Tag Archives: wagga

My New Show on waggawagg.tv


The Adam Drummond Show – PLAY

On this week’s episode I say something really inappropriate during an interview with Tim “Rosso” Ross and musician Kit Warhurst.  Yes, it’s embarrassing and yes Rosso takes full advantage of the situation.

We also find out whether these “Man About the House” mates know each other as much as they think they do (wait til you see their horrendous scores in my little game show “I’m Your Mate, I Swear”.)

And finally I introduce you to a recurring character in the Adam Drummond Show.  A sweet, little, old lady called Mavis.  A chicken farmer with racy memories of her youth.

Hit the Facebook or Twitter buttons at the bottom of the episode to share with friends!  Hope you enjoy.

Who Are My Target Clients?

I was recently speaking with someone in the automotive industry who said something really profound about their business.  He said, “I’m not worried about reaching my existing clients, as they already know where to find us.  I’m worried that my existing clients’ kids won’t know how to find us.”  He went on to explain that for decades (family business handed down by dad and probably even granddad) his customers had what is commonly referred to as “generational loyalty”.  The notion that a service or product is used by all family members because that’s where mum and dad go, and that’s where their mum and dad went and so on.

Simply put he said: “that’s gone.”

Nowadays some offspring in the Gen X, Y and the iGen will not use a product or service just BECAUSE their parents used that product or service.

“I want to tap into the next Gen,” he continued.  “How do we build loyalty with a market we have never before been in touch with?”

Of course this kind of enlightened thinking in business is music to my ears because for the last 12 months I’ve been in the very competitive social media space, and it’s not the first time I’ve heard this exact sentiment from dozens of other businesses from completely different industries.  Accountants, solicitors, banks, real estate agents, hair dressers, mechanics, café owners, publicans…the list goes on.  And the reason it’s music to my ears is because we have just created a platform that allows that very market to be tapped into.  And not in a talking at you kind of way, but a talking to you,  kind of way – through video stories.

Video stories are the way of the future when it comes to promoting a brand to the masses.  Narrative driven videos that can explain not so much why you’re the best at what you do, but what you can do for your customers.

mansion resized

I recently did a presentation in front of the medical profession in the beautiful Mansion Hotel and Spa in Werribee just outside of Melbourne (think Downton Abbey on steroids) all about imagery and video in their practice, and the three steps I highlighted as being the most critical were:

  1. Concept
  2. Production
  3. Distribution

The primary point however was the good old “WIIFM” mentality.  Right at the start of this process, within the concept stage, the question has to be raised, “have we addressed the WIIFM?”  WIIFM stands for “what’s in it for me?”  This is what we ask ourselves as consumers every time we take out our wallet or click play on a video.  What do we get out of it?  How will it improve my life?  Does it solve my problem?

So going back to the gentleman in the automotive industry, his question has become, “what’s in it for the next generation?”

Here’s what the next generation want:

  • Speed of delivery
  • Convenience and accessibility (usually via the internet)
  • Someone they can Trust
  • Value for money
  • Respect (without judgement)

Here’s what you need from the next generation:

  • To be found

If they don’t know where you are or what you do (for them) then you better hope that “generational loyalty” is strong – because guess what…the next gen are one day going to be THE gen who purchase and remain loyal.  “It’s a marathon, not a sprint” as John McGrath once told a room full of people I was in way back in my first year in real estate and that statement remains true for all aspects of business.  Start your video marketing now, in front of the target market of tomorrow and establish relationships of trust for the long term.

Adam Drummond is an actor, presenter, speaker and CEO of waggawagga.tv

15th May 2015 – Launch of waggawagga.tv 

6:30pm gates open at MTC Wagga and general public are FREE with access to bar and food to purchase on the night.  Entertainment all night by Groove Factorie and you will have the chance to meet John Wood from Blue Heelers, Rosso from TV and Radio, Ben from BB12 plus loads more local and national celebrities on the red carpet premiere.

If you would like to know more about what waggawagga.tv is and how it may benefit your business through either advertising or by appearing in the business directory, simply email info@waggawagga.tv or call 02 6971 7771.  One on one demonstrations of the site are still available if you would like to see it with your own eyes.

