Save Power House

The community needs Power House more than ever before right now.

It is a social ecosystem that inspires community, delivering positive health and wellbeing programs to many marginalised community groups, and has done for over 90 years.

In the last decade alone, Power House has supported the delivery of 1.3 million voluntary hours and generated over $3 million in social enterprise revenue.

Our power is growing, but the building is dying. We need you to stand up for everything Power House represents and join our call to build community back better.

We desperately need to restore this vital piece of community infrastructure and unlock its social impact potential, currently capped only by its failing infrastructure.

A full refurbishment of Power House will secure our community’s long term financial future so we can continue to power the community for another 90 years.

Power House is a thriving social ecosystem, perpetuating community good, but won’t be for much longer without your help.

All we ask for is your name.

Show your support by clicking the link to stand alongside us, and your community, by adding it to the growing list of Power House supporters asking that we build community back better.

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Power Up Challenge: Lighting up lives

In 2020 we Rocked Around the World, in 2021 we light it up the skies in a show of community generated funds and energy supporting the Power Up Challenge.

LSC&PH worked with six other united charities to light up thousands of lives, many of whom have been directly affected by the financial and social impacts of Covid 19, and are helping to power the Victorian community’s social recovery.

The Power Up Challenge was for people of all abilities and harnessed the energy of our members, supporters and the general community. Whether stepping, wheeling, running, cycling or dancing, we generated enough energy to power the MCG for the AFL footy season!

The Power Up Finale Event: View of Power House from the sky, with the two beams of light signifying the end of a month of energy based movement.

The challenge culminated in the virtual kilowatts beaming a light that was seen for miles from Power House and celebration of community partnerships formed.

Thank you to the everyone involved through LSC&PH for your ever generous energy and support towards the challenge.

Haven’t had a chance to donate yet? No worries, the website will be open for donations until the end of April visit www.powerupchallenge.org.au and make your donation today.

As we move towards our safe return to programs, we must extend our thanks to the supporting organisations who have granted significant funding and in-kind support towards our programs return. In a year like no other we saw funding bodies increase their already generous funding pools to cover the substantial increase in requests for support to massively oversubscribed grant rounds.

We are beyond thrilled and grateful to the organisations who extended their support to Lord Somers Camp and Power House over the last period as identified below:

  • Australian Venue Co
  • Bank of Melbourne
  • Bunnings
  • Business Victoria
  • City of Port Phillip Youth Access Grants Program
  • DRUTS 69 Luncheon Group
  • Good Things Foundation
  • Gorman Foundation
  • Monarch Painting
  • NewCorp Staff Giving Fund
  • Parks Victoria Volunteering Innovation Fund
  • Ritchies Community Benefits Fund
  • Rotary Club of Melbourne
  • William Angliss Charitable Fund

In these challenging economic environments, we will continue our focus on collaborations with partner organisations providing great opportunities to make already fantastic programs even better. In collaborating with our friends such as Mirabel, VSK and Port Phillip Eco Centre we are leveraging each other’s strengths to provide even greater social impact in the community.

Picture of the Power Up Finale event. A view of the Power House balcony and Albert Park Lake with two beams of light into the night sky.

We are thrilled to be recent recipients of funding through the City of Port Phillip Youth Access Grants and Parks Victoria Volunteering Innovation Fund through this style of submission in collaboration with Port Phillip Eco Centre, and very much look forward to working with other funding bodies on future collaborations.

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Chicks on the beach

Somers has become home to three special new residents. In January, three Hooded Plover chicks hatched right by our very own Lord Somers Camp bridge.

Hooded Plovers are listed as near-threatened in Victoria and critically endangered in New South Wales so it is a federally listed threatened species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC). There have been sporadic sightings of HPs on Balnarring and Somers beach since at least 2014 but never before have they been recorded breeding in the area.

This year two flagged birds (Y33 and Y44) turned up. These birds were both flagged on Phillip Island about three years ago and have been wandering different parts of the coast and Victoria since – one was recorded as being in the Colac area last year!

It’s incredibly exciting that the three chicks of Y33 and Y44 have made it to fledgling stage given that the beaches are frequented by people, dogs (leashed) and even horses. The two birds have had three nests this year. The first nest failed due to tidal inundation, the second due to predators (dogs and/or ravens) but the third produced the chicks on 17 January, 2021. All three survived and fledged on 21 February.

