The sweetest type of local honey

11053899_776020309187136_4455665962974600286_o copyI discovered an amazing secret treasure map, that I am going to share with you! A map of 95 local honey producers across Australia. It is a community run map supporting local bees and their stewards.  The site only lists producers who sell 100% Australian bee products, with no added imported ingredients. Take a look here.

I met Jo the beekeeper this week, selling her own local honey – great!  You might be able to already tell that I love local honey – BUT the most interesting part to Jo’s story, is she is selling honey to fund her real passion…..running photographic workshops and courses in developing countries.  Jo travels to Burma, Nepal and India, runs photography workshops and leaves donated digital cameras behind for the participants.

Jo uses her bees, hives and honey to help fund the program.

Do you have an old digital camera shoved in a drawer you no longer want or need? Do you have memory cards you don’t use or any kind of surplus camera accessory? Do you LOVE honey?  Then get in contact with Jo, who is constantly collecting any working and unwanted camera products to use in her courses, and currently, Jo has so much honey she has run out of bottles!

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Jo teaching a class in Mallika, a women’s co-op in Hyderabad, October 2014

Many of the participants in Jo’s workshops are from disadvantaged backgrounds, some have disabilities and many have never even held a camera before. To date Jo has taken about 80 cameras into Asia and taught about 450 children and adults photographic skills.

Cameras for Asia urgently need the following items:
– any working digital camera
– SD cards / camera memory cards
– AA batteries or any camera battery
– camera bags, cords and chargers welcome (even if not attached to a camera)
– any other accessory
– funds to help us pay for excursions, exhibitions, prints, transport and other costs

You can buy Jo’s honey, and/or donate your unwanted cameras to 15 Eagle Terrace, Auchenflower QLD 4066 or contact Jo on 0415 166 967 or email

To learn more, follow the project on facebook or visit the Camera’s for Asia website.

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Posted in Causes, Children, Community, GIVING, KINDNESS, Pay it forward, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

hankies for heartbreak

I have somehow honed a skill of collecting “things” for charities and causes. In 2009 it was approximately 7000 pairs of pyjamas for foster kids via The Pyjama Foundation, in 2008 it was around 4,500 teddy bears for orphans in overseas orphanages in Brazil, Eth
iopia, South Africa and India, and most recently about 5000 tampons and pads for homeless women on the Gold Coast  – my beautiful friend Leisa Gill has been my partner in crime for all of these collections, and she has just started a new one.  This post is by Leisa, I hope you can get involved! 


FullSizeRenderI had the pleasure of meeting a lovely lady who’s business name is Lucy-Kay. Let’s call her LK.  LK embroiders personalised hankies as a keepsake for parents who have lost a baby due to stillbirth or SIDS.

It is a very fragile time for parents. The Hankies from LK let the parents know that there is someone thinking of them, with a gift that Mums or Grans or Aunts can keep near their heart (in their bra) and Dads or Pops can hold when they need to feel close to the memory of their little one.

LK receives emails devastated parents and family members, and from organisations SIDS QLD and Sands QLD with babies’ names she embroiders the full name and date of birth on them and sends them as gifts to the parents for free.

LK says it’s too sad to actually think about the number of new bubs and tots that pass but has embroidered and sent many hankies to SANDS QLD and SIDS QLD.

LK is only able to help Brisbane families so far, but with your help, she would like to reach out to bereaved parents Australia wide. 

Email for enquires for hankies is

IMG_0937In addition to the hankies LK gives to heartbroken parents, she has started a website for extended family members to purchase personalised hankies from $32.50 AUD each. 

If you would like to donate some hankies to the cause, please email LK or email Leisa, or if you would like to start a workplace collection, hankies can be posted to:

Leisa Gill PO Box 3093 Newmarket 4051

So my goal is to collect as many hankies as possible to donate to LK and keep her great work going.  Thank you for your support, Leisa

Posted in Causes, Children, GIVING, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Making waves – turning ocean waste into skateboards


 I heard about a super cool skateboard brand today, one that recycles ocean waste into skateboards. It is an LA based company called Bureo, who collect and recycle fishing nets from the coast of Chile, turn the nets to decks (skateboards) and sell them across the globe.

