Seasons Greetings 2019 eYs Magazine

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eYs Magazine | 1







7 Empowerment


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Thank you to Lisa Jones for allowing eYs Magazine feature her story and publish the professional images of her journey.



Note: All images are copyright and credit to Lisa Jones.














Empowering Your Soul are a group of determined individuals, who are inspired and empowered to share kindness, through our positive vibes and support. We encourage, help and motivate others and support local communities and charities to prosper and grow.


ABOUT US: Find us on Facebook: eYs_Magazine Instagram: @ eYs_Magazine Twitter: @ eYs_Magazine CEO/ Editor-in-Chief : Jasmina Siderovski Email:

DESIGN Minhazul Rony

Email: WhatsApp: +8801622131189

Copyright © eYs Magazine - Empowering Your Soul 2018 All Rights Reserved. eYs Magazine has made constant care to make sure that the content is accurate on the date of publication. The views expressed in the articles reflect the author(s) opinions and are not necessarily the views of the publisher and editor. The published material, advertisements, editorials and all other content is published in good faith. eYs Magazine cannot guarantee and accepts no liability for any loss or damage of any kind caused by this website, publication and errors or for the accuracy of claims made by the advertisers. All content in eYs Magazine may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of eYs Magazine. It’s contributors cannot accept any liability for reader discontent arising from the editorial features. eYs Magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any article or material supplied for publication or to edit this material before publishing. eYs Magazine cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to provided materials. We accept no liability for misprints or mistakes and no responsibility can be taken for the contents of these pages. In this publication, you might find links to websites, third-party content and advertising. By using our website, you acknowledge that and agree that eYs Magazine cannot be held responsible and shall not be liable for the content of other websites, advertisements and other resources. By using this site, you agree to all terms and conditions listed above. If you have any questions about this policy, you may contact us.

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Where did this year go? 2019 the year of global bonding, change, purpose and vision. The year that flew before we blinked. The year eYs Magazine set a precedence and welcomed the challenge for the best contemporary humanitarian magazine. Celebrating our 7th edition, we are overwhelmed by the enormity a publication of this substance faces daily highlighting intelligent engagement, journalism, and inspiring stories from around the globe by individuals and small organisations we would never hear about. Our mission is to incorporate, accommodate and encourage a unity for social and cultural diversity, inclusion and sensitivity, aligned with the key topic this year - the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals toward 2030. eYs Magazine, continues to support these goals as an official partner for the UN Action Campaign #Act4SDG’s – Raise Your Voice for Our Planet. Recently, I was honoured to be invited by the United Nations Association of Australia, as a member and humanitarian representing eYs Magazine, and Global Goodwill Ambassadors, GGA to lay a wreath at the 2019 United

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Nations Day Wreath Laying Ceremony in Martin Place, Sydney. The United Nations Day Wreath Laying Ceremony honours serving Australian uniformed personnel and veterans who have served the United Nations and other multilateral organisations as peacekeepers over the past 70 years. We were accompanied by special guests UNAA President, Dr Patricia Jenkins, Geoffrey Little and Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaltas. I am grateful for the opportunity to honour those who have served our country, and meeting incredible ambassadors from around the world. Our season’s greetings edition is an exciting magazine filled with inspiring articles, interviews and more as we bring 2019 to a close and say hello to the New Year. In this edition we meet President and COO, Lisa Jones from Global Goodwill Ambassadors and talk to actress Zenia Starr, Miss India Australia 2013 about what it takes to make it in the television industry. Natalie O’Connor chats to Millie Fisher about Buy in the Bush, and a heart-warming story by our very own Rachelle Roe, and Karen Jones from DARE, Queensland. Our humanitarian story

is all the way from Nepal as Ananda Nepali talks about his struggles growing up, and we are all challenged by our UN Climate Teacher, Bojana Bogojevic. Maya Apostoloska honours a very close friend, photographer and local icon, Hans Rietbergen – a moving tribute you don’t want to miss and much more. The theme for 2019 was gratitude. The eYs team want to thank you all for your loyalty and support throughout. It’s our readers who inspire us to keep bringing the stories that matter. Your letters remind us why we continue to create magic, and encourage us to search for the unsung heroes of our world. We wish you all good health, happiness and blessings. May 2020 be the start of love, hope and goodness and the year the change the world wants to see.

Merry Christmas Greetings!



Jasmina Siderovski CEO and Editor-in-Chief eYs Magazine

Christmas Gratitude


By Jessica Erasmus


Christmas time, I like to think about gratitude, all the things that I am grateful for in my life and how I can make a difference in other people’s lives. Christmas is a time to spend with family. Depending on where you live in the world, that might mean family time playing in the snow, if you’re in Estonia, or if you’re like me in New Zealand spending family time during the Christmas season playing in the sun. Either way, in my opinion, Christmas is a wonderful time for showing gratitude. I am grateful for my family, far and wide! Every year on December 25th, as soon as I hear my alarm go off, I race upstairs to go give my loyal dog a loving, little cuddle. I am so grateful to have this four-legged family member in our lives. He brings so much sunshine to our lives, in the form of cuddles and sticky, licky, love kisses. Then I tippy-toe downstairs, so that I don’t wake my mum and dad, after all, it is Christmas. About twenty minutes later I dash back upstairs and wake them up; its time for Christmas to begin. Once we all go downstairs we boil the kettle and make some milo, tea or coffee. We hug and kiss each other, wishing each other a happy Christmas. Then we sit and gather around the Christmas tree which usually has gifts scattered beneath it, but we can skip that part because that’s not the real meaning of Christmas. Christmas is all about being with the people you love and most definitely not about presents. I am

fortunate that I get to share my Christmas with my mum, dad, brother and of course my gorgeous happy labradoodle, Milo. Living in New Zealand, we never get a white Christmas. However, what we do get are usually clear blue skies with the sun shining on our homes, warming our hearts. Although the thought of a white Christmas sounds idyllic, I am thankful for the clear sunny skies because it means that I can play frisbee, netball and a family favourite, backyard cricket, plus we get to have a nice BBQ in the afternoon.

spending time with the lonely. These are things my parents always remind me to consider. We can all make a difference. So, while this Christmas, as I express my thanks to my family for always being there for me, for sending me to a wonderful school, and while I give thanks for my friends Millie and Albertine, and my teacher Mr Larsen… why don’t you think about all your blessings too?

Another thing that I am grateful for is spending time with my Nana. Ever since I was born, I have been blessed with having my Nana with us at Christmas. My parents were immigrants to New Zealand, and so most of my extended family live abroad. When Nana arrives just before Christmas each year, our hearts fill with joy and love. There is no Christmas like Christmas with Nana. My Nana was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks before I was born. She is a survivor! Now that is gratitude! Our lives are more awesome having her in our lives! It is important to remember that Christmas isn’t about the number of gifts you get, it’s about spending time with your family and loved ones. Yes, receiving gifts is exciting, but do you know what is even better? Giving. Giving gifts to people who are less fortunate than us. Let’s spend some time this year, giving to others. Gifts can come in many forms, for example, smiles, conversations and eYs Magazine | 5


Big Love and Magic by Julie Michels


ecently along my daily travels, a magpie caught my eye. It was walking across the road. The fact it was walking struck me as odd. I thought to myself, ‘You have wings why aren’t you using them’. What followed was a whisper. ‘You too have wings. Use them. Be buoyant, be light in your thoughts and actions. Use your wings to lift beyond the density’. This whisper was a gentle nudge to visualise my energetic wings and use them to lighten the load leading into the Christmas season and beyond as I embrace and welcome change on the horizon. To be light in my thought processes as I tend to overthink, and to discern what is my energy and what is not. A redefining of boundaries and a conscious choice to align with them. This time of year can be filled with so much joy, togetherness, giving and sharing and it can be a time of stress, chaos, obligation and drama. Relationships and interactions, be it family, friends or strangers can be tested, and buttons pushed. My magpie moment was an insightful reminder. During this festive season and into the new year I aim to seek out the simplest ways to honour my boundaries and fly with ease and grace through the busy, the crazy and everything in between.

Spirit and Nature can speak to us in the most beautiful and simple ways.

I choose to say yes when it feels in the flow and a respectful no when it is not. And for those times where I will be challenged and slip up, I will remember to choose kind and seek the gift in the moment. Maybe this is a simple reminder for you too.

Many Blessings. x Julie

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MS. SUCHI Life Coach - Yashika Engeering Pte Ltd Singapore, Motivational Speaker ASPIRES ACADEMY, UK, Mentor and Guide - The Hindi Society Singapore, VP and Chair - Asia Global Goodwill Ambassadors , My Body Is My Body Ambassador, Top Voices Inspiration 2018 LinkedIn, Speaker and Ambassador – LinkedInForAWoman, LinkedIn Wonder Woman, Silver Generation Ambassador, Singapore

Life Coach and Motivational Speaker

MS. SUCHI is an experienced International Pre School Principal/ Manager of Singapore, who is enjoying being a life coach and motivational speaker at present. She conducts ‘Laughter Therapy’ at conferences, summits, offices, hospitals, elderly homes, dormitories and senior activity centres. She provides individual and group therapy in educational and home settings. A former Manager / Trainer is now a life coach who engages in building social awareness about holistic approach for recovery. Be it recovery from depression, recovery from anxiety caused by

physical or emotional pain, recovery from sadness caused by death in the family and recovery from the harm that unhappiness brings to people, families and communities. Her aim is to encourage people to seek help early and get on the path to recovery using natural ways guiding them natural ways to boosts energy levels and coaching them on how to get dosage of happy hormones. Her works has been featured in International and local press, television and radio etc. She has also been awarded at various community clubs and health institutions for recognition of her social work in the field of health and wellness. Her

research interests are neurology, psychiatry and public health. Her works can be seen on the following social media platforms. LinkedIn - MS. SUCHI Instagram - suchi_spore Twitter - MS. SUCHI YouTube - Suchi spore Facebook - Suchi Deshpande Connect with her today. eYs Magazine | 7


Karen Jones - DARE Difficult Roads Lead to Beautiful Destinations DARE to believe, DARE to dream. By Anita Roe


elcome to the December edition of eYs Magazine.

It is with great enthusiasm that I write for this edition in particular. The theme of “paying it forward” is so relevant to the story I am about to share with you. DARE was launched by Karen Johns in 2014. Having lived through a domestically violent relationship herself, Karen felt that there really wasn’t a great deal of support in the community and finding help was a challenge. Karen is not only a qualified teacher, but also has pastoral experience and a very strong focus on Christianity and empowering women. DARE Formal Wear Shop, in the Moreton Bay Region, is filled with beautiful formal and wedding attire which has been donated by members of the public. Proceeds from all sales go towards supporting victims of domestic violence. Formal dresses are also donated to less fortunate teenagers to ensure they too have a beautiful gown to wear to their school formal. Nobody misses out where this organisation is concerned. It came as no surprise that in 2018, Karen was awarded Moreton Bay Citizen of the Year for her outstanding contribution to the Moreton Bay community. Undoubtedly, Karen’s community support has changed the lives of everyday people whose circumstances were most likely very unexpected. Following the DARE journey for the past five years, I have seen Karen go to extraordinary efforts to help domestic abuse victims find a safe home, transport arrangements, clothing and food. There have been times when she has had very little sleep until she has ensured that those in need are safe and cared for. As an advocate for DARE, I have had the pleasure of arranging photo shoots to help 8 | eYs Magazine

raise awareness of DARE in the community. Makeup artists and models, including Karen’s son Craig, have donated their time to showcase some of the beautiful formal attire that is available to the public at very affordable prices. One model in particular showed undoubted enthusiasm when she answered my casting call for a DARE Formal model. Jordan Patterson, who was crowned Miss World Queensland in 2015, is a real-life angel herself. Having been introduced to “Variety - The children’s charity” at the age of eight, Jordan learnt how she could contribute towards children overcoming illness and disadvantages. When she learned what we were trying to achieve for DARE, she was thrilled to participate. Rita Makhzoum, our hair and makeup artist for Jordan, accepted the offer to be involved without question and donated her time and incredible talents to ensure Jordan looked amazing. When I first visited the DARE formal wear shop, I was honestly taken by surprise. The original boutique at Old Petrie Town was a humble old building, similar to an old school classroom. Out the front was an incredible Harley Davidson with the DARE logo on the tank. When I stepped inside the shop I was greeted with utmost enthusiasm and a warm hug from Karen. The store was brimming with gowns that were lovingly displayed in their colour categories. Jewellery sparkled magically in the showcases and there was a place for everything including bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, wedding gowns (some with the original price tag still attached ), men’s formal wear, shoes, flowers, you name it. Customers were twirling their gowns in front of the mirror and receiving the same undivided attention that any high-end bridal boutique would offer. I did however notice one particular difference. Every single person in this store smiled and laughed with more love than I had ever experienced while shopping. The aura was heavenly.

The DARE Formal Wear Shop is run by volunteers who donate their time to ensure the shop is open for business. The success of DARE relies on the support of the community whether it be the donation of funds or clothing. Volunteers can express their interest via the DARE website directly at dareformalwearcom. au and anyone who may be experiencing domestic violence can also seek help by reaching out on the website. DARE is committed to ensuring that any victim or survivor of domestic family violence receives their ongoing support via their education and recovery programs. We know all too well that domestic violence doesn’t discriminate and nor does DARE. They are there to help and support victims without question. If you would like to contribute to the ongoing success of DARE DV Support, please visit

Love and blessings, Anita Rachelle Roe for Rachelle Roe Studio.

their website or Facebook page. The DARE Formal Wear store is located on Gympie Road, Strathpine, Queensland, where you can donate new or preloved formal wear. Paying it forward will make all the difference to every single person who reaches out to DARE, so next time you Spring clean the

wardrobe, consider donating that dress that you know you will never wear again. You never know who you might be saving.

