Becoming and Being a Social Entrepreneur in Regional Australia: What Can Be Learned and Shared

  • Luke Terry
  • Marian Lewis


This chapter reflects on the developmental journey of social entrepreneur Luke Terry and the increasing impact that his work is having in a regional Queensland community in Australia. Two strands of Luke’s early life, his flair for business and his commitment to social action, converged to provide a foundation for his becoming a social entrepreneur. His role as the executive director of the Toowoomba Clubhouse (a non-government organisation dedicated to providing people with mental illness with the opportunity to achieve their potential) has provided the context for this work. Under Luke’s guidance, a number of social ventures have created employment for Toowoomba Clubhouse members, with their success opening the way for bigger projects along with more challenges and accompanying stresses. This is no easy road. Luke’s story provides insights into what it means genuinely to bridge the gap between the two very different worlds of business and social work. It illustrates what can be achieved by bringing these different elements of the community together with a common purpose: the creation of significant social enterprises that focus on sustainable employment and the benefit of the community. The chapter also seeks to share what Luke has learned on this journey, to open up possibilities and increase understandings of what it might mean to work in this area.


People with mental illness Social action Social entrepreneur Sustainable employment Social enterprise Social procurement 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luke Terry
    • 1
  • Marian Lewis
    • 2
  1. 1.Vanguard Laundry ServicesToowoombaAustralia
  2. 2.School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood, Faculty of Business, Education, Law and ArtsUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia

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