Category Archives: support

Say No To Palm Oil!


This post was shared via Facebook by an Organisation called News Hound, please spread the word so that we can help save the Orangutans.


Did you know that most of us are fuelling one of the world’s biggest ecological disasters and acts of primate genocide in history?

Borneo and Sumatra are two of the most bio-diverse regions of the world, yet they have the longest list of endangered species. This list includes the magnificent orangutan. These two South-East Asian islands are extremely rich in life, containing around 20,000 flowering plant species, 3,000 tree species, 300,000 animal species and thousands more being discovered each year.

Despite this amazing biodiversity and delicate web of species, an area the size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour in Indonesia and Malaysia to make way for the production of one vegetable oil. That’s 6 football fields destroyed each minute.

This vegetable oil is called palm oil, and is found in hundreds of the everyday products, from baked goods and confectionery, to cosmetics and cleaning agents… many of which you buy in your weekly shopping. Due to the massive international demand for palm oil, palm oil plantations are rapidly replacing the rainforest habitat of the critically endangered orangutan; with over 90% of their habitat already destroyed in the last 20 years.

Orangutans are some of our closest relatives, sharing approximately 97% of their DNA with humans. Orangutan means ‘Person of the jungle’ in the Indonesian language. It is estimated that 6 to 12 of these ‘jungle people’ are killed each day for palm oil. These gentle creatures are either killed in the deforestation process, when they wonder into a palm oil plantation looking for food, or in the illegal pet trade after they’ve been captured and kept as pets in extremely poor conditions and provided with extremely poor nutrition.

Orangutans are considered as pests by the palm oil industry. In the deforestation process, workers are told that if wildlife gets in the way, they are to do whatever is necessary in order to dispose them, no matter how inhumane. Often orangutans are run over by logging machinery, beat to death, buried alive or set on fire… all in the name of palm oil.

Government data has shown that over 50,000 orangutans have already died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil in the last two decades. Experts say that if this pattern of destruction and exploitation continues, these intelligent acrobats of the jungle will be extinct in the wild within 3 to 12 years (as early as 2015). It is also thought that their jungle habitat will be completely gone within 20 years (approximately 2033).

Around 50 million tons of palm oil is produced annually; with almost all of that being non-sustainable palm oil, that replaces 12 million hectares of dense, bio-diverse rainforest. That’s the equivalent landmass of North Korea deforested each year for palm oil alone! Palm oil is also having a shocking impact on our planet. The production of this one vegetable oil is not only responsible for polluting rivers and causing land erosion, but when the plantation workers set fire to the remaining trees, shrubs and debris to make way for the oil palms, it produces immense amount of smoke pollution that is toxic to planet earth. This has been found to be the second biggest contributor to greenhouse gas in the world.

By purchasing products that contain crude palm oil, you are helping destroy ancient, pristine rainforest, wipe out species like the orangutan, and create a large-scale ecological disaster. Think of the consequences next time you do your weekly shopping; the consequences not only for orangutans and other animals, but for us as the human race; for we cannot survive without the rain forests either. We have a choice, orangutans do not. Here is a list of products that contain palm oil. You can help end the cruelty by sharing the truth about animals’ abuse. If you agree that animals feel, suffer, love and the truth about their abuse should be exposed. Spread this around the world!

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Community Newspapers unite.


Well thank god the festival is over!! After many months of planning, and preparing the Community Newspapers of Knox finally hosted their first joint stall at this years Knox City festival.

The theme of the festival was ‘make your mark’ and I believe that we were able to accomplish this.

As a first attempt I think it went well. There are things we will definitely change next year. Next year we will have a banner to attract more people over to our stall. Next year we will have little show bags made up so that people can carry their papers easily, and next year we will have flyers with all the newspapers details on them for those that are interested in getting involved, or advertising, sponsoring or even contributing articles, photos etc..

It was interesting to note just how many people confuse the community papers with the commercial ones. Community newspapers are run solely by volunteers. They feature articles on local people and their local area. They address the everyday issues. Unlike the commercial papers, community newspapers have minimum advertising, enough to pay for the printing costs. In contrary most commercial newspapers are so full of advertising that they have very little room left for articles. Commercial papers tend to scandalise rather than take the time or effort to get the real facts.

This event has been a real milestone for Community Newspapers, and I am honoured and proud to have played my part.


Polio Support Group

As the What’s On correspondent for two community newspapers I am very fortunate in that I get to meet many wonderful people through this role and to learn about many different groups, events and activities in my area and surrounding areas.

Only today I received a call from a lady who runs a support group for people who have suffered from Polio in their childhood (we are talking before the Polio vaccine was invented) . What these people are finding as they grow older is that the polio disease has caused issues for them later on in life. Tiredness, muscle weakness and extreme fatigue are all sides effects and a consequence of the Polio disease, this is called post-polio syndrome and affects up to 50% of all people who have recovered from Polio in their childhood years.