The Deception in Advertising

call to actionFor an audio version of this BLOG, click play below.

I think that as a society we have become really apprehensive about where we spend our money when it comes to promoting our business.  I’ll never forget a quote I read on The Wagga Business Chamber’s Facebook page once:

“The trouble with small businesses is that they think like a small business” – and being a small business operator it strikes me how true that statement is.  I’m constantly challenged by the stress associated with deciding where the best ROI will be when promoting our business (and when I was a consultant it was even harder!)

So as a business community, we are really quick to put the hand up and say “no, not for me” before even knowing what something is.  I do it all the time with telemarketers.  No sooner have they said “Hi Mr Drummond, I want to share with you a way to make thousands of dollars more per year” than they hear the sound of a reversing bus on the line.  “No, not for me.”

And hence my title of today’s blog post.  “The Deception in Advertising”.  The deception is that advertising in different mediums is NOT for everyone, as much as those in advertising would like to believe.  I’m now in advertising and I’d love to shout from the roof tops that what we are offering is for every single business – but that’s not true.  For starters we are online and not everyone is online.  We are also locally based and not everyone cares about what is happening in someone else’s town.

Beyond those obvious issues though are far more tangible ones.  Advertising on waggawagga.tv is not for the following business people:

-        We already make enough money so there is no need to promote ourselves

-        We are extremely comfortable with our current advertising budget and don’t see a need to reinvent the wheel

-        We have more customers than we can poke a stick at, so don’t need any more coming into our space

-        We are not believers in the fact that consumers make decisions online when surfing the web (not convinced of online advertising)

-        We don’t know if people would log on to watch local content just because there is local content on there – we are sceptical as to whether or not they will come back

-        Our target market is over 55’s only and we don’t think they will log onto social media sites or watch local content online

Pretty much anyone who has these sentiments (even one or more) may not be suitable for what we are offering.  It may seem strange for me to bring these points up, but I’m a massive believer in creating conversations around objections before they become objections.  In my real estate days I even had a term for it as scribbled down at a national real estate conference in 2004 when Michael Sheargold referred to it as “framing” the situation.  What’s the point of sweeping legitimate concerns under the carpet in the hope that people won’t think about those legitimate concerns?

So far we have had an amazing amount of support from both small and large businesses keen to give this new medium a shot.  Here is a sample of what a lot of them are saying:

-        We are targeting a younger demographic and the shows you are producing and are planning to produce will speak to that demographic

-        We like the idea that we have time to tell a story in an engaging way through the medium of video and it won’t cost us a bucket load

-        We like to be associated with new and exciting ventures that benefit our city

-        If it isn’t where people are right now, it’s only a matter of time and we love what you are producing (even though technically we haven’t even seen it yet!)

-        “Mate, it’s that inexpensive at the moment – what am I even risking?”

-        We’ve got to try new things because if nothing changes nothing changes, and we need things to change

So there is the balance to this little blog.  Yes, we won’t be for everyone and it would be naïve to think otherwise, but yes, we will appeal to others who are cutting edge and want to be in a space they currently have little control over.  (The biggest common element I’ve discovered over a two week period speaking to over 60 business people is that most of them either have a video or know that a video would help their business promotion, but nearly no one had a suitable place to HOUSE the video.)

If there is deception in advertising, it is quite often just thinking that one shoe fits all, when clearly everyone has different sized feet.  Choose the shoe that promotes you the best…well…you know what I mean.

Adam Drummond is an actor, presenter, speaker and CEO of waggawagga.tv

If you would like to know more about what waggawagga.tv is and how it may benefit your business through either advertising or by appearing in the business directory, simply email info@waggawagga.tv or call 02 6971 7771.  One on one demonstrations of the site are still available if you would like to see it with your own eyes.

“Seriously, mate – just tell me what the #@*% it is…”

Don’t have time to read all of this?  Click for the audio version.

The steepest bloody learning curve of my life, is what it is!  But this particular enlightenment “tell me what the #@*% it is…” came straight after one of my presentations to local businesses wanting to know more about waggawagga.tv.  And believe it or not, it wasn’t said in a nasty way – quite the opposite – it was encouraging!

