National Workshop Programme, News and Updates with Steph – 31 July 2015

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I’ve just returned from our Tasmanian Workshop in Launceston which saw a small group of dedicated leisure and lifestyle staff working in Disabilities and Aged care, come from around the state to share education, experiences, knowledge and laughter together on a very cold day, see the photos and my report below. Also below is the report from our SA regional workshop in Port Broughton which again brought together people from all around that state including hard working DTA president Louise Absalom- see her report and inspiration she drew from the workshop in her Presidents piece this month- a big thank you to Darren Robinson too for his fine management and facilitation on the day.

My apologies for a typo in last month’s report regarding the Perth workshop – it is on the 14th of November not August as stated- this is being updated on the webpage calendar as we speak. The Hamilton, Victoria workshop on the 31st of August includes a practical Art session as well as lots of other interesting and relevant education and activities so support this regional workshop by registering asap. We are also working excitedly on the Activities, Activities, Activities Workshop for the Conference on the 15th of October (there is only one this year so register early) with lots of new, practical, creative and different activities to Take away- book in now!

Port Broughton, SA Workshop
The DTA South Australian Port Broughton workshop was held on the 26th of June at the Barunga Village Aged Care Home. As the Tasmanian representative on the Board of DTA and the Lifestyle Coordinator at the home and first time facilitator, I was very pleased with the wonderful turn out. Meeting so many fellow DT’s for the first time was a great experience with many travelling from as far away as Tumby Bay, Waikerie in the Riverland, Orroroo in the upper mid-north, the Barossa Valley and south of Adelaide as well. The day proved to be a very interesting and informative day.

Barunga Village Education officer, Andrew Charlton was the first presenter, speaking of his views from outside the DT field. He spoke of what he sees that we currently do to what will be required of the DT profession in the future. Next was Mark Leach who is currently working as a Clinical Practice Consultant covering Emergency and Inpatient clients at the Port Pirie Regional Health Service. He spoke of the needs that mental health clients have and how the problems of being a mental health client can be counteracted by other fields of the health industry, including the Diversional Therapy profession.

DTA President, Louise Absalom gave a short presentation next, on why it is a good idea to join DTA. She spoke of the importance of the DTA Board and what the Board does or can do for its members and the DT profession in general. We were very lucky to have Louise there as well as the South Australian Representative on the board, Rosslyn Price.

Bruce Hewett who is a Port Broughton local was next up. He is the Port Broughton Community Shed Coordinator and has been for approx. 12 years. He spoke about the day to day operations at the shed, what type of clients the shed caters for as well as other aspects of the Community Shed including the profit they make from the items they build and what the money is spent on.

As a first time presenter, I was very happy to be able to show and tell the workshop attendees about what type of special, “Outside the Square”, activities we do at Barunga Village.

Rae Harding, the Residential Aged Care Diversional Therapist at the Jamestown Health Service, gave a short presentation on Managing Volunteers as well as speaking on the Montessori sessions she uses for clients with dementia.

Rae presented a Take-away café along with workshop attendee, Cassie Drinkwater who finished off the day with a short Take-away Café presentation on Musical Memories.

We fitted into our busy day a tour of the Barunga Village Aged Care home. As the facilitator I was thrilled with the attendance as I’m sure were the other members of the DTA Board. I hope to do another workshop in the near future.

Thank you to everyone who attended the workshop.
Darren Robinson

Launceston, TAS Workshop
Launceston Bowls and Community Club just didn’t warm up on the day of our workshop however the interest and passion of our attendees made up for the cold (and attendee Deanna’s driving of the bus to the workshop that day (with the outing rugs and blankets in the back) turned out OK as we kept warm with the crocheted and knitted creations thrown over our knees (see the photo below). Our first speaker Hans Smidht from PICAC TAS had some real insight into the trauma that people had undergone during the war years and how elderly immigrants are now dealing with the trauma of things that had happened over 70 years ago (with survivors feeling guilty for not having died too) or how people with dementia sometimes relive the trauma and anxiety and fear of the traumatic realities they endured and survived, everyday now, as their illness progresses.

Our group discussion on volunteering and the need to recruit the right one for the job proved helpful, while Alzheimer’s Australia presenter Kim Curley had some interesting information on Montessori activities and sensory programs to share. Laughter Yoga soon had us warmed up and laughing our heads off while Dr. Kim McLeod a lecturer at the University of Tasmanian discussed her research project on the impact of environmental factors on people’s wellbeing and the relational experiences that people have with their environment and how their responses to different factors affected their sense of wellbeing and mental health. Some practical games (to take away) as well as looking at some internet games and connections that will take your competitions to the next level rounded out the day. It was great to see some familiar faces as well as some new ones coming along. We are thinking to return to Devonport next year to boost attendance- put in your say today if you have any ideas on boosting attendance at our workshops – and of course any speakers or education you would like to have at a workshop near you! (Think about completing a Takeaway café presentation for all your PD points at once when you attend and present at the workshop☺.)

This month’s quote is “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted ‘. – Aesop -So be kind (especially to yourselves!)

So until next time,
Steph Bejma
DTA National Education Coordinator

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