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Other 'seriously optimistic' materials produced by St Luke's Innovatative Resources:

◆ The Scaling Kit

◆ Deep Speak

◆ The Bears

◆ Our Scrapbook of Strengths

◆ Can-Do Dinosaurs

◆ Shadows

◆ Inside Out: a journalling kit

◆ Sometimes Magic

◆ Name the Frame

◆ Strength Cards

◆ Reflexions

◆ Strength Cards for Kids

◆ Stones ... have feelings too!

◆ Strengths in Teams

St Luke's Innovative Resources 137 McCrae Street, Bendigo, Victoria 3550, Australia Phone: 03 5442 0500 International Phone +61 3 5442 0500 Fax: 03 5442 0555 International Fax +61 3 5442 0555 Email: info@innovativeresources.org Website: www.innovativeresources.org

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A Kit for Building Pictures of the Future in partnership

with

FARM

MANAGEMENT

500

Concept: Mike Stephens Development & Text: Russell Deal Illustration & Design John Veeken


First published in 2000 by: St Luke’s Innovative Resources in collaboration with Farm Management 500 Reprinted 2000, 2001, 2003 & 2007 ISBN 0 957 8231 0 X St Luke's Innovative Resources 137 McCrae Street, Bendigo Victoria 3550 Australia Telephone: 03 5442 0500 International +61 3 5442 0500 Facsimile: 03 5442 0555 International +61 3 5442 0555 Email: info@innovativeresources.org Website: www.innovativeresources.org Incorporated as St Luke’s Anglicare ABN 99 087 209 729 All rights reserved. No part of these materials may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without prior permission in writing from the publisher. © St Luke’s Innovative Resources and John Veeken 2000


Table of Contents Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 What is Views from the Verandah? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 What does Views from the Verandah mean? . . . . . . . . . 11 How can I use Views from the Verandah? . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Focus Cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Time Frame Cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Pictures of the Future Cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Blank Card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Who can use Views from the Verandah? . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Building a planning grid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Using the cards with other resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 About Farm Management 500 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 About St Luke’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 About St Luke’s Innovative Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38


Acknowledgments We wish to thank everyone who has participated in the production of Views from the Verandah. In particular: • Mike Stephens of Farm Management 500, for sharing his idea and his vision of a widely useful planning tool and for allowing us the scope to mould his original concept. • Farm Management 500 for entering such a collaborative partnership with St Luke’s. • Matt McCarthy from O’Callaghan Rural Services for his support and liaison role with Farm Management 500. • John Veeken for his remarkable ability to translate our vague ideas into delightful and relevant illustrations and for insisting on the highest production standards. • St Luke’s staff who contributed by reading, commenting on and refining ideas as the project progressed.

• Terrie Lavis, Office Manager, Innovative Resources.

• Karen Masman for diligently editing the text.

Russell Deal, Director June 2000 4


Introduction Views from the Verandah started its life as the Farm Management 500 Vision Photo Kit. Designed in 1998 by Mike Stephens, director of Farm Management 500, it consisted of a series of photos which represented possible goals for farmers to consider in their future and succession planning. Rather than developing and publishing this tool specifically for farmers, Mike approached Innovative Resources wondering if his idea could be broadened and made relevant to many other people. Innovative Resources’ strengths-based materials have been used successfully by farm consultants and educators for a number of years. It was hoped that by applying the Innovative Resources ‘style’ Mike’s planning tool would become more versatile while still being useful to farm families. Mike and other Farm Management 500 trainers provided the initial ‘road testing’ of the idea and recognised its potential to create a changed perspective in participants. For over 12 months Innovative Resources worked on the idea in between other projects. The range of possible goals, or 5


‘pictures of the future’, was broadened. John Veeken constructed a number of prototypes until we settled on some ‘bird-based’ illustrations, the booklet was written and the box designed. Along the way the product was renamed Views from the Verandah, which was one of the metaphors Mike first used in his original kit. The result is a widely useable and colourful kit of 60 Pictures of the Future Cards, eight Time Frame Cards, six Focus Cards, one Blank Card and a booklet of suggested uses. The kit is a colourful and gently humorous tool that deals with the universal human issues of goal setting, dreams, hopes, aspirations and plans. 6