“Adam,” this particular person who I admire said after seeing my demo, “that was 98% a great demonstration of what your product is – it’s new, it’s exciting, it solves a lot of problems for businesses locally, and the presentation was terrific…but I just want to give you advice on the 2% that can be improved ever so slightly, if I may?”

Being the sponge I am for more knowledge and never telling a dairy cow not to provide milk (I thought of that analogy whilst typing, feel free to use it where you see fit) I simply said – “please fill me in, I need all the help I can get.”

“Well,” he continued, “it took about two or three minutes for you to describe your product.  I would highly recommend you tell your audience within the first two to three seconds.  Do you think you can do that?”

You’ll notice he didn’t actually swear.  But he was saying, “I’ve come to find out more, I’m there for 45 to 60 minutes – I want to know why I’m there straight away.”  And that makes sense.

“Of course I can.  Thanks for the tip” and I’ve been saying what the product is within two to three seconds ever since.  I can’t thank this bloke enough for his encouraging advice, and I won’t say who he is, but he knows who I’m referring to…after all I’m directly quoting him about three days after he said these words…and again disclaimer…I’ve never heard this bloke swear…ever…That’s my paraphrasing to grab attention in the heading.

This is NOW how I start my presentations:

“We are an online media and short-form entertainment platform, promoting local business through advertising opportunities and providing a major business directory for locals and tourists.”

There…I guess you could also call that our Mission Statement.  We want to create an audience interested in specifically local entertainment and information content and in doing so, grow the audience for local businesses who promote themselves on our new media site.

Probably one of the most important distinctions between what we will be providing and what other media outlets provide, is the short-form and online nature of our content.  We will have a 24/7 broadcast operating in the site that we expect most people will not sit down to and digest in 30 minutes or a couple of hours like traditional TV or radio, or even like online streaming services such as STAN and Netflix.  Our platform slips into the social media market, the YouTube audiences and those doing a bit of web surfing.  They’ll flick through online channels such as Facebook, Twitter, watch a video on YouTube, check out the scores from the weekend sports and then come to waggwagga.tv to find out what’s on locally.

And another distinction I want to make very clear to businesses everywhere…your advertising budget should suit your target market, your reach and your frequency.  In other words the audience for local terrestrial TV, radio and print does not go away just because there are more tangible options now available online.  It’s really important to maintain your brand’s exposure over as many mediums as possible.  If anything, the trick is to choose when and how often it appears.

I can even speak from experience having just booked my first ever air time with STAR FM locally.  Even though yes, we are another media outlet, and yes we will be asking for advertising to create a revenue stream, we still need to market ourselves, and radio has a great local audience.  It may be a different demographic to those attending a local retirement expo, but it’s the audience we are after.

People still pick up a magazine or read the local paper, so it depends on who you are wanting to reach and how often you want to reach them.

I guess the other problem we are helping to solve for local businesses, is we are giving them a place to present their business in a video format.  Many people I’ve met have already made fantastic videos that showcase their offerings but the strategy around exposure has been a bit hit and miss.  After being on your website for six months, or your Facebook page and YouTube account – or even the Vimeo account of your production company, the views start to drop off dramatically.  Here we are giving you an affordable place to house your productions, whether they be through our video directory listing or our broadcast system.

And finally, you have time to breathe.  Not just now because you’ve managed to read all of this, but in the way you promote yourself on our platform.  Because of the nature of online broadcast, we can give businesses the space to tell a real story about themselves or their customers.  Our promotions can be 1, 2 or even 3 minutes in duration and tell a great story that customers will be interested in.  In fact we want audiences to feel these promotions are part of the content itself rather than an interruption to the content.  Narrative driven video promotions are the way of the future and now as a business you have a place to tell your many unique stories.