Models: Jordan Tiarne Patterson, Craig Taylor-Johns, Jessica Jasmaine HMUA for Jordan: Rita ‘s Makeup Artistry Formal Wear: DARE Formal Wear Photography and Jewellery: Rachelle Roe Studio Flower Girl: Hannah Cummings

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a blessed Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. See you in 2020. eYs Magazine | 9


ZENIA STARR Interview by Jasmina Siderovski


hat does it really take to be an upcoming actor or actress? Is it for fame and money, or because you truly respect and love this art form? Do you want to be in the movies, Broadway or low budget films in the hope you walk the red carpet at the Logies? Those who aren’t passionate and focused about this job typically aren’t very successful. So, exactly what type of benefits does the craft of acting bring to a young aspiring person? For one, drama improves a person’s public speaking skills. It increases a teamwork mentality and acting improves confidence. Performing in plays increases memorisation, physical activity, and professionalism by being on screen, or on stage. A world of adventure, fun and new challenges each day. It’s the start of an odyssey that creates a world of excitement, networking and new connections opening your mind to opportunities and new projects. How does life balance come in play throughout acting, school, friends and family time? There is an importance of taking this process seriously and understanding the time commitment that is required to seriously pursue an acting career. Appreciating who you are as a person and where you are headed speaks volumes about your personality and versatility. Many, dream of having a career in Hollywood, and with time, training, dedication, passion, and patience, that vision can eventually become a reality. The best Hollywood actors understand that acting is a craft. Regardless of credentials, many of these seasoned performers continue to work with coaches and mentors to hone their craft. They know there is always room to grow. As an aspiring actor, you can take a cue and sign up for a wide variety of acting classes. Work with as many styles and different groups as possible—try it all. From Shakespeare to comedy, and improve to cinema vérité, the more you know, the more well-rounded and versatile you will be to take on any roles that come your way. Zenia is an Australian actress of Anglo-Indian heritage, starring in the upcoming Stan Original Series, The Gloaming. Zenia recently played the key role of Imogen in Maziar Lahooti’s debut feature film Below, starring Anthony LaPaglia, which premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival. She also had roles in The Unlisted, for Aquarius Films and The End, by See-Saw Films. Previous feature films include Hotel Mumbai, directed by Anthony Maras and starring Dev Patel. Others include The Merger & Backyard Ashes directed by Mark Grentell. Zenia also appeared in Bollywood thriller My Birthday Song, from director Samir Soni, and Indian suspense thriller Pratichhaya, from director Mukesh Jhadav. On television, she has starred in Nazeem Hussain’s sketch comedy Orange Is the New Brown, on Channel Seven, and played Sharni in Drop Dead Weird Series 2, from Ambience Entertainment. She was also in the series Deadly Women and web series 600 Bottles of Wine. Zenia has undertaken training at NIDA Open and The Actors Pulse, where she was able to focus on the Sanford Meisner method as well as principles of Ivana Chubbuck, Stanislavski and Eric Morris, among others. She has appeared in TVCs for a number of well-known brands 10 | eYs Magazine

including Arnott’s, Toyota, Westpac, Youi and Woolworths. She is a trained physiotherapist and enjoys cricket, playing guitar and Bollywood dance. In 2013, Zenia won the national title of ‘Miss India Australia’ and represented the IndianAustralian community alongside 40 other countries in Malaysia at the global round. Zenia knew, she had always wanted to become a physiotherapist and completed her studies at Sydney University in Advanced Science, Physical Therapy. Upon graduating from her degree, Zenia’s father gifted her an acting workshop course at NIDA, after watching his daughter perform in the school play, insisting she try out some further training as a hobby. Little did Zenia envisage that she would instantly fall in love with the course, and realised there was much more to the craft than she had originally thought. By the end of her first full-time year of work as a physiotherapist, Zenia decided she wanted to keep acting as a hobby, and in doing so, eventually it became her profession. Zenia’s inspiration are her parents, who took a massive risk and migrated to Australia from India. Zenia is eternally grateful for the wonderful life they have provided for her and her sister by thinking outside of the box supporting their daughters, their dreams and passions. Zenia’s inspiration are actors Jessica Chastain and Nawazuddin Siddique, whom she admires and continues to be impressed by. When not acting, Zenia favourite past-time is watching movies and the theatre. She also enjoys spending a day at the cricket in the summer. Ultimately, Zenia is looking forward to be a mother and

What valuable advice do you have for young aspiring persons interested to pursue a career in acting?

a role model for her children just as her parents inspired her to pursue her love for acting. eYs Magazine caught up with Zenia Starr, and asked her what important lessons she had learned along the way? Zenia: “There is actually no formula, or fixed combination of things which determines how to further the hobby into a profession. Continuous training is important, and then making the simple practical steps of getting

a folio of work together and finding an agent. Having said that, more and more, casting agents are looking to untrained actors who may bring a more authentic element to the character profession or physicality they are seeking. It really is a mystery! So much is right place, right time, right look, right skill-set. The valuable lessons she has learned along the way, it’s okay to say NO. Zenia believes that there are plenty of job outs there, and the audition factory will keep churning. Do what aligns with you.”

Zenia: “Have a back-up plan. Many actors would disagree, however. Everyone has a different lens through which to offer wisdom. For me, I love that I have physiotherapy to fall back on, it gives me the power to say no, as it provides a different way for me to serve people and contribute to the fabric of society where I can when there the acting scene is quiet. Not to mention, it is another way to pay bills! It has served me in auditions where I may need to essay a professional. I think any building of a life around it so that it is not the only thing you do or identify as is helpful.” You can follow Zenia Starr at: Instagram: zenia_starr Facebook: Zenia Starr

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Happy Holidays & Welcome to Nurturing the Soul Growing Each Other Planting Seeds of Kindness By Bella Bourgeois


appy Holidays & Welcome to Nurturing the Soul!

My last column explained how I became interested in jewellery design and photography and how it has been through my challenges I became a better Creative. Now, my heart has led me to elaborate a bit about me in terms of those soul sculpting challenges. These same perils assist in defining the sandpaper of me. Smoothing out my rough edges making me softer in my way of Being. I feel that it is essential to explain how important it is to our existence as a civilization that we all “Pay it forward” planting seeds of kindness. Expressing our heartfelt and genuine appreciation for the important people in our life is magical and essential to our ability to create happiness, fulfillment, loving relationships, healthy families and productive communities.

It is no easy thing to be in great pain, either physically or emotionally. Or to be in great physical and emotional pain at the same time, which many people must manage. When I encounter someone, who is doing just that…managing, living with what is, gracefully, and finding what is still good in life and continuing to do what they can while they can…it is impressive. It makes an impression, because it is quite an achievement. Because it is such an incredibly difficult thing to do, I am deeply respectful of the work that a person has done, the values or belief system they have obviously put into practice, in order to achieve this, even if momentarily. I wish to encourage you to FEEL more and speak less when you cross paths with these Beautiful Souls... See with Love. We are Each Other & Together, We the People are The Soul of the World! I only write this because it is so easy to become judgmental of others with whom we have no way of experiencing what they are experiencing. I have been that person and have felt so alone when faced with judgements from others. The struggle is real.

Kylen Shea’ Bourgeois 12 | eYs Magazine

On January 7th, 2017 I woke up that night with the worst headache I’ve ever had. It was a different type of pain and it was in the back - lower right side of my head. The next day I was packing up my home to move to Pensacola, Florida. I had been offered a dream position and was due in Florida in two days. That morning as I was putting on my mascara, I noticed I could not blink and that the right side of my face had collapsed, leaving me unable to close one eye or use the right side of my mouth. I was rushed to the hospital fearing a stroke, but was eventually diagnosed with Bell’s palsy. Needless to say, I lost my

dream job because I didn’t look the same. One of the job requirements was going out into the medical field and introducing our product.

I was unable to drink, struggled to eat, and had to tape my eye down for almost a year when I went to sleep. I can remember the windy days the most when the wind would blow directly into my eye, because you lose the blink reflex. You don’t realize how much you use it until it is gone. I had to wear a patch over my eye because the wind caused damage to my cornea and I lost vision in that eye for 6 months. Losing the ability to express positive emotions such as joy, love and kindness, or being unable to greet a friend or loved one with a welcoming grin can be devastating. Only 3% of people diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy are left with residual paralysis and develop synkinesis. I am one of the 3%. It’s only when I Smile Big that you will notice my right eye close at the same time the right side of my face draws up (Synkinesis) The Great news is that I no longer have to tape my eye down at night, I no longer have to wear an eye patch, I regained vision in my right eye and I can move my eyebrow up and down!!! Lol About 6 months after the onset of my bell’s palsy I began having weakness in my arms and legs and having trouble walking. Some days as soon as I stepped out of bed I would not be able to stand up because my lower legs gave out on me. Walking became a challenge on a regular basis as time passed. My speech

would all of a sudden slur and the nausea was not nice. I have been to doctor after doctor and have had so many diagnostic tests revealing loss of upper & lower motor neuron skills, presenting with Multiple Sclerosis - Like Symptomology and chronic swollen, painful and tender to touch lymph nodes. I will travel to MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX at the end of January 2020. The clinical team has reviewed all of my diagnostics and upon review have found some concerns with my past mammograms. Considering I just lost My Mother in September from Breast Cancer Mestastic in Brain... I am grateful for this opportunity!! In spite of all of the above I am beside myself in love with life & people. I can honestly say that being among such inspirational and empowering souls at eYs Magazine, creating my photography/jewellery designs and the Love and support from my family and friends - Keep Me Going I’ve learned that I’m unveiling into more of who I was born to be; connecting the dots, weaving the common threads, sketching ideas, listening to the emotions of nature, and scribbling what I hear upon the scratchpad of my soul ... Translating Life. As I See. Creatively - Jewellery & Photography. I wish to share my open-heart Appreciation for the unconditional love and support of my family and friends. You make me Better! A special thank you to my oldest granddaughter, Kylen Shea’ Bourgeois, for always wanting to make jewellery with her Nana (me) I Love You & You Inspire Me!

All Photos and Jewellery Designs by Bella Bourgeois Bellab1111 (Instagram) New Orleans, Louisiana USA 504-376-3762

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Deepti Dialani

You are Your Only Limit


in life we are faced with situations that challenge us and test us to the last grain and make us delve deep and find out what we are actually made of. I have had a fair share of such situations too. I will share just one of these challenging chapters from my life journey that made me learn a lot more about myself. Around 10 years ago I found myself in a situation where I was appearing the very intense Australian dental council exams and I discovered that I was pregnant totally unexpectedly. It was a moment of joy and extreme stress at the same time. The final exams were due just 3 weeks after my due date for delivery. And everything that one could imagine went wrong through my pregnancy and as fate would have it I had to have an emergency C-section and then ended up with severe post op complications ranging from severe back pain and severe urinary tract infection leading to high grade fever and blood loss. With only a few days to go to the most crucial exams of my life which if I missed or failed will mean 3 years of my hard work going down the drain and having to start the whole process again. With severe health issues, postnatal depression and a newborn in my lap everyone around me asked me to surrender but in that moment, I found this strength in me that I never even thought I had. In challenging times sometimes, you find your hidden strength and the warrior in you. That was one of my many magic moments where 14 | eYs Magazine

I realised how much mental strength I had in me, which in turn enabled me to push my body to much higher limits as the exam preparation involved hours of reading and also practicing dental exercises sitting hunched or standing up for hours on end even through the fever and excruciating backaches. And all the tears and pushing through physical and mental pain paid off as I was one of the three people who cleared these really intense exams. I have had many of these “Hall of fame moments� as I call them in my life which have made me come face to face with this tough relentless warrior inside me. And these are the moments which give me so much strength when I feel down in life. Now I have been successfully practicing dentistry in Brisbane for many years. But as I always love to challenge my limits once I settled in my professional life I decided to start focusing more on my health and physique and was out of the blue presented an opportunity to model at a local fashion show for a designer friend. At that time, I was a dorky looking medical professional who knew nothing

about fashion let alone walk in high heels without fumbling but I love challenges and I took up this modelling challenge too. Looking nothing like a conventional model and starting to think of modelling at an age when most girls finish their modelling careers with lots of hard work, determination and some luck, I have since my first runway managed to have a pretty successful stint with runway and print modelling with my achievements ranging from a cover model to a runway show stopper. Also, to address my stage fright and my fear of public speaking I ended up participating in a beauty pageant just to see how far I could go, and I ended up being crowned the winner of Mrs. India Global 2019 and Mrs Glamorous 2019. A few months ago, owing to my ability to manage my career, family and my dreams and ambitions I was awarded the title of Most Inspirational woman of 2019 by Opera Australia. I plan to keep pushing my limits in future and learning and discovering more about myself and keep getting inspired by and inspire all you beautiful women around me. We all have so much untapped potential in all of us. End of the day it all comes down to having faith in your dreams and the willingness to put in the effort and do all it takes.

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The Gift Written by Deme McDonald

Illustration by Austen McDonald


crispy crunch of Christmas paper, gold foil slick in hand with the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg penetrating every corner of my family home. My mother insists on a real pine tree as the scent of fresh pine in her view is Christmas as well as the multitude of needles woven into the carpet. The Holiday spirit is in the air, but this holiday will be missing one soul, my father. My father, a man of few words, a tough tattooed construction worker from the Mississippi Delta region, the home of the Blues. He was raised the old-fashioned way with a strong work ethic, a man who welcomed sweat and challenged hard work to provide the best for his family. He had a daunting presence and although just shy of six feet tall his silence filled me with a frosty dread and the low growl of his voice was terror. My father was profoundly flawed with a love of the drink and a hairtrigger temper, it was best to do as told and be seen and not heard. We three, my mother, younger brother and I, anxiously awaited his daily return home from work. As he entered the front door, our routine was to scan with fearful but hopeful eyes the direction of his brows and the disposition of the corners of his full lips. We quietly prayed that the day was good to him so that he would grant the same to us in return. Fortunately, human nature is complex and as such my father had an extreme duality of personality; in contrast to his monster was a man possessing boundless charisma where hearty men respected him and formed a brotherhood and women swooned with the slightest attention, a wink and smile from him. He had a wicked sense of humour and an enormous charitable heart and would discreetly provide financial support and a meal for anyone in need. Sadly, he only revealed this side of himself to us, the family 1% of the time while the other 99% was 16 | eYs Magazine

vile dad, Mr Hyde. How I waited for that 1%, and when presented I embraced it like a long-lost friend knowing soon, we would part with no planned date of return. These fleeting moments have been extended and looped in my mind camouflaging the darkness of my childhood reality. In April of 2019, I received a call from my mother in Los Angeles, “Your father is acting strange.” I replied, “Mom, he is strange.” She continued to tell me that he was a bit absent-minded and he left food burning on the stove. I am a bit concerned but he is getting old, we all are. She continues with, “he left his fishing equipment outside overnight”. This is peculiar, I’m curious but no issue here. My mother finally took a breath and said,” He’s been really nice to me and has been watching The Bold and the Beautiful soap opera daily.” OK, I’m alarmed. Something is definitely not right. This man would grunt to my mother as he was not the conversationalist and was a cowboy shoot’em up and a David Carradine Kung Fu kind of guy. It was obvious that he needed to seek medical attention. It took three days of coaching from my desk in Sydney as well as my mother and brother on the home front in Los Angeles fighting to convince my father with his old school scepticism of physicians to see a doctor. He eventually yielded to reason and after a few hours in the emergency room, he was admitted to the hospital. A week of probing and tests resulted in a conclusion for which none of us was prepared. My mother, brother and the doctor contacted me via Facetime to reveal the reason for his odd behaviour. The doctor peered into the mobile phone and asked if I was seated and proceeded to say, “You know your father has not been himself lately. Well, the reason is that your father has Stage IV Brain Cancer.” My ears continued to receive soundwaves,

but my brain was not registering what I was hearing. I asked the doctor to repeat this diagnosis as I was thoroughly confused as he seemed fine, just nice. The doctor began again as I looked past her and into the vacant eyes of my mother and heard the doctor say, “Stage IV Cancer, inoperable, and eight weeks to live, possibly up to six months with radiation and chemotherapy.” Forever the dutiful daughter and in shock from the news, I immediately booked a Qantas flight to LAX and arrived in Los Angeles 48 hours later, on the 4th of April 2019. While awaiting my baggage I booked an Uber directly to Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Oncology Department. Upon arrival, I was introduced to a frail man, weak from chemotherapy and unable to speak. He gently opened his eyes and welcomed me into his arms. I learned that day that the cancer aggressively attacking this once ominous man had initiated in his lungs many moons ago when Kool Filter Kings validated his coolness as he inhaled soot and exhaled his future. The disease metastasised to his brain. I am wondering who to blame. Later that same afternoon, my father was discharged to home care and directed to complete ten radiation therapy session starting the next day. He was assisted to his vehicle by a hospital orderly with my mother, brother and me following closely behind. When the orderly turned away my father shuffled to his car and a spark of the old dad returned demanding the keys. Accustomed to obedience and void of any logic we three allowed him to drive. I was given the task of driving my father to the radiation therapy a two-hour return trip through lethargic Los Angeles traffic. The job was sweetened as my mother trusting me to drive her red corvette. My father laboured travelling the few steps from the house to the car. Once in the car he relaxed and let me drive with no instructions. Days into the therapy I could see a major change in his responsiveness and his speech, however this man was a foreigner, his voice was now warm, his brow once furrowed now soft and his lips slightly turned up in a gentle smile. As the radiation therapy eased the tumour, my father’s alter ego was in full effect. We drove to the therapy with the wind blowing through our afros and music loud enough to feel it in your heart. We sang on the way to the treatment centre, and on the commute home, we routinely detoured to a Soul Food restaurant for a reminder of the cuisine of his childhood. The next twenty days with radiation therapy complete, we journeyed out in the mornings for chemotherapy then back home. He excitedly tried “healthy food”, quinoa salads, kale and egg white omelettes and my spinach quiche for which he graciously thanked me and kindly

