GWAS Bulletin Board: Goodwill tidings

GWAS Bulletin Board: Goodwill tidings 
Volcom's Give Jeans a Chance denim recycling program = awesome!
Glum? Blue? All about you? Herewith a roundup of good causes and creative enterprises to think over and get involved in (self included)...

Mission Australia's annual National Survey of Young Australians is a powerful tool for practitioners and professionals in any area that represents youth, including community groups, government services, education and media. It canvasses Australians aged 11 to 24 about a range of issues relevant to their lives, gleaning information about their attitudes and behaviours and stimulating national discussion. The greater the survey pool, the greater indication we get about what's concerning, exciting and driving young people. Youngsters can complete the 2011 survey online at, closing Friday 1 July.

Volcom's Give Jeans a Chance Denim Recycling initiative gives me goosebumps. Over the past two months, the surf brand has collected donated denims in surf stores across the nation, culminating in 3,000 pairs of jeans being distributed to homeless people: 1,000 pairs in NSW and 400 in Brisbane as part of recent 'Homeless Connect' events, and 500 in Victoria at a BBQ lunch hosted by the Prahran Mission, to be followed by more events. "We originally set ourselves a goal of 1,000 jeans to be donated in our first year and we have more than tripled that!" says marketing manager for Volcom Australia Joel Spillane. Triple yay!

Fomer Australian Netball Captain Liz Ellis
Women's Health magazine's "I Support Women Sports Awards" (notably not 'Shiny! Pretty! Skimpy! Sporty! Awards') nominations are now open. "At Women’s Health, we’re passionate about raising the profile of women in sport and this awards night is the perfect opportunity for our home-grown female sporting stars to get the recognition and support they deserve," said editor Felicity Harley. The creatively titled categories include: Sportswoman of the Year, One to Watch, A-Team of the Year, Comeback Kid, Service to Sport, Unsung Hero, Fair Fighter, Local Heroine, Grassroots Greatest, Leadership Legend, Moment of the Year and Woman of Sporting Words.

While I'm a stick-figure kind of artiste, The Blake Prize, now 60 years running, draws some of Australia's most talented brush-wielders. One of Australia's longest standing art prizes, it's been awarded since 1951 to a work that addresses a subject of religious or spiritual integrity, which itself draws much discussion and debate in art circles (of which, clearly, I am not a part), particularly as Australia has culturally diversified. While the top award winner will score $20,000, the John Coburn Emerging Artist Award has a $5000 cash incentive and the MUA Blake Prize for Human Justice also comes with a $5,000 prize. Entries close June 24; award announcements take place September 15.

Back to Mission Australia: the annual Winter Sleepout is drawing near (brrrr!). More than 105,000 Australians go without the comfort of cosy beds each night, more than half aged under 25, so this event is hosted to draw attention to their plight and give us some insight. By "sleeping rough" outdoors or anywhere that's not your usual place of sleep (obvi. not the Park Hyatt), during the winter months, particularly during National Homeless Persons' Week (1 to 7 August), you can help to raise money to allow Mission Australia to touch the lives of those for whom bedtime isn't so nice.

And the radio station that puts a kick in my daily trippings out of the house is raising funds for the new financial year. Go 96five!

Girl With a Satchel