The President of Friends of the Hooded Plover (Mark Lethlean) said, “I cannot overstate how remarkable and unusual this achievement is on the Mornington Peninsula. In the past ten years, we have only recorded two other pairs that have fledged all three of their chicks. In the last two years the total number of fledged chicks on the whole Mornington Peninsula has only been six birds each year. This will be a remarkable contribution to our local population.”

In March, two members of the Beach-nesting program from BirdLife Australia visited Somers to band the new residents and make sure they are healthy and safe. Some Year 7 students on Camp at LSC at the time happened to be doing a beach activity and received an impromptu presentation on the nesting habits of the species. Through banding the birds and collecting data, BirdLife Australia are able to improve breeding conditions for the HPs.

Photos are courtesy of Somers resident Geoff Hall who has been looking out for the HPs and keeping an eye on their progress.

We’re so chuffed about our new friends on the beach and hope there’ll be more joining them in future seasons.

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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 is this Monday 8 March. The UN Women’s theme for this year is Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world. A bit of a mouthful really, but on topic and incredibly important.

Some of the most vital roles keeping the wider community on its feet at the moment are teachers and nurses; two professions predominantly taken on by women. And two professions common across our membership and volunteer base.

Women in leadership is certainly not a foreign concept for LSC&PH. Excellent women have been at the heart of the organisation even before programs existed for them! Jump ahead to today and women are running our camps, developing programs specifically for the women of our community, doing our administration, sitting on our Board and even taking on the President and Camp Chief gig. Amidst COVID-19, LSC&PH women are amongst those adapting our organisation and its programs with optimism, creativity and a determination to continue serving others.

This week, we caught up with two great LSC&PH ladies – Bec Bates and Cassandra Quinlan – to chat about what they do, why they love LSC&PH and what IWD means to them.

Tell us what you do in the real world?
Bec: I live, work and play on Gunibidji Country in Maningrida, Arnhem Land. I work for local government as a Wellbeing Services Coordinator, managing a team of people who run super fun sport and recreational programs for youth. I am also studying my Masters of Public Health by correspondence at Charles Darwin University. I have the privilege of volunteering for some truly amazing organisations… I do some Comms/Marketing work with The Water Well Project (health promotion charity who aim to improve health literacy for refugee and or asylum seeker communities) and I help out with the CassangaFund (think – women and adventure sports advocacy) a bit too. When I’m not doing those things I’m listening to the same five songs on repeat, snapping Instagram worthy sunsets and walking my doggo Archie.

Cassandra: I am a proud mother of two beautiful boys, Riley (19) and Grayson (16), and living next to my mother (Mother Mary) has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. This has meant the kids have the most incredible bond with her and we support each other. I have spent most of my career in Not for Profit working in both the Disability Sector, and Refugee and Asylum Seeker Sector, however the past 4 years I have moved to the private sector. I am currently working for Programmed in recruitment as an Account Manager, I currently manage 17 businesses and around 300 casuals across those sites. It is a busy job but rewarding.

What have you been up to recently in the LSC&PH space?
Cassandra: What an amazing effort it has been for LSC&PH these past 12 months to continue with the work they do and adapt. With ATLAS I am one of the Participant Coordinators, and during the year we did a joint project with one of our partner organisations SECL around resume writing and how to apply for a job. This online forum for participants and their family members was such a successful event that SECL has asked for us to return! I am also a part of the Inclusion Committee, headed up by the incredible Matthew Parker, and moving full steam ahead with work being completed on achieving a Rainbow Tick, and I am thrilled to say I am a part of such an important step.

Bec: I am super lucky to work with the Journal team as the Editor, which means I get to read the wholesome LSC&PH content first, what an absolute treat. I have recently joined the Child Safety Committee and look forward to learning a lot from other impressive humans on the Committee. I have recently been advocating to bring ‘Meet a Member Mondays’ back and am taking this on as a fun project. If someone would like to reach out to give me a hand, I would love that! In these COVID-safe times, let’s stay connected by ‘meeting’ each other virtually and enjoying some good fellowship.

