National Workshop Programme, News and Updates with Steph – 9 December 2015

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The heat wave hitting both sides of the continent this week saw sweltering temperatures in Perth on the 14th and again in Sydney on the 17th of November- this did not stop a great time being had at these last workshops for 2015.

Perth 14th November

A big thank you to Ruth Wilson and Annemarie Kluvers for their help at the only workshop in WA this year. We had an eager group of attendees, some new faces too!

Sue Gordon from the Aged Care Quality Review Agency took us through some of the principles of Accreditation from the perspective of activity staff and the importance of this area to people’s overall sense of wellbeing and health. (She is a real advocate for the recognition of our profession and the importance of qualifications for recreation and leisure staff in facilities in general). Our Laughter Yoga session had us in stitches while Annemarie’s update on Singing for Health and Happiness that she presented at this year’s DTA Gold Coast Conference caught the eye of our quality review presenter and may go up for a Better Practice award from WA next year- watch this space! We explored the issues facing activity staff with the changing cultural diversity of WA (and the rest of Australia), while Sharon Grownow gave us a plethora of ideas to encourage engagement by people with dementia from Alzheimer’s Australia.

The excitement of the day continued with our takeaway cafe segments where local members Maria Fenn took us through a great fanned craft that could be adapted to any theme and Rebecca Long explored the aspects of a Sensory Xmas Tree- in keeping with the Xmas theme and the advancing season we made a felt Xmas ornament using blanket stitch and the sewing on of buttons as well.

Ruth’s resources were a great bargain as we all went away with some interesting craft, themed resources and books as well as a renewed sense of purpose and that we are not alone in our struggles and satisfactions. We don’t have a large membership in WA and it would be great to get back some of the bustle of members we had there under the state association- if you have any ideas on drawing in the crowds in WA we’d love to hear from you! Thanks to the Little Sister for the use of their activity room as our venue and all those that travelled to make it a memorable day.

Sydney AGM workshop- 17th November

What a great turn out to our last workshop for the year.

40 attendees braved the heat for an extraordinary day of learning. While some of the original presenters were unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances- the changes provided a day of informative and practical applications. It was a great success. Lauretta Kaldor lead us off on the day with a look at running a Life’s Little Lessons program from woe to go with us as the participants- a program on reminisces that had us all recalling how we learnt how to drive, iron or even milk a cow! Thanks Lauretta also for bringing your resources along for people to delve into.

A few IT issues didn’t stop us having a good laugh in Laughter Yoga or looking at ourselves in regards to our own cultural understanding and prejudices and how this influences our programming for diverse cultures, languages and individual choices.

Renee Rizzo, DTA‘s retiring secretary gave us an insight into the Social Media sites that DTA have launched upon over the last year or so and she will continue to assist with all those feeds, twitter, hash tags and Facebook posts. (Thanks for filling in at short notice Renee!)

 Toni Salter- The Vege Lady, DTA member and supporter of exploring the horticultural aspects in all programs when possible, discussed with us the benefits of a healing garden. By putting different plants on each table she included a practical session on how plants can generate discussion, memories, recipes and engagement then topped off her informative presentation by giving all attendees a plant of their choice to take away so they can start their own sensory and healing gardens themselves!

After lunch we filled our Skills Australia complimentary water bottle before heading to the Alzheimer’s Australia Library on the other side of the precinct. This proved a great source of information and allowed people to join the library services on the day (their Library offers a great service as they mail out resources, books and games from their extensive selection directly to you), it was good to visit in person on the day too as many had no idea the main office for Alzheimer’s Australia is on the same site as our DTA office! We made it back in time for the Smile and Sway session which had us all smiling, swaying and trialling some seated dance moves by the cheery and delightful Gina Buber who has set up the exercise program and marketing it to individuals to learn and use.

 Takeaway cafes by Lauretta Kaldor and Lucy Bade saw a great finish to the day with all participants networking, getting reconnected and learnt some amazing things at this fun and full on workshop.

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.

I wish you all a safe and joyous holiday season and look forward to working with you and for you all next year in providing even more relevant and enticing workshops.

So in closing I leave with you with this quote “You want me to do something… tell me I can’t do it. “ Maya Angelou

Merry Christmas everyone and a fantastic 2016 to all!

 Steph Bejma

DTA National Education Coordinator

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