A focus on community since 2005
In 2005, I mobilised my networks and embarked on an 18 month, self-funded, well-intentioned rescue mission to Sri Lanka, to assist refugees in Tsunami ravaged communities in the country’s North East. I managed the collection, shipment, and distribution of goods in the refugee camps and continued to support those communities for a further 18 months.
Since then, Zulu’s Community has supported organizations in Cambodia and The Democratic Republic of Congo via collections, fundraising events, and campaigns, including Candles for Community.
Connecting people to community
I worked on a voluntary basis with a selection of organisations to connect them people seeking opportunities to get involved, be hands-on and to give back to people in need. These opportunities directly support organisations and individuals who:
- Are known personally by me and who are trusted to administer and ensure that funds are spent in the country we are helping.
- Provide quality support for the day to day needs of children and people in need- shelter, food, clothing, education, and LOVE;
- Are focused on education, vocational training, and practical skills particularly for young people and women in crisis situations;
- Are specific, targeted, culturally appropriate and achievable in their objectives;
In Sydney, the focus is on bringing communities together to cook for and feed homeless and disadvantaged communities through Our Big Kitchen, Gethsemane Community and C3 Church.
Sue’s book, Accidental Aid Worker includes stories of 14 years as an independent businesswoman, marketing professional, volunteer humanitarian, community builder and leader. Find out more about Sue’s journey into volunteering and community work and read the behind the scenes stories of Zulu’s Community and these campaigns. Buy your copy of the book and find out where Sue is giving an author talk – www.accidentalaidworker.com.au
Heart warming events for my members
I felt motivated to organise a cook-in event at Our Big Kitchen (OBK), so that my members could experience a feel-good "give something back" activity.The cook-in at OBK, exceeded all of my expectations in terms of a social and interactive activity. Everyone was smiling and sharing warm and friendly conversations, while working side-by-side chopping up ingredients and preparing meals. I think the most striking element of the cook-in was seeing the stack of meals packaged up and ready to send off. A most heart-warming feeling!
At the end of the cook-in, we gathered in a local coffee shop, buzzing and feeling great that our contribution would soon be reaching those less fortunate than ourselves.
I fully support the good work that Zulu and OBK do for Sydney's community, long may it continue. I hope to spread the word and get more good people involved. If you only get involved in one charitable activity this year, make sure its a cook-in with Zulu at OBK!!! - Neil Scott, 35+ Meetup group organiser
And from participants:
- Best Meetup ever!!! Loved it. Truly social, and the giving back is so rewarding. Thank you Sue and Neil - Miriam
- Thanks for a meaningful time together for a great reason!! See u again soon!! X - Jane
- An enjoyable morning spent with lovely company. Great to learn more about this fantastic charity. Thanks Sue & Neil for organising 🙂 - Pru
- This was an awesome experience! - Colleen
- Wow, this was so much fun, so inclusive and so worthwhile. A gold medal M'Up. Super well done. 🙂 – Alistair
- What a privilege it's been today...to prepare meals for those in need and to be amongst great people :-)) - Jenny
- Thanks for arranging this meetup Sue and Neil. It was a fantastic morning with an inspirational organisation - Avryl
35+ Meetup Group
Perfect for our group to build new connections
As a steering committee member of the Sydney Development Circle (SDC), I’m always after new ways of engaging community, and bringing like-minded people together. The SDC event Sue organised at OBK was the perfect platform for our members to build new connections, and support the refugee community through House of Welcome.
Cooking together cancelled out any awkwardness, as we had something to do while we chatted with new people. Having everyone stirring, chopping and kneading together helped to create a sense of our own community. The shared activities allowed people from diverse backgrounds, sectors, and experience levels to find common ground, and acted as a springboard for discussions on local and global development issues.
I’ve always been a firm believer that food brings people together in a unique way, and our experience at OBK confirmed this. Our members were able to contribute to community, and connect with each other in new ways over food. Sue’s excellent facilitation at OBK helped to expand SDC’s community of development professionals, and we received great feedback from those who participated. - Lila Kennelly
Great idea to combine community building with OBK
Our Big Kitchen is a great concept and lots of fun. Not only to you get to meet wonderful people who are often interested in similar projects, and therefore a great networking opportunity, there is food, glorious food and lots of it!!! You get not just to prepare it (which is fun when you are doing it with others) but you get to eat as well!
Combining a hands on purposeful activity with a guest speaker, where you learn about a particular project, is a great way to be informed about a project, become involved and raise funds. Congratulations to the organisers, to the endless stream of volunteers, and to Sue and Zulu for organising such meaningful events. Robyn
Quality networking experiences
My first experience at OBK was for a Zulu Communications networking event, I loved it so much that I have already been back twice.
It is really fun way to connect with people in a non-awkward networking environment plus, I felt that I was doing something really helpful. I always leave feeling inspired and smiling. The events are very well organised, OBK make you feel welcome and part of something ‘bigger’ and while it is nice to be able to give something back, I always walk away feeling like I am the one who has gained more. I am looking forward to the next event and I cannot recommend these experiences highly enough. - Kimi Anderson, Travelgiver.com
Energy and enthusiasm with great skills
Sue and I met while she was working in the St George region, firstly from St George Private Hospital and later with Kogarah Council. Sue's energy and enthusiasm provide a point of difference and her marketing and communications skills are second-to-none.
I'd love an opportunity to work with Sue in the future - Trevor Weeding, Media Sales Consultant
Sue is a doer
Sunrise children and I are very lucky to have people like Sue Liu who came into our lives, saw our needs and got off her bum and does something about it. She is a doer, not a gonnadoer.
Sue is a giver who has given so much over the years. When I meet people I have a button that just switches off when the chemistry is not there and a button that screams when I meet a kindred spirit. When Sue and I met my button went ballistic! She has “adopted” Sunrise and done so much to help us with fund-raising, even when she was unemployed, and has been embraced by many of the children there.
- Geraldine Cox AM, Country Director and President, Australia Cambodia Foundation, Inc - and Sunrise Children's Villages in Cambodia
Sunrise Children's Villages