It is designed to build self-esteem, reinforce strengths and be client-directed, all of which are important principles that underpin the work of St Luke’s. Like all Innovative Resources’ materials, it is written in plain English, has no prescribed rules for how it can be used and does not require an ‘expert’ to run the activity. Innovative Resources hopes that anyone concerned with planning will find Views from the Verandah a useful addition to the tools they use for building pictures of the future. As well as farm management consultation, Views from the Verandah should have direct application for: • Career advisors

• Financial counsellors

• Financial planners

• Retirement advisors

• Family counsellors

• Aged care workers

• Psychologists

• Social workers

• Marriage guidance counsellors • Other human service workers 7


What is Views from the Verandah? Views from the Verandah is a kit for building pictures of the future. It is a planning tool. It is a simple, easy to use tool that anyone can pick up and use successfully to explore their ‘pictures of the future’. Everyone has pictures of the future, even if we call them by different names. Pictures of the future may consist of goals, objectives, plans, values, hopes, dreams, challenges, wishes or notions of success. They are the ideas or images that we have of where we are heading or where we want to get to. Our pictures of the future reflect our unique set of experiences, our personalities and our beliefs. They shape our actions and daily decision-making. They can provide a source of anticipation, comfort or frustration.

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Pictures of the future are also constantly changing and evolving. We update them as we learn and grow, meet new people and consider new possibilities. However, there are also challenges for us to reflect upon: • Why do we carry the pictures of the future that we do? • Are my pictures of the future what I really want? • Have I really taken the time to consider all my options? • Are they truly my pictures of the future or someone else’s, like my parents’ or friends’? • Have I shared my pictures of the future with people who are close to me? • Have I assumed that they know my values and plans and goals? • Do I know theirs? • With all the pressures of daily life and the busyness of work, have I ever sat down and honestly assessed the pictures of the future I have developed? 9


Views from the Verandah was originally conceived by Mike Stephens of Farm Management 500 because he recognised that many of the farmers and their families with whom he worked, struggled with these issues. Many farmers are so caught up in day to day farm management issues that they neglect to think about longerterm plans. Or else their ‘pictures of the future’ are one dimensional and don’t take into account significant changes that are happening around them. Views from the Verandah has been developed as a planning tool, not just for farmers but for a diverse range of people because everyone, to some extent, faces these same issues in building and challenging their pictures of the future.

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What does Views from the Verandah mean? The name Views from the Verandah reflects the origins of these materials as a resource for farmers. But we really like the metaphor because it creates an image of someone sitting on their verandah studying all they can see around them. Rather than being caught up in day-to-day busyness there is the opportunity to look beyond the here and now and see further than the front step or the front yard: • What are all the features of the landscape leading to the horizon? • What lies beyond the horizon? • What changes would you like to make in your landscape? • Are there things that block your view? Views from the Verandah is a metaphor for examining and questioning our values, our lifestyle and our environment and reflecting on where we want to be in the future. 11


Verandahs have made a distinctive contribution to Australian architecture, both rural and urban. But whether one possess a verandah or not, we believe Views from the Verandah works as a rich metaphor for sitting and considering our life goals and aspirations and rediscovering what we want to include in our plans for the future. Not everyone can own a verandah but we can all create some space in the middle of busy lives to reflect upon the view of the future that confronts us.