 In 2013, the founders – three mates, who share a passion for surfing, skating and sustainability, set up “Net Positiva” a fishnet collection and recycle program in Chile, to clean up our oceans. 

Their idea of a recycled fishing net skate deck was a world first. In 2014 they ran a crowd funding campaign, where 507 backers pledged over $65,000 to bring the first ocean debris skateboard to market.

Fishing nets are a major threat to marine life, making up over 10% of  ocean plastic pollution and killing nearly 1000 marine mammals per day. 

One Bureo skateboard uses almost 3 sqm of fishing net debris. In the first year alone, Bureo and Net Positiva collected and recycled over ten tonnes of discarded nets. 

You can buy your very own Bureo skateboard (and other cool sustainable goodies) online for $149 USD (plus shipping) or via this impressive global retailers list, including outlets in Australia at Patagonia stores in Burleigh Heads, Manly, Torquay and Byron Bay. 
Follow Bureo on Facebook, Twitter and / or Instagram

What are you waiting for? Get your skate on!

Posted in Ethical Shopping, Recycle or upcycle, Social Enterprise, youth | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

2015 Top Ten Christmas gifts that give back

I have searched my favourite online charity shops and social enterprises, so that you don’t have to!  Here is my annual list, top ten Christmas gifts that give twice.  A gift for you to give, and that helps a charity, creates good in the world or pays something forward.  I have gifts here for kids, for mum, for dad, for cooks, for beer lovers, for sisters, for the person who already has everything and much more.  ENJOY!  (and please tell me what you buy, I would love to hear about what you like) ~ Tara

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 2.17.56 pmThe new OzHarvest Cookbook “Urban Harvest”
$60.00 AUD (includes shipping)
Cause: Urban Harvest is the brand new cookbook from food rescue charity OzHarvest which celebrates kitchen gardens of all shapes and sizes with 50 of Australia’s most celebrated chefs. Through 100 family friendly recipes, OzHarvest encourages everyone to get involved in growing, learning and cooking delicious and nutritious food. The purchase of this cookbook will help OzHarvest, deliver 120 meals to vulnerable men, women and children. Learn more about OzHarvest here.
Buy: purchase online at OzHarvest Soul Shop. Follow on facebook, twitter, instagram.

SisterStoreSisterWorks2Beautiful handmade necklaces from the SisterWorks
$50 AUD
About: Pink choker, and yellow necklace made by Saida, from Rwanda,
Cause: By supporting SisterWorks, you are encouraging social inclusion, female empowerment, creating business opportunities for marginalised women and buying a fair trade product. SisterWorks is a Melbourne based social enterprise, who help vulnerable women who are seeking asylum, or have refugee and migrant background (Sisters) to work towards financial independence by developing the skills they need to settle happily into Australian society.
Buy:  check out the SisterWorks Etsy store or visit their pop-up stores and markets in Mebourne.  Follow on facebook or twitter

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Human made, RAD Human gift book
$15 AUD plus shipping
 A pocket-sized 10-page gift book, with tear out experiences to gift to the humans you care about, eg. breakfast in bed or a ‘one ridiculously good massage’.
Cause: Human Made is your one stop shop for unique wares with a conscience. All purchases from our shop go towards supporting our mission: to use our creative powers to inspire hope and confidence in the most vulnerable members of our society. To fund our community programs we also run a digital media and graphic design studio, manage projects and make cool stuff.
Buy: visit the Human. website and make sure you take a look at their other items. Follow Human Ventures. on facebook or twitter

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.41.55 pmMannya Trading Co. 1kg whole bean coffee
$32 plus shipping
About: Choose your brew from Cotton On Foundation’s range of premium specialty grade coffee. Sourced using direct trade principles, you’ll be supporting a sustainable future for coffee farmers and their communities in Southern Uganda.  Cotton On Foundation recently celebrated one year of trading with Mannya Trading Co.
Cause: Learn more about the work of the Cotton On Foundation here.
Buy: Buy online at Cotton On Foundation shop. Also check out their Not Just Mints, Not Just Water and Not Just Tissues – awesome!

