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Lyndsay Sharp Op-ED

Updated: Jun 22

My all time favourite Australian band, Hunters & Collectors has a song called “Do you see what I see?”  And when it comes to our region, there’s a hell of a lot to see and I don’t mean in the tourism sense (even though that goes without saying).  We are in the midst of seeing something very special in Geelong and The Bellarine.  It’s happening before our eyes and we are all part of it.  Change.  And it’s happening fast.  Some days the tangible wheels of change feel daunting and confusing.  Mostly they feel invigorating and uplifting. 


What a wonderful time to be living and working here.  Yes, we are all immersed in a tumultuous economic landscape, one that we will be operating in for the foreseeable future, but myriad positives are alive and forcibly kicking.  New infrastructures, companies, and investments.  New talent in all sectors seeking out the region, as well as new community members with a diverse range of cultures and opinions.   All agents of change.   All making a difference to our beloved region’s DNA.   


The best thing about change is that it inherently forces reflection and recalibration. A bit like going to a 3D movie, we wear different lenses or we miss out.  The 3D glasses may feel awkward but make us see clearly.  


Has anyone noticed that out of towners are no longer using derogatory language when speaking of our region?   We are no longer referred to as ‘Sleep Hollow’, ‘G-Hole’ or facetiously joked about as the ‘City of Dreams’. Our region is now aspirational and inspirational. 


A lot of us who went to school here left thinking we would never return only to do an about face when we started to have kids.  We knew what a great place this region is to grow up in, the region’s bounty and the fundamental opportunity to nail the dream of work life balance. 


We left wanting to forge our careers and lives elsewhere - bright lights, big cities – but we all, at various times, had epiphanies about what we had left behind, and the opportunities staring us in the face in our hometown back yards.


I have to confess that one of our Leura Park Estate wines, the ‘Yublong’ Cabernet Sauvignon, was me being a bit of a smart arse many years ago.  It’s a tongue in cheek salute to our friendship group joking amongst ourselves that ‘You Belong’ in Geelong.  Patrons sometimes ask what the name means, and I just smile and say it’s a nickname.  That label will be forever nostalgic, a playful reminder of how far the region has come as we all embrace – and contribute to - change.   


Lyndsay Sharp

Director and Co-Owner of The Sharp Group, A Member of Committee for Geelong.

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