Many suffer so much that they are unable to work, or perform many of life’s simple tasks.

This support group therefore is a wonderful network for people battling the same condition and their carers (which lets face it have a hard a time as well ) to come together, share experiences, socialise and find support.

I had never heard of a Polio support group before, but I am very glad that something like this exists, and I plan on featuring it prominently in my column.

Happy New Year


Happy New Year

The beginning of a New Year is always quite exciting it is an opportunity to start again. To explore new pathways. To challenge oneself and to alter the path you are on, if that is what you desire. It is also a time to reflect and appreciate how fortunate we truly are and to be thankful for the special people in our lives that help make us who we are.

This year has not begun like others though, a fatty lump on Bolt’s knee that started to become a wound and was on the verge of exploding, has forced my sister to have him operated on at very short notice.

What we always considered to be no more than age lumps and bumps that did not appear to be causing Bolt any discomfort, suddenly had to go.

Several hours of surgery and $1200 later Bolt was home. Still under the affect of the anaesthetic and covered in stitches all over his shaved body and his knee, his right eye weeping from the laser that was used to remove the lump above his eye; Bolt recovered on my sister’s bed.

The whole family along with some close friends congregated at my sister’s place and together we all welcomed in the New Year. I think Bolt felt better having his whole family around him, I know we all felt better being there with him.

Happy New Year may you always have loved ones rallying around you in good times and in bad.


Liebster Award nomination

Recently I was nominated for the Liebster award. I am truly grateful and honoured to have been chosen! The idea of this award is to introduce newer blogs which are notable in some way, and help readers to investigate what they are all about.

Firstly I would like to start by thanking Darc Sunshine from Youth of A nation:bent not broken at for nominating me for this award.

Youth of A nation :bent not broken is a truly inspirational blog with lots of information on mental health and parenting. This blog inspires not only me but many others as well.

Here are the requirements of the Leibster Award winners:

First of all, you need to post an “acceptance” article. In it, you name me as the one who nominated you with a link to my website.

Next, you choose 10 people whom you have come to know, (hopefully newer blogs with fewer than 200 followers). List them in your post with links to their sites.

Next you answer the 10 questions I’ve asked, then ask 10 questions of your own to be answered by your nominees.

Finally, you post the Liebster Award logo in the sidebar of your home webpage.

Here are my “co-nominees” for the “Leibster Award.”

I have been asked the following questions:

1) What is one product you couldn’t live without (food, beauty, etc.) – My iPhone

2) Name A book you HAVE to read? Malice Aforethought recommended by shelf love

3) Do you have any pets? What are their names? Yes I have 5 pets, a dog Dexter, two cats DT and Max and two parrots a Quaker named Stan and a rainbow lorikeet named Molly

4). Do you like surprises or are you a planner? I’m a planner but I also love surprises

5) What is your favourite thing to learn about/study? Animals

6). How do you cope with stress or insecurities from blogging? I find my animals help when I am stressed be that at work or with the kids or even with my writing their calming nature always soothes me.

7) What’s the most fun and spontaneous thing you’ve ever done? Agreeing to marry my husband 6 weeks after I had met him.

8) If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be? Dr. Dolittle

9) Which family member are you closest to, and why?? My sister, she is also my best friend and confidant

10) Why did you start blogging? I wanted to create a platform for my writing. I wanted to connect with other people and have people connect with me. My hope is that through blogging I will be able to develop my writing.

Thank you again so much for the nomination Darc Sunshine and thank you to everyone who has the taken the time to visit my blog I really appreciate your support.

Here are the questions I am asking my co-nominees:

1) What music do you like to listen to?
2) If you could change one thing in the world what would that be?
3) Is the glass half empty or half full?
4) Do you have children? If so how many and what ages?
5) Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year?
6) Publish or self publish? Why?
7) If you could have one super power what would it be?
8) What is your favourite movie of all time?
9) What would be your dream job?
10) PC or Mac?

Thank you again


Parenting At Speed. Are You Enjoying The Ride?

Parenting at Speed, are you enjoying the ride? Was the name of the information session I attended tonight at our local Council hosted by Rod Dungan, Director and Trainer for Thriving Youth Australia. It was a fun informative almost three hour session providing parents with handy tips and resources for staying in touch with and building growing relationships with their children while still maintaining effective boundaries.

There were over twenty parents at the information session who all had children with ages ranging from 10years to 18years, each one with their own story, their own struggle.

One thing that Rod said that really hit home with me is that as parents we are all learners. This is the first time we have ever had our child at this age, therefore it is the first time we are facing these issues. We all want what is best for our children but sometimes we have to think outside the box in order to be able to get through to them.