JaJointThe 3 Bad Bwoys BBQ BFF – Jamaican Jerk Rub, Authentic Jamaican Curry and Jamaican BBQ Sauce
$55 AUD includes free shipping
About: Meet the tastiest marinades & sauces to use on your BBQ meats, fish, chicken e.t.c. No marinating required. All our products are handmade using the highest quality spices, herbs and produce within Australia. They are made with love and this is transferred through the flavour. Make the best Jerk Chicken, Jerk Pork, Curried Goat e.t.c that requires minimal effort.
Cause: The Ja =Joint is a Brisbane based social enterprise founded by Carly Day, who not only creates amazing Jamaican food, but deliberately employs marginalised multicultural youth.
Buy: purchase online at The Ja Joint website, and check out their other goodies! Follow The Ja Joint on facebook, or twitter.

TheEagleInsideThe Eagle Inside – a new children’s book supporting AIME

$29 AUD plus shipping
Cause: a children’s book written by AIME CEO and Founder Jack Manning Bancroft.  All funds go to supporting Indigenous students through high school and into university, employment or further education.
About: Jimmy is the smallest bird at school. Surrounded by big, tough birds, he feels different in every way and is certain he will never fit in. It takes a friend to help him learn that being different can be a strength.
Buy: online at the AIME shop or at Riverbend Books in Bulimba Brisbane. Follow the inspiring work of AIME on facebook.

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 2.08.24 pmRUN LIKE A GIRL singlet supporting OneGirl 
$40.00 AUD plus shipping
Cause: One Girl is a non-profit organisation based in Melbourne that is changing the world, one girl at a time, educating girls living in Africa. Your purchase will help fund school scholarships, give access women and girls to sanitary pads, and much more. Learn more here.
Buy: purchase online at the OneGirl shop and check out their full range of gifts that dont suck. Follow on facebook, twitter or instagram.

Gifts from $11.50 plus shipping – there are lots of gifts to choose from, thongs, stickers, tshirts for babies, toddlers, men, women, flags, hoodies, towels and more – see full range here.
Cause: Sea Shepherd Australia is a non-profit conservation organisation whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Sea Shephard Australia is the worlds leading direct-action ocean conservation group.
Buy: shop online on Sea Shepherd website or visit West End Markets (Brisbane) on Saturdays. Follow Sea Shepherd Australia on facebook or twitter.

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 2.34.04 pmBoystown Lottery ticket to win a $3.26M beach front – drawn 23 December
Tickets from $15 each
Cause: Boystown helps disadvantaged young people, and their families, through education, counselling, peer support and preparation for employment. Learn more here.
Buy: tickets on the Boystown website or onsite at Apartment 3 ‘La Vie’, 470-472 The Esplanade, Palm Beach QLD 4221.

TheGoodBeerCoSix pack of new social enterprise beer: The Good Beer Co.
From $10 AUD.  $50 gets you a 6 pack of beer, t-shirt and 1 years membership to Good Beer Co. Pledge before 7 December to ensure beer delivery by mid-February. For all pledges made after this date, beer will be delivered in March.
Cause: Read last week’s charityspam blog here.  The Good Beer Co is a social enterprise beer company that share profits with charity partners – the launch parter is the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
Buy: The Good Beer Co website, follow on facebook, twitter or instagram.

YoungCakeDont forget to order your 2015 YoungCake, supporting Young Care too!
$26.50 plus flat rate shipping of $7.95
In packs designed to share, these delicious blonde Christmas cakes are brimming with festive fruit and nuts. Celebrity Chef Ben O’Donoghue has baked Youngcare resident Bronwyn’s Dad’s recipe with her and it’s been lovingly made by Vanilla Pod bakery, with the pack designed by award-winning artist Michael Zavros.
Cause: helping young people get out of aged care Order here! 

Happy shopping!  Please send me the details of any other gifts that give back in your Christmas shopping – I would love to hear from you!  Please post in the comments below.


