Having worked with The Salvation Army in the past, and having run my own training business, I immediately fell in love with this job when I was looking for my next opportunity to contribute. Even before I interviewed for this role, I had high admirations for Helen, the founder of Good Things Foundation from an entrepreneurial perspective, and also on the vision and values of the organisation.
They say that the quickest way to learn is to observe and ask - and I definitely did a lot of those in my first few weeks. And here’s what I’ve learnt:
- We have a strong team! - I am truly inspired by how the team ensures that every one of our network partners receive the support they need - whether its support on how to apply for a grant, or how to register and support learners on our learning management system.
- We have a growing network! - I was and still am very impressed with the network partners that we have - and we have 988 of them to date. A great group of engaged people who really want to continue being change makers, and who believe in the Be Connected program as a platform to continually and positively transform older Australians. I feel really grateful to have been given this opportunity to contribute in the capacity of Head of Network to this fabulous group of people!
- We are doing meaningful work! - In all honesty, developing and supporting a nationwide network in a country as big as Australia has its fair share of challenges. But what gets me out of bed every morning is the knowledge, that our work as a team, is bringing families together (when older Australians can get onto Skype and other digital platforms to communicate with their families, no matter where they are), getting more older Australians online so they have more options to shop, pay their bills and bank. Most importantly, our work allows the independent to continue being independent, while supporting them through this journey.
Vision for the future
My wish is to see Good Things Foundation and the Be Connected program grow with the community, over the years. I am confident that we will progress, through great ideas, opportunities and of course, feedback from the network.
Sharmila Sivalingam - Head of Network
Sharmila is the Head of Network at Good Things Foundation. Within this capacity, she focuses on building and supporting our network of organisations dedicated to digital inclusion. She aims to see the network and Good Things Foundation grow through shared experiences, dialogue and knowledge.