Community

How to change the world in 18 minutes

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE: Roman Spur talks to West Moreton Anglican College students, Georgia Nielsen, Lachlan Palmisano and Harrison Spencer-Matthews about sustainable living and how to grow your own food. In the background is Megan Bayliss, founder of Junk Weavers Inc.
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE: Roman Spur talks to West Moreton Anglican College students, Georgia Nielsen, Lachlan Palmisano and Harrison Spencer-Matthews about sustainable living and how to grow your own food. In the background is Megan Bayliss, founder of Junk Weavers Inc. Helen Spelitis

A SMALL act of kindness, turning your home into a sustainable farm or going for a ride on your bike are all ways to change the world.

It might not sound that way when you consider it on a small scale, but each action from one person in a community adds up.

Would you go out of your way every day to do someone else a kindness, no matter how they looked?

West Moreton Anglican College high school student Georgia Nielsen would.

And since hearing the inspirational words of a woman who has helped thousands find a way out of poverty and oppression, she is more determined than ever to show kindness to everyone she meets.

Georgia's was one face in a crowd of 100 at Firestation 101 that heard nine inspirational stories from people who truly believe an individual has the power to change the world.

On Saturday, for the first time ever, Ipswich hosted a TEDx event as part of the global TED movement, an organisation devoted to the spread of 'ideas worth sharing'.

Each speaker is given 18 minutes to make their presentation, to prove with a little effort, an open mind and a positive attitude anything is possible.

Megan Bayliss, founder of The Junk Weavers Inc at Ipswich's first TEDx event, held at Firestation 101 on Saturday.
Megan Bayliss, founder of The Junk Weavers Inc at Ipswich's first TEDx event, held at Firestation 101 on Saturday. Helen Spelitis

For Georgia the words of Megan Bayliss really struck a chord.

Ms Bayliss runs a not-for-profit organisation called The Junk Weavers Inc that teaches women to turn garbage into useable items like bags and pencil cases through weaving.

Ms Bayliss sells them online and returns the money to the women, empowering them to change their circumstances.

It's the idea of 'up-cycling' people who have no hope, no opportunities and who are otherwise looked down upon by society.

Like every story, Ms Bayliss's started with a small action and has now become known internationally.

"I really connected with her presentation," Georgia, 17 said.

"I love the idea of 'up-cycling' and being to help people in the community.

"I'd like to think I am kind to everyone I meet, but from today I will be really putting myself out there and consciously making those connections rather than waiting for the opportunity to come by."

Fellow student Lachlan Palmisano, 17 was more taken with speaker Roman Spur's idea of sustainable living.

Mr Spur is in the process of turning a property at Fernvale into a productive food source to make his family less reliant on society.

He's proven it's possible at an inner city Brisbane property and that notion of reducing human impact on the natural eco-system inspired Lachlan, whose family already grows a few things at home.

"I've got a large backyard and my father is a gardener," Lachlan said.

"We had development happening next door and we didn't want that really looking into our backyard so we started growing and it just kind of grew from there."

With passionate fruit vines and mango trees animals are regular visitors to Lachlan's home where a small eco-system is thriving.

It's not on par with what Roman has created, but it's a step in the right direction.

Topics:  community, environment, sustainability, tedx



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