Posted in Australian charity, Causes, Children, Community, CSR, Pay it forward, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Need a great excuse to have a beer? How about a beer that will help save our Great Barrier Reef

TheGoodBeerCoA new craft beer company has launched in Australia.  It is called The Good Beer Co.  and what they are doing is not just good, it is GREAT! Their mission is simple. Produce Good Beer that does good.

The Good Beer Co. is set to shake up Australia’s $4 billion beer industry by brewing beers that help support uniquely Australian causes.

Founder of the social enterprise “The Good Beer Co.”, James Grugeon, said he wanted an easy way for Australians to support worthy causes. James has partnered with Bargara Brewing Company, in Bundaberg to produce the beer, and has pledged half of the profits of every beer sold, to charity.

James Grugeon and Darren Kindleysides

James Grugeon, Founder of Good Beer Co. and Darren Kindleysides, CEO of Australian Marine Conservation Society

“Australia is one of the most beer-loving nations on earth. Yet our beer-drinking dollars go largely to for-profit, multinational companies,” Mr Grugeon said. “This money could be going to good causes right here in Australia, and what better way to raise money for a good cause than to ask people to have a beer for it.”

The Good Beer Co. has launched a crowd-funding campaign for the production of its first drop, Great Barrier Beer, which will see at least 50 per cent of profits go to the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

Australian Marine Conservation Society CEO, Darren Kindleysides, said the organisation was thrilled to be a founding partner and the first charity beneficiary of The Good Beer Co. and hoped to see Australians join the movement to drink beer that does good.

“As a passionate environmentalist and a craft beer fan myself, this is an exciting venture. It’s such a refreshingly innovative way to raise much-needed awareness and funds for the protection of our Reef,” Mr Kindleysides said.

AMCS The Australian Marine Conservation Society have been working to protect Australia’s ocean wildlife, including Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef since 1965. It is a Queensland success story, founded by a group of marine scientists and avid bushwalkers from the University of Queensland and the CSIRO, sitting under the stars one night on a camping trip at Carnarvon Gorge. Since that day, they have accrued an impressive list of achievements including preventing mining on the Great Barrier Reef, global ban on commercial whaling, and saving Ningaloo Reef to name a few. Read more about them here.

You can back the Good Beer Co.’s crowd funding campaign right now, and help it launch!  As a supporter you will be one of the first to enjoy its easy drinking beers, and have a say in future beer recipes, labels and causes. Pledges start at just $10, and with higher donations, this is what you can get:

$25 – pre release 6 pack
$35 – Christmas gift (a card under the tree, and 6 pack delivered in mid-February 2016)
$50 – 6 pack, tshirt, andGood Beer Co. membership
$150 – slab, shirts and Good Beer Co. membership
$750+ there are loads of incentives on offer incl reef tours, brewery tours, VIP dinners and more – check out the full Good Beer Co. crowdfunding perks here.

So what are you waiting for?  Jump online at and help make this beer a reality! As they say – a good beer ALWAYS helps! CHEERS!

Follow The Good Beer Co. on facebook, twitter, instagram or visit the website.


Posted in Australian charity, Causes, Community, Environment, Queensland charity, Social Enterprise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Top ten Brisbane Christmas party or function venues with a difference

What if your end of year celebration with friends or work Christmas party could help end homelessness, give hope and employ a person with a disability or fund unique social projects across our state?  Well guess what – it can!  Check out these ten venues with a difference in South East Queensland, and make sure this Christmas season (or any time really) you party with a purpose! 

