Month: June 2017

Hard-Won Knowledge

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“Shattered” by Jaimie Campbell (photo by Brett Rutowski)

By Grant J Everett

Last year, JAIMIE CAMPBELL helped to open the BRUSHES WITH LIFE art exhibition held at Flourish Australia’s Taree service. A photographer, Jaimie has also shared her story at forums such as those conducted by the Australian College of Applied Psychology and The Australian and New Zealand Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference. As eating disorders like Anorexia Nervosa are still a total mystery to many people, Jaimie decided to use her experiences – and her art – to help spread awareness.

PANORAMA: Jaimie, you have been involved in the “Brushes with Life Exhibition” at Taree for two years in a row. Please tell us about your involvement.

JAIMIE: The 2015 “Brushes With Life Exhibition” was the first time that I’d publicly showcased my photography project. At the 2016 exhibition, though, I was invited to do the official opening speech by their committee. Once again, the talent of the artists and their courage to showcase their work blew me away.

I didn’t showcase any [of my own] work in the 2016 exhibition. I’m currently working on a new photography instalment that I’m hoping to submit in the next (2017) exhibition.

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Are the voices of people with disabilities going unheard?


Pictured: Tricia Malowney

Are the voices of people with disabilities going unheard?

Grant J Everett

While we’ve seen marked improvements in recent years, minority groups are still relatively underrepresented in Parliament. However, there’s no law preventing Australian adults from any demographic running for their local council, or even the Senate, so it’s not a matter of deliberate, legal exclusion. Politicians with a visible disability, though, are borderline mythical. We found a grand total of two upper house MPs throughout Australia Kelly Vincent (South Australia) and Rob Pyne (Federal). In order to shed some light on this issue, we spoke with somebody who is passionate about people with disabilities getting into politics: TRICIA MALOWNEY. She’s the former President of the Victorian Disability Services Board.

PANORAMA: Why don’t PWD have more government representation?

TRICIA: ‘I don’t think that most people are mature enough to see past a disability. It’s the same issue we have with political candidates who are women or CALD or from an Indigenous background or whatever falls outside the norm: unless you are an able-bodied white male, you are deemed to be incompetent by default.’

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HANNAH goes to market

A group of participants from our New Outlook branch in Wollongong recently decided to set up a stall at Crown Street Markets. Hannah Harris accesses our New Outlook service and is the mastermind behind the stall. We spoke with her about how their first attempt at commerce went…

PANORAMA: Why did you want to run a stall?

HANNAH: I thought it would be a great way to get the members of Flourish Australia out into the community to show Wollongong who we are and what we do, as well as raising some money for the centre at the same time.

Why Crown Street Markets?

We decided that Crown Street Markets was our best option, as it’s close by and it’s open on one of the same days as us (Friday). Crown Street was also a good option because many of the New Outlook members live close by. This is important, as I wanted to push the members outside of their comfort zones, but not too far.

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Go Swimming

Haydn (pictured below) and Michelle from Buckingham House discuss swimming with Vanessa Vetter

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Michelle and Haydn are members at Flourish Australia’s Buckingham House, and they regularly go to the local pool for a swim. While they go on their own quite often, they also tag along with the Buck House crew and go as a big group. We asked Haydn and Michelle to tell us about all the ways that swimming is good for their wellbeing, and why they like it enough to go so often.

‘It’s good exercise. Good for the heart and lungs,’ Michelle said. ‘Plus you meet new people.’

But you could say that about a lot of sports, so what’s particularly special about swimming?

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Flourish Australia goes to Mardi Gras: The glamour and the glitter

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Above: The Flourish Australia float with Alison Perizi (right)

As announced by CEO Pam Rutledge in December last year, Flourish Australia now has an LGBTIAQ Employee Network, which will provide opportunities for people to connect and share information. The Network will mostly be virtual, using technology to connect and share information. When we have the opportunity, we will provide opportunities for Network Members to get together. The Network is for those people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* or intersex, their families, friends and workplace supporters (sometimes called Allies). Employees of Flourish Australia who wish to participate in the Network should email:

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Fashion: How to look (and feel) Extraordinary for Mardi Gras

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Above: Mark Anacki from Figtree Conference Centre and Nicole Collins from our Nowra service, both looking foxy

A lot of people go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that they look just right for Mardi Gras and Mark Anacki is certainly one of them. The one-time fashion student and make-up buff appeared in a costume that complemented the green and purple livery of our Flourish Australia contingent, but I’m sure you’ll agree, it went one step beyond.

Mark is a hospitality worker in Flourish Australia’s Figtree Conference Centre and he usually sports a more sombre basic black and white look while on duty. But for this one day of the year he came complete with yellow chains, exotic eye and face make up, atavistic contact lenses and the piece de resistance, a head dress that must have been the envy of all Oxford Street on the night.

The overall ‘look’ that we wanted according to Flourish Australia’s Jas Buchal was to have the common element of green but to allow each person to accessorise to express their own personalities.

It seemed that rainbow fairy wings were very much in vogue, in fact our participation was partly built around that element. ‘Things have to light up,’ Jas explained, ‘in a way which accentuates everyone’s bright and bubbly personalities.’

Jas said ‘I was impressed by the lengths that people went to – people put a massive amount of effort into their own individual interpretation of our Flourish Australia look.’

This has been Flourish Australia’s second Mardi Gras, and the first with our own float. Maybe next year we’ll have our own fashion label!

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Pictured above (clockwise from left): Mark Anacki, Jade Ryall, Mark Orr, Annie Sykes, and Jas Buchal (in green wig)