Harvey Lee Holt Sr 1951-2019 asked that I never make it again. We laughed during breakfast while watching Let’s Make a Deal, and he prided himself on his record for guessing the price of the showcase. In the afternoons I laid across his bed snuggled under his arm watching old cowboy movies feigning surprise when the bad guy lost the duel. I felt safe in the arms of a stranger, that 1% previously so ephemeral is now enduring. My heart opened and I fell in love with the father all little girls deserve. The sudden change in my father’s personality was puzzling. I then recalled studying in university the case of Phineas Gage, where Mr Gage, a railroad construction worker in 1848, was preparing for a routine excavation using dynamite when an explosion caused a tampering iron which was 111.8 cm in length and 0.64 cm in diameter and weighing 6 kg, to be hurled at great force through the air and ultimately into his skull and the frontal lobe of his brain. Mr Gage survived the accident but experienced significant changes in his personality as a result of the brain trauma. This mass of cells growing with abandon, encroaching on the neurons of my father’s brain was the tampering rod transforming his existence. My thirty days had come to an end and it was time for me to go back to Australia to tend to my children and work. The last day of my visit my father and I had a heartfelt conversation in which he was fully aware of his fate and with a novel spiritual insight he beautifully filled my ears and my heart with all

I longed to hear. During this final connection, he spoke of topics that startled my senses as they could only be broached by someone who was tethered between this realm and the next. We embraced, and I kissed this gentle old man hoping for a miracle, a pardon for his past so that I could have more time with my dad. I left Los Angeles on the 4th of May heading back to Sydney with a heavy heart. My phone rang at 3:35 am on 15 May 2019. My brother was on the line and with a guttural pain in his throat he breathed, “He is gone.” At this moment my heart broke selfishly for me and my desire to continue this wonderful new relationship and for this beautiful man to which I had the pleasure of meeting briefly. During this time of holiday cheer and giving of gifts I recognise that I was blessed with the most miraculous gift of all; far better than new shiny shoes and rings of platinum or gold was an opportunity to have this loving and kind-hearted father for thirty days and to whole-heartedly forgive the past. The sorrow of losing my father only six weeks from his cancer diagnosis is overcome by an overabundant joy for the beautiful thirty days of which I was gifted. The Holiday Season can be challenging for those suffering from grief, loss, abuse and all injustices. Give forgiveness this season as a gift to others and receive the gift of peace in return. Remember, you are stronger than you think.

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DEFINE AND SHINE Claudine Burgess

The road towards the bigger picture lies within the little things we do every day!


hese days, with technology at our fingertips, we get cluttered with messages like “Dream big, or think big! We intend to think that commonplace things in our lives are dull and monotonous uninspiring. If we believe and engrave that in our mindset that big is better than small, we are missing the boat towards an encompassed succession of little magical moments. The small magical moments are every day in our lives that help creating the vision where you want to be or achieve for yourself personally or in business in 2021. However, we get so caught up in the big moments that we overlook, seeing, and apprize within our happiness the little things in life that matter most. Don’t get me wrong, it is essential to set out the big vision, but we often skip the hundreds of small things that need to be in place towards what we are after. “Take time to smell the roses. Appreciating the little things in life can make all the difference.” I am blessed and very passionate about my business serving my clients within my creative Commercial Photography.

Credit: Photography by Claudine Burgess

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It’s November and always a month in the year where I reflect what went well and what didn’t go so well. Writing this down in my notebook and in December, I will review what I wrote and plan for my year to come. Other things I will reflect on are on a much more personal level, which is very important towards what I want to achieve. It’s where the little things mostly live we so easily forget or take for granted that helps with the growth to achieve our goals.

Let me ask a question how was your day today, what makes your day marvellous? Reflecting on your day, do you smile looking back on how the day went? Even if it might have been a small thing, that’s where the beauty is, and those magical moments is what we should take notice and enjoy. One day you will look back and realize they were part of the bigger picture. I always reflect at the end of the day, even when the day wasn’t the brightest to clear my mind and set out for a night of good night’s sleep. Recalling what the little things were during the day helps to give me strength and hope for doing more and doing better. We all have days; everything seems to be a struggle, hectic, messy, the routines flying out of the door because of unexpected challenges that may have happened at work, relationships, or not feeling well. On such a day, it’s vital to reflect on our day, the little things that happened that make us realize and confirm what we already have in our lives. When you do, it will set you out into a positive sphere nurturing your brain into action, feeling more motivated, and energized towards slowly building your happiness. One scenario remembering very well during this year and specific that week of challenges that occurred. One of my strategies is and helps me set back into a better mindset. I will take my camera and change my environment and taking very different photos that I do within my business. There was a considerable event day that day with sponsors, members invited for lunch and watching our local football team playing a neighbouring club. It was beautiful seeing through my lens that day families, a whole community coming together, and enjoying the day watching and cheering on the football players.

Taking time out and get back into the simplicity of the day, changing the environment will be much healthier option for your wellbeing. Go and smell the roses like we often say and enjoy nature; it does wonders towards a heathier positive mindset and makes us feel better. Go and join a group; volunteer help others; it gives us a sense of purpose, and it provides us with a perspective on our own lives that the challenges we have aren’t that bad.

During half time, a little boy got the attention that I assumed not long ago started walking, holding his purple spiked ball, and with all smiles enjoying playing footy with his dad. I highly value time with my family; for me, that was a small moment that gave me joy watching that little boy, and it made me approach the dad and gave my card to contact me to send him the few photos I took of them playing footy. The dad contacted me, and I kindly send him the photos of his son, with the following day receiving this response “Thank you so much, Claudine! I’m just about to leave work for the day, and these photos have made a tough day so much better! That moment reading this is a little moment that brought so much appreciation and put a big smile on my face and melted away all the obstacles endured through that past week. It’s amazing what little things can make a huge difference, and it’s essential to strive for the bigger goal. However, too much of the focus and caught up in the final endpoint; we will miss dispensing the journey. There are so many ways; we can enjoy the little things in life that can contribute towards our happiness. When everything in life seems going too fast, take a break and slow down. Running on autopilot won’t contribute towards your health.

We are so busy living that we don’t often see what we do have in life. Take an everyday moment to reflect on what is essential in your life, and you will find the gratefulness within, and it will set you of being much more positive and cheerful. Appreciate the little things in life and live more in the present time. We live at times worrying about what hasn’t happened yet or keep living in the past. Not always easy to do but try having more self-awareness and know what surrounds you without trying to change anything. Eternal wandering doesn’t bring happiness.

Create a space, and take time to embrace the day and set the tone with positive thoughts to start your day. Think of things that make you smile! A smile can instantly shift how you are feeling. Look always at how far you have come, don’t compare yourself to others. Think of the little things that make your unique journey so special. There is the only one you can compare yourself with, and that is you! It’s the act of self-love! Keep striving, develop, evolving every day, into a better you. I wish you all the best for a great year 2020! Love Claudine Photo credit : @Claudineburgessphotography ( facebook ) Instagram : Claudineburgess

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THE ART OF LIFE WITH MAYA In Loving Memory By Maya Apostoloska Ars Longa – Vita Brevis Hans Rietbergen Art

19 July 2019 at 2:30p.m I met Hans for the last time. My family and I took part in his walk-along “key” work project “The Passers-by” (at Dutch “Langsloppers”) which he only recently completed after 10 years of photographing. We were photo number 2996. For Hans this project was “An Ode to the Diversity of Man”. In this long period, he had 3,000 photos of 4870 people from 60 countries 20 | eYs Magazine

(and nationalities as: Dutch, Poland’s, Ukraine’s, Americans…). Hans had a deep soul connection with all the Eastern Europe people. “You only have to get the idea” he said. “Around the corner up to and around the world in front of his lens” every person was photogenic to Hans because everyone has their own beauty. It was a suburban project where ordinary and a couple of famous people were taken

on the photo such as Former Mayor Van Aartsen and Pauline Krikke-photographed as the 2500th person. This creates a unique work of art of people in all their diversity in one place. By recording people so accurately in his photo archive, Hans shows respect for everyone. Hans Rietbergen was a striking and well-

known Hague visual artist, graphic designer, photographer and musician who graduated twice at the Academy of visual arts (KABK). He lived and worked in The Hague and was often followed, filmed or interviewed by the Haagse and Zuidwest-Media. Hans had been intensively involved with Art and Culture since he was ten years old. First he worked for 25 employers as a Graphic Designer for 25 years, until 1991. He designed the logo of stylized stork for Haag Atletiek, where he was a running winner, many times. Visual Arts has become extra important since 1988, in terms of production and growing size. Music was also a life-long necessity to hear it and to make it himself. Photography plays a major role in various projects. Fortunately, in addition to his extensive and colourful oeuvre that consists of many paintings, photos and drawings, he leaves behind this fantastic, inimitable and very exceptional series of photos. At our last meeting he was already busy answering the interview questions for eYs Magazine, old school hand writing on a small white note book. I went inside his cosy studio at the first floor on the Beeklaan street (De Langsloperslaan) house number 488A. It was a very intense meeting because this time I had my three children with me and we spoke mostly about me. Hans was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, and not wanting that to be the main conversation. I kept it positive because he looked very happy, even more clever than ever and more present in that precious moment for us. That was our last appreciation of the exquisiteness in the simplest of things. In the middle of the apartment was his huge drum set, where we took a photo again while I was playing on it. There were several guitars and many other small interesting instruments which kept my children busy. He has got the music talent from his father and music was, as much as the art, extremely important to him. He thought me the basics of playing the guitar. Thank you Hans for all accords and music in my head. I had a seat on the guest sofa. Across me was facing his last, largest and umpteenth self-portrait “Simple past tense” with orange background and himself wearing purple scarf and blue heat. There were many more various paintings well organized on the ground of the shelves. The old- fashioned vertical cd’s holder was placed in front of the book shelfs which were containing more than 3500 books of his very appreciated and admired artist Van Gogh. On my left side, above the sofa, there was hanging his “ First-ever painting” made when he was 12 years old. In the middle, just behind and above my head, was a painting named “Peace Profound”- nominated third of twenty-five exposed. Hanging next to it was his mother’s children’s painting “Ducks” dating from 1938. In the corner was hanging his dream inspired painting named “At night March 30th, 1989” - the one where he felt his third amazing sensation, as strong and intense as when his two daughters were just born.

While he was studying at the Academy of visual arts KABK for the second time (the first was in direction graphic design, and the second time, 25 years later, in direction painting and drawing where he masters portrait painting and figure), he had an assignment to do about his Guardian angel… In the middle of the night Hans awoke while a voice called his name and then he saw a white, long-blond-haired glowing woman figure standing in front of the book shelves. Three years later he realised that the date is the birthday of Van Gogh and connected the dream-reality sensation with him when he paints half of Van Gogh’s portrait on the left side of the painting. On the right side is painted the bed with blue sheets and an un-recognizable figure sleeping under the blanket-himself. Key work for Hans was and the painting “Nothing is impossible” representing the singer and friend of Hans- Ellen ten Damme who wrote the title Nothing is impossible herself (upside down) on the back of the bench at the painting (from the cycles paintings with subject: people sitting on benches). “Langslopers” started on 26th August in 2009 and from a small project turned into a personal odyssey for Hans who has been dashing out of his front door to stop passers-by and persuade them to stand and pose by the brick wall in exactly the same place. He would look out from his balcony or he would just go in and out of his house, and see someone interesting to him walking by, so he would have just call out to them. He even cycled after them. Carrying a bag with his camera, photos and the book to show eYs Magazine | 21

after him and discovered he was 90 years old retired musician who came to play the piano purely from pleasure for the old people in the elderly house. Initially, he conceived himself a project as a series of 25 portraits of people who populated his street, but the desire to take one more shot kept getting the better of him. I am cherishing the moment we met on 6th April 2007 at the Good Friday while I was sitting on the street bench on my way to travel by train to Paris. A stranger stopped his bike and started a conversation with me. He asked me if I would like to be on the photo. I was wearing a red coat which was the reason he started a conversation: a series of photos he was making with people in red coats as a subject. We realised we lived very close by, only 3 minutes by bike. Later on, we met more often, visiting museums (The Gemeente Museum was in our neighbourhood), painted together, cooked, photographed, and visitied the Japanese Garden, the Queens Palace, the Royal Academy…I will never forget the first birthday present I have got from Hans, a museum membership card for a year entrance in the museums with discount. I confirm now that strangers are just the best friends we haven’t yet met.. Hans was my dear beloved friend and is surreal to me to write in the past tense, because it feels like I can always access that unique connection because we live on in each other’s beings, in our energy, in our hearts, our souls, in the wisdom that we carry, in the paintings and letters we were exchanging, in his photos and drawings I own. Hans made this world a whole lot brighter and colourful in so many ways. His favourite colours were red, dark blue and grey which he was usually using daily to write, sketch, draw or memorize information in precise 69 dummy blank A5 notebooks, which was his way of keeping a diary. Hans has around 1400 self-portraits photos made in a mirror. He had made in the past more than 20 years 800 photo/text images from TV, more or less applicable to himself.

them the project is not just his hobby, he would asked them if they want to be in it. Around three in every 100 people he asked said no-including his postman who had turned down six requests to have his picture taken. ”The Postman Said No” is a book published in 2004, after shooting the first 1,000 pictures, all on film. The rest were taken digital. Hans held an exhibition 22 | eYs Magazine

in a local church where 488 (his house number) were exposed photos he selected which were arranged in five rows, forming a wall of pictures of a wall. He was aiming for another large exhibition with perhaps 750 of photos on the wall. The idea came to Hans in December 2007 as he watched elderly man walk past his balcony every week, always at the same time. Hans went

20th of May 2017 he complained to me that the voice in his head and ear (Tinnitus) becomes after 31 years even louder and high pitched, sleeping was difficult and had shaking legs thanks to the medication after 33 radiations. His sport condition was very low. The next day was the opening of an exhibition in the Fotomuseum where he took part exposing one photo of Gerard Fieret - an old photograph who died in 2009, whom he made a portrait painting off.