CommonGroundQLDCommon Ground, Hope Street West End
Address: 15 Hope Street West End
What is available? This centrally located rooftop function space offers magnificent views of Brisbane city. It is ideal for events of all types, including dinners, workshops and meetings, which can be serviced by the adjoining commerical kitchen. The room can accommodate 100 people standing or 70 people seated. Check out the venue brochure here.
Cause: owned and operated by not for profit organisation Common Ground Queensland, all profits go to ending homelessness in Brisbane, by i
ncreasing the supply of supportive housing to meet the growing needs of individuals and families who are at risk of, or experiencing homelessness, or who suffer from a disability, including mental health and addiction.
Contact details: visit the Common Ground Queensland website or call (07) 3370 8320

TheGardensClubThe Garden’s Club in the Brisbane City Botanical Gardens

Address: 75 Gardens Point Road, in the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens behind QUT Theatre and close to the River Stage.
What is available? The Gardens Club is a recently restored, heritage listed 
Curators Cottage inside the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. It is a cafe and event space. The main building has been converted into a unique venue to hold social events, weddings, private events or even your next business meeting. The Gardens Club can accommodate up to 150 for cocktail or 80 people for private sit down dinners.
Cause: The Gardens Club is a social enterprise established by the Wise Foundation in and 100% of profits go to funding social and charitable initiatives.
Contact details: make an enquiry online or call (07) 3012 9606

TheEdgeThe Edge at the State Library of Queensland, South Bank
Address: Stanley Place, Cultural Centre, South Bank
What is available? An auditorium suited to conferences, multimedia performance, music, film screenings and presentations, innovation lab, river terrace and much more.  Take a look at all of the spaces for hire here.
Cause: all funds go to empowering Queenslanders to explore creativity across art, science, technology, and enterprise, The Edge is a visionary space for ‘creating creatives’; a melting pot of ideas and innovation, capacity-building, experimentation and innovation.
Contact details: call 07 3842 9400, email or visit the website.

MuoozMuooz – in West End
Address: 54 Mollison Street, West End
What is available? Muooz offer exclusive North-East African cuisine using local and imported African ingredients while providing exceptional quality service. With the hosting capacity of 70 seats we can accommodate large events on request.  Take away and catering available.
Cause: Muooz is an african not for profit restaurant who provide work experience, training and employment opportunities to African refugees.
Contact details: Phone 07 3844 8378, email or visit the Muooz website.

MeltingPot2Melting Pot – Newmarket
Address: Within the International Community Church, 23 Foster Street, Newmarket
What is available? Melting Pot Restaurant offers the best of traditional Malaysian cuisine and superb Asian-fusion cuisineperfect for lunches, dinners, birthday celebrations, corporate or business events, wedding, baby showers, reunions, anniversaries and other occasions. Closed Mondays.
Cause: All profits are directed to support orphanages in India and Nepal
Contact details: call 07 3175 0690, email, visit website or check out on facebook

cookery-nook-allCookery Nook in Wooloowin
Address: 12 Chalk Street, Wooloowin
What is available? The Cookery Nook is a professional and quality catering service to metropolitan Brisbane region, and fully equipped conference centre in Wooloowin.
Cause: for over 20 years, The Cookery Nook has been providing meaningful employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities, who might not otherwise be engaged in paid employment.
Contact details: Phone 07 3866 4201, email Leonie, or visit the website.

ExpressoTrain2Expresso Train in Nundah
Address: 46 Station Street, Nundah (on the north side of Brisbane)
What is available? Expresso Train is a social enterprise and full service cafe and catering company. They use local suppliers and source seasonal ingredients that meet their sustainability principles such as organic and free-range produce. Food is made in-house, with no nasty additives or surprises. Take a look at their catering menu.
Cause: Espresso Train is an initiative of the Nundah Community Enterprises Cooperative (NCEC). Our motto “We don’t employ people to cater; we cater so we can employ people” encapsulates our misison of providing meaningful employment for people with a disability.
Contact details: 07 3260 7414, visit the Expresso Train website or place order online.

LagoonCreekLagoon Creek Cafe and Function Centre in Caboolture
Address: 1-11 Toovey Street Caboolture
What is available? Lagoon Creek Cafe and Function Centre provides fresh healthy food via a cafe, catering, meeting room for hire, functions and lunch run. Check out the facilities here.
Cause: Lagoon Creek Cafe and Function Centre is a social enterprise employing people with a disability and/or mental illness who live in Caboolture.
Contact: Phone 07 54324855, email,  or visit the Lagoon Creek Cafe and Function Centre website.

