Kindred Spirits Charter
Kindred Spirits is a “family and friends” based foundation created to empower people and communities along their journeys.
The foundation aims to connect people to the assets in their community that already exist to create positive and meaningful change from within. It does this through acts of kindness, identifying possibilities not problems and providing a hand up rather than a hand out.
Kindred Spirits believes in the power of first steps and offers to walk with communities and individuals as they move along their chosen path.
The foundation operates through actions, not words and when it listens, it hears. It enables growth, builds connections and creates links.
Kindred Spirits provides opportunities for people and communities to become stronger and fulfill their dreams by discovering and building on their existing merits. This positive approach is known as asset-based community development.
The foundation is guided by the communities and people it works with. Creating new and leveraging existing relationships are the foundation’s strengths.
WHO WE ARE
Kindred Spirits is made up of a group of people connected through personal and professional relationships and a desire to make a difference. Each member brings their own skills, experiences and networks to the Foundation. Each wants to support founder Rhonda Renwick’s vision to empower people and communities along their journeys.
Rhonda Renwick, Founder
Rhonda is the sole director of Latrobe Valley Bus Lines, based in Morwell in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley in Gippsland. The mother of three has lived in the Latrobe Valley for more than 35 years and has also enjoyed careers as an organizational psychologist, Monash University lecturer and antique dealer. During the 1980s through her career at Monash Uniersity, Rhonda became involved with indigenous communities in remote regions of Australia. She has lived with communities across Australia including Alice Springs where she helped the local indigenous community realize their dream of opening a traditional healing centre. She has also lived and worked in Wadeye in the Northern Territory and her relationships with these communities continue.
A qualified pilot, Rhonda is a keen traveller and devoted grandmother to seven grandchildren.
Rhonda describes working with Kindred Spirits Foundation as an enjoyable and enlightening experience that brings her into contact with some remarkable people.
Pam Usher, Trustee
Pam started her professional working life as a secondary teacher, a role she loved and continued in for 15 years. The progression to Human Resource Management seemed logical and one which Pam embraced fully. She joined the Management Team of the Invicta Bus Group in 1995 as a change agent and was responsible for all the Policies and Procedures so vital to the success and fair play of a large business. Recruitment and selection were also a major role for Pam which enabled her to choose team members who were the right fit for Invicta. In 2001 Pam headed a management buyout of Invicta and spent seven very successful, challenging and happy years as Managing Director. During this time Pam sat on several Industry committees, and was the first female member of the Busvic Council. Pam also has strong ties to local Council and Disability Groups. Pam was awarded three BusVic industry awards in the categories of Environment and Safety.
Pam feels very strongly that communities flourish with the right balance of care, interest, knowledge and financial support. Her aim for the future is to be a part of communities who need help in finding their balance.
Kathy Havers, Trustee
Kathy is one of the founding trustees of the Foundation and the “Responsible Officer”. Kathy is self employed as a Financial Planner and operates from a practice in Hawthorn Victoria. It was her work as a Financial Planner that brought about the introduction to Rhonda, who is a client of Kathy’s. The subsequent establishment of the Foundation occurred in early 2008. Kathy is a devoted wife to Daniel and mum of two beautiful children, India 13, whose passion is singing and performing, and Brady 11 who has Autism Spectrum Disorder and who attends Bulleen Heights Specialist School. Kathy is Vice President of the Board of Brady’s school and is committed to making a difference to these very special children and their families. It is the same commitment and passion that drives Kathy to improve the outcomes of others through her involvement with the Foundation. Finally, in her “spare” time, Kathy is almost finished her Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MEI) at Swinburne University and she loves travelling and time out with her family.
Ann Shanley, Trustee
Ann has a background in human services delivery and policy and is a founding member of the Foundation. Ann has worked extensively in rural communities in NSW in child protection, family support and disability services; in centralised policy and planning for the NSW Department of Community Services and as a consultant in Melbourne.
Leanne Blake, Foundation Secretary
Leanne is married with two adult sons. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Community Development and has worked at community level for over 20 years including adult education & learning centre’s, in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, on community engagement projects, with unemployed youth on employment based training programs and teaching literacy/numeracy to people with learning disabilities. Leanne has lived in the Latrobe Valley for most of her life. She currently works with Rhonda at Latrobe Valley Bus Lines.