National Workshop Program, News and Updates with Steph

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Wow already December! Where did the year get to! In the last newsletter for the year there is so much to talk about. See Workshop Write Ups below about the Hamilton workshop, Sydney Workshop and the Brisbane Conference workshop as well as the link to preregister for a DRTA training workshop near you next year.

Workshop Write Up
Our Hamilton Workshop in late August saw a great group of people getting together to share their activity experiences and ideas. Thank you to all that assisted in making that day such a great success- see some of the lovely photos taken on the day below -Marlene Lee who is presently studying her Chair Chi Certificate was able to demonstrate some moves we can use in our gentle exercise routines, Dee Sanders gave us an incite into the changes that can be made when there is motivation behind those changes- her Blind Contour Drawing Activity is also a Takeaway Café activity available in the Takeaway Café manual #4 (for sale through our website). A big thank you to Craig Richardson and Sue Balkion Mitchell from the Western District Health Services of Hamilton who shared their skills and passion and to the Network group down there who always support the Association with their time and attendance. It was wonderful to be able to meet you on your home turf this year and looking forward to catching up with you all again in 2018 in Warnambool.

Our 2017 Conference Workshop was a hoot-I’ve never had so much fun- thank you to everyone that registered for the one-day workshop held before the Conference and for getting into the groove of hands on practical activities as well as great networking opportunities and professional development. From Laughter Yoga in the Brisbane Botanical Gardens (thanks Heather Joy Cambell) to the Jelly Bucket Quiz (thanks Kellylee Dunn) there was so much laughter and chatter that I needed to use my DT voice to be heard and to get the 60 or so people to move to the next activity. I want to give a big thank you to Lesley Fox and Carima Dordoy for their Life Catcher activity they presented on the day, to Lauretta Kaldor for her fantastic art ideas, Linda Riedel for the crepe paper carrot making activity (soooo much fun) and Dee Sanders for her blind contour drawing. A big thank you to Margie (DRTA Executive Officer and office manager) for all her help before and on the day and to Rob Gallon and Dave Linley who helped set up and pull down at the venue. A workshop of 60 people is a big thing to organise particularly when each person gets to make and create over 13 different activity ideas. A big thank you to Diana Tocknell (DRTA Office Administrator) for her printing and registration assistance and to all the Brisbane Conference team for your work before and over the workshop and Conference days- you know who you are! Now getting on with planning next year’s Pre conference Workshop- amongst other things!

The Sydney AGM Workshop saw a group of dedicated DT’s and Leisure and Lifestyle staff eager to learn some new activity ideas, network and find out the latest in services and innovations in our field. Lauretta Kaldor took them through her Conference activities and all got the chance to make a spectacular piece of art to take away. The always inspiring Toni Salter had us organising the Gardening groups calendar for the year, while Brain Gym instructors Jenny Round and Ann Davies took us through this movement based program. Jeanette Nielson from Assistive Technology Australia demonstrated some of their new devices to assist participation in leisure and lifestyle and the passionate and qualified Jesse Noel Gavino Sales promoted Fitness Chess and his innovative Chess instructions leading to tournaments for those that also hold the passion for Chess. Finally, Jolene Hill promoted her “Your Life Wishes” Conversation Starters. Jolene had real life examples to demonstrate the use and benefits of these beautifully produced cards. She showed how having those important conversations using ‘Your Life Wishes’ ensures that nothing gets missed. Thank you, Jolene, and to all that attended the workshop it was great to meet you. And to those members who were able to stay for the AGM- it is always satisfying to get your feedback and your support!

If you work in the Disability sector our first workshop next year is specifically for you- our Access to Leisure workshop on the 6th of February is advertised now on the webpage so have a look and register before the rush of Christmas. See you there!

Check out the Proposed 2018 workshop list on line and pencil in a workshop near you or choose another destination you would like to visit and plan a holiday around your professional development. (Check out the related tax deductions that may make a holiday to your “Professional Development” destination worthwhile).

CST Update
Diversional and Recreation Therapy Australia continues to deliver the training of this ground-breaking evidence based group activity for people with mild to moderate dementia- if you have not yet registered your interest in learning the principles of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy please check on the DRTA website and register so we can send you updates as to when there will be a CST learning opportunity near you.

A shout out to Arcare Victoria who trained their staff at Carnegie and Epping facilities taking advantage of the inhouse training and the reduced costs associated with a facility requesting a workshop (as up to 18 attendees can learn the therapy and the CST principles for one set price) it is fantastic to see the spreading of the benefits of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy around the country. Our 2018 proposed CST workshops are up on the website also. Check out the list at

Dementia Quality Care Awards 2017
It was very affirming to get recognised for the work we are doing to maximise the health and wellbeing in Dementia care at the Dementia Quality Care Awards 2017 in Blacktown in late September. See the lovely plaque we received below for the CST poster put together for the event. Let us know of the recognition or positive outcomes you receive through implementing CST in your community. We’d love to hear about it!

So as 2017 ends and the work we do is even more important over the holidays I hope that you all stay safe and well and give yourselves a pat on the back for another year and a job well done.

”Be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged and tolerant of the weak,
because someday in your life you will be all of these.” George Washington Carver

Till next year,
Merry Christmas and Happy New year everyone!
Steph Bejma
DTA National Education Coordinator

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