0n 21st August 2017 I received a massage from Hans informing me that he is busy with cleaning up his life. He sent pictures, drawings and paintings to another 15 people who were posing in front of his camera. I received photo 35, and Hans kept 71 for himself as a memory of our friendship and creative actions. April 2018, Hans had very difficult surgery. December 2018 receives bed news that his health is now deteriorating. A few weeks after we met he had an accident with his bike. Unfortunately, Hans Rietbergen died on 26th of September 2019 at the age of 70. He was buried on his 71st birthday. Hans daughter, Eva commemorated his honour in a beautiful tribute: “Dear Dad, today exactly one month ago, you blew your last breath at 11:11 am. A double ‘angel number’ that suited you very well, since you always looked for coincidences in numbers. We all knew it was coming, but it was hard and intense to see you go. You were relieved, we knew that for sure, you had told us that you wanted peace and that you had fought your fight long and wide. It happened after two and a half days of sedation, you were already asleep and died in a foetus position, peacefully on your favorited right side. It was nice to be able to lay you up in that position also on September 30th, for your birthday. You would have turned 71 then. A lot has happened and felt over the past month, we are now forced to clear your house and remember you with a smile or a tear, or a combination of the two. You left behind a lot of very special work and a whole bunch of photos that I and Anne and the rest of your family will be able to look at for a long time. Dear Dad, it is now almost 11: 11 am and I want to tell you again that I love you so much and that you will always continue to exist in me” Just before I left his studio he drew an imaginary cross on my forehead and said “God bless you.” He knew that his time was short here, wings to your soul Hans, you are free. He is not only missed by his family, but by everyone in the art and culture world of The Hague and in his own neighbourhood. He will not be forgotten. 1990: Hans Rietbergen holds Van Gogh’s 15 million guldens in his hands while assisting in the exhibition building of the Historical Museum of The Hague 2005: After 15 years with that self-portrait (1986) with that first photo 2017: 27 years after that unique 1st photo ... with the 2nd photo (the so-called ‘Droste effect’).

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Event Information Date: Saturday 18th of July 2020 Location: Perth Town Hall 601 Hay St, Perth WA 6000

Email: Event Website: Instagram:

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NEWCASTLE BOOK BOYFRIEND 2020 Newcastle, Australia

Event Information Date: Saturday 26th of September 2020 Location: Wests ~ Starlight Room 88 Hobart Road, New Lambton, NSW 2305

Email: Event Website: Instagram: Twitter:

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INSPIRING GLOBAL WOMEN LEADERS LISA JONES Entrepreneur, President and COO, Global Goodwill Ambassadors GGA Article Written by


There is nothing like family and the laughter from the smallest things and smiles that touch our hearts.”

Richard Di Pilla

Founder Global Goodwill Ambassadors, GGA


lobal leadership is a tenure for accountability and interaction by the people who head an organisation, have a vision and a life passion. A definition of global leadership is developed intended to guide, mentor and plant a seed for upcoming leaders who strive and create an impact in their chosen fields. Women’s empowerment – a key topic of this century – looks at the global role women represent as authoritative leaders, including : Presidents, Prime Ministers, CEO’s and Senior Leaders of companies. 28 | eYs Magazine

The ability for success creates a pathway, and a barrier for entry to a paradox of life, work and play. Is it the assertion of one’s competence, and admitting one’s vulnerability allowing room for a network and collaboration? Or, is it the level of authority associated with credibility and risk, especially, as a leader brought in to drive the brand and success of an organisation. Either way, there is no question whatever the magnitude of purpose women face they have one thing in common – the need to toughen up, speak louder and act decisively. Driven by goals, strategy and work ethic to get the job done, global women create a balance by appreciating the human side of themselves, warmth, passion, personable and accessible for an open relationship within their career, social and family life. Success is never guaranteed, many will fail in their mission to climb the corporate ladder lost in the power of a man’s world. Different countries and cultures attract investment and association, growth and prosperity in any firm through their by-laws and code of practice that sets up the foundations for future innovations and sustainability. One must be smart and be aware of these challenges by teasing out tensions and repertoire for strategies to manage their surroundings, effectiveness and resilience for leadership style. By adapting to the company demographics and core vision one needs to demonstrate toughness and niceness in different scenarios and a diverse scope of personalities. Sure enough, these qualities are a challenge to any person regardless of gender,

however, it can be safe to say that sometimes women’s empowerment requires an extra kick-start on the road for success. Influential global woman, leader, wife, entrepreneur, mentor, and inspiration to thousands around the world is Lisa Jones. The President and Chief Operations Officer for Global Goodwill Ambassadors, GGA. Born in Elkton, Virginia and currently residing in the Greater St. Paul Area, Minnesota (MN), Lisa Jones is happily married to her life-time partner, Dave and mum to their beloved feline Piper. A resume and academic curriculum vitae writer, LinkedIn writer, career strategist, and the founder of ‘Specialized Resume Services’. Lisa writes for all levels of job seekers worldwide. Her driving passion to help job seekers and educate her clients about the resources they need to become successful breaking down complex career-related information in a way that all job seekers can understand. With a strong academic background, and a Master of Business Administration, Lisa serves as an Alumni Mentor for the University of Phoenix. She holds an Executive Certificate in Human Resources from Cornell, and an Executive Certificate in Applied Business Strategies from Notre Dame. A career in one of the largest printing ink manufacturers in the world, Lisa held many positions including purchasing, inventory control, logistics, human resources, and technical sales. During her corporate career, Lisa hired and trained many

• personnel and worked with engineers, marketers, scientists, C-Level executives, and owners of companies. She has a hands-on knowledge of many jobs and the ability to work with a wide range of clients. Lisa is a member of the United Nations, USA (MN), and UN Women (St. Paul, MN), NRWA (National Resume Writers Association), CTL (Career Thought Leaders). Her awards and achievements are many and not limited to: •

Honored by Hope Ambassadors and Childcare Organization (2019), in recognition of outstanding achievement and excellence in global philanthropy and humanitarian work.

Designated as a “Ambassador of Excellence” for My Body Is My Body (2019) In recognition of support given to a worldwide child abuse prevention program.

Global Goodwill Ambassadors Founder’s award recognized for volunteerism, leadership, and humanitarian work.

Published as a contributor to YouMap (2018) by Kristin A. Sherry, a #1 category bestseller in five countries, top 10 category bestseller every month sense release, top 50 bestselling business book on Amazon, #1 bestseller on Amazon, Rated a Best Reviewed Book by I January 2019.

Lisa Jones, has the most important qualities of leadership including integrity, accountability, empathy, humility, resilience, vision, influence, and positivity. What sets Lisa’s style apart from other leaders is her ability to inspire people to do things they never thought they could. Her warmth, and love for people to succeed is witnessed on a day to day basis via the global LinkedIn network, Global Goodwill Ambassadors, GGA. Global Goodwill Ambassadors, GGA are people from all walks of life who dedicate in full or part of their lives doing good works for the betterment of their community or ultimately, the world. Founded by Richard Di Pilla, who believes:

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“A civilized world living in peace can only be attained through an understanding and acceptance of a diversified world. With this in mind, I founded an initiative using the LinkedIn social media forum called Global Goodwill Ambassadors. This initiative is simple; we recognize people from every nation, race, colour, and socio-economic caste who do goodwill toward others. The only thing Global Goodwill Ambassadors look at is charitable or humanitarian works of any individual. We exercise no bias. We also have only one commodity, that of Goodwill. We are not commercialized in any way. We are apolitical and free of hatred. My mission was to give anyone the opportunity to receive this designation. My secondary mission was to break down misconceptions that people had based on the limits of media reports or inter-country propaganda, that there is goodness through the people of the world. From an initiative, I founded seven years ago a large structured group of over 14,000 people has emerged. With volunteers from every country and all walks of life, we are learning about the loving, charitable, heart of the human spirit everywhere. The thousands of letters of support and nominations to be recognized as Global Goodwill Ambassadors is a testament to diversity in motion. 30 | eYs Magazine

We can all learn to accept the good hearts of all people. As a society, we have a long way to go. As for what individuals can do to participate as a world that accepts all people as one united race. I know we can achieve this dream together. Any doubters only need to look at the outpouring of love and respect that people of goodwill are sharing as Global Goodwill Ambassadors.” Building Bridges is the core belief for Global Goodwill Ambassadors, (GGA) who recognise good people performing humanitarian work while promoting initiatives to serve the people who need them most. GGA, believes in takingaction with urgency in order to raise public awareness about some of the most pressing issues facing today’s society. Their primary goal is to promote great opportunities for those in need through access to the right resources, people can become empowered by their own abilities and gain the confidence to fulfil their potential. GGA is an unbiased group with over 14,000 humanitarians in 208 nations and territories. Lisa Jones, is the President and Chief Operations Officer, and an essential part of the team-building process for the global

initiative, Global Goodwill Ambassadors. Faced with such an enormous task, Lisa is a scant few people in the world with the natural skill-sets needed in order to transcend all of the potentially sensitive interactions in global team-building. Lisa navigates those challenges in continuing to grow an organisation of over 14,000 members in 208 countries. Apart from Lisa’s un-wavering commitment to her work, she possesses a blend of intelligence, grace and gratitude towards people all over the world. I am a witness to her exceptional service to humankind through Global Goodwill Ambassadors. She is a gentle soul that is cloaked in humility, a cerebral and competent person in the work and business arenas and an incredibly talented, bright, hardworking, detail oriented who is passionate about all she is responsible for. Her firm and steadfast attitude never hesitate to render tough decisions for truth and justice. Lisa is an amazing person, and a wonderful leader full of positive energy. A consummate professional responsible with a great spirit for solidarity and growth for a brighter world. A leader who empowers others by helping each person recognise their strengths skilled at Strategic planning, Education Administration, Institutional growth and Community outreach. Lisa’s guidance and motivation have helped

thousands to step forward in their life goals. Her broad vision and thoughts her main strength to motivate others as an inspiring mentor working for humanity. A brilliant mind and a strategic thinker, Lisa is admired and respected for her sage like advice engaging with a mammoth network as a Global Goodwill Ambassador. Working alongside Lisa, as fellow humanitarians, under a global movement for inclusiveness and peace, I have watched her launch an organisation through her passion and commitment to bring sustainable strategy on board for an impact driven initiative. Her openness and readiness to collaborate for great results is exceptional. When you combine an exceptional intellect with a profound understanding of humanity, you can easily see that there is nothing that would impede Lisa, from excelling at anything she chooses to pursue. Overall, Lisa is passionate about achievement of her life goals. Her demeanour and dedication, humbleness and warm nature enable her to achieve everything well beyond merely acceptable. eYs Magazine was able to get an exclusive interview with Entrepreneur, President and COO Lisa Jones, and are grateful for the opportunity.

When and why did you become a Business Woman? I became an entrepreneur in 2006 after leaving a successful career in the printing in industry. It was my desire at that point to complete my MBA and start a business where I would have an individual impact that wouldn’t be realized as an employee with a company focused on an employer’s strategic goal. I worked for a wonderful global company but I wanted to have more control over my own destiny and my goals. I saw many people struggling with careers and those who were jobless and it became a passion to find a way to help these individuals. Starting a resume/academic CV writer gave me the ability to focus on helping jobseekers in every field of the job market. This also gave me the ability to write pro bono for those in need and as part of this, I support our veterans by writing at no charge.

Can you walk us through the process of developing your own brand/reputation as an entrepreneur? Starting a career as an entrepreneur is somewhat scary and a risk-taking journey but this was the perfect path to realize my goals of changing lives. I joined several organizations and LinkedIn in order to learn as much as possible about resume writing. I knew I would be holding the ability for a jobseeker to get an interview so it was very important to give these individuals the best and most effective documents possible. Early in my new career, I was fortunate to sub-contract for one of the top resume writers in the world. This wasn’t about pay as I made less than minimum wage relative the hours I was putting in as a new resume writer. It was actually the best education I could have received. I often look back on this and remind myself how fortunate I was and always try to find the way to help others learn how to write. Several years later, I was approached by a professor who had a very reputable and established CV writing business who gave me the opportunity to learn Academic CV writing. Again, these were long hours as I was learning but I poured myself into these two opportunities to learn from two eYs Magazine | 31

of the best in the business. During both of these sub-contracting positions, I was able to build my own brand and network with many others in related industries. What are valuable lessons you have learned along the way in the business industry? Some of the most valuable lessons have been the importance of networking and setting standards to withhold ethical values and practices. You are only as strong as your professional “brand” and being an entrepreneur has given me the ability to set my own practices and change these as needed. Referrals are key in my industry and I have built a strong network of whom I often refer business to and also receive referrals from. Nothing beats hard work if you want to succeed and this means you also have to work hard when business may not be going well. If you want to be successful, you will need to take calculated risks and remain determined.

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I’m a sports analogy person and think back to days of practicing, falling, learning from my mistakes, and picking myself up and continuing to do what I love. There are always life lessons that you can apply to your professional journey and I think this is such an important area that will help you learn your strengths and weaknesses and where to focus. I believe it’s also important to accept your faults and learn about self-acceptance as this is where confidence comes from. I consider myself a life-long learner as a believe continuing your education is key as our world is constantly changing. It’s so vital to understand that education doesn’t end when the class does and there are many means to learning all you can about your passion to become successful. “Success” is by the way, different to each individual and not always based on a financial gain. Keep your mind open to opportunities to learn and to those who are willing to mentor you and try to pass this on when you can. This is one of the key reasons I became and alumni mentor at my alma mater.

