Access to free career help

Do you need help to find your dream career? Free appointments are now available at Corio Library, with a professional career counsellor able to help you plan a pathway to your next job. You can also get help with job application documents and job search strategies.

All you need to do is register and make a free, confidential appointment, available each Wednesday You can also attend a drop-in session to get tips on preparing a resume and information on where to search for jobs or qualifications.

Follow-up support includes online career counselling via phone or on campus at The Gordon TAFE, online workshops, and referrals to other organisations, including courses offered at community centres, TAFE and university.

Your privacy is respected, and the free service is separate from Workforce Australia providers.

The free career service is thanks to a partnership between the Gordon Skills and Jobs Centre (SJC) and Geelong Regional Libraries.

Corio Library Co-ordinator Lesley Caelli welcomed the expert service, operating onsite since late May, saying it complemented the library service and included computer and internet access in quiet spaces to prepare job applications.

To book your appointment or learn more, call the Gordon Skills and Job Centre on 5225-0700 or visit

Corio Library is on the corner of Cox Rd and Moa Street.

Former students sharing knowledge

The Alumni program at Northern Bay College, now in its second year, has benefitted from talented and knowledgeable alumni who have returned to their own school to share their insights on life post school. This program runs a variety of alumni events, including career panels.

Co-ordinator Alison Meredith said “hearing from real-world people, people who grew up in the same neighbourhood, is so impactful and has hopefully inspired students in our career panels to think about their own future pathway.

“A career panel was held to help Year 9 students start to think longer term, to begin to decide what pathway they might want to get into, and to be exposed to lots of different careers.

“Inviting back five alumni guests to our Goldsworthy Campus, in a question and answer format, we asked them to speak on their career, or study, and to explain what they do, and how they go into their pathway.

“Our panel (pictured) consisted of: Kellee Reissinger (Corio Tech), curator, Geelong Botanic Gardens; Ty Gilson (NBC 2022), Bachelor of Science (Maths and Statistics); Joshua Barling (NBC 2013), industrial electrician; Lisamaree Bottomley (NBC 2020), Bachelor of Environmental Science and working at Corangamite Catchment Authority; and Stephen Kennedy (NBC 2020), timber machinist, A&R Timber.

“An event for Year 7 and 8 students saw many rush up to ask more questions of the featured panel, which comprised Jasmine Lawrence (NBC 2010), In Work support consultant; Luke McConarchy (NBC 2009), electrician and business owner; Samantha Wilson (NBC 2018), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce; and Cody Jeynes (NBC 2022), Bachelor of Space Science Degree.

“Early in the year we welcome back some alumni to speak to our VM (formerly VCAL) students. They were: Tony Harvey (Corio Community College), sport and marketing consultant; Sarah McNiven (NBC 2021), farming apprenticeship; Shae Charlton: (NBC 2020), Interior Design student.”

Are you NBC alumni?

If you attended Corio Tech, Corio North High, Norlane High, Corio Community College, Corio Senior College, Flinders Peak SC, and Northern Bay College, the Alumni program would love to hear from you. Check out the Facebook group for some yearbook photos and updates: or via [email protected].

MusicSpace after school option

Young people who love music can now access a new program, MusicSpace After-School, at Cloverdale Community Centre.

MusicSpace After-School is a Bluebird Foundation program held weekly for young people to get involved in music, or to further develop their music skills. Anyone can join in at MusicSpace After-School regardless of music experience and the program welcomes people with disability and other diverse needs.

Young people work with professional musicians including a Registered Music Therapist to develop their interests, whether it is to learn an instrument, develop vocal skills, be a song writer, play in a band, perform, record or just hang out with fellow music lovers.

Program manager Mel said: “When you come along, you can let us know what you wish to do with your music, and we will support you to follow that dream. Even if you are not sure what you want to do, you will meet other music-loving people, learn a few skills and discover your passions along the way.

“The program is supported by funding from the Cassandra Gantner Foundation and the APCO Foundation. This allows young people to access the pilot program for at least two school terms or until their NDIS funding review comes around. They can then use their NDIS or TAC funding. We will meet with people individually to discuss how this will work for them. For privately funded attendance, please talk to us about costs and payments.”

MusicSpace After-School does not include any personal support needs. If the young person requires a support worker to attend and/or participate, this will need to be sourced and funded separately.

The program runs every Thursday from 3.30om-4.30pm during school terms at Cloverdale Community Centre,167-169 Purnell Road, Corio. It is for 13–18-year-olds who have an interest in music

For more information or to fill out an expression of interest, go to or contact the program manager, Mel on 0448-313-462 or email [email protected].

Labuan Square upgraded

The streetscape upgrade to Labuan Square in Norlane has been officially opened.

Cr Anthony Aitken said the rejuvenation of Labuan Square has been a long-term priority for Windermere Ward councillors. The project was put on the agenda back in 2018, and received wider Council support to upgrade the streetscape, with better surfaces, play items, furniture, and gardens.

