World renowned cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead, once said,
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Seth Godin, marketer extraordinaire, once tweeted, “Fire the committee. No great Web site in history has ever been conceived of by more than three people. Not one. This is a deal breaker.”

For individuals in our society who think they can’t make a difference – think again. When I speak to people in our community – or indeed in any community – they will always know individuals who are the real drivers behind an organisation; a group; a club or an activity. These individuals are changing the world. They are making a difference. Sure – many have committees to help them out but everyone knows that if this person got hit by a bus tomorrow, the committee would all but fall over.

This column is all about them – these are the people who are using their actions to drive the change they want in their community. You don’t see them complaining to Government and blaming everything on other people – these are the people you just see rolling up their sleeves and getting the job done. It may be someone on the Netball committee; the Rotary Club; the Scouts; a fundraiser – you get the picture.

On the Monday of the long weekend we will see yet another organisation making a difference to the lives of the people of Dubbo and the surrounding area. The second biennial Tour de OROC (TdO) will push off from Wellington. The first event in 2013 was a resounding success. The primary objective to raise money for Macquarie Homestay was well and truly successful. A corollary of the primary objective was that it united the (then) eleven Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the region that were members of OROC at the time. Mayors and community people in each town joined in for one cause and not only was $176,168.63 raised but when it came time for Rod Crowfoot’s committee to apply for $3.3 million of Cobbora Transition Fund money last year, it made it much easier to show comprehensive support for the project when all communities committed money and all Mayors committed skin off their bottoms – literally.

These are the types of actions that make a difference in a community. A small group of ten riders and six support crew can lay claim to taking a huge step towards building a much needed facility for the region.

The committed volunteer committee for this year – led by David Hayes and supported by the Rotary Club of Dubbo South – will again unite the region and add more dollars to the project. There are now twelve LGAs in OROC so the ride has been extended to cover more than 1,200km in six days – a mammoth effort for all of those involved. Some would say an epic. By way of comparison, the most famous bicycle race in the world, the Tour de France (TdF) covered 3,360km in 23 days this year.

To emphasise the reputation the TdO has already achieved, dual Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist, Megan Dunn, rode on the TdO in 2013 and this year we have arguably the most successful Australian rider in TdF history, Robbie McEwen. Cadel Evans is obviously known as the first Aussie to win the TdF but Robbie McEwen has won twelve individual stages – ten more than any other Aussie and, in the entire history of TdF, Aussies have only ever won 27 stages. Robbie also has three green jerseys – there are only three riders in the history of the TdF with more green jerseys and there is only one other Australian to have ever won just the one green jersey. The fact that he is a triple Olympian is almost forgotten when you consider just his TdF feats.

The fact that Aussie cycling royalty has agreed to donate his time to Stage one of the TdO gives an example of just how much of a difference a small group of committed people can make. The profile that Robbie will add to the TdO and the potential to increase fundraising efforts and exposure for the area is enormous.

I am sure more people will want to ride on Day one of the ride (from Wellington to Warren) as it is not every day you get the chance to ride beside a TdF multiple stage winner. I am sure that on the back of this announcement that the organisers will even sell more tickets in their monster raffle – with prizes such as free flights to Brisbane with Jetgo and free accommodation in Brisbane with TRYP on offer plus local prizes such as a night for a family at Zoofari then the prizes are certainly sought after.

The next time you see a volunteer, go up and thank them. Thank them for the difference they are making to the community and applaud them for changing the world – for the better. And if you want to make a difference to this world – just get in and do something.

Tell me someone you know who is changing the world for the better at

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