I hope you can join us on this exciting journey, a first of its kind in Australia (as far as anyone can tell) and beginning right here in good old Wagga Wagga.  Come and join us on May 15th at the MTC Wagga for our official launch as we make the site live and start entertaining locals in a completely new format with familiar faces, favourite local destinations and a true Wagga flavour.  Sponsors can contact me for packs that promote you before the night, on the night and after the night by emailing info@waggawagga.tv   General public are completely free and will have access to a bar and food as well as entertainment by Groove Factorie.  VIP tickets to the Members Lounge at the MTC are available for $99 plus booking fee with drink, food, celebrity meet and greets and entertainment provided all night in the ticket price.  Book your VIP ticket here or for more information about the platform, to make an enquiry about being involved or for more information about launch night, click here.

Holy Moly – This is Happening!

You know that moment when you wake up at 2.38am, eyes wide open and a mind filled with “to-do” lists not yet written?  It’s hard to get back to sleep isn’t it?  It’s in moments like these, as you stare at your poorly propped digital clock on the sock drawer, that you realise – “bugger me…this is really happening.”

I’m having more and more of these moments.  But only because it IS actually starting to happen.  On May 15th 2015 at exactly 9pm, something had wanna bloody happen or I’ll be standing there like I did in year 2 when Mrs Hartley my school principal was filling in for Miss Irwin and I told her I’d made a mistake in my exercise book so she was going to cane me!  I was so scared I did a little wee in my light grey school shorts in front of my entire class.  (I didn’t end up getting the cane because that was seen as punishment in itself! – That and wearing size 15 shorts from the spares room with no undies on all day).

So if nothing goes on that BIG screen come the 15th May, I’ll be doing a little wee in front of a huge crowd of onlookers.  They’ll probably call me Drum-wee for the rest of my life…or call out something like “Urine a spot of bother, mate”.  No wonder I wake up at 2.38am.

However, I KNOW that won’t happen because I’ve surrounded myself with awesome people who know what they’re doing.  I think it was my mate Jeremy Hutchings (a successful business coach here in Wagga Wagga and beyond) who said “Adam, it’s all about the first 15%.  If you get the first 15% right the remaining 85% will fall into place.”  And surrounding yourself with the right people is in that first 15%.

Here are some people who have been amazing in the background of this little journey.

Grant Harper from Livestream Australia and the Streaming Guys – Legend.

Matt Olsen from Clean Slate Media – Superman.

Samantha Brunskill from Brunslea Park Estate – Inspiration.

Tim “Rosso” Ross from Tim “Rosso” Ross – Mentor.

Melinda Drummond from next to the poorly propped digital clock – My rock.

There are many, many others who help out and lend a hand and pick me up and show support, but I wanted to acknowledge these people because I’ve lent on them the most.

My buddy Rosso, said “anything you need, dude – I’m there.”  So he invited Matt and I to his latest tour of “Man About the House” which he performs with his best mate, musician Kit Warhurst and let us film an interview with him and Kit.  Then he says he’ll come to the launch and meet some people.  It’s stuff like that, that makes it real.

It was a great weekend in Sydney filming with Rosso and Kit – when you see the interview you’ll know why some people call me a dickhead, but I think it’s with affection.

And I’ve got some other people lined up to join Rosso as a VIP guest so if you want to find out more get in touch and save the bloody date – 15th May 2015.  Come and watch me wee myself – from excitement – not because there isn’t anything on the BIG screen.

“What do you mean it’s free? Nothing’s for free.”

As we prepare to press play on our new media platform and with the introduction of STAN in February and the launch of the Aussie version of Netflix later this month, people have been asking how much it will cost to subscribe to waggawagga.tv when it launches on May 15th.

Here is the definite answer:  FREE.

Our platform will have an array of locally produced shows and livestreaming of events but you as an audience won’t have to pay to view it.  It is just as easy as logging onto our site (don’t try it now – it will be LIVE on 15th May at 9pm exactly) and watching the broadcast of whatever is on then – or alternatively you can surf through our library of on-demand content – again for free.

The platform will be possible due to advertising opportunities for businesses who would like their story seen before local audiences.  The number of people already queuing up to be involved from a promotional perspective has been overwhelming and quite humbling.  So many businesses have shown their support by already asking for productions to be made for them so they can place their content in our promo spots throughout our new media site.

They have also wanted to be involved within our local business directory, so by the time we launch we will already have so many contributors from our business sector.

