Thursday, 6 April 2017

Caring at End of Life Research Project

Thank you, Rosemary, for sharing the Caring at End of Life Research project with us.   It was good to hear about the positive experiences of the community that cared and shared the caring of the dying.

By the number of people who attended and the questions that it raised, it is evident this is a topic that not only needs to be talked about more but raises so many other questions. 

I think we all learned something about death and dying that we hadn’t heard previously. 

One of the keys to having a positive experience in caring and dying seemed to be having an engaged community ranging from the personal carers to the service providers such as the doctors, pharmacists, etc.  

Some of the questions and comment that were raised:

·      How do you link into services available?  There are many palliative care services out there, but how do you find them.
·      What does death look like?  Many people have not experienced seeing a person die first-hand; therefore, it holds a fear of the unknown.
·      Even when the dying person has made their wish for no more treatment known to family, there is still the fear of guilt of not calling an ambulance and how those further from the immediate family will perceive the lack of action.
·      Even though a person is dying and has a ‘do not resuscitate’ in their advanced care directive’, there are still medical procedures that can improve the quality of the life they have left.
·      Ambulances have their own medical obligations and a DNA will not be sufficient to allow them to not resuscitate.
·      It is okay for people to die at home and you can care for them at home for several deaths after death.  However, a GP does need to be called to record the death.
·      A death doula is a person can assist the dying and families in having a ‘good death’.

We were very fortunate to not only have Rosemary leading the discussion but to also have knowledgeable women in related fields – social work, nursing, the ambulance paramedic, etc. 

Rosemary also advised the Kerrie Noonan runs a program called Groundswell.  I had a quick look the website this morning and it has lots of interesting information.

I would love to run a follow-up session to cover some of the other topics that were raised.  If you have experience in a related field and would be willing to share this information with the group, we could have another session with say three ½ hour topics for discussion.   Likewise, if you would like specific information to be covered, please let me know and I’ll see if I can match up skills with topics.

Thank you, Rosemary, for giving us the opportunity to begin the conversation about death and dying. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Sounds of the Spheres

We had a beautiful evening filled with the rhythms and gentle sounds of nature, thanks to the wonderful leadership of Is Guillemin. We made amazing music using instruments that Is had handmade especially for us to christen at our session. Is also introduced us to the history and theory of sounds and why they reach inside us and invoke emotion. We finished the evening with a group harmony. It was a magical experience and I'm sure some of us floated out the building afterwards. Thank you for a wonderful night, Is.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Plan ahead for your future legal, health and financial decisions

Thank you, Denise for an extremely informative and eye-opening session on planning for your future legal, health and financial decisions. As a social worker at Nepean Hospital, Denise has seen the good, the bad and the ugly when someone who has lost the capacity to make their own decisions has not formerly made their wishes known and those decisions are then placed on family members whose opinions clash. Some of the important messages gained at this session are:  
COMMUNICATION - with family, friends, etc. have those conversations about what you would want to happen to you in the event you can no longer make those decisions yourself. 
Anyone over 18 can and should have a will. 
Don't assume you are going to living to 100 in perfect health. Accidents can and do happen that may leave you unable to make your own decisions. A Power of Attorney is only responsible for your financial actions while you have the capacity.An Enduring Power of Attorney has the power to continue to look after your financial affairs even after you lose the capacity to make your own decisions.An Enduring Guardian can make medical and health decisions if you lose the capacity to do so.Advanced Care Planning is very important as it documents your future wishes in the event you are no longer able to make them.Even if you have told your family you want your organs donated, if one person in the family says no they don't want that, it won't happen. However, if you have filled in the donor register your wishes will be followed. Communicate your decisions to those close to you, but also get your wishes documented legally.Thank you again, Denise for an excellent session, I for one am checking I have ALL the documentation in order.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Introduction to Graphic Facilitation

Another fantastic night at Lesbians' Got Talent, with a full house in attendance.  Chia showed us how to tap into the 'right brain' and demonstrated that a picture really can speak a thousand words, and in a far more interesting and memorable way. Our little star people were jumping, talking, thinking and dancing. We turned scribbles on a page into objects. It was a fun night, and the drawing techniques we learnt can be used in the office, for study, journals, letters, etc. Thank you, Chia for sharing one of your many talents with us.

