Spring-Summer 2019

July Roadshow in Geelong

Roadshow is a special work of the State Youth Team in Victoria. Operating as a conference made up of young adult members, Roadshow aims to support children in regional communities whose families are being assisted through home visitation. Operating since 2003, Roadshow has recently changed from an annual week-long event to running multiple weekend activities over the year.

The July Roadshow, taking place in Norlane, Geelong, marked the start of a new era; the introduction of a new system! Despite a sparkly new model, the mission of Roadshow is still the same; to bring activity days to communities in Victoria which don’t have a Young Adult St Vincent de Paul Society Conference enabling a small break for parents and fun for their kids.

The new model focuses in on one particular town/area, rather than spreading the conference’s attention over two or three different places in a short space of time. This allows a more comprehensive and dynamic day to be planned and executed, as well as a smaller commitment requirement from our wonderful volunteers. The most recent roadshow in Geelong saw two busloads of volunteers leave on a chilly July Saturday afternoon, and return Sunday evening after having run a very successful roadshow activity day.

Another change focuses on the development of higher volunteer to children ratios and leadership opportunities for volunteers. There were just shy of 20 volunteers (with six involved in administration) and 30 kids on the day, meaning excellent volunteer-to-child ratios. This resulted in an almost seamless day, with everything running smoothly and the kids having the best day they could have had. When asked to comment on the day, these are some of the responses received:

“The day was really fun and I enjoyed it. It was good to meet different people”- Rachel

“The people were all so nice”- Laura

As mentioned, there are now extensive opportunities to engage in leadership in Roadshow. The new program allows volunteers with minimal experience to step up into important roles such as supervisor and coordinator, with mentoring from some of Roadshow’s elite. On a personal level, having only been on one roadshow before Geelong, was offered the opportunity to be supervisor on the day. I was nervous at first, but through some amazing mentoring from the experienced team, I ended up having just as much fun as the kids, as well as having developed my leadership skills significantly.

Finally, the new model incorporates a new initiative from the wonderful Emily Wardeiner, where parents of the kids on the activity day are offered the opportunity to call into a local coffee shop for a free coffee and chat. Not only does this give the parents a chance for a break, but it also supports local businesses.

All in all, it was a very successful start to the new model of Roadshow, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for us. Stay tuned for announcements about Warrnambool in September, we will be recruiting volunteers soon, and all are welcome!

Lachy Faktor is the Roadshow Special Works Conference Secretary.

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