Celebrating International Women’s Day – Bron Lawson
Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, the Geelong Community Foundation is shining a light on some of the incredible women who are driving change and making a difference in the community sector, with women making up around 81% of the community sector workforce in Victoria.
Meet Bron Lawson, founder and program manager at Bluebird Foundation
Each week Bluebird Foundation touches the lives of over 1,000 babies, preschoolers, children, teens, families and adults. Programs harness the wonder of the arts (music, visual arts, theatre, dance, digital art etc etc) to change lives. Participants embrace their creativity to share their stories, develop skills and make connections in the community.
Some examples of our weekly programs include:
- Parent-child art, music and nature programs to give little people the very best start in life;
- School partnerships to support the neurological benefits of music education on developing brains;
- North Youth Theatre ensemble supports young people from culturally diverse backgrounds to create and perform original theatre works that share their stories with the community;
- NORTH Children’s Choir provides a pathway of musical excellence and helps kids dream big;
- MusicSpace is a disability friendly community music program for adults (and MusicSpace After-School is about to commence for teens);
- Propeller provides young people access to creative workshops that fuel their passions and build connections with like-minded peers.
Can you share your organisation vision, mission and purpose?
Bluebird Foundation is a community arts organisation creating and delivering quality arts programs that make a real difference in people’s lives. We recognise the power of the arts to effect cultural change within communities resulting in improved social, emotional and health outcomes.
What is the most significant highlight of your time in the role?
Bringing together local artist, Laura Alice, with a group of young refugee women. Together they created a poignant short animated film called Pipi Thay Too (The Grandmother Tree) that celebrates resilience, the power of identity, mystical encounters with ancestors, and the Karen and Karenni refugee experience. The film has been screened at international film festivals and won awards including Changing Face International Film Festival, AniMate – Australia and Sparrowland Short Film Festival.
What is your hope for the future of your organisation, and the wider Geelong Community?
My hope is that Bluebird will be around for decades to come, helping to building a strong and connected Geelong that values the creative contributions of every member of the community.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the incredible contributions of women in our community who are very often the social glue that keep families, schools and whole communities connected and functioning. It is a chance to redefine what success looks like so that women are free and supported to find their own path in life and valued for their unique contributions.
Do you have any advice for other/younger women, wither in general or with regards to working in the community/NFP Sector?
Find your tribe. Creating a community of like-minded people who dream big together, acknowledge the struggles and celebrate the successes (no matter how small) has allowed Bluebird to achieve so much more than we ever could as individuals.