Thursday, 13 July 2017

Demystifying Planning and Development - An Activist's Perspective.

Thank you to our extremely knowledgeable presenter, Carolyn Williams from the Blue Mountains Conservation Society.  
We had a very interesting, informative and interactive evening learning where to start to find out more about proposed developments, how to lodge submissions about developments we don't agree with, as well as a visual tour of the Blue Mountains City Council site. There is so much information contained on the site, we now know where to go to find it. 
There was heaps discussion about various hot topics that our group has an interest in. Dog walking areas, development proposals, The Spires, Leura Station, Govetts Leap, Katoomba Golf Course, etc. 
The power of multiple submissions on specific development proposals can make a difference, Carolyn and the Blue Mountains Conservation Society has put together a fantastic Planning and Development Resource Kit to help us identify to whom and how to take action. It is well worth having a look at it and downloading the PDF documents related to your area of interest. 
There was talk about having another LGT session on a specific development proposal so we can go through the whole process and hopefully make a difference and keep our beautiful Blue Mountains beautiful!




Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Travel Stories - NZ, Canada and Alaska.

 Thank you to our two wonderful story tellers, Denise and Lesley, for sharing your travels with us. We were treated to some beautiful scenic images from all three locations that really did tell a story. The brown trout that Lesley's Dad caught in the Lake Waikaremoana was a real star and the photos prove it wasn't just a fish tale. We could also imagine Lesley and her brother running the hills of Te Urewera National Park and swimming across the lake. Whereas Denise's experience and amazing buoyancy in a dry suit in Alaska had us in stitches. Both of our presenters also gave us heaps of interesting local information about the history and culture of the areas. I'm sure quite a few of us have been inspired to visit all three of these fabulous locations and experience the solitude and serenity of Te Urewera National Park, the wildlife and nature of Canada and the magnitude and grandeur of the Alaskan fjords and glaciers.






Friday, 12 May 2017

Memoir Writing

Last night's LGT - Memoir Writing, really got us thinking. Personally, I'm not much of a writer but after a short meditation, given time to just think about a room from our childhood we all started frantically writing. I was surprised as the memories came flooding back and transformed these memories into a paragraph or two, not that we were doing any grammar or punctuation, just getting it down was the key to keeping the words flowing.
Diana had prepared notes with lots of interesting information and a selection of books for us to look at that to get the creative juices flowing.
And to top the night off we celebrated Lesley's birthday with some yummy cheesecake.




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.