National Workshop Programme, News and Updates with Steph – 8 July 2015

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The Diversional Therapy Association’s commitment to providing workshops to regional areas this month saw successful workshops in the Central Western New South Wales town of Orange and the Far North Queensland tourist haven of Cairns (see the respective reports below). As I am writing this update we are also putting the finishing touches to another regional workshop in the South Australian town of Port Broughton (see next month’s newsletter for that report) ☺ All steam ahead also with our Tasmanian Workshop in Launceston on the 17th of July, Perth, WA on the 14th of August and Hamilton, Victoria on the 31st of August. (The year is just flying by so secure your place at the next workshops nearest to you!) Registration for these upcoming workshops can all be done quickly and efficiently through the DTA website online (remember to log into the members area to register at members rates). We are also excited about the Conference Workshop 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!

Orange NSW-29th of May
The Orange RSL proved to be the perfect venue for eager learners, some who had travelled from as far away as Sydney to attend the DTA Orange Workshop. There were old faces and new and it was a great day to learn, listen and share our experiences -we were all women – so there was lots of talking, laughing and even tears -our only gentleman presenter talking about the local Men’s Shed had us all emotional with his personal story of how the men’s shed had connected him to a new community when he first moved to the area dealing with depression, extending an invitation to morning tea for all of us “with the fella’s at the shed” to see how we could access the resources with our clients and residents.

We could have listened all day to the experiences and knowledge of Christina Hurley from PICAC talking about cultural awareness and individualism as well as working with the different cultures and their attitude to care and dementia. Marlene Simonson, a long time DTA member took us through an introduction to the main Mental Health Disorders that affect people and an understanding of the Recovery Model within Mental Health practices as well as explained how she become the Diversional Therapist 5 years ago, in the then new Forensic section at Bloomfield at Orange Base Hospital and all the innovative activities she has introduced.

We all contributed our experiences working with volunteers as well as looking at how we deal with grief and loss in our workplaces. The Laughter Yoga really lifting the energy levels in the room after lunch (contributing to even more laughing,) while the DTA Takeaway Café session was again a great success with lots of participation and innovation as we practiced some very fun and interesting versions of a Minute to Win it!! I’m looking forward to bringing more education that way next year!

Cairns- QLD 12th June
It was a busy day in Cairns with the Ironman, neon run, children’s marathons and iron competitions all happening on the same day as our 2nd Cairns workshop. Our Queensland board member Glenda Kubler facilitated the day at the Cairns RSL, a convenient and easy to access venue right down on the foreshore. Our attendees were not disappointed with Glenda’s amazing information and bag of tricks, being a very friendly group there were lots of questions and Glenda encouraged everyone to share what they do. (Our newest DTA member from Thursday Island also attended).
Denise Craig from the Memory Clinic in Cairns was very informative and spoke about important facts regarding a very personal approach to those she works with who have dementia in the re enablement project discussing case success and journeys.
The day saw additional activities and safety reminders on bus evacuations, medications and additional things to include in outing audits to make life easier for DTs’. They all discussed local venues, issues, as well as workplace challenges and roadblock to success.

Glenda took everyone through How to run a Cent Auction, Pirate Games additionally to the other theme days discussed and a practical activity – making Wool Donuts. There were word games, Name 10 things Game with 80 suggestions and publications and samples for men’s’ crafts and patterns. While DTA member Julie Dodd’s brought craft items with her to talk about and show.

All in all a fun filled jam packed day- thanks Glenda for facilitating!
This month’s quote I dedicate to the enthusiasm and dedication of all diversional therapist, leisure and lifestyle staff and recreation assistances-
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

So until next time,
Steph Bejma
DTA National Education Coordinator

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