What does the IWD theme this year mean to you? What’s the value you see in it? Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world
Bec: I was re-deployed to the frontline at the Alfred during the height of the pandemic in Melbourne before escaping to the sunny NT. The women who make up Ward 4EA were incredibly strong, resilient and tireless in their efforts to provide compassionate care to their patients amidst all of the anxiety. I think 2021’s IWD theme is about taking the time to consult more female frontline workers about how to navigate the COVID-19 world and to amplify their voices. In my current world, domestic violence is incredibly prominent. I am privileged as a Balanda to sit at the back of community meetings and hear strong women call for action and change. Again, the IWD theme highlights the need for more consultation of strong women in our social circles/tribes/workplaces/communities.

Cassandra: #ChooseToChallenge, raising awareness of gender bias and inequality. Standing up to challenge can always be difficult, and often the behaviours of others become such a normal part of society that we don’t even realise it has happened. The theme means making a difference when and where you can, big or small. Something that has been a keen focus of mine recently is uniforms, whether it be at work, school or volunteering, people need to be accepted for who they are, they need to feel comfortable in themselves. We need to not judge people on how they appear, what we wear does not impact who we are as a person.

What is your go-to content when it comes to feeling the #YeahTheGirls vibe? Is this a podcast, song, movie, book, resource?
Bec: Musically, some incredible Indigenous women are: Emily Wurramara, Miiesha & Ripple Effect Band
Podcasts: Ologies with Alie Ward for some fun science chit chats or Shameless for the pop culture hit 
Books: Marlee Silver’s ‘My Tidda, My Sister’, Sarah Wilson’s ‘This One Wild & Precious Life’ & Rupi Kaur’s ‘The Sun & Her Flowers’

Cassandra: My best friend Tiffany Johnson has spoken at Lady Somers Camp about her book  ‘Brave enough now’, which also has an incredible podcast. What is great about Tiffany is she is an independent business woman, who is passionate about supporting other women to find their voice. The Podcast is called ‘When we are BRAVE’, the series is all about helping people to feel inspired, it includes tips and tricks with actionable tools to help people move forward, living your bravest life. I highly recommend you check it out.

Keen to get involved in #IWD2021? Join our friends at Little Dreamers this Thursday as they celebrate strong women for International Women’s Day:

Breakfast with Champions | Women of Tomorrow

More resources:
UN Women
International Women’s Development Agency

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Final push before Power Up

It might’ve been unseasonably cold for a February morning; we might’ve been coming off the mini lockdown of the week prior – but the spirit at the Inaugural Billy Cart Derby last Sunday couldn’t be dampened.

On Sunday 21 February, the participating charities from the 2021 Power Up Challenge gathered at Albert Park Lake to kick off the fundraiser’s very first pop up event. While originally planned to be considerably bigger, the circuit breaker lockdown and COVID restriction updates meant a downsized derby was in order. But hey, smiling through adversity is definitely not lost on folks from the not for profit sector these days, am I right?

With Power Up officially beginning the following weekend (now this weekend), there was no better time for a showdown between the charities taking part next month. Okay, showdown might be hamming it up a tad. The vibe was more laughs and lack of coordination with a smidge of friendly competition. And of course, this past year has taught us not to take those moments of good fun and fellowship for granted.

“After many many practice runs, we’re not actually sure who we could crown with the glory of taking out the Billy Cart Derby,” said Carly Smith, our Fundraising and Engagement Manager. “So in the spirit of the collaboration that is the Power Up Challenge, we can say that we are all winners. There was carnage, chaos and competitive spirit as the LSC&PH team of Stu, Imogen and William Douglas did us proud!”

Some local celebs also rocked up; Andrew McGrath (Essendon FC), Esma Voloder (Miss World Australia 2017) and Luke Breust (Hawthorn FC) came down to show their support for the new fundraiser. We were cautious not to damage our footballers, so they held the grand jobs of waving the Grand Prix chequered flag and sign holding, whilst the fiercely fun and competitive Esma Voloder took up the challenge of pushing the young Eve representing Brainwave. We are grateful for their enormous support in coming down to participating and chatting with the wave of media support the event attracted.

