Serving the community was a big part of my family as I was growing up.
Dad was a member of Apex, which is a young men’s service association. Aside from work and some sport, this was the other big thing in his life. Mum has always had a strong social view too, interpreting for refugees for decades and recycling well before it was standard practice.
As a result I grew up with the experience that serving the community is a normal part of life. While I have learned how to be commercial, serving and community focus is who I am, and I believe who most people are. All of the value that we get from life is about the contribution, not the finances.
Often the key is to be able to work through our competing needs
Polished Man - Social Enterprise
In many countries such as South Africa a second strong theme is a very high rate of the abuse of children and women. A number of the entrepreneurs being supported are women and some are the most abused and disenfranchised members of their community.
When Elliot returned from Cambodia he told me a story about the treatment of women and children that blew me away and I had to support the Polished Man campaign, becoming a member and significant donator. It was compelling to me, the story was a personal one of experience and I felt no doubt of the need to support it.
There is a related need to challenge the male stereotypes in Australia.
I PREFER A POLISHED MAN
Asking the question “Am I polished really?” creates growth and change in my own world. It also challenges women to say “I prefer a polished man”, which I think is a brilliant campaign. As a father with children, one a daughter, to have this awareness of how others are abusing children around the world is shocking.
I was one of the highest fundraisers in the first couple of years. I brought my business thinking to the campaign, my own marketing material and gave significant contributions. I was compelled to do something about it and continue to be compelled.
If you are inspired by social enterprise, and able to contribute, I would love to hear from you directly about any way in which we can progress such causes together.