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Merv’s creation of the ‘Sunrise Wanderers’ in Mount Martha in early 2023 illustrates his dedication to community building and the importance of mateship.

Updated: Mar 5

CHAT SESSION 45 with Merv Stewart

Topic- A testament to the power of empathy, innovation, and collaboration in creating lasting, positive change in society.

Catch up and listen to our chat session

Monday 4th March 2024 1pm

Merv Stewart’s journey is a compelling narrative of transformation and community engagement, deeply rooted in the values of empathy, intergenerational connection, and mateship. With a rich background in international consulting and program management, Merv has seamlessly transitioned from the corporate to the social sector, driven by a desire to make meaningful changes within communities.

At the heart of Merv’s work is his commitment to bridging generational gaps and rebuilding community ties, particularly through initiatives like Senior Techies. This program, aimed at reducing social isolation among seniors by pairing them with tech-savvy youth, exemplifies Merv’s innovative approach to fostering intergenerational learning and support. Through such initiatives, Merv not only addresses the issue of loneliness among the elderly but also empowers younger generations to contribute positively to their communities.

Merv’s creation of the Sunrise Wanderers- in Mount Martha in early 2023 further illustrates his dedication to community building and the importance of mateship. This sunrise men’s walking group, which started with a modest gathering and grew to include over 200 men who have attended and provides a space for individuals to connect, share experiences, and support each other away from the pressures of daily life. The groups growth speaks to the fundamental human need for connection and the power of simple, shared activities in creating strong, supportive networks with further wandering community now started in Frankston, Geelong, and Mornington with more to following on the Mornington Peninsula and beyond in 2024.

The recognition of Merv as a Westpac Social Change Fellow underscores his impactful contributions to society and his ability to inspire change across different sectors. This accolade not only highlights his efforts in addressing social isolation through innovative community programs but also reinforces the belief that individuals from diverse backgrounds can drive significant societal improvements.

Merv’s work, characterized by a focus on empathy, community, and mateship, serves as a beacon for those looking to make a difference in their communities. His story encourages us to seek out opportunities for connection, to engage with our communities, and to value the bonds of friendship and support that are essential in combating isolation and building a more inclusive world.

In essence, Merv Stewart’s endeavours showcase the transformative impact of combining professional expertise with a passion for social good. By championing intergenerational connections and nurturing spaces for mateship and community engagement, Merv not only addresses the challenges of social isolation but also lays the groundwork for more resilient, interconnected communities. His journey is a testament to the power of empathy, innovation, and collaboration in creating lasting, positive change in society.

Daily mirror response

"A profound sense of accomplishment and purpose, reflecting on my journey from a farm in Ireland to impactful community engagement and impact in Australia. My why ‘is to help good humans be calm and curious, empowering them with the confidence to create and make amazing things happen, so when I look in the mirror, I remind myself of this and go out into the day to live this purpose". Merv Stewart

 Looking for mateship and community connection?

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My hope is that when you’re looking at yourself in the

‘The Daily Mirror’




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'The Daily Mirror' acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and acknowledges and pays respect to their Elders, past and present.


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