Alisa Hall talks about how a small community organisation can achieve a huge amount for their clients. She talks about the rewards and achievements of the organisation and how it has evolved over time.


So my name is Alisa, Alisa Hall, so I'm the CEO here at Sandbag and Sandbag stands for Sandgate and Bracken Ridge Action Group. Sandbag's been around for nearly 30 years, we are a North Brisbane based organisation, community organisation. The backbone of the organisation really is about community and grassroots, our, kind of, vision and our mission, I suppose, to achieve that is really around creating inclusions and creating connections for people. We are, I think, we're quite a small organisation, in terms of our size, and our, I guess, our funding base but we're, I think, quite a large, you know, aspirational type of organisation in terms of the diversity of things that we do. We have had a very long-standing domestic and family violence support program that's gone on for a very long time, that was actually the first thing the organisation did, it's how we started. We also provide a community participation program for people with disabilities. We currently have a number of education and training programs.

We also do things around supporting community activities, so we auspice and manage a range of community groups. There's a community farm which actually exists in the middle of the Deagon racetrack, the horsing racetrack, and that is around volunteers participating and learning about gardening and produce and farming. But it also has a focus on refugee communities and refugee families and there's about 50 refugee families that actually grow enough food in that farm to feed their families, so it's gorgeous thing for us.

The most rewarding things are when you see the actual impact for individuals or for groups, of the work that you do, so when I get the chance to go to things like, you know, I went to one of our traineeship graduations not long ago and the genuine, you know, the genuine impact that it had for a couple of those people in terms of assisting them to change their life, is incredibly rewarding to see that. Challenges and frustrations? Look, there's all kinds, but I think certainly the stringing everything together in terms of sustainability and funding is always a challenge, but that can be an exciting thing as well, because I think it leads to innovation and change and different things. But, lots more rewards than challenges but enough to keep you going.

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