Or if you want an award winning social enterprise catering company to cater at your next event:

JaJointThe Ja Joint – Brisbane based catering company and online shop
Address: Wandering Cooks, 1 Fish Lane, South Brisbane
What is available? Award winning Jamaican food products and catering that is offbeat, personable and truly authentic Jamaican style.  They use two 65 gallon meat smokers that add a great entertainment flare to any event.
Cause: providing real employment opportunities to inexperienced marginalised multicultural youth and refugees in Brisbane. Read founder Carly Day’s blog here.
Contact: or phone: 0450 783 952 or website.

Or if you want to just meet a friend for an end of year coffee / drink, check these awesome social enterprise coffee houses in Brisbane,  Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast: 

BAM expressoBAM Expresso in West End  
Address: 51 Mollison Street, West End
What is available?
This is the perfect spot to catch up with a friend or two for a morning coffee.
Cause: Espresso bar that channels all profits into helping Brisbane’s homeless community. Home of Pay A Sack Forward.
Contact details: check out the BAM Expresso facebook page


Coffee-United-Laughing-220x161Coffee United Social Enterprise Cafe (Sunshine Coast)
Address: 1/27 Evans Street, Maroochydore (and recently launched in Tewantin)
What is available? Sells great coffee (9.4 rating from Bean Hunter), provides catering and recently opened a well appointed training/meeting room for hire.
Cause: provides supported work experience, training and paid employment to young people on the Sunshine Coast.
Contact details: Ph: 07 5409 4976, on facebook, located within the Headspace Maroochydore building – visit the United Synergies website for more info.

ButtonsnBeansButtons and Beans Cafe – Southport on the Gold Coast
Address: 20 Railway Street, Southport
What is available? Op Shop and coffee house – the perfect place on the Gold Coast to catch up with a girlfriend and find an op shop bargain!
Cause: FSG Australia (FSGA) is a for-purpose community organisation and centre for social enterprise offering a wide range of innovative services in disability, mental health, aged care, family and children’s services. FSGA operates other social enterprise initiatives including an Op Shop, Nursery, Coworking Space and Green Shop.
Contact:, phone 07 55640655 or visit the website

Did I miss your favourite social enterprise restaurant, cafe or venue?  Please leave me a comment, as I would LOVE to add them to the list!  

Thanks very much for reading! Cheers, Tara

Posted in #blogforgood, Causes, Community, GIVING, KINDNESS, Queensland charity, Social Enterprise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sneakers for Samoa appeal November 2015

I would like to introduce you to my friend Anna, who is running a collection for second hand sports shoes and equipment for people in Samoa – please read on and give generously!  Learn more about the project on the Sneakers for Samoa facebook page.

SneakersSamoaKnown as the land of ‘happy people’ Samoa is one of Australia’s closest neighbours. Alarmingly it is also the 5th most obese country in the world with 70% of Samoan people considered overweight. With limited arable land, processed food is the staple of most people’s diets while poor infrastructure, cultural norms and lack of programs prevents many from ‘getting physical’. 

In an effort to support people of all ages to get active, two local triathlon clubs have recently formed. The clubs are already seeing some great results with four locals already completing a gruelling IRONMAN distance triathlon and countless more competing in the local running and swimming races. 

While energy levels are high, the clubs are limited by lack of training equipment. Which is where my friend Ray comes in. Ray is one of the world’s gentle giants. Born and raised in Samoa, he took up triathlon when he arrived in Australia and completely fell in love with the sport. He is passionate about supporting others to share his love and so for the past two years has been collecting used equipment and sending it back to his homeland all at his own expense. 

This November we launched ‘Sneakers for Samoa’ and we’re asking people to donate their old sneakers, training clothes, swimming or cycling gear so we can send it directly to Samoa. Our ship leaves on the 15th November, so we just have a few days left. While we’re not particularly fussy, we ask that all kit is clean and in reasonable condition. 

To arrange pick up or drop off of donations in the Brisbane area please contact Anna on

Your second or third pair of sneakers would mean a lot to people like 14 year old Ronnie who recently completed his first 10km race….in socks.

Thank you for your generous support!

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