If you would like to know more about the platform before we launch just email info@waggawagga.tv or call us on 0269 71 7771.

We are also doing demonstrations between Tuesday the 7th April and Friday 17th April so you can book a time to watch our demo during that time too.  (Limited seats though so be quick.)

Also, save the date for a very exciting night on the waggawagga.tv calendar – Friday 15th May as mentioned is our LIVE launch.  We will have some VIP celebrity guests and plenty of entertainment plus it will be livestreamed until the countdown to the 9pm opening.

Tickets will be available for the after-party for $65 per head or you can sponsor the event for anywhere between $750 up to $10,000 so something to suit all budgets – and yes – you will be heavily promoted as a thank you for your support.

See you soon Wagga, but just wanted to clear up – NO COST for viewers of waggawagga.tv – NO SUBSCRIPTION and yet plenty of entertainment!

“What’s going on with you now?”

This has probably been the most frequent question I’ve been asked lately.  “What are you up to?”  And until recently I’ve had long-winded, overly complicated answers that used to frustrate my wife to no end.

Now, things are different.  I have a really clear path for the future and I don’t think I’ve been this excited since donning a home-made wolf costume for my first ever stage performance as the Big Bad Wolf in a Moulamein Central School stage production of “Mixed Nursery Rhymes” – I was 7.

Since leaving the world of real estate behind nearly a year ago now, after 12 years of service, I have decided to start something a little unique – we will be launching an online TV station complete with live broadcasts, locally produced, original shows and existing content licensed to our site.  What was once existing as a show of video content acting as a library of interviews and stories is going to evolve into a new site with on-demand and live broadcast content.

In the back end we will also be creating a stylish and aesthetically appealing directory for local businesses, organisations and events in and around Wagga.  This will be a great place for tourists to check out what we have to offer in town and also for local residents wanting to see what’s happening in their beautiful city.

So, when is it all happening?  We are looking to launch in April with a bang!  However we will start to roll out more teasers and information about how you can be directly involved over the coming weeks.

“What about your Facebook stuff?”  is the other question people are asking.  I was consulting on all social media platforms, however after much deliberation we have decided to offer tailored Facebook business management solutions for businesses of all budgets.  As Facebook changes its algorithms as often as it does, it’s becoming harder and harder for local, businesses to be noticed on the social media site.

To this end we now offer packages starting at $350pm to $1,500pm depending on your needs and marketing goals.

This is about as succinct as I can get with our new services we are offering and you check it all out now that I’ve updated my personal site to reflect our new direction.

Please enquire about any of this at info@waggawagga.tv or check out our site to find out more.

Upload…your video!

Want to watch the video version of this blog?  Click below.

Welcome to a sneak peek of something quite exciting we have in store for you.
Upload – what is it? Well, you’ve seen that there’s been something we’ve been teasing, maybe some rare little clips we’ve been putting on Facebook or YouTube, and it’s pretty big. Now we want you to be a part of it. Here at waggawagga.tv we are developing an exciting new initiative and part of that initiative or platform I think we’d call it that, are brand new on-line T.V. shows being developed just for you, the Wagga community, and the first one we want to reveal is Upload.

We are looking for videos that you have shot that highlight your Wagga experiences.  Could be your successes or your failures, your funny moments, strange events or just show interesting characters, and these will form the basis of a brand new on-line T.V. show. We want you to feel a part of the waggawagga.tv story. Not only feel a part of it but be a part of it.  All you need to do is send us a link of the video that you’ve uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo or even Facebook.
Send us that link, we’ll tidy it up a little bit if it needs it, and then we’ll upload it to Wagga’s first online T.V. station. There you have it.  All done. You are part of history making, or at the very least you’re part of the new show Upload on waggawagga.tv.

Just email the link to me at info@cleanslatemedia.com.au. We’ll send you a confirmation email back to make sure that you are actually the owner of the link. You have to be the owner. We can’t have people sending in things they don’t own. That would be weird and possibly illegal, I don’t know. That’s it.

Upload! See you next time. E-mail us.


Does Video Work for Business? Umm, yeah…

Have you ever wondered whether it was worth creating a video for your business? Have you been frightened to spend money on making a video because you thought it may be a waste of time?

