FROM humanitarian work in developing nations to leading a self empowerment program, Limestone Coast resident Belinda Tilley has become a community advocate for change.
Ms Tilley’s impact has not gone unnoticed, shortlisted as a finalist in the 2019 Pro Bono Australia’s Impact 25 Awards.
The awards recognise Australia’s most influential people who aim to solve challenges through integrity, foresight, initiative and collaboration.
It was over 15 years ago that Ms Tilley, acting as an undercover journalist, visited Zimbabwe, delivering food and goods to those in need.
Ms Tilley believes the varying community spheres she is involved in has led to her nomination.
“I think these awards are for people in the world who are evaluating the problem of the day, thinking about how to change that for the better,” Ms Tilley said.
“The leaders, influencers and innovators who are always trying to push the boundaries to make a difference in the status quo.
“Those who wake up every day and think about how they are going to make a difference.”
Ms Tilley currently serves as a pastoral care support worker at Allendale East Area and Yahl Primary schools and has held leadership roles within Mount Gambier’s Liberty Church.
Among her proudest achievements was developing and launching the I-Myself program in 2018 following numerous community think-tank sessions.
“It was a process of trying to find issues of the day so I tried to brainstorm ways to overcome these situations,” Ms Tilley said.
“It got to the point where I found a lot of it came down to people’s self-worth and judgement.
“It has become my core focus of what I want to change for the better, whether it is with a student, a woman I am working with or a community resident.”
Ms Tilley plans to launch her latest work – the HERself project – on February 28 at the 2020 Women in Business and Regional Development launch event, with the inaugural program involving 10 vulnerable women and 20 trained mentors.
Voting is open until February 13, with winners announced on March 19.
Visit www.pbaimpact.com to view the finalists and cast your vote.