How did you become the President of Global Goodwill Ambassador’s? I was recognized as a GGA almost four years ago after writing to our founder, Richard DiPilla inquiring what the group was about. At that time, I was currently volunteering at domestic violence shelters and soup kitchens and he recognized my efforts in helping those in need. I was later named the first country director of the US and started volunteering my time to GGA by making recognition images and offering insight on helping to structure the group. I grew with GGA and consider myself to be fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such wonderful humanitarians around the world. It’s truly a humbling experience to learn about so many different cultures and make friends that will last a life-time.

You have a massive role as a role model and women’s empowerment how important is this to you and why? In some society’s women are still discriminated against and are often not paid the same salaries as men or have the same rights. As women are important to all societies, empowerment is a key issue and as hearing their voices truly makes a difference. Empowering women is to give them the “right” to education, careers, voting, and overall decision making. Women’s empowerment also helps to reduce domestic violence, sexual assault by showing the value women have in our society. Helping other women realize their self-worth and increase their confidence and adapt to social and economic change is key and we can all help to foster this by offering education, the skills needed and ability to freely express themselves is key to truly making our world a better place and putting an end to gender bias. Women’s empowerment is extremely important to me as I have known women to be afraid to leave a domestic violence situation due to lack of confidence and the worry of supporting herself and children. I see this while volunteering my time at domestic violence shelters and many will return to a volatile environment putting their lives in danger. My heart and soul is dedicated to ending bias toward women and will continue to do so through volunteering my time, uplifting other women, and mentoring as many as possible. Do you support any charities or contribute to the community in any way? What is your five-year plan? My five-year plan is to continue building my resume writing “business” as more of a company that focuses on more and more pro bono work. The ability to help more and more jobseekers is something that is truly needed due to automation and cutbacks. Continuing all humanitarian work be it one on one or as a group, is what our world needs and I will continue this path and hope that many others do the same. Who is your inspiration and why? My grandparents have always been my inspiration. I’m not sure they realized how much “humanitarian” work they were actually doing while I was growing up but they practiced this every day. Both were involved in the community and always had open doors to those in need. I remember on many occasions when my grandmother would take food to

those who didn’t have any. During my senior year in high school, she took the window AC out of my bedroom and gave it to someone during a very hot summer stating the other family needed it more. So, we didn’t always have the means to buy new items but we always understood the meaning of “sharing” and “paying it forward.” What is your favorite pastime when you aren’t working? I’m an avid reader and love to scrapbook. Anything to broaden my knowledge and feed my passion to learn something new every day and to “create” something, I find energizing. Continually learning more about my community and how to give back to help others is also a passion. As I’m a transplant to Minnesota, I have a lot of new areas to cover and look forward to meeting new people and experiencing more.

I continue to volunteer at domestic violence shelters and soup kitchens. I also volunteer at Feed My Starving Children by packing food that is shipped around the world. Being an animal advocate, I give to my local Humane Society and attend charitable events in support. My time is also spent with volunteer time with GGA and mentoring students. Family Life I love spending time with my husband and rescue kitty. There is nothing like family and the laughter from the smallest things and smiles that touch our hearts. My husband of 18 years is my best friend and my biggest supporter in the world.

A special thank you to Lisa Jones from all of us at eYs Magazine. We extend our congratulations and applaud your vision and passion uniting the world through goodness, peace, love and hope.

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addie Bradley is an incredible young woman who I had the pleasure of connecting with through shared studies in Reiki. Throughout our group sessions Maddie regularly mentioned her brother, who passed away following an unprovoked ‘incident’ on Christmas Day 2017. Maddie shines with love and positivity, and has a strong connection with her brother. I asked if she’d share her story with eYs with the hope that it might help others who dearly miss loved ones who have passed, sometimes finding Christmas difficult. She agreed. Maddie Bradley is a 25 year old woman who lives in Sydney and works as a hairdresser. She is the youngest sibling of three children; she has a sister aged 28 and a brother who would have turned 30 in February this year… but in devastating circumstances Chris passed away almost 2 years ago. Maddie’s brother Chris lived in Byron Bay, where he worked as a popular DJ. On Christmas night in 2017, Chris was at a gathering with a small group of friends, and happened to be talking with someone who had a reputation for becoming angry when ‘under the influence’. That night Chris was hit three times, then fell from his chair, hit the floor and stopped breathing. Efforts were made to revive Chris, but he was gone. Maddie and her family were told the news the following day; her parents were contacted by Police and then they called Maddie. She was so shocked that she had a panic attack in a shopping centre. 34 | eYs Magazine

I notice that Maddie talks about Chris in the present tense, like he’s still here. In many ways to her, he still is. She says that after she was told that he’d passed, she felt him with her straight away. People would ask her how she was handling the news so well, and she’d respond “He might be gone but he’s always here, he’s always around me”. She recalls reassuring her parents at times by saying “He’s here, he’s around you”, “If he was here he’d want us to be laughing and be happy”, and “It’s all in the plan”. Whilst many people might respond to a situation like this with anger and hate, Maddie says she never went into a negative state over her loss. She says she’s never been an angry person and consciously chooses not to be angry. She was quite scared of becoming negative at times, and deliberated over her choice to attend court because she was concerned that seeing her brother’s attacker might create a downward spiral, “because you can’t unsee things”. She went, for some sort of closure and with an intention of accepting this as reality, and she chose then and chooses now to keep her vibration high and to look at her situation as positively as possible. So positive is Maddie, that when I ask her how she feels about all the lost opportunities of spending time with her brother, she says “I haven’t really thought about it like that, I think of more comforting things, and I feel more connected to him now than before”.

It’s really quite amazing to be in her presence when she talks about Chris, because you can see that she’s full of gratitude. I ask Maddie about this, and she says “I was always a grateful person, grateful for my friendships and for what I had”. She speaks like she’s also grateful for the relationship she still shares with her brother, perhaps a more connected relationship than ever before. During our conversation, Maddie shares “I always looked up to him, I thought he was the coolest brother, the best thing ever”. As they developed as adults, Maddie could see how alike they were and what similar personalities they had… “He had many wonderful friends, was becoming more mature, more engaged and more connected to the people around him”. Maddie enjoyed the time they spent together when Chris visited Sydney, and she treasures a photo that was taken during the last family Christmas she spent with him. “I was really happy to be with him, and he said he was going to show me around Byron and introduce me to all of his friends, and I looked forward to that”. I asked Maddie to share, for the benefit of others, what she does to help herself feel connected to her brother. She shares that at the start, Chris was around all the time… “It was fresh and I was aware… then life gets busy again”. But she’s listened to her intuition and learned how to connect with him. Maddie says that her brother loved the beach, and that when she’s feeling upset she goes to the beach, writes him a letter and talks to him. She finds

Maddie Bradley it comforting, as it helps her feel close to him. She talks also of the importance of listening… listening for his responses and messages. She shared a particularly powerful story of one time she listened to her brother and saw him walking with her… One day she has an urge to visit the beach. There was a background voice, “Go for a swim”. Maddie responded in thought “No, I’m not going for a swim, it’s cold”. Then she realised, that’s not me, I wouldn’t tell myself to go for a swim on a cold day like this! So she gathered her things and went to the beach, and when she looked at her reflection in a restaurant window, she saw her brother walking with her. He was wearing the same thing as two years ago, and it was like they were walking to the beach together. She saw him laughing at her, making fun of her because she was doing what he wanted her to do, like always, because she’d always looked up to him. Maddie talked with him for a moment, before realising that it appeared as though she was talking to herself! She followed the plan and went to the beach. There was just one spot of sun which warmed her body. When she went into the water it was freezing at first, and then it went quite warm, so she dived in. She remembers feeling so cleansed by the water, and very connected to Chris. Maddie also looks for symbols that might be messages from Chis. She says he makes music miss or repeat and leaves feathers on the floor. Maddie finds feathers to be particularly

symbolic, and on the day that Maddie’s family and Chris’ friends celebrated his 30th birthday, Maddie noticed almost 20 feathers fall in front of her. There are other things that Maddie and her family do to help them feel connected with Chris. The last Christmas they shared with him was an early Christmas celebration with family, so that he could be back in Byron to DJ around Christmas time. Now, every year, the family and Chris’ friends come together a few weeks before Christmas, to honour the way it was on the last Christmas they shared with him. Maddie says this celebration is the same as before; “There’s tears in between, but there’s also loud music, drinks and laughter. My parents are still smiling and laughing, because they’re amazing like that”. This early Christmas celebration takes place at Maddie’s parents’ house and she says she feels Chris a lot there… “It’s the last place I was with him, it’s my safe place, there and the beach.” Maddie seems so grateful for those moments with family, and with Chris’ friends. She shares that she’s become quite close with Chris’ friends, that they come to the family events and that she spends time with them in Byron. She says “I feel a part of Byron now, and I have lots of friends there”. I asked Maddie what message Chris might have for people in this life, and she said he’d tell people to be grateful for the time that we have. She smiled, sharing that he’d sometimes have a beer in one hand and a wine in the other,

and he’d say “Be grateful for every moment and grab a drink”, or “Just go get a drink and shut up and smile”. In closing, I asked Maddie what helped her to be so amazing about all this. She said that she’s always been able to choose happiness in the face of emotion, and that her family is like that too. She spoke of her wonderful partner, who came at the perfect time, and a wonderful friend, who really knew how to be there for her. Maddie shared that she’s also been able to feel lighter thanks to energy healing, and that doing a lot of energy clearing really helped to clear some of the weight on her chest. She explained “People hold so much grief. I still feel grief, but it’s like I’ve let go of the heaviness of it. The heaviness is indescribable. There’s no label for that emotion. It’s just heavy… Some people might be scared to let go of those layers of emotion, but I think it’s less painful to let the emotion come through your body for an hour or for a day than holding that emotion for the rest of your life.” There’s no doubt Maddie Bradley is an amazing and inspiring young woman with a very real connection to her brother. I appreciate the way she shared her experiences so vulnerably and openly, and I trust that her story will inspire many to practice more gratitude, clear some heavy energy, and to focus on strengthening their connection with loved ones passed. Much love to Maddie, her brother, and their family. xx eYs Magazine | 35




hristmas is almost here. It’s a time where we wind down at work, at school, at life and start to spend more time with family and friends. Christmas is all about my family. Seeing the looks on my kids’ faces as we decorate the tree and turn on the Christmas lights for the first time. Seeing the streets lit up with Christmas lights in the lead up to Christmas day. The smell of mangoes and gardenias. And of course, Christmas day lunch; sitting down with family and friends to eat, drink and be merry! While Christmas time can be a joyous occasion for some, for others Christmas can be hard. It is a reminder of loved one’s no longer with us to celebrate another joyous year. Some experience depression and a sense of loneliness brought upon by what Christmas should be like or what their life should be like or due to horrific life circumstances/life events. For many, Christmas is a time that conjures strong emotions. Whether it’s a religious, family, friends or food focus, Christmas is a time to reflect upon the year, your life and what’s important.

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As we celebrate Christmas over summer in Australia, ours is very different to the Northern Hemisphere. Often this time is when we experience very hot days, bush fires, water restrictions and often worsening drought conditions for our farmers.

I sat down with Millie Fisher, the Co-Producer/ Chief of Hustle for Grace Brennan’s brain child… Buy from the Bush.

So when I came across “Buy from the Bush”, I was excited by what they stand for:

Thanks for having me. The more people spreading the love, the better really. So, thank you.

“A showcase of beautiful things to buy from rural communities facing drought. A small way to invest in their future and help” A simple yet ingenious initiative. They provide a wonderful way to do your Christmas shopping, all while supporting rural farmers and communities. Now everyone can purchase something from the bush. Their Facebook and Instagram page doesn’t sell anything, but instead show cases what others are selling. With over 100,000 followers in the first month of operation they have tapped into the true essence of what humanity is about.

Thank you for being apart of our magazine and sharing your story.

Your background is so varied. You grew up around Paddington, NSW and then you went to live in England, you worked for Vodafone, and then you met your hubby and then everything changed by the look of it. And then everything changed. My life got turned upside down and I’m in sunny Warren, which is not a bad place to be except when we’re going into our fourth year of drought, but there are worst places you could be, definitely. How did you get involved with Buy From the Bush? I got involved on the day of the launch. Gracie came over to my house for lunch and she walked through the door and was fluffing

around. “Oh, sorry I’m late, sorry I’m late. I’ve just got this idea.” And I said, “Righto.”

From what I’ve seen on Facebook and Instagram, with over 70,000 likes in two weeks, it is a no brainer. That’s just astonishing.

And she told me about Buy from the Bush. She’d got a message from a friend of hers in the city saying, “Can you recommend any retailers around Warren? Our family Kris Kringle is going to be buy from the bush.” So, Grace thought, “Hang on, I think there’s something here.” And she came over to me and said, “What do you think?” And I said, “It’s a no brainer.”

Yeah. So, we’re getting up there, and the funny thing is that people will send us messages going, “Oh my goodness, 75,000.” And we go, “Oh right. Yeah. No, we haven’t even checked that,” with our hands on phones and iPads and laptops and children’s nappy’s ... You don’t actually have time until people actually go, “Oh my God, 70,000 people”. It’s pretty exciting.

There are so many of our friends, both of us obviously being from Sydney, that have asked us, particularly in the last six months, if there’s anything that they can do to help. And I was like, “This is it.” Everyone’s going to be spending their Christmas money, and we just channel a little bit up into the bush.

That’s amazing. I have to say the growth is reflective of the groundswell that you’ve created. You are tapping into something from the heart. We rely on our farmers, and I think it’s not until something like a drought that we realize how much we rely on our farmers, for food on our table, clothes on our back, everything is from the farmers.

So, that’s how I came on board. I just simply was willing to help. Like her, we are both farmer’s wives and we just were feeling a little bit helpless. And I think obviously, it’s close to the heart for both of us. We live in a fantastic community that, the last sort of three to six months, the morale has definitely dropped.

I think it also showcases the fact that the farmers are actually doing it hard, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the rest of the communities as well. It is the little small boutiques and it’s a post office and it’s a car mechanics and it’s the farm machinery dealership. The farmers are definitely the ones that feed us and put our clothes on the back. But there’s a ripple effect from drought and everyone feels it.

I think before that it was the farmer’s way of being stoic and, “It’ll rain,” and, “we’ll be right.” But I think rolling into the fourth year of it, it was just a bit grim. So, anyone that Grace went to that day and said, “I’ve got this idea. What do you think?” I think anyone would have jumped at the chance to help out as much as they can.

