Project Ilypa: Turning passion into action

2 June 2009

Starting small, thinking big...
Starting small, thinking big...

A group of Health Sciences' students document the ups and downs in their quest to raise money to tackle hearing loss in the classroom.

From the conception of this project, no one questioned the passion we had toward making a difference to the lives of Indigenous schoolchildren suffering from Otitis Media. The teachers could see the value in what we were trying to achieve, and that was why they allowed us to take on a project management module in our fourth year of Occupational Therapy, , to allow us to focus our efforts fully on achieving our goals and objectives.

A lot has happened along the way, especially between the beginning of semester and now. We had made contact with the Rotary Club of Dee Why Waringah, and planned to use the partnership as a platform for fundraising and networking among other Rotary Clubs to raise money for sound systems. This, in theory, sounded like a good plan to raise a lot of money, but things were proceeding slowly, so we needed to investigate some other fundraising opportunities in order to meet at least some of our project objectives by the end of semester, to fulfill module requirements.

We became lost in the trappings of daily routine, and things were not happening for us the way we had planned. Seven weeks into semester and we had barely raised any money to our name. Was our lack of experience to blame? Or was it our gradual loss of passion? Passion is defined as a strong feeling or emotion about something. We had that, we still believed strongly in our project, still championed our cause for better educational facilities for children with hearing loss, still advocated for better healthcare service provision. What we lost was focus, commitment, good time management, pro-active and affirmative action. These things form the link between passion and action.

Passion should be a project team's fuel, the driving force that pushes everyone to commit - what may seem to others - -unearthly amounts of time to something they believe strongly in, focus with razor sharp precision on what needs to be done and by when, chase up people and deadlines with a firm but yielding hand, and step out of our comfort zones, all in the name of 'making a difference'. This is what creates action.

I am proud to say our project and our team have come a long way and learnt a lot from our mistakes, more than if we had taken any regular module of study. We have patched the leaks in our fuel tank, and topped it up with high octane passion, ready to drive Project Ilypa to the next level. We are currently holding fundraising events and talks to promote our cause, as well as putting up information posters and pamphlets to generate awareness. No matter how long it takes, a project fueled with passion always makes it to the end.

To find out more come along to the Project Ilypa Reconciliation Week Presentation.

Contact: Erin Lowie

Email: 2e1b58190b75745f092a0c31241d02031d0f78010936560d02