Caring for Country. My idea is simple. I want to get children gardening and enjoying the benefits of good science: they can learn about their homeland on the southern tablelands, have a healthy life style and enjoy some outdoor fun.
I work as the volunteer coordinator for a not for profit (nfp) organisation called STEP Inc, a site partner of the National Arboretum Canberra. I bumped into Candice, who is a Lighthouse commercialisation manager at the gala dinner hosted by the Canberra Business Council last week at the National Arboretum Canberra. It was a fabulous night for networking and although we only met for a couple of minutes, she promised that if I sent her an email she would catch up for coffee and I could tell her about my project. It was meant to be and so we caught up in a funky café in Fyshwick, a few days later.
Talking with Candice, led me to see the similarities in issues faced by a community organisation and a start-up business. For a start they both need to convince others of their vision and make the resources they have stretch a very long way. STEP needs to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset in order to support its vision and finance its projects. I really need help to develop products that we can market and sell/get funding, enabling us to be self-sustaining and grow into a larger stronger organisation in the future.
After being challenged, inspired and encouraged by Candice – my take away was that I would begin to blog about Caring for Country and how to connect kids, schools, communities and businesses to the southern tableland.”
Read about Light Innovations here: www.lighthouseinnovation.com.au.