So why and how did this all come about? Carly tells us “It’s all about having fun and giving up your energy to support the Power Up Challenge in any way you like. You’ve got all of March to rack up those KiloWatts and maybe raise some fun (and funds) along the way”.

Through Power Up, we’re asking people to generate energy through their movement. Think step challenge with a twist. That twist being that you can run, walk, wheel, dance, cycle – you name it. We’re aiming to collectively create 500,000KW of energy through those efforts to light up lives of the communities we help.

Are you game? The demand for not for profit services is higher than ever at the moment, and will continue to be vital as we adapt to COVID normal. Most NFPs are implementing countless cost-saving strategies just to remain afloat through these exceptionally trying times. Lord Somers Camp and Power House is no exception. That’s why we’re calling on the LSC&PH family to get involved and register for Power Up. Simply put – we need your help.

You can jump onto powerupchallenge.org.au to learn more about the seven participating charities and of course, to register!

Register — Power Up Challenge


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Light up lives this March

“Did you hear about the fundraising thing LSC is doing in March?”
“Fundraising thing…?”
“Yeah. I think I might register. It’s called
Light Power or something.”

Uhhhh… close. It’s called “Power Up”. And you should definitely register. Here’s why:

Lord Somers Camp and Power House is connecting with six charities again to run a fundraiser that will bring about support and awareness for wellbeing, inclusion and empowerment programs. Funds raised will go towards participants to take part in programs like the ones our organisation runs, who otherwise may not be in a position to do so. And to help us keep doing what we do so well.

This fundraiser will be a lot like the Rock Around the World challenge of 2020. So what’s the same? It’s a movement-based challenge where you pick a goal and you seek out sponsors. And what’s different? Power Up will run over a month (28 Feb – 28 Mar) and this time, it’s about generating energy through your movement of choice. For example, a one hour walk generates the equivalent of 50KW. Therefore a goal to walk one hour a day for the challenge would be 1,400KW. Our aim is to use movement goals to light up lives – get it?

It’s been a lousy 12 months and we’re handing you a cheeky incentive to start moving again after lack of motivation and too much Netflix (no judgments). Or if you’re active already (good for you!), this is a great opportunity to make your fitness efforts count for double.

How to get involved

  • Head to the website and select LSC&PH as your charity
  • Sign up as an individual or pick a team to join – you can choose an existing team or create a new one. It’s time to get competitive for a cause
  • Choose a fundraising target and an energy goal
  • Get moving and log how much energy you create each day
  • Raise funds by sharing your progress and raving about LSC&PH the way Somers folks do best

Find out more and register at www.powerupchallenge.org.au

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Member Perspective – Positive Ageing

The great COVID-19 ‘Hibernation’ from a Positive Ageing Perspective

At Lord Somers Camp and Power House, we constantly credit our members as our distinguishing and very best asset. It goes without saying, this year has been an exceptionally challenging time for most. For our organisation, which is underpinned by opportunities to connect with one another and serve others, the pandemic has posed a genuine setback in our mission and disrupted the magic of LSC&PH which keeps so many of us involved.

Our Positively Aged members have filled us with pride this year in their willingness to roll with the punches and adapt to the obstacles of COVID-19 restrictions. A demographic which we might have expected to struggle with the barriers of lockdown has done a sensational job of staying connected. Fortnightly virtual “Luncheons” have allowed many such members to stay connected and even meant those in especially remote locations are getting more involved than before we got so comfortable with old mate, Zoom.

John Robert provides a brief and humble reflection on how our Positively Aged members have approached this tumultuous year.

The experiences of the older members of LSC&PH during this year’s lockdowns, we can only assume, are simply as diverse as the membership at large.

We have probably felt similar feelings to those of other age groups of members. We have missed seeing our friends and relatives, going out, travelling and generally doing what we normally do.

Most of us haven’t had to worry about losing employment as many of us are retired and are more or less reconciled to living on what we have managed to accumulate, or not.

But we have also probably missed out on attending to the ever-increasing needs of ‘body-maintenance’ that generally increases with age.  On the other hand, we have had more time than we needed to walk the block or local parks or do some gardening and more cooking than usual.

Vulnerability to COVID-19 is heightened in aged people – so people in the PA group have probably been extra careful about avoiding normal gatherings, minimising visits to supermarkets, wearing masks, taking wide tracks away from joggers and those without masks during walks, etc.