We heard that the ages between 14 and 16 is when a child (or young person) is establishing their identity and that the years between 16 and 18 are known as the grief years because these years are the ones were they start to lose their identity. They are moving from child to adult and can feel lost and scared. These are the most critical years when a parent most needs to be present in their child’s life.

There was lots of interaction between Rod and the audience which is always good. I really like hearing other people’s stories, I especially like hearing that the temper tantrums, the mood swings, the gross over reaction is all normal behaviour for children of this age, and in time it will pass.

Rod talked about a spike pattern that occurs in a persons life at 1 years old and then again at 11 years old and at 21 years. So at this time unless there is a massive intervention in between, the behaviour learnt will be repeated. So at 1 year of age a child learns to separate from mum to see himself as a separate person, this will again repeat itself at 11 years as he moves in to grade six and again at 21. At two we have the terrible two tantrums this will again be repeated at 12 years and at 22 years. At 3 it is all about why, and yet again at 13 why again and so on and so on.

It was a very interesting evening and I walked away feeling positive and armed with some newly found wisdom. As Rod explained at the very start of the session, all that we as parents have is wisdom, our children have all the knowledge but we have wisdom hopefully it will be enough.

Grateful to be alive

On the news today they have been talking about this incredible woman who lost all her limbs to a mysterious virus, just like any other virus we seem to pick up at any given time of the year. This virus or infection almost cost her life.

This woman is a mother to three young girls. Despite this horrifying ordeal she remains optimistic and hopeful about the future.

As a mother I can only imagine the insurmountable obstacles and challenges that lie ahead for this woman. As a woman I am in awe of her positivity, and her strength.

9 weeks ago she was living a happy normal life, balancing kids and life possibly a job as well, now her future and the future of her family has been altered drastically. What lies ahead is not yet know, the only certainty is that it will be a massive challenge, a battle like no other.

It kind of makes one realise that in life you can never take anything for granted, because you just never know what lies around the corner be it good or bad.

The NaNoWriMo Challenge


Has anyone else completed the NaNoWriMo November challenge?

For those of you that haven’t heard of NaNoWriMo, it’s a intense writing challenge all through the month of November, the aim of which is to write a novel in a month of 50,000 words in length.

I took the NaNoWriMo challenge last year and spent the month of November writing my novel, the first novel I had written in 25 years in fact, and although I did not quite make the 50,000 word challenge I came very close.

It was such a good feeling getting back into writing. The NaNoWriMo challenge seemed to ignite a flame that I thought had long since been extinguished.

Since completing the NaNoWriMo challenge last year, I have written a second novel and started up two blogs. I now write every day. No matter how busy my day will be I will always make time to write both for my blogs or my columns.

As we approach the month of November I am again preparing to take the NaNoWriMo challenge, I have been mulling around ideas in my mind for some time now trying to develop the story plot in my head before I commence putting the story together on my iPad. This time I hope to make the 50,000 word challenge but ultimately that is not my goal, my goal is to write a story. It’s as simple as that.

If you would like to take part in the NaNoWriMo Challenge too check out their website

This is love


The loyalty of pets has no boundaries. Over the weekend I was quite ill with Vertigo, I could not get myself out of bed, the room was spinning and I wanted to block out this horrid feeling. Throughout both days that I remained bed ridden my beautiful boy DT and my trusty friend Dexter were always by my side.

Their companionship and warmth was just what I needed to help me through this horrible ordeal. Sure Dexter true to his goofy personality and clumsy nature at times aggravated my nausea but I was glad to have him there.

Both DT and Dexter sat protectively by my side watching me sleep, and waiting patiently for me to get better. It’s amazing how in tune animals are to our feelings. Why can’t people be like that? How many times have I missed signs that someone I care about was sad, or lonely or just needing a little extra tender loving care? My pets would never be guilty of that. I think it’s because they are not as self centred as we humans are.

Animals are all about giving, unconditional love, undying loyalty and innocent joy. No wonder we love them so much.

Happy Father’s Day


Today is Father’s Day in Australia so I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to my wonderful father, who has always been there for me, even though I know that I have disappointed him on many occasions.

My early memories of my dad are when I was really young and home from school because I was sick with a cold or whatever. Dad would always come home and check on me, and because I was never a good eater when I was younger (pity the same cant be said now) he would always talk to me and coax me to eat. I remember playing badminton with my brother and sister and dad always joining in.

My dad is not an easy man to get on with, but he always seemed to have time for me.

There were many times when I did not like my dad when I was growing up, especially those years when I was a teenager, but I always loved him.

Throughout my life I have disappointed and hurt him on numerous occasions and yet he has always been there for me. He has been a wonderful role model, and continues to support me and my children. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful dad. Happy Father’s Day Dad I love you.