Sam Forbes


Sam’s passion is to ask a big question, research what's happening in that area, get out there and talk to the relevant people and then start to piece together a plan for local action that strengthens and empowers the community.

As a generalist who loves to problem solve, Sam has worked to deliver local solutions for some of Australia’s biggest social questions, these include questions like:

  • How do we age well?
  • What action can we take at the community level to improve mental health and wellbeing?
  • How can local communities make a difference to their surrounding environment? 
  • How can we train people for the social services jobs of the future? 
  • Can supported life skills education make a large and cost-effective difference to people’s mental health?
  • How can we build resilience and promote wellbeing in response to disasters like droughts and fires?


In 2016 Sam moved to Sale with his wife Madeleine and quickly fell in love with Gippsland. So much so that early in 2019 they purchased a small rural block in Stratford.

Since moving to Gippsland Sam’s focus has shifted to community development and health promotion. Before starting Elbow Community Building Sam worked on the following local projects: 


This work has shown the power of local grass roots action on major social questions. 

Sam is actively involved in his local community as Chair of the board of the Sale Neighbourhood House, and as a board member of the Sale Elderly Citizens Village (Ashleigh House).

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Interested in learning more about what we do or have a question, We help governments, not-for-profits, philanthropy and businesses to make change that leads to better lives.