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How can I use Views from the Verandah? Like other Innovative Resources strengths-based materials, Views from the Verandah can be used in many different ways and we encourage people to experiment with creative and respectful ways of applying them. Some people may like to sit down by themselves and use Views from the Verandah to reflect on their own pictures of the future. However, Innovative Resources believes our materials work best when they are built into conversations. We call our materials ‘prompts for conversation’ because of their ability to suggest important things that can be talked about. It is these conversations that can lead to significant change. 13


Views from the Verandah is a unique planning tool that combines concepts, graphics and gentle humour to provide prompts that can lead conversations in new and fruitful directions: • What are our pictures of the future? • What are our goals for the next 5,10 or 20 years? • What is it that I would like to be doing compared to what I am actually doing now? • What do I mean by success? • How would I like to be recognise by others? • How do we go about the process of setting goals? • Who might we consult? • How do my pictures of the future fit with those of the people who are close to me? 14


By suggesting questions like those above, Views from the Verandah can challenge us to be more systematic and rigorous in thinking through our pictures of the future and to approach planning issues in new and creative ways. It is the conversations that the cards generate that provide Views from the Verandah with its power for change. The insights we receive into our own pictures of the future and those of others will be enhanced as we build layers of conversations around the cards. Can the cards be dangerous? Yes, they may challenge the beliefs, preconceptions and assumptions of ourselves and others. So in the conversations we build around Views from the Verandah, we need to listen respectfully to what others are saying and recognise that even if we share the same verandah we may have different, but equally valid, views. There is no set way of using the cards with either individuals or groups. Perhaps the easiest way is to spread all the cards on the floor or on a table and then invite the participants to sort the cards into different categories.

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Focus Cards and Time Frame Cards provide some examples of the categories that can be used. Focus Cards are simply questions that might provide different windows of insight into thinking about the future. If these questions or metaphors don’t feel right then there are many alternatives to consider. For example, the cards can be grouped into ‘very important’, ‘important’, and ‘not important’ categories. The ‘very important’ can then be prioritised: • What is most important now? • What do you think will be most important in 5 years or 10 years? • What are you doing to achieve these ‘very important’ goals? Or you might ask participants to categorise the cards according to how much time and energy they put into the different options: • What things consume most time and energy now? • How do you think these will change over time? 16


Time Frame Cards suggest a range of options for thinking about goals stretching far ahead into the future. If any of these time frames is not relevant, please feel free to choose alternatives.

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Focus Cards The intention of the Focus Cards is to ask different questions about the view from one’s verandah and to focus on particular aspects of the view. Six Focus Cards are included in the kit. However, if the metaphors are unclear, irrelevant or don’t work, they can be omitted or substituted. It is important that the questions make sense to the person or people using the cards.

What is your view to the front fence? This can be a question about the things we do on a daily basis, the things close to us or under our feet: • What are the things which fill our days now?

• What things do we want to be doing on a daily basis in 12 months or 20 years time? (Do we still want to be mowing the lawns, washing our car or doing the dishes in the future?)

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• How do we balance the need to do the daily trivial tasks, like keeping the front yard tidy, with those activities which we bump into less frequently but which may be more fulfilling?

What is your view to the horizon? This question looks beyond the immediate to the big picture goals in life. ‘Studying the horizon’ is a metaphor that looks at long-term plans, our deepest values and how we create meaning for ourselves: • What do I most look forward to doing? • What would give me the greatest sense of satisfaction or fulfilment? • What are my aims in life? • What do I really want to complete before I die? • What things in life are most important to me? 19


What would you like to read about yourself in the paper? Verandahs are a great place to read the newspaper. We read newspapers for many reasons and they give us views of the world around us:

• Putting modesty aside, if there was an article in the newspaper about you (now or in 5, 10 or 20 years for example) what would you want it to say? What would you want it to be about?

•If the newspaper was awarding prizes for excellence, what would you like to see that you had won a prize for?

• If the newspaper printed your resume from the guide book to famous people, Who’s Who, what would you want it to say? 20


• What would you want written about you in a biography or your obituary? (Yes, we know very few people get to read their own obituaries!) • If the newspaper had a summary of your investments (of time as well as money) what would you want others to see at the top of the list? • What achievements would you like to have recognised?

What stars can you see at night? Verandahs at night can be great places to gaze at stars, do some dreaming and let your imagination run free: • What are the things you dream of doing in the future? • What are the dreams you once had? Why have they been put aside? What is now stopping you from these dreams? • If you could fulfil one dream, what would it be? • Do people who are close to you share the same dreams as you? Have you shared your dreams with others? • What are your dreams for the people you love? 21


• Do they have the same dreams for themselves? • Are there steps you can take towards achieving your dreams? • If you could take one journey, where would you go? Who would you go with? What would you take? Sometimes just talking about our dreams may make them more realisable.