Check out the statistics on this info-graphic from a survey conducted in the U.S.A. that answers all your questions in the one spot.

If you would like to know how we can help you with the promotion of your business locally, call or email us today. we have something very exciting around the corner for local businesses and it ALL involves video! adam@adamdrummond.com.au or 0413 571 974

Info-graphic courtesy of Animoto.Small Business Video infographic

Keynote Address to Wagga High Year 10

First of all, it is a great honour to be able to address year 10, students, teachers and staff here at Wagga High School, after the teaching body here at the school developed this 2 week program – so well done to the teachers and staff who have made this possible, it is a terrific initiative that should really be adopted across the board as an example of what is possible.  Give the teachers and staff a round of applause for this two week program. I should also mention the efforts of Compact for organising speakers for the Q&A session and leadership day and whose “purpose statement” perfectly sums up their involvement in this program:

“Connecting people, education, community and the workplace to promote successful futures” – I love that statement.

Congratulations to you all for participating in this two week journey of discovery and learning about community involvement.  Well done and give yourselves a quick round of applause, you deserve it.

So thank you for this opportunity to present.

And what is it that I have been asked to present on?

It’s a theme in line with your journey over the past two weeks – giving back to the community.

Why is that?  Why would it be necessary to make a keynote address about the subject of giving back to the community?

It’s simple.  The 80/20 rule applies.

On Monday I had the great pleasure of entering into a discussion with some of your peers here in the school.  There were about 20 of us in the room and we talked for well over an hour about different things such as leadership, and the role of leadership in the community.  We talked about the definition of success and the perceived definitions of success that surround us.  But the most interesting part was when we spoke of the 80/20 rule.  The concept that 20% of society provides the income for 80% of the world.  The concept that 20% of society volunteers within their community.  The concept that 20% of the people in a room where a speech, presentation or indeed a keynote address will exit the room and implement something they have learned from it – and 80% will do nothing.

The 80/20 rule has been around since it was first articulated in 1906 when an Italian farmer named Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.  And the 80/20 rule frightens me.

It frightens me because it means 80% of the population is complacent, lazy or uninterested in giving back to the community.

It means that the burden of providing for the community, falls on the same shoulders of 20% of the population.

And why is that?

What are our challenges in the community?

What are the three biggest misconceptions that we should be questioning as a community?

How is it possible to turn this horrendous ratio around or at least improve on it for our future generations?

I have had the great privilege to be involved in some terrific community projects over the years.  Some have assisted those with a disability.  Some have benefited those who are homeless.  Some have contributed to those who have been affected by a mental illness.  And each of those have had impacts on certain people within our community who are constantly faced with their own challenges and are constantly surviving in a world that is different to the world you and I know.  And I am saddened to say that yes, the same people turn up to all of these different events to raise funds for others in need, or to give a hand to those in need, or to volunteer for those in need.

There are three big misconceptions in our community.

Misconception number 1 – you have to be in business to contribute back to your community.

From all of the events I’ve been to and all of the dollars that have been raised, there is a reliance on medium to big business to do all the work because they are the ones who earn big money.  They are the ones with time on their hands.  The misconception is that if you are in business you have an obligation, a responsibility to give back to the community because the community has given so much to you.  The misconception is that by providing benefits to the community you as a business may receive benefits back.

Everyone has the ability to give back to the community and it should not be for something in return.  It should not be because it’s an obligation.

It should be because it’s more than just doing something right – it’s doing the right thing.

We can all contribute something.

How much is up to us.

Misconception number 2 – it’s the job of governments and organisations to take care of society.

People elect governments and as far as I’m concerned we elect them to govern not just to provide.  We should provide.  We should provide for others, we should provide vision for our own community.  We should provide for ourselves.  We cannot rely on governments and other organisations to provide for those in need – alone.  We have the collective power to provide for others right here in this room.

Misconception number 3 – we only need to support causes that directly affect us or our loved ones.  I think we all know of causes close to our hearts because of something that has affected us, but we need not wait for that cause to start helping.