We have not performed a comprehensive survey of experiences, so please excuse this very limited speculation on what this unprecedented event has all meant.

There have been some benefits, like having time for reflection on our own lives and the wider world and its problems, (including the US election circus).  If we have been lucky enough to be internet-connected and reasonably competent, we have been better able than usual to explore subjects of interest as never before.  For some, watching for the daily cases reports and watching or listening to the 200 days of COVID updates from the Premier and CMO has dominated daily routines.

Social contacts of PA members with other members have been limited by phone only for some, or for others by regular fortnightly Zoom meetings on Tuesdays around lunchtime.  These have replaced the usual lunches at the Malvernvale Hotel on the third Tuesdays of each month from February to November.  The great benefit of this has been to allow members outside the Melbourne ‘hot zone’ to ‘Zoom in’ to join us from regional Victoria and interstate.

So for 2021 we intend to resume the lunches at the hotel (restrictions permitting) on third Tuesdays, and we will maintain the Zoom meetings monthly on the first Tuesdays.  We look forward to welcoming more regional and interstate members joining in on Tuesdays monthly next year.

John Robert (1962 Light Blue)

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Be Deadly Virtual

Be Deadly @ Somers has had two really successful years working to bring Indigenous kids – from all over Victoria – together to immerse themselves in discussions about their culture, connect with peers and take part in creative activities.

Be Deadly Virtual is a space where we can continue the cultural conversations, fun and friendship that the camp’s offered. It isn’t exclusive to previous participants and we are excited to welcome new year 7, 8 and 9’s to the program.

Be Deadly Virtual will run over three weeks, with sessions each Wednesday night beginning the 18/11. Each of the sessions will be guided by a theme: Always Was, Always Will Be, Always Deadly. The activities will be driven by creativity and storytelling, to encourage sharing of stories and ideas!

Register Now


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A note from our President and Camp Chief

I wish to extend thanks and congratulations to all of the staff members, Directors and Board committee members who were involved in the leadership, preparation and presentations that contributed to the success of our online 2020 Annual General Meeting on Monday evening. Gratitude is also extended to staff and members who contributed to the 2020 Annual Report which I commend to all members and which can be accessed here.

It was very pleasing to see such strong numbers of attendees connecting to the AGM and the diversity amongst the members involved was also great to see. The thoughtful and future focused nature of the questions posed at the end of the meeting indicated the strength of the ongoing commitment of our members to the sustainability and growth of LSC&PH.

The members of the staff, Board, PandA and other sub-committees are also very grateful for the commitment and creative thought that was contributed by those involved in the two Keeping the Spirit Alive (KTSA) workshops.

If any members have thoughts they would like to contribute to the conversation about the shape that our LSC&PH service to the broader community might take in the months ahead (big or small, individual or group)  please reach out to either myself (lscphpresident@gmail.com), Tim Ryan (timr@lordsomerscamp.org.au) and/or Vikki Deak (vikkid@lordsomerscamp.org.au) so we can add those to the ideas already gathered.

Stay safe and well.


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Expressions of Interest – Child Safety Committee

Expressions of Interest Open – Child Safety Committee Members 

We are seeking individuals to join the newly forming Child Safety Committee.

The Child Safety Committee are responsible for:

  • Understanding LSC&PH’s current policies and practices in relation to protecting the safety of children and young people participating in our programs
  • Creating new policies and practices where needed
  • Advising the Board on risks and strategy relating to child safety
  • Designing training and resources to ensure child safety capabilities across the organisation

We’re looking for individuals who have an interest or experience in any of the following:

  • Working with children and young people (eg teachers, social workers, medical professionals)
  • Designing organisational policy and/or internal communications
  • Understanding of current Child Safety legislation

We are establishing this committee to meet every second month initially as we set things up, we will then meet quarterly to monitor activity.

We promise it will be meaningful and fun and there will be opportunities for innovation and critical thinking! This opportunity is open to current members and volunteers and their networks.


Please get in touch with Brigid Canny, Chair Child Safety Committee, to express interest

brigidcanny@gmail.com | 0431 302 663

info@lordsomerscamp.org.au | 03 9510 7066

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