You can’t escape it. After four years it gets us all eventually. I read that the people involved in Buy from the Bush are getting many calls and inquiries now from all over Australia and even overseas! I think that’s a wonderful thing because you do feel helpless when you’re in the city and you want to help, but you don’t know how. eYs Magazine | 37

Yeah. And that’s probably for Grace and I, the morale boost, that social media has connected the city to the country and people are picking up the phones and the city folk are saying, “How are you going?” And these people standing in shops or sitting at their farms with little to no business at all are getting to speak to other people during the day and get to talk to them and tell them their story and also ask how are you going in the city? What’s going on down there? It’s gone back to old school. It’s a very simple idea. There’s nothing complicated about it. It’s so simple, as I said, it’s gone back to just picking up the phone and having conversation and I think that is one of the biggest things that I have taken out of this is that it’s sort of put the connectivity back together when probably maybe the country folk did feel like a little bit of a disconnect to the city up until this point. And as you said, people wanted to help. They just didn’t know how. There is buying a hay bale, which we absolutely encourage and keep it going, but they don’t see where that hay bale goes. There’s no sort of transparency with it. Whereas this, you see something you like, you know the area it’s in, you know the person that owns the shop or is doing the side hustle. You often know that, yes she’s got three children, her husband’s a farmer, she’s also the bookkeeper, the mum, the wife, the yardie and it’s a great story. They’re all really, really lovely stories and they get to tell them to our city friends. And our city friends get a beautiful, often unique, gift at the end of the day to give for Christmas or just a little guilty pleasure on the side.

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Has there been a stand out story for you amongst the plethora of amazing stories? Everyday. There are so many, I mean, from girls having to close down their websites just to keep up with orders, to a lady in South Australia who did a year’s worth of orders in 24 hours after a Saturday morning post at 7:00 a.m. But there is one story, and probably because it resonates with me, but there is one mum of a three-year-old and there is no work around her town for her husband, he’s a farmer but there’s not enough to do at home. So, he has had to go 2,000Ks away up north in Queensland to find work. There’s no reception where he is, so he has very little communication with his wife and their three-year-old at home. Her business is a cafe and home wares, fashion store and she gets her little boy up at 5:30 in the morning, takes him to the cafe, opens up, someone picks him up to take him to day care or someone is in the shop while she does that. And up until this, she’s sitting there in the cafe in the shop with very little foot traffic, very little communication with anyone else. Basically, no communication with her husband. And you think why? Why am I doing it? Is this worth it? And with the injection of Buy from the Bush. And as I said, yes there’s the cash injection, but from just the communication and speaking to people and the buzz that it’s created, she’s like, “You’ve given me a whole new lease on life. And I know that it’s worth it. And I know that people are out there that want to help and it’s just getting us through a pretty hard time.”

This resonates with me. My husband’s up in Queensland, not actually working, looking for work at the moment. And I’ve got a one and a three-year-old and you do sometimes think is this worth it? But it is. And another reason we started this is because we want to keep the doors open in our towns. And if we have to move away, we would love to come back to Warren as it is today with the shops open, pubs open, sporting teams available. You don’t want to come back to a dusty old town with nothing going on. Which is the case with many small towns, smaller than Warren. But yeah, so keeping the doors open is a huge reason why we started this. I saw on Facebook that you are doing something new. You’ve launched “Stay in the Bush”. Are you expanding? Yeah, so we thought, while the momentum’s there and while we don’t have enough to do, we thought we might as well start Stay in the Bush. We started it about two days ago and there’s about 8,000 followers on Instagram. Obviously with the momentum from Buy from the Bush, a lot of people were reaching out saying, “Can we get out to the Bush? What do we do? Where do we stay??” So, we thought, “Okay, well there’s something here.” Or even businesses were saying, “We’re not selling anything, but we do have this Airbnb or this farm stay.” Anyway, so we launched it two days ago and it’s not so specifically focused on droughtaffected areas only because, you might be on a trip, let’s say you’re going up to Byron Bay and it’s what, 10 hours away from Sydney. Pick a spot, stay there and then you can do sort

of day tours or day trips from places along the way. And basically, the idea behind it is to either base yourself in a town for a night or two and move on.

as I said before, this idea is so simple in its execution and everything, I think that you’d see it’s a no brainer to get on board.

But to get out there in the bush, eat there, sleep there, drink there, have an experience there. Go and get a massage there, get a haircut there. While you’re getting your hair cut, go and get your car washed or serviced or just generating more economy for the small towns in any way, shape or form that we can do it. And I think there are some really spectacular places that you can stay in regional Australia, not just New South Wales that get probably a little bit lost amongst the big touristy areas such as Byron Bay, and the Noosa’s and others popular places.

There’s no hidden agenda and you’re essentially connecting city to country to put a cash injection into our economy for Christmas, but also the longevity of it would hopefully keep this going for many years to come because hopefully these bush businesses don’t close down and they’ll still be standing. It’s quite overwhelming, the people that have jumped on board, government, non-government, CWAs even ... I guess Grace and I lost touch with the influencer side of social media these days, but everyone is jumping on board. It’s phenomenal and it’s hard not to feel chuffed about the whole thing. It’s very exciting.

So, hopefully, we can give people an idea, when they think, “Oh, where could we go this weekend that’s three or four hours away?” Whether it is a camping ground or a beautiful bed and breakfast or a motel or a hotel somewhere within a drivable distance on a weekend. Whereas I said, you can get out on a day trip and go and visit some of these really badly drought-affected areas that you might not necessarily have thought about before.

It is well deserved. The other thing that I really liked on your Instagram page, is that you’ve created this idea of a village, where a lot of businesses, like photographers, graphic artists, marketers etc are all jumping on board and saying, “Look, if you’re in a rural community, I’ll come and help you.” How did this idea of the village come about? Or was it just organic?

I also saw that Country Women Association (CWA) and New South Wales Government pages and a lot of other people are sharing #Buy from the Bush. That must be quite amazing too? Oh, yeah it is. It’s so lovely. I mean, obviously, the CWA is a very well known, respected and established organization. They’re sort of the old school era as well and I think maybe they may not necessarily have picked up on social media initiatives like this before because sometimes there is a little bit of red tape and it’s a bit too hard to understand. But

It was a natural progression really. All of those people have reached out to us, which again, it’s just an overwhelming amount of support. City folk wanting to help us out in the rural communities. As do people in all those businesses you just mentioned, the marketing gurus, the digital gurus, they all want to help. They just didn’t know how and they saw this and thought, “Oh hang on, I can really help someone here”, whether it’s an eCommerce platform or just the way they get themselves out there on social media or how to use social media properly or how to take a photo of products that people are going to see and love and share and buy. eYs Magazine | 39

The Buy from the Bush campaign that you and Gracie created is amazing and it’s something that we’re all standing behind and we’re all praying and hoping for rain. We unfortunately can’t control the weather but we can control where we put our money. I do hope that there are many Christmas and after Christmas presents that will come from the bush. I know I will be on the site soon too. We are the same, but I’m like everyone else, that I’m late to the party. So I called a lady in Tamworth yesterday and I said, “So, about those picnic rugs?” She said, “No, no, no longer available.” “What about these.” And she was like, “No.” I was like, “Oh, why didn’t I get on this before we put those posts out?” Because I know the effect the posts have on companies. The businesses, whether it is a store or a side hustle on the farms, they are more often than not a one-man-band. And as I said, it’s generally a mum, a wife, who is also a bookkeeper, the yardie, the cook, the everything, that are trying to keep up with obviously a huge spike in sales. So, if you could just be patient with them, that would be wonderful. Because they are trying their hardest, let me tell you. What would you say would be the best way our readers or everyone around us could help our rural farmers and rural communities right now?

All of these businesses reached out to us and we can’t thank them enough. Its also not just the ones we see on social media, it’s the people living in our little rural communities. My next-door neighbour picked up my boys the other day from day care because I was having a meeting with Grace, a three-hour return trip. So, she was like, “No, that’s my part for Buy from the Bush.” Everyone is just happy for us to show their support in any way they can. So, it’s really wonderful. That’s really nice to see. And I love the idea of the village ... it really does take a village, doesn’t it? It does. And I think, that’s sort of been lost in a way. Probably with the evolution of social media, or you feel like it’s been lost, but this sort of thing brings it back again to just being so simple that people get it, that it resonates with people, because it’s simple, it’s social media at its best, isn’t it really? I mean it’s connecting people in a time where people are questioning social media and the benefits of it.

There are so many, I mean, how long’s a piece of string? Obviously, there’s, I think on one of the government pages, there’s a regional hub section where there’s obviously more producers than we have on our page at the moment. As I said, getting out into the towns. If you can’t do that, I mean there’s also, the hay bales and water and bits and pieces like that, but an area that people are struggling is school fundraising. We don’t like to specifically choose a town or a school that we think is struggling. We don’t have the information for it, to be quite frank, but if people were sort of thinking, “Okay, well the farmers are sorted, the business owners are sorted, the accommodation people are sorted.” The schools are struggling to get fundraising because we’re just cash poor at the moment. There’s no two ways about it. So, if you really, really think, “No, I really want to do something,” pick a town, call the school and see if you can help. But as I said, that is one in a plethora of ways that you can help. But, get out there. And you know what? If you can’t afford to buy or donate, just spread the word, that’s all we ask. Spread the word, get it out there and have a good Christmas. Millie, thank you so much for your time. Thank you very much.

Yeah, that’s true. So, what would you say would be next for you guys? Well, Stay in the Bush sort of crept up on us, but we launched it pretty quickly. I think just fine-tuning where we can help the most. Obviously, as I keep saying, the cash injection into our small towns is the biggest priority in keeping the doors open. I think just following up with that, just because they have had spikes in sales in the last month doesn’t mean it’s going to continue particularly after Christmas. So, I think there’ll be quite a bit around just backing up the sellers that we have featured and just tracking them and making sure they’re still going strong after Christmas and really just getting a good foundation under themselves to keep this going.

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To support this initiative please see: #BuyFromTheBush, #StayInTheBush on Facebook and Instagram. Please also support the people behind the initiative by buying their Buy from the Bush merchandise. See @stitches_n_things, in Coonamble:

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Ananda Nepali A Heart-warming Interview From Nepal

By Jasmina Siderovski


originally met Ananda Nepali a year ago, as a Global Goodwill Ambabassador and the Chair of Nepal through his humanitarian work. Ananda is a warm and friendly person who has the best interest of his country, and its people at heart. Always willing to lend a hand, a smile, and his humanitarian touch, Ananda’s efforts are celebrated throughout the world as he continues to do what he does best – help create a clean environment and a promising future. Ananda, could you please share with our readers of eYs Magazine a little about your background and family life growing up in Nepal. I was born in 1993, in Kohima Nagaland, India to a Dalit family. My Parents are from the remote Maindanda Village of Kharjyang VDC Gulmi District, Lumbini, Nepal (Now Kharjyang, Chhatrakot Municipality, Lumbini Province, Nepal). Papa worked as a peon in Kohima, Nagaland. When I was three years old my parents returned to Nepal due to internal war in Kohima, Nagaland. I grew up in the remote village of Gulmi, Nepal. My Mom was a housewife and farmer. I belong to the Dalit Community. Dalits are discriminated against under a centuries-old caste system, suffering from restrictions on public amenities, deprivation of economic opportunities, and general neglect by state and society. I have personally faced discrimination on the basis of caste and ‘untouchability’ practised in schools, government or NGO supported schools. Teachers don’t take care of Dalit students. In remote areas of Nepal, students couldn’t sit beside the so-called high-caste students. Not only discriminated by the higher caste people in the Hindu system, but also by people within the same caste. We are denied entry into the houses of higher castes, temples, hotels, restaurants, teashops, food factories, dairy farms and milk collection centres, among others. Mostly, we suffer from discriminatory practices involving food and drink (38.9%) and prohibition of entry into houses, temples and other public places (28.3%). We are discriminated in the religious and cultural spheres. And, not allowed to practice Hindu rituals, norms and values in the same manner as others. We have been relegated to do work as black/ goldsmith, tailors, shoemakers and street cleaners, all considered of low social status. 42 | eYs Magazine

I was aware of my caste identity even as a child because of the repeated instances of discrimination and humiliation I faced in my school. My father was peon at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of Kohima, Nagaland and he inspired me to study well. I have five brothers but no sisters. I completed my primary education in Village School but had to walk three hours from my home to school. I was a very good student in school. I completed Year 10 from Shree Maindanda Higher Secondary School at Gulmi. I was ranked in the top three students in my School Leaving Certificate (SLC) final exam for Year 10 students. I was the first person to pass the SLC from

my community and grew up as one of the inspirational Dalit youths from my community. After getting a good rank in SLC, I left home for further education. I received a government scholarship from the Higher School Education Board for Science at New Horizon Higher Secondary School. After completion, I gained admission into the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) Nepal program in the Capital City, Kathmandu, Nepal, my aim to become a doctor. I applied for three years for a full scholarship to become a doctor. I lost three years and was not successful in obtaining the scholarship. Instead, I completed a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Tribhuvan University. I have been studying for a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management at Kathmandu University School of Management since 2019. Do you have any awards and achievements you are proud of? I have been currently working as a program coordinator at the Banking, Finance and Insurance Institute of Nepal Ltd since 2018. I have been selected as council member at the U.S. Youth Council (USYC) for 20192020, appointed as Chair for Global Goodwill Ambassadors in September 2018, appointed as Executive Country Director of Global Peace Initiative for Nepal for 2018-2019, Country

Coordinator at International Society for Peace and Safety 2018, Culture Ambassador at Inner Child Press ltd 2018, Representative from Nepal at the International Challenge Solving Society from Pakistan, as Goodwill Ambassador at Thanks Wing from Bangladesh, Ambassador at Global Socio-Economic and Financial Evolution Network (GSFEN), and Peace Ambassador at Refugee International Network for Peace. Recently, I was appointed as the President for Nepal at the International Anti-Terrorism Movement. I was also a Global Peace Ambassador at the Global Peace Chain for (2018-2019). I had been appointed as Global Humanitarian Leader at the Young World Leaders for Humanity from Bangladesh and Greenden Ambassador at Greenden from Italy 2018, as well as selected as the Delegate of Global 17 Goals MUN 2018 and Asian World Model United Nation II 2018. I am the Ambassador from the United Kingdom for Nepal for the My Body is My Body Child Abuse Prevention Programme. I have been the Global Goodwill Ambassador for Nepal working for Humanitarian issues worldwide and working with youths and their issues for the last five years. I have been active as an environmental campaigner and activist of the Bagmati River

