About CERES Global
What makes us special
Our trips are not tours but rather journeys of exploration and learning that we share together.
They are real, lived experiences, where the people who travel with us immerse themselves in the culture and places we visit in a meaningful and mutually respectful way.
Our facilitators are not tour guides but facilitators or enablers.
They work with the group as a whole to achieve insight and understanding of the communities we visit. The facilitator’s role is to engage discussion within the group and with community members we are visiting to allow the sharing of ideas on social and environmental issues.
The people and places we visit are not tourist destinations or third party providers but rather real friends who we approach as true partner organisations.
All of our partners do exceptional work in the areas of sustainability, the environment, community development, social equity and education. We celebrate each other’s work through mutually beneficial exchange and two way learning.
The trips are open to people of any age or background wanting to travel with meaning and purpose, willing to open their hearts and minds to another culture and way of life.
The CERES Global trip moved me, I had to sit in spaces that felt uncomfortable, I realised that my frame of reference was very Western and the power imbalance in the way I work with community was apparent. I experienced the joy of being vulnerable, the importance of sharing and starting with the strengths in any situation, how essential it is to change my language and question my motivation and intentions and most of all it confirmed that I will always be inspired by community and it is a place that I want to be….. I consider this as a gift given to me and I will share it in many different ways to be able to keep the spirit of what was given to me alive.
Nalika Pieris, a community development worker and team leader from Moreland City Council, who travelled with us on our India trip in Jan 2017.
CERES Global is the international outreach program of CERES, linking our local community to friends and partner organisations around the world.
We achieve this by designing and facilitating group journeys into new cultural settings with the intent of creating a space of mutual learning and the exchange of ideas.
These engagements create discussions that explore social and environmental challenges facing both parties, creating a place for deep learning to occur and friendships to grow.
Experiencing other cultures and communities, witnessing the world in new ways, meeting people gentle and humble and with generosity so big that it moves and stirs us – it challenges and changes us, this is what makes travel so powerful. Sophie Edwards (CERES Global Coordinator).
After 7 years of being a one person show, we finally became two in January 2016. With around 15 trips that we organise and run each year, it can sometimes feel like a lot to do. Our philosophy is to work from our hearts, give things space to be fluid and allow our passions to lead us. This is what gives us energy. We also notice that when we create programs that come from our passions we end up with an experience and a journey that is profoundly moving, touching and life changing. This is what makes our work real.
CERES Global Area Manager and trip facilitator in China, Chile, India, Samoa, Timor, South East Australia.
Ben has facilitated over 40 trips internationally and at home in Australia and brings with him a gentle and contagious warmth and laid back nature. As well as being a 5-star facilitator, Ben is also an incredible networker and manages to pull connections and great conversations together wherever he goes. He is passionate about experiencing and being with the world in new ways, getting our wings out, gaining global perspectives on sustainability and the environment, sharing journeys and connecting with our own human stories.
His favourite thing about working at CERES is coffee and cake, the Namalata Willum, and networking with amazing people.
Languages – intermediate Mandarin.
CERES Global Coordinator and trip facilitator in Arnhem Land, India, Samoa, Cuba, Tasmania and Indonesia.
Sophie has been working in social equity and sustainable community development in both international and domestic contexts since 2004. Her background in environmental sustainability stems from an undergraduate degree in Ecology and Botany and has broadened to community engagement and development in her Masters in Social Sciences. Before starting at CERES, her working life has taken her through government, not-for-profit and higher education sectors across Australia and the world, including research projects in Papua New Guinea, Project Coordination in Sierra Leone and cross cultural community development in Darwin.
She is passionate about experiential learning and challenging people to think about themselves and the world differently. She believes that relationships and stories are what really touch and move people, and that is what she aims to nurture as a trip coordinator and facilitator.
Her favourite things about working at CERES are definitely the pastries they sell at the market café, stealing figs from the secret fig tree and the creative license she is given in her work.
Languages – Fluent French; Beginner Yolŋu Matha
CERES Global News
The following poem was written by Naomi Van Boxtel whilst in Chile, 2017. All content created, and all images taken were by Naomi whilst on tour with CERES Global, for more of her work [...]
My name is Milind Gowdanakunte, I recently embarked on a journey to Samoa. I was given this opportunity through the CERES Global partnership with the university of Swinburne where I study Robotics and Mechatronic Engineering, with [...]
Author - Finola Lynch, CERES Global participant July 2017 The email arrived one week out from exams, the letter head read ‘Industry Study Tour Samoa, Winter Term 2017’, the offer? An opportunity to participate [...]
In the far north of Australia, there is a vast tract of Aboriginal owned land called Arnhem Land. It covers hundreds of kms of coast, small islands and large tracts of sub-tropical Savanna woodlands. [...]
They say a picture tells a 1000 words... when I stop to sketch I look closer, I notice and appreciate so much more… and enhance memories later when I look at the sketches… and [...]
Reflections from an Explorative Journey in India: Nalika’s Story on Rethinking Community Development
They say “be careful for what you wish for”. Last year I decided I needed to do something that would shake me up, make me uncomfortable and rejuvenate me. I wasn’t sure what [...]