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Jim Clarke is a Northside Changemaker

JimClarkeChangemaker

Interview provided by Northside Rising, an Inspiring Communities nested initiative.

Tell me a little bit about yourself?

Where to start? My background education is in Electronic Engineering. I have over 25 years of experience in that field. Currently I am a green energy consultant as well as a firefighter for the Georges River Volunteer Fire Department, and  long time community volunteer in North Sydney. I am a father of five and I have two dogs – Toby and Missy.

How did you hear about this program? What drew you to applying?

I have been connected to Northside Rising for a while now and thinking about other ways I can help in my community. I saw the application come up in my news feeds. I was drawn to apply mostly because I was interested in the training that came with it (Mental Health First Aid, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, Naloxone training) I thought I could do something with those as I have personal interest in developments in the medical community. 

 What do you love about the Northside? What makes it special?

As much as I do like getting out of it, I have lots of close, lifelong friends in the community. That’s why I am here. The amount  of history we have here, as well as the potential it could have gives me hope. I think we are on the cusp of turning things around here. 

When you think of the word Changemaker, does anyone you know come to mind?

When I think of the word Changemaker. I think of people around here who are doing things outside the box.  Looking beyond our borders of solutions and inventing new ones. I think we all know that what we are doing isn’t working. We need to stop looking at the past and stop looking traditionally – because it’s not going to work. We need to begin developing new ways of working and growing. The people around here who are thinking outside those boxes of tradition – those are changemakers to me. 

What are you hoping for the Northside? Why is that hope important to you/ the community?

I would like to see the Northside flourish again. I would like to see an increase in population and  business. That’s the answer to a lot of our problems.  Although I believe there is lots of cleaning going forward, that’s where we need to start.

My kids are still here- four here and one away. It would be nice to have an option for them to stay here. It’s unlikely at the moment but in the future maybe they can generate something, do something… maybe I can survive here, with them. 

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Rapid Fire Questions

 (Adapted from Brene Brown Rapid Fire Questions)

Fill in the blank: Vulnerability is _______________

I have no idea – Vulnerability is vulnerability 

You’re called to do something brave, but your fear is real and stuck in your throat. What’s the first thing you do?

Swallow hard, bear down and move 

What is something that people often get wrong about you?

 Ohhh, boy I would be the last one to know! You should ask my neighbours!

What’s the last show that you binged and loved?

The Good Doctor 

Give us a film you really love?

I am a Lord of the Rings fan 

What’s your favourite meal?

Curry 

What’s on your nightstand right now?

a pager, a cell phone 

Give us a snapshot of an ordinary moment in your life that brings you great joy?

House filled with half a dozen kids just laughing and having fun. I can hear them now, a little swarm running around the house. 

What is the one thing you’re deeply grateful for right now?

A healthy family – if you don’t have that, not much else matters. 

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