All Good In The Hood

The Podcast

A podcast that celebrates people doing great things in local communities. These are the unsung heros who have started social enterprises or community intiative’s a hope to make the world a better place. Why are these community initiatives so important? What is that drives these people? What are the hurdles they are facing? And is what they’re doing having a real impact? We’ll find out on this episode of ‘All Good In The Hood’

Luz studied Medicine in her native Colombia, graduating as a GP and later working in Casualty. Finding that she enjoyed hospital administration more, Luz moved into an administrative role gaining Graduate Diplomas in Business Administration and Marketing, and an MA in Communication. Before leaving Colombia she had established her own communications company and was a university lecturer in Marketing.

In 2010, Luz arrived in Australia as a political refugee. her life was in tatters and she spoke no English. She felt like a nobody: frightened, isolated and disempowered. She soon discovered that she wasn’t alone and In 2011, along with a group of 25 other women experiencing similar challenges, she began to make and sell crafts around Melbourne.

In May 2013, SisterWorks was born and over the last five years 451 Sisters from 56 different countries have been part of the Sisterworks Family. Luz provides inspirational leadership, marketing and network skills and a vision of women from many cultures supporting each other through working together.

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Deb is a mother of 4 and a grandmother of 9 and she’s had her own share of ups and downs through life.

She had an alcoholic mother and in her 20’s she suffered domestic violence.

After leaving her partner she became an alcoholic herself but has been sober now for over 12 years.

For the past 3 1/2 years, Deb’s grassroots charity ‘From Us To You - Melbourne’ has served meals to the homeless 2 to 3 times a week at Batman Park in Melbourne City.

From her house in Epping, Deb distributes hampers of household goods to the needy. She’s also helped numerous domestic violence survivors restart their lives.

Hundreds of people call her Mum. Her favourite saying is "thanks, hon", and she could hug for Australia.

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Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM is the CEO and founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Kon is proudly Greek, growing up in a working class family in a small country town in Victoria. Kon’s personal experience of racism and witnessing the exploitation of his parents in factories, as well as his grandparents’ experience as refugees who fled the Pontian genocide in Anatolia, planted the seeds for his passion for human rights.

Inspired by the struggles of his parents and his own childhood experiences of racism, Kon founded the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) at 28. Then a TAFE teacher, Kon discovered that people seeking asylum were living in the community with no basic support. This led to the creation of a student-run and community funded food bank, launched from a tiny shop in Footscray with only a few boxes of food. That same year, the ASRC was established on 8 June, 2001.

From humble beginnings, the ASRC today has grown into both a place and a movement. It is largest independent human rights organisation in Australia, and has supported and empowered over 12,000 people seeking asylum and refugees in the last 15 years.

Kon has been recognised as an Australian of the Year (Victoria) finalist in 2007, was invited to participate in the 2020 Summit in 2008, was voted one of Australia’s 20 Unsung Heroes as part of the launch of the new Portrait Gallery in Canberra in 2008, and was voted as one of Melbourne’s 100 most influential people in The Age Melbourne Magazine. Kon was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2010 and an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2011. In 2012, he was a finalist for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s prestigious Human Rights Medal. Most recently, he has been awarded the City of Maribyrnong Citizen of the Year 2016 and the La Trobe University Young Achiever Award 2016.

Over his lifetime, Kon has completed six degrees including a Bachelor of Law and a Masters of Business Administration. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, particularly Greek cuisine and often hosts dinners to fundraise for other causes, including women affected by domestic violence. Kon also volunteers his time as a Board member of Children’s Ground, an organisation that suppors Indigenous children and runs a small philanthropic trust that focuses on women and Indigenous rights.

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Mark is a 22 year police veteran who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety in February 2013. His triggering incident occurred in April 2003 and through a combination of being naïve to mental health and having no mental health education, did not heed the warning signs until it was too late.

Mark felt extremely alone in his early stages of recovery and to counter this, he set up a support group, called Code 9, for emergency services members who are suffering from PTSD to ensure that no member feels alone in their PTSD journey.

Code 9 assists members, among others, in online and in person peer to peer support, advice on recovery techniques, the WorkCover process and makes referrals where required.

Code 9 is now registered as a charity with the aim of suicide prevention, raising funds to sponsor assistance dogs and supporting his colleagues going through hard times.

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Daniel Lewis is a Melbourne-based writer, dad of three and co-founder and editor of The Dad Website.

He was born 41 years ago in Edenhope. As his dad was a bank manager he schooled in several locations across country Victoria: Mildura, Nhill, Swan Hill and Wangaratta before settling in Cobram for most of his high school years.

At the end of year 12 he had no idea what he wanted to do with himself so he worked at the local dairy factory for 18 months, saving money before taking two years off to backpack around the UK and Europe. During this time he met an Irish girl and after six months back home working with his dad he headed back over to Ireland for 18 months. During this time he completed a diploma of journalism by night course, a qualification he wouldn't use for close to 10 years.

He then settled in Melbourne. After spending most of his 20s and early 30s in "party mode" and doing very unstimulating finance work, he went back to school, professional writing and editing at RMIT. The eight-year relationship with the Irish girl ended but he met Tash, the future mother of his children, in 2007.

He quit the office job at the start of 2009 while Tash supported him as he wrote his first (and still unpublished, and very clunky) novel and he resumed the RMIT writing course. He started freelance writing too, contributing music and bar reviews to the M Magazine lifestyle supplement ofThe Sunday Age before progressing to feature stories for M, while occasionally contributing elsewhere.

2009 was a magical year on many fronts, not because it was a year in which he became a dad for the first time - to Edith, who is now eight.

Two other daughters - Avie, now 6, and Bonnie, 4 - followed in a whirlwind four-year period.

In 2014, after quite a bit of correspondence with one publisher, he self-published on Amazon a book about the nine-month lead-up to Edith being born and his efforts at being ready mentally for such a change, entitled X Years, 9 Months.

In mid-2016 he and two dad mates launched The Dad Website. From Daniel's perspective, the idea for the site came from frustration, anxiety and uncertainty he felt as a dad. Additionally, he'd always wanted to edit and manage his own publication, and his lecturers had always said "write about what you know", so given the immersive nature of parenting, he did. The Dad Website has grown quickly, with a large social following and more than 70 contributors on board from all over the world.

Today he works as a copywriter for an ASX-listed company in the city. He still contributes bits and pieces to Fairfax while maintaining The Dad Website and trying to keep his head above water in the parenting stakes. He regularly attends the Important men's Business pub nights with local Flem-Ken dads and, as an avid runner (2 x marathoner), regularly turns out at Maribyrnong Parkrun.

He loves his family, mates, running, beer and still wants to write something great one day.