“On the back of this commitment, and significant public input, the Victorian Government provided support via two separate grants,” Cr Aitken said. “It was fantastic to see the community using the more attractive and vibrant space, at the official opening of the space in early August.”

The City of Greater Geelong contributed $405,000 to the project along with $326,000 contributed by the Victorian Government through the Department of Jobs Skills Industry and Regions (DJSIR) COVID Safe Outdoor Place Activation Fund ($100,000) and the Department of Justice and Community Safety, Creating Safer Places grant ($226,000).

Features of the work include:

  • Streetscape improvements, which also feature smart nodes, CCTV and free public Wi-Fi.
  • Additional amenities, such as a toilet, shelter, and children’s waterplay fountain.
  • A public mural, by Nikki McKenzie, Norm Stanley and Tarryn Love, which highlights First Nations creativity and culture.

The landscaping and art installations reference the nearby Cowies Creek, providing a unique, local touch and a strong sense of community pride.

Cr Aitken said: “This upgrade is a big step towards the reactivation that this part of Geelong deserves. There is also a great opportunity to create an exciting new era for Labuan Square.”

Art for healing and connection

Art therapy as a way of helping with healing and building connection is being explored at Cloverdale Community Centre, and the community has opportunities to find out more about the practice at mini workshop sessions in October.

Trainee art therapist Anna Hurley is based at the centre as part of her university studies. In Term 4, Anna will be at the centre on Tuesdays and Fridays.

“I am very excited to be working with the team at Cloverdale as a trainee art therapist for the next few months,” Anna said. “Prior to this, I have worked in schools, teaching arts and photography.”

During her placement at Cloverdale, Anna is also supporting other staff in group training sessions. She provides creative activities that are linked to the topics being discussed by the group.

Anna provided the following information to help better understand her role:

You’re probably asking what is art therapy?

First and foremost, you don’t have to be an artist to use art therapy and it can include all sorts of media and materials, depending on your own preferences.

Neuroscience is now confirming the positive effects that working with the arts in all their forms have on our mental health in numerous ways.

There is strong evidence to show that artmaking and expression through artistic processes can change our brain and behaviour.

How can it help me?

Art therapy can be healing in many ways:

  • It can provide space away from our everyday stresses.
  • Help with emotional regulation and accessing nonverbal/internal worlds.
  • Give you opportunities to express your inner thoughts, while helping you to better understand and make sense of your emotions and your mental health.
  • Connect you with a sense of meaning and help you with communicating this to others.
  • Allow you to recognise your own growth and inner strength.
  • Can be practised with individual clients, families and groups or provide tools for your own self-care.

For anyone who would like to find out more about art therapy, Anna is conducting free mini workshops at Cloverdale Community Centre on Tuesdays October 3 and 10, from 12.30pm until 1.30pm.

Playgroups are not just for kids

Parents and carers of young children are encouraged to get involved with a playgroup to help connect themselves and their children to the local community.

A playgroup is a group of parents or caregivers with their babies, toddlers and preschool children who get together regularly for play and social interaction. A range of playgroups are held throughout the Corio and Norlane area. Some are council-run, some are facilitated by agencies and services. All have the common aim of using fun and play to connect with others.

Helen O’Connor, from Northern Bay College’s Family Centre, said playgroup is a fun and playful experience for parents and carers to share with their child and with other families. 

“Playgroups at our centre are run by committed staff who rely on relationship building, sharing ideas and simply brightening the day for the adults and the children. I strongly recommend playgroups. There are excellent ones in our local area.

“Each Northern Bay College campus offers playgroups, and this could be a great starting point if you want to join in. Session times, days and frequency vary across centres and may depend on the families who are attending. Sessions are free and joining a playgroup important for a range of reasons.”

At Our Place Northern Bay there are several choices for parents or carers and their pre-school, aged from birth to five years. No child is ever too young to go to playgroup.

Our Place staff, who are based at Korayn Birralee Family Centre, know that a child’s learning from birth to three years of age is one of the most important and vital stages of their lives. And playgroup helps set them up for the next step in their learning journey to Kinder.

Meli provides a free playgroup at Korayn Birralee Family Centre on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The playgroup is free and is facilitated by experienced and supportive staff. The Thursday playgroup also has a bi-lingual support worker which assists families to feel welcome and supported.

Playgroups provide families with so many benefits. Not only do children have the opportunity to socialise, learn and practice new skills, but parents and carers also benefit in so many ways. It is a place to meet other parents and carers of young children, share ideas and learn from one another.

For more information about Our Place Northern Bay, call in to Korayn Birralee Family Centre, 146 Purnell Road Corio or email [email protected].

The Northern Bay College Family Centre is at 25 Goldsworthy Road, Corio, phone 5224-9791.

More information about playgroups is also available on the Playgroups Victoria website –

Free programs for families

Our Place Northern Bay has a range of weekly programs and activities for families to try. The team has provided the following information:

Are you looking for a fun, friendly and supportive playgroup? The Wexford Supported Playgroup runs on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9.30am until 11am, during school terms.