Cleaning Campaign that works on Cleaning the Bagmati River as well as an active volunteer for the Human Rights Film Centre, Jeevani Nepal (Medical Ngo), Yuwa, Centre for Inclusive & Sustainable Community Development 2018 and Youth Advocacy Nepal (YAN). What exactly do your humanitarian efforts entail in Nepal? I had started my career as a ‘Volunteer’ at Collective Campaign for Peace (COCAP) since 2014. Being a volunteer for a protuberant organization, I learnt how to organize events and effectively deal with people. Because of my hard work and profound work ethics, I became the ‘Volunteers Coordinator’ in 1 year. That is the biggest achievement of my life, as it taught me how to mobilise human resources. Also, I became a social media activist and ran various campaigns via social media. Another work that still makes me proud is the ‘Medical Camp and Blood Donation Program’ that I organised in Bara in 2017. I, alongside 5 volunteers from COCAP and 12 medical professionals went to Bara and conducted the camp, directly reaching out to 800 people. I led the camp and was involved in the collection of materials for disbursement. It was extremely overwhelming to see people of Bara being happy because of the medical support that we provided. I had organised a similar camp in Gorkha district eYs Magazine | 43

and other different remote parts of Nepal in 2017, whereby 600 needy people were provided with medical supplies and free health check-ups. I am immensely empathetic and never shy away from helping people. I had an opportunity to develop my coordination skills by working with journalists and media professionals at COCAP. Organising events is my forte and I have organized and participated in numerous events in the past. I have been working with youths and their issues for the last five years. At COCAP, I was provided an opportunity to learn about the environment, human rights, peace monitoring, good governance and health-related issues. I have conducted health camps and human rights training programs in some of the most remote districts of my country. I can share my experiences and expertise in conducting different social and youth-related campaigns among my fellow participants. Apart from that, I am a social media enthusiast and I have been running many advocacy campaigns and social events through my Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin profiles. I am connected to 30,500 people directly through my different social media accounts. I can share my experience and skills of tactically using social media to raise awareness among worldwide youths and people by utilising the functionality of social media as a tool. I have actively led my group of volunteers in different peaceful rallies during World Environment Day, World Kidney Day, World Social Work Day, World AIDS Day and many more National and International Days. Also, during the course of my work, I was able to develop my report writing and proposal writing skills. I have prepared detailed project reports of the health camps and many more programs that I organised in Bara, Gorkha and different part of Nepal. I am also a good communicator and I have influential negotiation skills, which may prove handy in bringing people on the same page. At the moment, I am working as the ‘Volunteers Coordinator’ at Collective Campaign for Peace (COCAP), an NGO that works towards 44 | eYs Magazine

strengthening human rights and youth empowerment in Nepal. Before that, I used to work as a ‘volunteer’ at COCAP for a year. Before working at COCAP, I used to work at ‘Jeewani Nepal’ as a ‘Volunteers Coordinator’. Jeewani Nepal works towards donating body organs to the needy people who cannot afford expensive surgeries and medical

Expert’, Human rights activist, Youth Activist and a significant contributor in the health sector of Nepal. I believe that health and the environment are the most important issues of the world and unfortunately, our country has been weak in providing sound health facilities and maintaining a liveable environment. I see myself empowering youths who have a deep interest and passion towards working to build a ‘pollution-free society’. And I believe it’s totally achievable because for a country to change, it is very important to change the people’s mindset. I don’t plan to move abroad. I want to create a workable environment in my country. In ten years from now, I see myself as a social change maker creating opportunities for people. If the issue of health, human rights, public policy and environment are solved to an extent, I am pretty sure that we will be able to prevent a lot of youth from moving abroad from Nepal in search of better opportunities. Also, being a Dalit youth, I have unfortunately faced a lot of social discrimination and problems in my life. I had a really difficult and traumatic childhood because of my social and economic status. Because of that, I aim to engage in research in both empirical and policy, as well as informed advocacy for the rights of marginalized people, especially the Dalit social groups, both from Hill and Madhesh. I am developing an independent think-tank specializing in the area of caste-based issues concerning the Dalit community of Nepal. I envision creating a caste-based discrimination and untouchability free society in days to come. I have a deep desire to work towards protecting the rights of the Dalit communities of Nepal. I want to ensure a better future for them and empower them by initiating different skill enhancement programs. It is my dream to see a society refraining from inequality and hatred. Hence, I want to encourage more and more youths to speak up for themselves without having any fear of their social status

treatments. I am also involved as a ‘Team Leader’ in ‘Bagmati Sarsafaai Abhiyaan’ and volunteering through other Youth Advocacy Nepal, Jeevani Nepal, Human Rights Film Center (HRFC), Center for Inclusive Sustainable Community Development and other organisations. In 2018, I founded the ‘Human Rights and Environment Organisation (HUREO)’, a social group comprising of young people. The objective of HUREO is to work on human rights-related programs, environment, biodiversity management and its correlated issues. I have been doing the Bagmati River Cleaning up Mega Campaign as an environmental activist. It is one of the largest and longest community-based environmental programs in the Nation. We

unite community groups, schools, businesses, and local governments to carry out activities that address local environmental issues. We provide expertise, support and guidance to communities across the nation and world. Our vision is to inspire a million people across all continents to tread lightly, clean up and conserve the planet.

eYs Magazine expresses gratitude for this heart-warming interview and wishes Ananda Nepali, the Community and Nepal the best of luck in all future endeavours. You are an inspiration for our younger generations and have set an odyssey for hope, and prosperity. Your volunteer and humanitarian efforts will never be un-noticed - and from all of us, we thank you for all that you do.

Apart from that, I volunteered in an organisation named ‘Human Rights Film Centre’, whereby I was responsible for organising discussion series and film screening by reaching out to young filmmakers working towards human rights issues. Ten years from now, I see myself as a Global citizen, ‘Environmental eYs Magazine | 45





emories can be the energy of the past that holds the many of us together and are the value at this seasonal time of the year, it keeps us focused with the meaning of Celebration despite our present circumstance that has perhaps broken and changed all of what has been before tragedy seemed to almost strip it bare. Just like the fairy story of they lived happily ever after was what I envisaged continued life would be for myself (Pam) and my husband (Richard). We lived all that fairy story once, family, life giving us blessings and our always thoughts were to be OBSESSIVELY GRATEFUL. Time and circumstance can change all of that and the adjustment can be difficult. Here we are with the end of 2019 season upon us and my memories still tucked inside of the excitement that this time of year was wrapped in with family, the preparation of decorating our home for the glittery season as of course I’ve always loved that with the tree and all the trimmings to sparkle and shine, then the excitement of gifts chosen so individually for each family member with love and care and the wrapping was so my thrill and even continued through to the dining table to be decorated where I always chose a theme to make it special and yes memorable. I so love the season of summer here in Australia with the Christmas Celebration and holiday time completing all that the year had been. The region of Australia where home is for myself and my husband doesn’t have any chance of the snow falling and the fireplace roaring as it perhaps can be in some southern states of Australia that have the possibility if weather decides it to be a white Christmas but here in North Queensland where there is no chance of that with only the sizzling summer climate living in the tropics can bring. Christmas celebrations is a gathering for many outdoor Celebrations on the verandah/pool or by the sea with all hoping for cool ocean breezes if the weather hasn’t shown some excitement and caution with a Tropical Cyclone threatening or monsoonal weather in the region and then perhaps inside venues are chosen with the air conditioning running to capacity. The Celebration seems to run for all the weeks of December with many parties and fun catch ups and to share love and friendship. Little did I know in those times past that it all would be changed in recent years after the tragic accident that took the life of our son and grandson in early 2014 that life was never to be the same again in any way and just broke our family apart and to this point of time has had no connection despite the desire from R & P (hubby and me ) however we hold on to ongoing hope that one day it will all have unity and sparkle with the Love that once had been as after all life is our gift. In these years in between it has been a struggle to witness the celebrating of others and we tend to withdraw. Most sadly tend to ignore us during this season, perhaps they don’t wish to feel our pain or perhaps they just 46 | eYs Magazine

don’t know how to handle our situation anymore. Until you experience this where loss and grief is concerned it’s incredible how many would rather ignore than face a difficult situation and just give you some time and love that you are craving. I am sure my words speak for many who just proceed through the broken feelings within and endure the pain

whilst facing the outside world with a smile firmly planted on our faces which is the way we bravely have done as we just don’t know other wise to deal with any Celebrations. We are the lost souls of tragedy and really just crave love and inclusion when we don’t have choice than to be strong, believe in ourselves and seek to chase our own new dreams with hope that each new day and each new Celebration may become easier.

It has been valued to have experienced interaction and inclusion offered by one special family and we have also had our own quiet twosome Celebration. We no longer gift each other but prefer to gift to a charity of our choice in paying it forward. I guess with being so vulnerable it’s a clearer understanding that we still feel to be privileged. There would be many that have a similar story to us and they

can’t find the words or fear to speak their truth. It is no shame just a tragic situation of life that at any given moment the change can be instant and unbelievable. Honestly you can really feel like you are segregated. It’s been felt that you are put into a box, sealed up and stored away. Don’t let this happen, be the brave of your tragedy, allow the tears to make way for smiles again and give honour to your belief and the feelings. Your new steps lead the way to which perhaps is different but remembering you are still deserving without fear or judgement in any way and to once again find the Spirit of Love and belonging in Celebration. Now the rawness of those first years of loss are more settled and we realise that time is still precious to us there is once again a small inclusion of decorating for the Festive Season in our home. For now time is THE GIFT and we all should stop right here and BE GRATEFUL. The memories of what once had been are creeping back and there are still many smiles amongst the tears of knowing we had and ahead have future Blessings. To face it all takes power, you handle it and you triumph or honestly you don’t cope. This season these steps are in forward direction to have included to decorate and celebrate in a very simple, styling which includes sparkle. LIFE IS OUR GIFT. We all need to remember the reason for the Season.

My sweet little Upstyling business which is the very reason of the Decor inclusions of EYS Magazine has made many happy connections throughout the year of 2019. I’ve seen so many smiles and pieces of my heart and passion is within these homes through my Upstyling and I am very proud that I have saved so many pieces of furniture from landfill and that each item has been created with new life and purpose to live forward with new owners. I am so grateful for the lovely clients of Lou Lou Living and of each allowing the inclusion of LLL which has seen us all find happiness in the changes of their homes. The therapy of creation has and will continue to be amazing as it’s a great hobby to soothe a broken soul by creating and stepping forward through the journey of grief and I remain extremely grateful for my ability to create. Never lose your smile as it can be the attribute that gets you through the toughest of life. Spread kindness, show love. I am so blessed to be on Team EYS Magazine and wish Jasmina and all the team a safe and wonderful Celebration Season. Wishing MERRY CHRISTMAS 2019 to EVERYONE reading this. May you all have a Peaceful, Blessed Season of Celebration of this season. Happy and Healthy wishes ahead for the beginning of 2020. Love and Hugs, Pam xx

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Tina Di Bella

My Christmas


or me Christmas is all about Family. In recent years though times have changed and families have drifted apart or family members are spreading themselves to share the day with their in-laws. Years ago, Christmas was a big deal. A big family get together with all the aunties, uncles and cousins but once the oldies pass, the family doesn’t seem to have the glue anymore that kept them all together. I remember my dad and I would drive along the highway looking for the perfect Pine tree that would be our Christmas tree. The smell of the fresh pine trees was beautiful and fresh. We would decorate it lovingly with foil streamers. No other decorations or baubles were used in those days. My mum would prepare special foods such as Ravioli or Gnocchi. These would be made in advance and frozen in readiness for the big day. These foods were a luxury for us and were only cooked for these special occasions. Nowadays you can purchase these at any time at the supermarket, but it doesn’t seem quite the same. We always went to either Midnight or a Christmas Eve Mass and thank god for all our blessings. It was lovely as this is when you caught up with lots of friends and family that had travelled home for Christmas.

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Gift giving was very simple but very appreciative. A male member of the family would dress up as Santa and distribute the presents. All presents were then unwrapped at the same time. This is when the comparing of the gifts began. Lots of surprises and laughter were shared. Sadly, the sharing of gifts has become so commercialised that the true meaning of Christmas has been lost. It seems to be about how many gifts and the size of the price tag attached. These days we decorate our homes inside and out for this wonderful season. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. With beautiful ornaments and baubles on our Trees to Home decor that is used to adorn our buffets or dining tables. Stunning Cushions with festive fabrics and designs to decorate our couches. Wreathes on our front doors and gorgeous Buntings strung along our walls or windows. Skirts around the base of the Christmas tree.

The kids have their Santa sacks and Stockings hung on the Mantle or their bedroom doors in readiness for the big guy in red’s visit. So many new traditions that families follow now from when I was a child. From Reindeer Food or Carrots for the Reindeer’s to a plate of cookies and beer for Santa. Advent Calendars that count down the days or the surprise visit from the Elf on the Shelf. In our part of the world, Christmas is in the summer months and a hot roast meal now is usually swapped for a cold meat, seafood and salad lunch. The aircon is pumping and the kids are frolicking in the swimming pool. A vast contrast to the traditional White Christmas that you see on all the Christmas Cards with the snowflakes falling and walking through the snow. It is a time for family reunions and the exchanging of gifts. Different religions celebrate this season in many different ways and follow their beliefs and traditions.

Wherever you are this Christmas, may you spend it with the people you love and on behalf of my family, May, you have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year to follow. Until next year. Tina

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What You Were Never Taught at School by

Bojana Bogojevic

Law and Corporate Governance Lawyer, Post-Grad Specialist for Corporate Governance, and UN Climate Teacher Author Well I told you, I will give my best to teach you things they didn’t teach you at school. So, it is time to climate change and diet challenge. Holidays are a time when the largest amount of food is bought and unfortunately unused during the holidays. Yes, the biggest amount of food we bought for our Christmas and New Year’s feasts end up in the trash. The sad story is 1/3 of totally produced food on Earth never reaches our tables! Imagine how big of a mountain that is? It is like a nightmare of wasted food, while in some other parts of the world people don’t have much to eat. I am not talking about opportunity to choose their favourite meal, no they are hungry. They will spend holidays with empty stomachs while we create more food waste.

INTRODUCTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE YOUR DECISIONS Christmas... New Year... Another spared calendar... Or simply, nicer way to say end of another year. Time when we are summarising our achievements, decisions, wrong paths and unfinished journeys. Time when we are trying to hide all our disappointments with a lot of glitter, smiles, fancy clothes and

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shiny masks. This is part of the year when We should be the best, practice forgiveness and contact long time forgotten cousins or friends. But this won’t be an article about an incredible charming man from Finland called Santa Klaus, even though I am the one who writes to the mentioned man every single 31st of December. This is a special article, an article you will keep ‘till the next end of the year. This is a challenge. The point of this article is to motivate you to challenge your climate change decisions. You are probably asking yourself, why now? Why not our personal decisions?

So, I am challenging you. This year for Christmas, try practicing better choices. Your wise choice can contribute a lot. Decide to be smarter during your food shopping sprees. Buy only what you will use, believe me there is no need for compulsory buying as if the grocery shops will never open again. The same groceries will wait still wait for us after the festivities are over. Please, don’t be selfish, it is time to show kindness. The meals or food you see you won’t use, if you can’t put in a freezer and use it again take it to a food bank if there is one in your town, but for sure there are many homeless we can feed. You will make someone happy and protect our planet. And what is most

important you will teach your kids, family and society how to be kind and Climate Change responsible. Remember our diet and smart good choices are inseparable connected with Climate change. I won’t tell you to became vegan or vegetarian, because simply some groups can’t afford it due to their health condition, religion or tradition. But I can advocate to make smarter choices. Use more vegetables instead of beef or use chicken or turkey. For the beef lovers, the largest reason for deforestation is due to livestock breeding. I am not advising to stop eating completely, just

simply don’t use it every day. Remember to produce just one kilogram of beef we need 15 000 litres of water, and to produce one kilogram of potatoes we use only 250 litres of water. Knowing that until 20150 we will suffer a serious lack of water, even our present big amount of population is suffering badly due to lack of clean water it is strongly important to be educated and be wise during use of food. There is no shame to eat the same meal twice. It is important to remember, in the world of food producing everything is connected.

