The Lakes Hub Foundation was created in January 2015 as a humanitarian not-for-profit, non-government-organisation to promote tourism to locals and visitors in the East Gippsland, Gippsland Lakes region.
We are not a charity organisation, but instead a non-profit association established purely for the purpose of promoting the development of tourism in this region.
The Foundation's two founding Principal Participants, are Shane and Kerstin Kidd, residents of the Lakes Entrance area.
The Gippsland Lakes area, was found to be sorely lacking a cohesive, focussed Tourism information service that could promote the region across all facets of the internet including websites and social media. Local business owners were lacking the knowlege and know-how to represent their business and their region online to potential visitors.
Via this website, our sister websites www.purposeinthehub.com.au and www.gippslandweb.com.au, we have created a large directory of tourism and community educational resources, which can be used by local residents, local business owners and visitors to our region.
Promoting a region is not just about having a website, or a directory. It's about connecting with potential visitors via Social Media, Email newsletters, Blog articles and a retail shopfront. We maintain all these services for the Community of Lakes Entrance and the Gippsland Lakes. We've created and published many videos showcasing the Gippsland Lakes, and continue to create and maintain a large image library, available to local businesses for promoting the region.
The primary purpose of the Lakes Hub Foundation, is thus to fund, facilitate, implement and operate projects and enterprises that are sustainable and fully promote Tourism in the Gippsland Lakes region.
The Lakes Hub Foundation regularly supports other local non-profit organisations in their fund raising and day to day operations. The Foundation is closely aligned with the Lakes Entrance Action and Development Association, a non-profit association for local tourism business owners and residents.
We assist with their annual Fireworks Festival, which is a major drawcard for Lakes Entrance Tourism, as well as their regular Duck Race fund raisers. The Foundation regularly attends their meetings to assist in anyway we can.
Close ties are also maintained with the Regional EGRBTA and East Gippsland Marketing to facilitate ongoing support and activities in the local Tourism sector.
We offer many other services via the retail shop Purpose in the Hub, 10 Myer Street, Lakes Entrance. We facilitate a space for many local artists and producers, allowing them to display and/or sell their goods. We have a book swapping service and offer a large selection of DVDs for hire to assist the community in looking after their health and well being.
Purpose in the Hub is also a central place for local therapists and healers to promote their services to the local residents and tourists. The shop is staffed by caring individuals with the intention of being there to assist in any way they can. Whether that be for tourist information services or personal issues and primarily taking into account the wellbeing and benefit of others.
Recently we've initiated a Food Swap service for local food growers. Any surplus fruit and vegetables grown in backyards around Lakes Entrance, can be swapped for goods of similar quantity/quality. We have a large organic garden, maintained by the Foundation, with the express aim of distributing healthy, fresh food to the local residents, free of charge.
The Foundation is also heavily involved in assisting local business owners in getting their business online and visible to the tourism market. This involves creating websites, social media channels and tuition for the business owners, to encourage them to not only promote their own business but to promote the entire Gippsland Lakes region as a whole.
Further assistance is also provided to local environmental associations, assisting in their online presence and assisting in keeping our Gippsland Lakes in pristine condition. Regular rubbish cleanups are performed as well as track maintenance to ensure the safety and wellbeing of visiting tourists to our region.
We have only just begun, and intend to connect with more local non-profit associations and clubs, to assist them in promoting Tourism in our region.
Jan 1-25 - 2016: Financial support to the EG Woodchop Association; labor and financial support for LEADA Duck Races; fruit & veges distributed to local residents (5 baskets so far); a few extra businesses listed on website for tourism; on-going discussions regarding improvements in Lakes Entrance CBD and Foreshore management.
Feb 2016: We've been assisting many local families with a good supply of fresh fruit and vegetables. The community garden Hub is doing very well, with the weather staying warm and moist. Tomatos and cucumbers in abundant supply at the moment.
March 2016: March has been a busy month. We've been involved in the new Design a Sign competition in collaboration with LEADA. We created a new website page for LEADA (as well as updating their existing home page etc), so local artists could submit their entries for designing the new Lakes Entrance town signs.
Vegetable distribution has been huge this month, with much surplus going to Purpose in the Hub for giveaway. We utilised local Facebook pages to advertise the free vegetables. We've probably moved about 100 kg of tomatos this year, along with cucumbers, zuchinni, capsicums and many eggplants.
We're continuing our constant promotion of Lakes Entrance events, on our Events page, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. All these promotions are carried out on a volunteer basis on behalf of the entire Lakes Entrance community.
The Foundation is also supporting this month two of LEADA's fundraising Duck Races. The final race being held on Easter Sunday in Lakes Entrance. We'll be there providing assistance to LEADA with the sound system and the launching of the ducks.
Video is now the primary marketing tool for tourism destination promotion, and in response to this, the Lakes Hub Foundation has purchased a high quality hand-held video camera and a full HD capable Drone. We look forward to getting the drone in the air at local events and generally taking footage never seen before of Lakes Entrance. These videos will be posted via our websites and social media with the intention of attracting more visitors to our region.
Work has been steadily progressing on the release of the new and updated Lakes Entrance Mobile App. This is another free service offered to locals, tourists and business owners to promote Lakes Entrance and the surrounding areas for tourism. The App is available on 3 platforms, Android, iOS and Windows phones. All development is done on a volunteer basis, and so far we've clocked up over 100 hours of development towards producing this Free App for Lakes Entrance. Release will be in April/May 2016.
Another project in the pipeline for Lakes Entrance is an outdoor cinema. The EG Shire has purchased an inflatable outdoor screen, so we're in the planning process with LEADA to instigate some night time outdoor cinema events during the later half of 2016. Watch our events page for details.
We've also made some other contributions lately. The East Gippsland Environment Network received funds, along with the "One Nation" group and a financial donation has been made to "Free the Shackles" to assist one of their members to come to Australia. The local CFA received donations on their Good Friday appeal. So we've been busy with financial and produce donations this month, all in keeping with the spirit of the Lakes Hub Foundation's principles to support local organisations, local community and Australia/World wide programs, with our main focus on increasing visitation to East Gippsland.