Edwina Keelan is a participant in the Current PreEmploy Institute program. A survivor of childhood trauma, she describes her path in terms of ‘art and writing’ and her methods include ‘creative expression’, ‘reflection’ and ‘memories and goals.’
Reflection, or reflective practice as we call it, is one of the three vital behaviours we promote at Flourish Australia. On our recovery journeys we need to stop and think about where we have come from, where we are, and where we are going.
This feeds into the other two vital behaviours, using strengths based language (about what I CAN do not what I CAN’t do) and having recovery conversations. Edwina keeps a number of journals in which she reflects on the things happening in her current life as well as memories of her past.
Edwina is actually very well organised and you can perhaps see from the photo that she has a place for everything and everything in its place. In case you are wondering why she is wearing a big hat, the photo just happened to be taken on November 1, Melbourne Cup Day!
One of her goals is to visit a TAFE open day in November to see about enrolling in a Certificate III in design fundamentals. Some time ago, she studied part of a Fashion Certificate III course, and she hopes to get some advanced standing from that.
Edwina recently sold one of her artworks (above) that was featured in the Flourish Australia launch celebrations. It was called “Flourish, Vegetation, Sunrays” and was a photographic print laid out on canvas. ‘I’d like to donate part of the takings. Part to the Australian Red Cross and part to Orphans in India.
Edwina has an interest in human rights issues surrounding LGBTIQA, especially transgender people. She has contributed to Polare which is the magazine of the NSW Gender Centre. Following a visit to Nepal, she did a story on the Blue Diamond Society, the first LGBTIQA organisation in Nepal (Polare issue 102 of January 2015).
Edwina describes the various local people she met and the challenges of being transgender in a country which does not yet have policies to prevent discrimination against LGBTIQA people and where the law does not recognise gender diversity or marriatge equality. She notes that in that country, transgender people who have transitioned can’t get a citizenship card or passport and so can’t travel.
Edwina tells Panorama that she is interested in helping out with our activities for the 2017 Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Are you? If so, call Jas on (02) 9393 9036, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org