Please I am challenging you decide not to be the weakest link next year. Instead of that challenge your Climate Change decisions, your lifestyle decisions and above all your responsibility is to society and our planet. I want you to be proud of yourself during the changing calendar and check your achievements. Believe me your satisfaction is granted.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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Graphic Artist - Conservation and Restoration, and Business Owner

“I love cooking and creating art with food. I was honoured to cook and inspire artistic food visuals for the King and Queen of The Netherlands”. www.mayaapostoloska.deviantart

I am 35 and a proud mother of three boys. My passion is art and creating beautiful artwork, while adjusting to the needs of my children aged: six, three, and one-year-old. At age 11, I won a State Award for creating realistic pop art, best described as human arms in the foreground one of them holding a syringe, and a needle. The background of-the-art piece highlighted a desert. I remember spending hours to achieve perfection creating my masterpiece. I called it: “The drug can make a desert of your life”. It’s now a special memory in my heart. Receiving the award was the beginning of my future and newfound confidence as an artist. I continued to receive recognition in the art industry and was honoured with prestige awards throughout Europe. I moved from Macedonia, my home to further explore the world. I was fortunate to host a ‘One-Woman Exhibition’, in Belgrade and be a part of a group hosted exhibition in Kyoto, Japan. My art showcased in exhibitions throughout Serbia, Macedonia, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Romania, and The Netherlands. I also worked as a graphic designer in three Cultural Houses in Skopje, Macedonia and have a vast amount of experience in theatre scenography - working at Universal Hall. The opportunity to conserve a 16th Century Icon - Ss. Atanas - The Murals from Leshok, and a Dutch sculpture of Ss. Nike were significant honours throughout my life. I now own and operate a company, with my dear husband Zihni.


Law and Corporate Governance Lawyer, Post-Grad Specialist for Corporate Governance, and UN Climate Teacher Author Ms. Bogojević is a Lawyer, Post-Graduate Specialist for Corporate Governance (officially, confirmed by World Bank Group - Washington D.C.). A UN Accredited Climate Change Teacher. Bojana co- authored two professional legal books, about Law and Corporate Governance. She is the founder of a blog about Law and Corporate Governance and has published over 50 legal articles in 37 web portals and media in Serbia, Western Balkans, Italy, USA and that number is getting bigger each day. Bojana has given a large number of interviews, and is often invited to be a guest on tv shows, and conducts legal lectures. Ms. Bogojević has been a corporate and legal advisor for many leading companies in both the public and private sectors, as well as universities. She is innovative and pragmatic in her efforts to ensures the protection of clients’ interests. She actively participates in numerous national and international scientific meetings, and graduated, from a number of prestigious international schools in the. fields of Economy and Law (F.A. v. Hayek Institute; Hellenic Observatory of London School of Economics etc.) She was chosen to be a member of the working group for drafting the Law on gender equality in the Republic of Serbia, the National strategy on gender equality, and subsequent action plan 2016 – 2018. Additionally, Ms. Bogojevic participated in the drafting of the Republic of Serbia Economic Reform Program, and drafting National Action Plan on Resolution 1325 SC. Member of UN Women, Peace and Security for time period 2016 – 2020.

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“Never, but never stop dreaming and chasing your goals. Remember, someone, somewhere is counting on you.” Blog: LinkedIn:


Jewellery Designer and Photographer Global Artist for Planetary Peace The truth is, I have a poet/philosopher’s heart and tend to process life in metaphors and fires in the belly, more than data and numbers. While I’m ambitious and logical, I’m also part rebel, gypsy and lightning bolt bearer. I am fiercely passionate about children that have been abused at the hands of another. I teach photography as Art therapy ~ Bringing the Inner Gold Out ~ A Gift that keeps on Giving. I firmly believe that within each and every one of us, there is a reservoir of extreme beauty and grace that deserves to see the light of day. Sadly, it is too often hidden under insecurity, responsibility and fear. It is my heartbeat to shine a light so brightly into another’s soul so that they can see their truth and then bring it to the fore. This is Me Living My Life On Purpose ~ Not By Accident Junoon State Of Mind

“Art is not art until you put your soul into it”. - Bella Bourgeois


Life Coach and Photographer

“Define and Shine uncovers the unique story of your business and enables it to shine”. Facebook: @claudineburgessphotography Instagram: @claudineburgess

Do you have trouble finding new ways to promote your business? Do your promotional images perfectly depict your business as individual, innovative and dynamic? Hi, I’m Claudine Burgess and I know how difficult it can be to effectively promote a business and stand out from the masses. With a varied international background, I understand marketing and what a business like yours needs to be an individual. Which is why my photography business, Define and Shine, is very different. After moving to Australia, I became a wife, mother, businesswoman, communicator, connector, speaker, marketer, and strategist while continuing to pursue my love of photography. Working with small and medium sized businesses in a variety of industries showed me the many ways marketing can be successful and not so successful. I was stopped in my tracks with a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2011. It was an overwhelming time. Determined to overcome what was happening to me, I focused on becoming a Life and Business Coach gaining a Masters in NLP. Together, my illness and study led me to develop an innovative on-line program for people going through cancer. During this time, I used my photography as a source of comfort but to also challenge myself to keep moving forward. Combined with my international and local marketing career, I have created a business that combines marketing know-how with vivid photography that personally depicts YOUR business. eYs Magazine | 53

eYs Team PAMELA DALSENO Owner and Creator

I am known to many as Pam or Pammie. I live in Townsville Australia which is my Home town, it’s paradise to me living in my gorgeous Cottage (Home Sweet Home) surrounded by tropical landscaping, giving privacy with a mini resort ambience. I Love living Coastal in North Qld where it is beautiful one day and perfect the next most of the year. I started my working life as a receptionist all those years ago, however my creative juices flowed through and my further employment found me in creative roles. I am now retired with time being more my own and my gift of creation now fills many of my days and sometimes evenings. I met my husband at an early age and we have spent the years together because of our Trust, Love, Honesty and Loyalty which has seen us Celebrating our Golden Jubilee in 2018. Together we focus on those treasured ingredients for our recipe of Life. I met my husband at an early age and we have spent the years together because of our Trust, Love, Honesty and Loyalty which has seen us Celebrating our Golden Jubilee in 2018. Together we focus on those treasured ingredients for our recipe of Life.

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds around my neck”. Facebook: @louloulivingcreations Instagram: @loulouliving_townsville


Dentist, Opera Australia Most Inspirational Woman 2019, Mrs. India Global 2019, Internationally Published Editorial and Runway Model and Actor, Philanthropist Dr.Deepti Dialani Parwani is a dentist based in Brisbane and works out of multiple practices. She is also a mother to a beautiful boy. Deepti is a professional model and actor (and you would recognise her from Anita Rachelle Roe contributing work in the magazine). Deepti says “In spite of my age and my unconventional looks and relatively short stature I have done major runways, been in magazines and done photoshoots for very prominent designers. I won the title of Mrs.India Global 2019. I am also into public speaking and have been a guest speaker at events.” Deepti was recently awarded the title of Most Inspirational Woman of the Year by Opera Australia team for her ability to multitask and breaking stereotypes. She is a big supporter of charities for sponsoring and fostering children and also charities for Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

“Never, but never stop dreaming and chasing your goals. Remember, someone, somewhere is counting on you.”

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Owner and Operator, Business Woman and Designer A Fabric Decor Business Specializing in Cushions Born in Ingham, a small sugarcane growing town in North Queensland, I am the youngest of two daughters. Following Sicilian tradition, I was named after my grandmother, Santa. My Christian name is Santina, but I prefer being called Tina. I left high school mid-year of Grade 10 and worked in a pharmacy during the school holidays and offered a full-time position in a dispensary. That I spoke a second language helped. At a young age, I married my husband Sam, and we have two beautiful children. Our first born is Paul, followed by my daughter Claudia, whom I am very proud of my children’s achievements. Paul represented Australia at the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games, in the 4x100M relay. He is now a PE Teacher. My daughter Claudia works in Business Banking and has achieved many awards in her career. She is also a successful Wedding Photographer and the mother of two beautiful children, Madison and Ethan. Married for 42 years, of those 35 years was working with my husband Sam in his Accountancy practice. A family run business, where I worked as a receptionist, computer operator, and manager. We sold our practice due to Sam’s ill health and moved to Townsville. We are a close-knit family, and I am blessed to have my children and grandchildren living close by.

“I love travelling, music, movies, having coffee catch-ups with friends, and most of all, spending time with family”. Facebook: @CoverMeSweetCushions Instagram: @cover_me_sweet


Intuitive Life Coach, Speaker and Business Woman

Debbie Kemp is an intuitive life coach who helps women create lives and families that are happier, more present and connected, and more abundant in all ways. She has coached a wide range of women who simply want more from life, facilitated workplace training and presented at industry conferences. Coaching is Debbie’s ‘genius zone’; she describes her ability to tune in, hold space and ask powerful questions by saying “we have a chat and magic happens”.

“We have a chat and magic happens” Facebook: @DebbieKemp1111 Instagram: @debbiekemp1111

Personally, Debbie is a mum and a wife who loves to explore nature’s beauty and enjoys watching and playing sport with her family. She turned to a range of holistic and energetic therapies to help her through a challenging health journey and the transition of motherhood. These experiences transformed her and she emerged more loving and trusting than ever, passionate about supporting women to create their version of an amazing life. Professionally, Debbie has worked in not-for-profits and government organisations. She’s been a business owner and CEO, she’s advised Ministers and has been a finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards. These days, she loves doing business in a way that’s tuned in to heart and soul and playing with amazing people who are out to create whatever it is their heart desires.

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MaxAus Beauty Scientist, Business Woman and Motivational Speaker Deme McDonald was born and raised in Compton, California during the height of the urban crisis in the 1980s. Immersed in a city of civil, social, and spiritual unrest she identified a resilience, hope and joy within herself and the community in the midst of the turbulence. Deme currently lives in the northern suburbs of Sydney, Australia with her two sons and partner. She holds a Bachelor is Science in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine and is a Certified Manager of Quality for Operational Excellence through the American Society of Quality. Deme has focused on that inner strength often masked by circumstance and celebrates the unrelenting courage born from being in harmony with your true spirit which resonates in her writing.

“I use mindfulness, being in the moment, and listening to my true spirit to guide me through life’s challenges, divinely orchestrated to propel me forward to live the life designed for me with compassion, joy, and passion”


Bookkeeper, Reiki Practitioner, and Business Owner A seeker, and lover of light, an introvert, and a complex creature with a vivid curiosity for exploring my inner Universe. My passion for uplifting and inspiring others, seeing people become the best versions of themselves through compassion, nature, laughter, and warmth, embrace all of who I am. The symbol of love, faith and hope, align my purpose of sharing the joy and connecting with the truth as we find the light that shines within. I hope to discover my path and trust the process with love and kindness in my heart. My story unfolds as divine love flows, and ‘Big Love and Magic,’ a novel yet to be written. Sharing my inner whispers and inspire others to find their truth and shine too, along with your stories and experiences. Join me on this journey of ‘Big Love and Magic’ to uplift and inspire, as you inspire me. I call Newcastle home with my husband, son and pooch soul-friend, Lola.

“I come into alignment with who I really am, my true self, the love that I am.” Instagram: @hands_on_energy 56 | eYs Magazine


Photographer, Business Woman, Author and Traveller My name is Natalie O’Connor and I am a wife, mother, photographer, business woman, traveller and writer. I enjoy expressing my creativity and making a difference. I love spending time with my family and friends and being in nature. I am passionate about education. While studying for my Bachelor of Arts from Sydney University, I also studied photography and martial arts. After my first degree, I completed a Master in Business Administration at the University of Technology, Sydney, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science at the University of New South Wales. I have worked as a business consultant for a top tier companies, developing skills in strategic management. I have also worked as an environmental consultant and run my own company as a professional photographer. I am now facing my most challenging and rewarding role to date mother to my two gorgeous children.

“Someone once told me that it was really important to focus on the ordinary things in life and find wonder in them, because if you don’t you will always seek out extraordinary things in order to be impressed by.” Instagram @natalieoconnorphotography


RACHELLE ROE STUDIO Jewellery Designer, Business Woman, and Photographer

The Rachelle Roe Studio was established in 2003 as a jewellery design studio in my hometown Toowoomba, Queensland, the sunshine state of Australia. According to my Mother, I was stringing beads at the age of five and taking photographs with my Grandfather’s old “Box Brownie” camera, so I guess you could say I have followed my lifelong passions. My designs are definitive, signature pieces designed with a purpose and created with quality materials to ensure you have a “one-off”, original piece of jewellery. Collaborating with local businesses and like-minded creatives for fashion photo shoots is a favourite past time. I love the view down the lens of a camera and capturing memorable moments that last a lifetime. Since partaking in a Sue Bryce Photography Education Program in portrait photography, I haven’t looked back.

“Creativity feeds my heart and soul and inspires me to pay it forward and make my clients happy” Facebook: @RachelleRoeStudio69 Instagram: @rachelleroestudio

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Author, UNAA, UN Women and UN Volunteer, Vice President of Communications, Vice President of Oceania, Global Goodwill Ambassadors, Regional Executive Director for Oceania, FAAVM Humanitarian and Philanthropist

I am a mum of two beautiful boys, soul mate to an amazing man of 28 years, and blessed to live in beautiful Sydney, Australia. My lessons learned, experience, and social etiquette have enabled me to found “Empowering Your Soul”. Known for my motivating, and inspiring original quotes, and recognized by media, and corporate giants, supporting my mission to inspire. Anne Geddes, published one of my quotes in her 2014 release, ‘Little Blessings.’ Alaska Airlines, highlighted one of my quotes, in their official ‘Brand Guidelines’ manual and Highpoint University, USA, featured one of my quotes on the front cover of the University Legacy Brochure as their Legacy. Women with Altitude – Unsung Hero 2019 Award. A regular guest on Michigan Avenue Network with Host Marsha Casper Cook. Humanitarian and philanthropist. World peace advocate.

“Be remembered for the right reasons. Leave a legacy and a smile in your heart beyond life”. Facebook: @Author Jasmina Siderovski - Empowering Your Soul Anecdotes, and Quotes Instagram: @jasmina_siderovski_author_eys Amazon:

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