Tony Robertson Movember

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Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity event, housed at Movember.com. Wikipedia

#Movember time and the Mo on day 13 is light but stylish. This year I am part of the team from my old High School, St Joseph’s College Geelong​. The funds we raise will help to address issues of men’s health and well being.

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Feel free to click on this link and build my zero donation total to date to a reasonable standard. Thanks in advance.

Careering into the Future

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A good life is celebrated with rituals that mark significant milestones. Along with birthdays and commitments a rite of passage that many of us know is the ending of a career.

On April 6th  friends and people with whom I have journeyed gathered to celebrate my leaving Micah Projects after more than 11 years of advocacy and solidarity with Forgotten Australians, people who experience social,isolation as well as those who struggle to find a place in our culture and community.

The invitation to celebrations that went out through various networks included this amazing image that says much about my work and ethic. A few years ago I created “ Bananaman”, a promotional character for our fledgling social enterprise in South Brisbane. That enterprise now includes Hope Street Café.

The celebrations of farewell were led by people I have supported,  work colleagues, and members of the local West End Community.  As well as the obligatory speeches the ritual included a time of memories, cards and signing of the Banana suit. I am grateful to those who spoke, took pics and gathered for this rite of passage in  my 65th year.

 

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Nothing is quite as humbling as listening to other people speak of their memories of you. Work in the community sector can be demanding and  challenging as much as rewarding.  It is a diverse workforce that brings together people who can organise, strategize, plan, create, report, write grants, lobby,  budget, debrief, unpack, defuse, drive, intervene, document, and make a decent coffee.

The comments in memories and written on cards and the banana suit reminded me that I bring  a sense of  joy and  humour to  my work and life.  It probably isn’t one of the seven habits of highly effective people. It has been my strength and takes me back to a childhood memory. I was a at a footy match with a school friend when I over heard one of the parents say: “that Tony Robertson is a cheeky lad but you can’t help liking him”.

Bananaman has made  his curtain call.  The work of social change and advocacy includes wild humour, a good dose of eccentricity and a costume from eBay. The costume may be retired but the eccentricity and wild humour will continue in my work as a Community Jester.

 

Tony Goes Totally Wild

Welcome to my most recent foray into media and sharing some of my life as a social inclusion worker as well as a member of a dynamic community. Our local project at the Jane Street Community Garden featured recently on Totally Wild.You can pick up our segment from the 13.47 mark.

Yes, there is a reason why I seem to be trying to impersonate a sunflower with the bright yellow outfit but that’s a story for another day.Hope you enjoy this segment. You can follow the Jane Street Community Garden on our Facebook Page and our web site.

Smashing a goal is always awesome and that’s what today’s show is all about! We’re chatting to a guy planning a solo flight around the world, meeting some green thumbs making the world a better place and facing off against a professional soccer goalkeeper.
RPX.ME|BY NETWORK TEN

THE BOY FROM GEELONG BECOMES A LEGEND IN BRISBANE

Local Legend 2015In November 2015 I was one of several people awarded for their services and presence in the West End Community of Brisbane. The awards acknowledge “Local Legends” across the spectrum of those who contribute to the life and culture of West End.

I was honoured with the inaugural Community Engagement Award. I am so grateful and humbled by those who nominated me for this award. I owe so much to the late Aunty Maureen Watson, who was my first mentor into the local community. You cannot be a local legend on your own, and I acknowledge the relationships and opportunities that have come my way to inspire and encourage my community engagement.

Legends happen when stories are shared and lives are bonded in community. Thanks to The West End Magazine and the great film crew from Griffith University Film School for their creative engagement that saw the video project come to air.

This post is a collection of interviews and responses I gave following the acknowledgement.

612 ABC  Report and interview

West End Magazine

Banner pic from West End Magazine

Tony Robertson describes West End as a “celebration of diversity” in a wonderful short film produced by a talented group of Griffith film students. The West End Magazine film producer Ann Megalla acted as consultant on the project.

Tony works with Micah Projects as part of social inclusion team, largely assisting local people who have mental health problems or disabilities. He works to bring people together without differentiation through social and community activities. Tony is an everyday hero, embodying the true spirit of West End.

Local Legends Awards

The 2015 Local Legends Awards were held on Saturday 17 October at Miss Bliss Café, West End.

The Community Engagement Award: a recommendation of the judges Tim Quinn, Margie Gamble and Peter Marinelli went to Tony Robertson for his tireless work with local residents and aboriginal people.

Paladar Fumior Salon's photo. Congratulations to one of our stalwart regulars who received an unexpected recognition of his contribution to the wider community in the LOCAL LEGENDS scheme.

Being the unique soul that Tony Robertson is, the organisers had to come up with a new category to recognise Tony’s efforts as a social worker with the homeless at his work with MICAH PROJECTS, and his community engagement as the Community Jester, and social documenter in his photographic exploits, not to mention the banana suit!

Congratulations again and many thanks Tony, who has so been a part of Paladar’s landscape for the past decade and most certainly the wider local community.
Keep up the good work. We cheer and applaud you.

Hiroaki Eba

Artist , Hiroaki Eba with Local Legend Trophy

The award came with a certificate and a  piece of West End Sculpture. Local florist and artist Hiroaki Eba designed the ceramic vase trophy to hold tiny flowers.
Artist’s Statement:

I made the 2015 Local Legend Trophy for West End. This year I made them by ceramic, wire and string. The wire and string represents the Brisbane River and is shaped as the bend where West End is situated. The base of the trophy is a ceramic vase and can be used for tiny flowers. I received a lot of compliments for these. Thank you.
Congratulations also to the recipients of the Local Legends Awards! I hope you can enjoy your award for a long time.

Hiroaki Eba -Art's photo.