Storytime is also a good opportunity to come along and listen to stories, songs and meet others. With a guest reader from local community services and organisations each week, it is a great way to spend time with your child and foster their love of reading.

Remember your baby/child is never too young to be introduced to reading. Storytime runs every Thursday morning during term from 9.10am until 9.30am.

My Time is a free program offered every Wednesday morning from 9am-11am, during term. My Time is for parents and carers of a child with a disability, chronic medical condition or other additional needs including developmental delay. It is a space to unwind and share experiences with others who understand.

Our Place Northern Bay also has parenting programs, free support for families throughEarly Help Families Support, English Conversation group and more. 

All programs are free and anyone from the local community is welcome.

For more information and to keep up to date with activities on the site and in the local community, follow us on Facebook send an email to [email protected] or drop by and say hello to the staff of Our Place – Rebecca, Tanya and Karen. We are situated at Korayn Birralee Family Centre, 146 Purnell Road, Corio.

Little athletes need helpers

Anyone looking for a welcoming, fun way to give back to their community is likely to find something to suit them at the Corio Little Athletics Centre.

The centre is recruiting volunteers for its summer season, with roles available in the canteen, coffee-making, first aid, barbecue, coaching, as event officials and helpers, time keeping, race starting, photography, announcing, setting up equipment and administration roles.

The Little Athletics Centre, based at Goldsworthy Reserve, relies on a team of volunteers who are current parents, community members, and parents or grandparents of past athletes who have stayed because they enjoy the atmosphere so much.

There is much to be gained by volunteering – meeting new friends, becoming part of a team and making a difference. Volunteers are valued for bringing their existing skills and being supported to learn new ones.

Several volunteers have been with the Centre for many years and love being able to provide the Little Aths experience to today’s athletes.

Meridith and her son joined the Centre four years ago and soon realised what a great family activity Little Aths is. When the canteen manager retired, she saw an opportunity to use her experience and took over the role. 

Meridith has also recently become the Centre Secretary and loves volunteering “to give back to the community and for socialisation”.

Past athletes are also staying on, building the start of the next generation of volunteers. Jess is a race walk judge and first aider during summer and sets up equipment for schools during winter. Jess volunteers “because I like giving back to the community who supported me”.

Some volunteer roles require a Working with Children Check. For information, contact Meridith, phone 0412-166-760 or email [email protected]

Wilderness camp fun for kids

Children from Geelong’s northern suburbs were among a group of 80 who experienced the Lions Village Licola children’s wilderness camp, thanks to the Lions Club of Geelong Corio Bay.

Licola is a former timber town located 54 kilometres north of Heyfield and at the gateway to the Alpine National Park. The children’s village comprises was purchased by Lions clubs of southern New South Wales and Victoria in the late 1960s.

Camp organiser Brian Edward, who is a retired police officer, said: “The purpose of these adventure camps is to provide children aged 8 to 11 an opportunity to live in a community setting and to participate in challenging outdoor activities designed to promote self-worth and to allow them to rise to their full potential.”

“This is a big ask of some children who are away from home and challenged to make decisions about first-time participating in a variety of outdoor activities,” he said.

“The children are always in the care of child-safe volunteers, and they take advice from outdoor activity specialists. They are encouraged to listen to instructions and to make decisions about, for example, being fitted into a harness and taking that first step off a platform that sends them flying down the flying fox zip line. Their after-activity smiles and reactions are unforgettable.”

Brian said the children participated in activities from arts and crafts and indoor games, to being harnessed and lifted to great heights and then pulling a pin on a giant swing.

“Many children overcame their fear of heights. Mini golf, disc golf, the trampolines were popular and they all participated in a last night camp concert. They talked to one another, encouraged one another and made new friends”.    

The 80 children who attended the camp were jointly sponsored at $400 per child by the Dawn Wade Foundation, The Howard Glover Trust, West Carr and Harvey (Accountants) and Geelong Community Foundation.  

The next Lions Village Licola camp is programmed to take place in January 2024.

Corio Foodshare program

St Andrew’s Church in Corio provides important support for the community with its Foodshare program. Spokesperson Anne Asciak said the program has been running for more than 20 years.

The community Foodshare program is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am until 3pm. It takes place at the rear of the Op Shop (next to the church) in Bacchus Marsh Road.

The program is for Centrelink Card Holders who live in the church’s service range – Corio, North Shore, Bell Post Hill, Lovely Banks and some parts of North Geelong.

Anne said the program is run by volunteers who enjoy helping others and “doing something for the community.”

Eligible community members can receive a food parcel once a month. Each parcel contains pantry staples such as long-life milk, cereal, bread, pasta, pasta sauce and tinned goods. Additional items are sometimes available.

Anne said food for the service is received from Food Bank and Geelong Food Relief, as well as donations from the community. A recent appeal through Bay FM resulted in a restock of the shelves that had been “almost empty”.

The service welcomes donations of non-perishable food items as well as excess fruit and vegetables from people who grow their own produce. They can be delivered during the program’s opening hours.

For more information, phone 0451-095-881.