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Improving Aboriginal health through the power of running


17 November 2023 at 9:00 am
Ed Krutsch
This weeks change maker is Georgia Weir, founder of Deadly Runners. Georgia's vision is to grow the network of local indigenous running clubs by upskilling and employing local community leaders. 


Ed Krutsch | 17 November 2023 at 9:00 am


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Improving Aboriginal health through the power of running
17 November 2023 at 9:00 am

 

Georgia Weir is an Aboriginal woman who experienced the transformative power of running first-hand.  She had been struggling with addiction and mental health issues and says running saved her life.  She wants to enable First Nations people across Australia to experience the power of running, as well as the social connections that come from being part of a local group that gathers around a positive activity.

Georgia is in the second cohort of the Snow Entrepreneurs, a fellowships for social change program that supports nine visionary, social impact start-up leaders with $100-200k each in philanthropic funding from The Snow Foundation. Georgia’s project is Deadly Runners, a grassroots running club for First Nations people, working in collaboration with local community leaders and Aboriginal Health Organisations to improve physical and mental health outcomes and enable people to make life changes.  Read on for our change maker interview with Georgia.

 

Describe your career trajectory and how you got to your current position.

I started off in the public service when I was 16. I stayed there until I had my fourth child at 29. After my maternity leave was finished, I decided I wanted a change and moved to a Community Services role, this was the same time I took up running. After the positive impact running had on my physical and mental health I gained the relevant qualifications to coach and offered a program in my community of Queanbeyan. Deadly Runners (DR’s) was born! It has grown and changed over the years. Though I kept working within Community Service roles I would coach in the mornings. I realised the more time I put into DR the bigger impact it had. I participated in the Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) Accelerator program in 2019 and this really put me on the path and planted the seed on turning DR’s into a business.

What does this role mean to you?

It is hard to articulate this question. I did this for free for many years with no financial support because I was witnessing the positive impact it had on individuals and the community. The concept of running is so simple and combined with culture and community at the forefront it is simply incredible. Deadly Runners has turned my pain into purpose, so to be doing something that allows me to live my purpose is more meaningful than words can describe.

Take us through a typical day of work for you.

I don’t think there is a typical day! No day looks the same. I am enjoying a rest now as I just ran the Chicago marathon a few weeks ago but usually it will start with either a run or coaching a DR group. It varies from mundane admin tasks, to meeting with mob, checking in with DR’s, managing the social media, planning and more planning!

What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in your career, and how did you overcome it?

There have been many. The biggest challenge has been learning to run a business and give it the time it needs while ensuring that it’s not coming at the expense of my family.
When I started seeing the impact DR’s was having I was very driven and focused on growing it. There were times it came before my own wellbeing and family.
I went through a process of clearly Identifying and understanding what my values were. This completely changed how I make decisions.

If you could go back in time, what piece of advice would you give yourself as you first embarked on
your career?

Stick with it, have faith, look after yourself, back yourself, do the footwork and surrender the outcome.

How do you unwind after work?

I will either read or watch a few episodes of whatever I am watching at time.

What was the last thing you watched, read or listened to?

I shuffle between a few podcasts. My favourite ones are Ben Greenfield, Jay Shetty and Gabby Berstein.


Ed Krutsch  |  @ProBonoNews

Ed Krutsch works part-time for Pro Bono Australia and is also an experienced youth organiser and advocate, he is currently the national director of the youth democracy organisation, Run For It.


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