I'm Lara. I'm a community + business strategist and writer. I'm really interested in rural communities, and how things things unfold for country Australia as we continue to urbanise. I'm excited by initiatives that help rural communities to self determine and become more resilient (whether that means local food networks, community energy schemes, innovative approaches to local democracy), and love uncovering interesting rural creatives and small businesses. I'm inspired by the incredible leaders in our rural towns who exhibit are quietly catalysing shifts where they live. I consider myself very lucky to watch great examples of this in action in my current home of North East Victoria, and my former home of Central Victoria.
I'm also a registered yoga teacher, having completed my 200 hour Vinyasa yoga teacher training with Caroline Layzell of Serenity Yoga in Lembongan, Indonesia in February 2017, and my Yin teacher training with Hugh Lee at Yoga 213 in Richmond in June 2018.
In my play time, my favourite things to do are reading, writing, tunes, travel, time in nature and beautiful food. I love to get my camera out and capture all the goodness when I can, especially my feline fur child.
I'm working with the good people at Towong Shire Council, a world class small council. They're doing incredible work to support their small rural community, while progressing with initiatives that improve outcomes for rural communities across Victoria through their role as Secretariat for Rural Council's Victoria.
I'm a neo-generalist. My professional background is a mixed bag. My core skills are around building organisations and communities for impact - understanding and defining problems using research and behavioural insights, designing smart ways to make progress (everything from organisational strategy, communications and engagement, partnership development, digital or in-person activations, multimedia storytelling, events and community management), and tracking success using impact measurement principles.
I love exploring how we can do things better, and helping organisations who want to be a part of creating a better future. I've worked with some great folk including the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Be Collective, Intrepid Travel, the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, and Net Balance. I've consulted to great organisations like Hub Melbourne, Wildwon and No Lights No Lycra. I write, but it seems to be (very) occasional these days.
I've lectured in entrepreneurship, social impact, sustainability, and digital strategy to audiences from school age children to professionals. I've developed and run a course in Ethical Business at Melbourne School of Fashion.
Before this, I spent several years building a community of fashion industry folk moving for a more sustainable and ethical industry, working with the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA), Kangan Institute's Fashion Industry Hub, RMIT University's Fashion and Arts Programs, The Clothing Exchange, and Melbourne School of Fashion. I also loved running Melbourne Tweed Ride and other events as part of Melbourne Bike Festival.
I have a Bachelor of Arts (French) from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma of Commerce (Marketing) from RMIT University. I've had fellowships with the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and RMIT's SEEDs Social Entrepreneurship program. I've also trained in Social Impact Measurement and Triple Bottom Line Reporting (GRI), and studied Sustainable Business at RMIT.
I'm also a full time cheerleader for awesome people doing awesome things, and I get lots of energy from all the great stuff going on in the world.
People I'm lucky enough to have around me include Future Business Council, Uncommon, Rachel Service's Happiness Concierge, A Friend of Mine, Alana Holmberg, Rebecca Lovitt, Sally Hill, David Seignior, Matt Wicking, Glider, Tullia Jack, Ming-Zhu Hii, Siggi McCarthy's Intent Journal, Lani Pauli, The Weekly Service.
Further afield, I'm a big fan of the likes of Terence Nance, Jemima Kirke, Caitlin Stasey, Derek Sivers, Winnie Lim, Lena Dunham, Stephen Fry, Umair Haque, Aaron McLean, Jessica Stanley, Kelsey Miller, Miranda Darling, George Monbiot, Méthos Research, Laura Marling, George Maple, Bey and many more...
I also keep a very tightly curated collection of twitter lists on this front so feel free to explore.
One of my absolute favourite things ever is connecting with passionate people. I love it so much I even wrote a blog post about it.
Connect with me via the social links below, send me an email via the form here. Or just have a poke around and have a read. Feel free to leave me a comment!
Thanks for visiting!