National Workshop Programme, News and Updates with Steph – 6 November 2015

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The 2015 DTA Conference Workshop on the Gold Coast was jam packed with 66 participants completing 17 different activities-laughing, creating, discussing, experiencing new and sometimes not so easy craft samples, remarking how this must be how our residents feel! The vibe in the room was upbeat, excited and engaged with our international participants from New Zealand and other interstate travellers as well as many Queenslanders adding to the fun.

A big thank you to student DT Jessica Horton who took us through some practical craft activities and was able to manage the IT presentations even down to playing Nat King Coles’ beautiful Mona Lisa as we practiced some simple drawing techniques and adult colouring-in “therapy”.  (Couldn’t have done it without you Jess! Thanks to Julie, Ulrike, Katrina, Allison, Diana and Margie also without whom the day would not have run so well.)

Thanks also to DT Greg Souter who had us in stitches as he pointed out the difference between men and women- the types of activities they enjoy that is-and as the only male at the workshop he was pleased when we had a special visit from local man Barrie Rainford and his family promoting his invention Scrutiny- a Brain Game that we all got to play in the breaks. Everyone went home, tired, inspired and with some practical art and craft activities to share! Out of one of our morning sessions we came up with a list of activities that address the different elements of programs which I will reproduce and include on the website – great work everyone- you are all exceptional people with exceptional passion and some incredible ideas- thanks for coming and sharing!

It was a great lead up to an even better conference.

DTA workshop supporter and Melbourne facilitator Chris Grady sent through some of his thoughts on the Conference which he is happy for me to share here:

The 2015 Diversional Therapy Australia National Conference was held at the Gold Coast on the 16th and 17th October- “Wellness through Leisure”

Diversional Therapy Australia is the peak professional body for those working in the field. DTA’s annual conference was opened to all Diversional Therapists, recreation or leisure therapists, activity officers, DT assistants, academics, researchers, students and those interested in the professional practice of Diversional Therapy and care through leisure. The conference showcased best practice, by updating knowledge and skills, provided networking with peers from across Australia and New Zealand and reinvigorated our professional life.

“Wellness through Leisure” embraced the essence of DT practice and a selection of local, interstate and international speakers presented papers on contemporary professional issues for both the practitioner and the profession. Trade Exhibitions with a range of exhibitors from around the country provided opportunities to find new and innovative resources

Key Points were:

How DT interventions/programs contribute to the wellness of the individuals.

“Making our residents heroes in our home and in the eyes of their family members.”

They “still have the ability to laugh, love and live a joyful life”

“Positive thoughts can lead to positive feelings”

“Life is about continuing to grow”

“No man is a failure who has friends”

“Positive engagements relationship meaning and achievement”

“Wellbeing, Sense of control, Choice and Freedom.

“Placing the individual at the centre”

Thanks Chris. For me it was great to not only get away and immerse in the education and learning but to catch up with colleagues and friends, putting a face to the names and making contact with future presenters and educators eager to support DTA workshops.

We are putting the finishing touches to  our next workshops -Perth on the 14th and Sydney AGM workshop on the 17th of November- if you couldn’t make Conference ( or even if you did) and you want to continue the learning get along to these last workshops for 2015. Our 2016 workshop time table is now out for you to plan for next year!

Let me know if you have any new presentation ideas and Takeaway café activities. Drop me a line if you‘d like to touch base and tell me what you’d like to see at your next workshop.

So in closing I leave with you with this quote as we look to the next Conference and year of workshops:

”The finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race.” -Unknown

Steph Bejma

DTA National Education Coordinator

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