News, Reviews & Resources   April, 2008
In the Mix this Month ...
Baking Mix
The main focus of this month's issue of Starlink Extra is "making a difference".

Inspired by the Creating Better Communities Report, we've collected a number of web links to organisations offering volunteer opportunities.

But you'll also find other ingredients in the mix - a sprinkling of other useful or interesting links, a dash of inspiration and a pinch of humour. We hope you enjoy this month's recipe! :-)

Cheers, Sue & Chris
BJ Seminars International

Creating Better Communities
Cover of Creating Better Communities Report

Subtitled A Study of Social Capital Creation in Four Communities, this report from the Benevolent Society looks at 'what makes communities caring and inclusive, and the role that all institutions, and especially non-profit organisations, can play in creating better communities'.

It's definitely worth reading! There is much food for thought, affirming at some points and challenging at others. :-)
Download the report (666kb PDF file)

Some findings certainly hold no surprises, though at times it's good to be reminded of them. For example ...

People are more likely to report feeling that they are part of their local community - that they are 'included' - if they:

  • Have regular contact with friends living close by
  • Are members of local organisations and cultural, sporting or civic groups
  • Volunteer in their local community
  • Exchange goods and services with friends and neighbourhood members or live in a community where there is a high reported level of bartering
  • Believe that there are plenty of things to do in their community

Making a Difference
starextra040803 (14K)
So ... did you download and read the Creating Better Communities report? Did it inspire you to roll up your sleeves and plunge back in to making a difference in your own community and the world around you? :-)

Or perhaps your family, your club, your class of students or your church group is looking for more or different ways to help others make a difference in their lives? starextra040804 (10K)

If so, you might be interested to take a look at the web links on the right - they list just a few examples of opportunities available.

And what about those of us who may be inspired but find ourselves groaning aloud at the very thought of trying to find MORE time in our day for volunteering?

Well, perhaps we should remind ourselves that even small things do make a difference. A smile, a word of encouragement or a small act of kindness can actually go a very long way! :-)

And though there may be serious issues to tackle, let's not forget the Eight Principles of Fun!

"Out of Office" Emails

Don't you just love those automated "Out of Office" email replies? :-) Some people do take the trouble to make them a little more interesting though ...

starextra040805 (10K)

You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn't have received anything at all.

I will be unable to delete all the emails you send me until I return from vacation. Please be patient, and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.

Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system. You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.

And finally a couple for which you would no doubt need a very understanding employer .. ;-)

I've run away to join a different circus.

Sorry to have missed you, but I'm at the doctor's having my brain and heart removed so I can be promoted to our management team.

Next Full Issue
May, 2008
Starlink #71
A Sprinkling of Links ...

Warming Up Cyberia
28 April. Book now!

Superclubs Plus Australia
Safe social learning network for children

"Be Better"
Inspirational online movie

Peer reviewed, online, open access journal for the advancement of mental health.

Ode Magazine
"The online community for Intelligent Optimists"

Ordrup School
Innovative school design in Denmark

Safe Places to Learn
Book available from the Search Institute

Volunteer Opportunities

Australian Ambassadors for Youth Development

Conservation Volunteers Australia

Cross Cultural Solutions

Fido Volunteer Search

Global Volunteers

Grassroots EmpowerMent

Southern Cross Cultural Exchange

United Way Australia

Volunteering Australia

Web Volunteer X Change

Youth Challenge Australia

The Last Word
To be of use in the world is the only way to happiness. (Hans Christian Andersen)

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