Ronald Regan once said “we can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

When I was first involved in setting up the local initiative known as Ignite Mentor, I wasn’t alone.  We started with a concept – how can we provide mentors for young people in our community who may not have access to positive role models in their lives, whether it be because they have no positive figures in their current lives, or the only ones they do have are considered an authority figure – not a friend to share things with.

I also came across people who told me it couldn’t be done anyway.  What’s the point?  You can’t change everything.  You can’t change everyone.  The problem is too big.

What a horrible way to look at the world.

All big achievements come from small steps.  Remember that Regan quote – you can’t help everyone – that’s not the point – you can help someone though.  And that someone can help someone else and so on.

With Ignite and through a relationship with Mary O’Neill, Laurinda Motion, Jeremy Hutchings and Anglicare Riverina who already had some mentoring programs in place, and the Department of Education and Communities who also had some programs in place, four of us – just four people, came together and created a brand that recognised and fostered all of the existing programs into the one bright name, Ignite Mentor.

Since it began in late 2011, Ignite Mentor has created over a hundred pairings between young people looking for someone to talk to, and members from the local community with backgrounds in business, sport, media, and health – people in the public of all ages, backgrounds, heritage and upbringings.  We had created and continue to create with the backing and support of Anglicare a vehicle for those who want to volunteer to be matched with those who are asking for volunteers.

I’m extremely proud of Ignite and its achievements.  I’m proud of all the people involved in its operation and running, including our major Naming Sponsor Brunslea Park Estate who have been extremely supportive of the Ignite brand and work.

I’m proud of our Ambassador and good mate to Ignite and Wagga, Tim “Rosso” Ross who has helped raise awareness of our cause, as well as money and created experiences for some of our young people.

I’m proud of the local role models who have put their hand up to contribute either time or money and sometimes both – but most of all I’m proud of the young people who have gone on to greater things because of their newfound path.

They have gone on to become employees of local businesses, they’ve gone on to become volunteers themselves, they’ve gone on to become positive role models amongst their peers and they’ve gone on to become contributors to our community.  They are quite possibly our future leaders.

But the success of anything, as we talked about in our smaller group the other day, is not about the number of people who have contributed one way or another.  It’s not about an end result of funds raised or hours contributed.  They’re numbers.  They’re benchmarks for others to determine are either successful or not in their eyes.

Success has to be internal.  Success has to be determined from your own benchmark and that is the journey.  Success is not a destination it is the journey itself.

The pursuit of happiness is not as important or even realistic as the pursuit of the full range of emotions we will all inevitably face.  Success should be defined as your acceptance and appreciation of your present.  Success should be the aim of balance with your mind, your body, your relationships, your wealth and your contribution to society.

So I put it to you year 10.  Where do you fit in this picture?  Are you feeling you are in the 20% that does something?  Are you in the 80% who may feel they do something but in the scheme of things it’s almost nothing?

Someone mentioned the other day that a focus and desire we often have in our school years is to be the best at something.  Be the best runner, swimmer, academic – I want to challenge you on something else before we head into presentations, don’t aim to be the best at anything – there’s no point

– focus instead on being better.

You can only be the best out of a selection of people for a certain amount of time and then what?

You can aim to be better at everything and always improve.

Be a better son or daughter.

Be a better partner, student, teacher, athlete, academic, artist,

– be a better version of whatever you want to be but most of all, stop wondering WHAT it is you will one day be, and start focusing on WHO you want to be.  On WHO you already are.

After contributing so much over the past two weeks, you can now decide if you want to continue to be the person who is in that 20%.

My takeaways for you today come from my observations and experiences over the years.  These are my top 5 tips for a balanced and emotionally rich life;

  1. Never compare yourself to others – you are special no matter what your strengths or weaknesses
  2. People who have gone onto achieve something for their community, their work or their family should be admired not cut down for their achievements
  3. Surround yourself with positive people as much as possible, and don’t beat yourself up about losing touch with people who aren’t a positive influence
  4. Don’t expect anything in return for anything you do, be satisfied that it was the right thing to do
  5. Don’t be the best…just be better

I’ll finish with my three favourite quotes in the world:

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Henry Stanley Haskins

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay

“You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give” – Winton Churchill


Thank you.