Monday, 13 February 2017

LGT Up-cycling Decorative Paint Workshop

Wow! What a fabulous night we had to kick off the Lesbians' Got Talent year.  
Kylie began by giving us a rundown of the various products.  The milk paint felt so soft and squishy.  All the paints we used were low or zero VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) with low or no scent, meaning even those with sensitivities to paint product were able to join the session.  The only cleaning product used was water so the only smell was the beautiful scent of wax we used to finish off our items.

We learnt the basic ways to repair and prepare our items before Kylie let us loose with all her lovely products and colours.  Each old wooden object, was transformed into a unique and lovely masterpiece in the space of 90 minutes.  Some of the items were family heirlooms that were gathering dust, but now will be proudly on display.  

Thank you Kylie, and your lovely assistant, Tiphanee, for sharing your extensive talents with us as well as your home workshop.  We will all be looking for those discarded treasures on the side of the road to bring home and give a new life.  

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

LGT Christmas Party - 6 December

We had a great Christmas Party with 23 lovely women coming along to share conversation, laughter and delicious food.   To continue on with the tradition of paper folding that started with paper aeroplanes at last year's Christmas celebration, there was also the opportunity to make an origami paper crane.  

As we have almost reached then end of another year, I thought this would be a good time to give you some interesting history on Lesbians' Got Talent.

LGT, as we fondly call it, was the brainchild of Anne McKenzie, who as many of you in our community would know, has a busy mind that is always coming up with new ideas to build a sense of community while also having fun.  

The original idea was for lesbians to share their talents and skills in a supportive and relaxed environment and participants to leave with something new to think about and information on how they could further develop or continue the new skill/talent.  

The first Lesbians Got Talent session was held on 2 June 2015.  The topic was Keeping Chickens and was presented by trailblazer Leta with an attendance of 8 interested women.  

Since that first session 18 months ago we have had a total of 53 different talents/skills/topics presented by 44 different women (some have presented multiple times), to an audience of 494.  We now have 91 lesbians on the email distribution.  

Our last practical session for 2016 was also presented by Leta and was home baked bread made in Leta's home, with 14 in attendance.  

Needless, to say, Lesbians' Got Talent was a great idea.  Thank you Anne for your enthusiasm for building community and your powers of managing to get so many wonderful women onboard willing to share their talents.  Thank you to our brilliant presenters with such a variety of diverse and interesting talents.  Thank you also to our fabulous audience/participants for coming along to the LGT sessions.  

LGT will be starting again in February 2017.  If you have a particular talent/skill/story you are willing to share, or if there is something you would like know more about, please contact Pamela at  

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New year.  

Look forward to seeing you all soon.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Bread Making

Thank you Leta, for one of the tastiest and very sticky hands on LGT nights we have had so far. Thank you also for opening your home to 14 eager bakers. 

We were welcomed to Leta's kitchen to the inviting aroma of bread baking in the oven. Just like on Nigella, as soon as Leta finished her introduction explaining what we were going to make, the oven dinged right on cue to signal the loaf that had been pre-prepared loaf was ready to come out of the oven.  It looked perfect and made us all the more eager begin the process of making our own loaves. 

Leta had all the ingredients set out on a table with two Ciabatto recipes pinned to the wall for our reference.  We took turns weighing and measuring various types of flour, yeast and optional salt and oil then the fun began - the mixing.  It was a touchy, feely, sticky affair.   I heard Leta say on more than one occasion "can I feel yours" and everyone was very obliging.  

There was plenty of time for relaxing as can be seen in some of the photos.  

After we finished our preparation and all our dough balls were safely cocooned in their bowls, we got to the best part of the night, tasting Leta’s still warm bread with delicious cheeses, jam, lemon butter, etc.