This month’s networking event at Link Health with special guest John Loughton and graduates of The Opening Doors program was nothing short of inspiring, and one we hope to make a regular event on our calendar each year.

Taking us on a personal journey back to his upbringing in Edinburgh, Scotland, John’s message of working towards a collaborative economy to benefit whole communities had us all listening with intent and in awe of his own challenging path to change. We were so appreciative of his time and thank the Junior Chamber International for including the Monash Business Awards in his busy schedule whilst here in Australia.



John’s personal mission to improve the lives of young people by advancing social justice and bringing innovation into global leadership was the perfect introduction to the business pitches of three graduates from The Opening Doors Community Leadership program. Opening Doors is a free community leadership program for people who are passionate about making a difference in their local area, run by Link Health and Community. So you can imagine the level of feel-good goosebumps by the end of the night!

From a total of 138 graduates who have completed the program since 2009, we were fortunate enough to hear the business pitches from three incredibly passionate people who have received training and support through the program across a broad range of areas over a 6-month period, including:

  • Leadership Skills
  • Understanding and Addressing Social Isolation
  • Asset Based Community Development
  • Networking
  • Project Development
  • Grant Writing

The business ideas included:

Impact Box, a reusable food container made of rice husks to help reduce the amount of plastic being consumed in the restaurant industry; Grow, a collaborative coworking space for creatives to to build on their passion with the benefit of learning how to turn it into a thriving business; and Ability Wanderers, a not for profit start up assisting parents of children with learning disabilities by providing a safe and caring place to visit,  and for their children to learn a new skill, be social and included in society.



If you’d like further information on how you or your business may be able to assist these ideas come to fruition, please contact Opening Doors Program Coordinator, Alex Mills on

We look forward to seeing these and many more initiatives continue to develop within our City of Monash community.