Learn how to become a changemaker in Dickson

By Lucy Ridge

Here’s how you can join local businesses owners, career coaches, and entrepreneurs to create positive change in your career and community. 

The Changemaker Career and Craft Hub has been hosting a series of inspirational events in the heart of Dickson village. These events are helping people to focus on their life goals and achieve success, whether through volunteering, a new business venture, joining a community project or changing their career.  

Frameworks for creating change

The first event, Reimagining How We Work saw participants explore concepts around the future of work and how they want to show up with Tim Mahlberg. They also discovered their hidden superpowers, thought about their values and were challenged to face-up to things that are within their control rather than worrying about things that aren’t. All that with career strategist Karina Dugard

Read a full blog post about the first event here.

Being mindful of strategies to uncover and explain transferable skills is something that interview coach Liza Tozer and career changer Lydia Teychenne helped attendees explore in the second workshop: Be the Change. Entrepreneur Megan Gilmour introduced the practical WOOP — Wish, Outcome, Obstacle and Plan — framework to help participants isolate their goals, and focus on overcoming inner obstacles to achieve external outcomes.

“Change is an inside job. We need to change on the inside first,” said Megan.

Read a full blog post about the second event here.

Claire Harris — the organiser of these events — said that her goal is to showcase amazing and positive local changemakers and help people channel their energy into meaningful and purposeful action. 

“Creating change — for your life, your family or your society — can be very hard work but also incredibly fulfilling. However, dealing with uncertainty, which we have all faced through 2020, can make the things we’re dealing with in life a bit more exhausting,” says Claire.

One participant in the Be The Change workshop used Megan’s framework to focus on her goal of finding a job that she enjoys. She created a plan to find people and resources to help her on her way to a more meaningful career. Asking for help is an important step on the way to becoming a Changemaker said Claire.

“We don’t have to make changes alone. I believe that starting with the choice to change and then having a chat with someone else helps,” she said.

The third workshop, Sustainability, food, life, showcased four locals committed to their work towards a more sustainable future: 

All of the speakers agreed on the power of community with Nicola Lambert saying, “We can all make a difference and my number one tip is to join a group. Showing up makes change and we can all start with one small thing.”

These four changemakers were inspiring as they spoke about what drives them to get up out of bed every day: having a healthy planet for future generations, a mix of hope and concern for the future, living to their values of helping others make a small difference each day, and all the positive things already happening in the community…

Value card sorting exercise at Changemaker Hub event.

Tim Mahlberg participating in the values exercise, run by Karina Dugard.

Value card sorting, group exercise at Changemaker Hub.

Values exercise on the ping pong table, facilitated by Karina Dugard.

Photo of the Changemaker Hub event.

Lisa Tozer, Lydia Teychenne and Megan Gilmour (left-right) spoke at the Be the Change workshop.

Find connection in public places

These events were organised with (grant) support from the City Renewal Authority, and part of their aim is to revitalise and reimagine public spaces around Dickson shops. So far, events have piqued the interest of people passing through the shopping area, and young families are especially enjoying the Craft and Catch-up Zone where everyone is invited to decorate a ‘Brave Bot’ for children at Calvary Hospital. 

But the public spaces in Dickson are more than just a location; they’re the key to the heart of this community. Jhay Mann owns a local business as well as being the Dickson Place Manager (along with his wife). He feels grateful to have been working in this special place for over two decades:

“The local community in Dickson is like no other. They have supported my business through thick and thin!” he said.

“I love Dickson because it’s the place that gave me the opportunity to change the direction of my life when I moved from Sydney.” 

Jhay is working with the Dickson Group Centre and the City Renewal Authority he is refreshing the area and facilitating events and activities to create positive experiences for visitors and locals. And he sees the Changemaker Hub program as an example of unleashing the potential from people-focused spaces that work with and for the local community. 

“I love the idea of this activation because it’s more than just an event. It’s an experience that is designed to be life changing and inspire new ways of looking at the future,” he said.

Diversity and culture in Dickson

Dickson is well known as a hub of diversity in Canberra. As well as a wide range of cuisines and restaurants, Dickson is also home to a diverse bunch of entrepreneurs who are changing the way business is done. The final Changemaker event for this year (Changing: Business, Culture, Us) will give people the chance to ‘speed network’ with some of these incredible business owners and hear about the different ways they are affecting positive change in the Dickson community. 

Business owners, community organisers and local changemakers featured include: Angel Zhang from Super Bao; Rebecca Taylor from Bec Taylor’s Music School; Jhay Mann, Dickson Place Manager and local business owner; David Jacquier, TROVE/Game Candy; Wendy Moore TROVE/After the Monsoon; Irene Lemon from Millhouse Ventures; Simon Felgate, Vinnies; and, Nicola Lambert, Sullivan’s Trail.

How to get involved

If you’d like to become a changemaker in your community be sure to register for the final free workshop and come along to learn more about how you can create change and participate in your community. Anyone is welcome to drop in and have a chat, and perhaps decorate a Brave Bot while in conversation with inspirational local leaders, and other aspiring changemakers. 

The final workshop for 2020 is this Friday 4th December, so don’t miss out. Register now! And make sure you are following us to hear what our changemakers have in store for 2021.


The Changemaker Career and Craft Hub provides an opportunity to be part of local community gatherings, including workshops and a Craft and Catch-up zone. These events are run by Claire Harris from Innovate Communicate and supported by the City Renewal Authority.

You can read all about the changemakers involved in the event at: the Our Changemakers: Full Biographies page.


Sustainability, food, life event.

Panel: Lyn Stephens, Mark Howden, Emma Mason and Nicola Lambert (left-right)

Images by Claire Harris.

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