What interferes with your view? At times our pictures of the future can suffer from interference. There may be obstacles that limit our view. This question examines what it is that we have to deal with before we are able to achieve our goals or move towards our pictures of the future: • What things, if any, make it difficult to form a picture of the future or get in the way of this picture? 22


• Are there things you have to deal with before you can tackle your goals? • Are these obstacles secondary goals? That is, if you ahieve them first, will you be freer to work on the goals you really want? • Are there compromises that may allow you to work on your goals even if the obstacle still exists? How can you reduce the obstacle’s impact?

What do you see on a clear day? Do your pictures of the future change? Some people change their goals and plans rapidly. For others different pictures of the future slowly emerge. Sometimes the change can be easy, sometimes painful. Sometimes the goals we have appear contradictory or irreconcilable. But then suddenly, our view of the future may become clear. It may only be for a short instant but these clear moments are like gold. 23


So this question refers to those times, however fleeting, when things are clear: • What do you see that you would like to be doing in the future? • What would be different if you always had a clear view? • What changes can you make now that might help create a clear view? • Does your picture of the future differ whether it is a clear day or murky? How? For people who struggle to imagine a clear day you can ask ‘exception’ questions: • Have there ever been times, even very short periods when the sun was shining? • What was this like? • What was different? • Did your goals and values look different? How?

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Time Frame Cards The eight Time Frame Cards can be used to indicate how far ahead you want to look and plan for. Usually it is sufficient to choose the two or three most relevant Time Frame Cards according to the needs of each participant. The eight Time Frame Cards supplied with the kit consist of:

• Now

• 1 week

• 1 month

• 6 months

• 1 year

• 5 years

• 10 years

• 20 years

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Pictures of the Future Cards The Views from the Verandah kit contains 60 Pictures of the Future Cards. These pictures contain a wide range of goals, dreams and aspirations that motivate us. They cover a broad array of human needs in such areas as lifestyle, learning, personal growth, business, spirituality, health, friendships, family, social capital and recreation. However, it is not a comprehensive list. Participants may find that they have particular interests that are not directly referred to. In many cases, while specific goals are not named, they may be found in a general category. For example, ‘Sport’ can refer to sporting participation or achievement or watching. If participants still do not find a card that addresses their particular goals or dreams all is not lost! It is the discovery or recognition of this goal that is more important than whether it is on the list. Again the value of Views from the Verandah as a planning tool is in its ability to build conversations, not to have all the answers. 26


The 60 Pictures of the Future Cards consist of: • Achievement • Adventure • Anticipation • Art • Award • Balance • Car • Career • Caring • Challenge • Changing Society • Children • Comfort • Community Participation • Contemplation • Courage • Creativity • Endurance • Employment • Environment • Excitement • Family • Farming • Fitness • Fulfilment • Fun • Good Food • Grandchildren • Groups • Health • Helping Others • Hobbies • House • Independence • Leadership • Learning • Lifestyle • Money • Management • Music • Politics • Public Speaking • Reading • Recognition • Recreation • Relationships • Relaxation • Retirement • Security • Sharing Wisdom • Small Business • Solitude • Spirituality • Sport • Study • Success • Teaching • Travel • Volunteering • Writing 27


Blank Card In addition, there is a blank card that can be used as an individualised Focus Card, Time Frame Card or Pictures of the Future Card.

Who can use Views from the Verandah? Views from the Verandah is designed to be versatile and useful to many people including a wide range of human service workers. Many people have planning needs and struggle to adequately plan for the future, whether this is retirement, a career, recreation or family needs. Human service workers including teachers, financial counsellors, career advisors and family therapists, work with people around planning issues. 28


Like other Innovative Resources materials, we hope any individual or family can sit down with the kit, enjoy it and find it useful. Similarly, we believe that many human service workers will add it to their repertoire of tools and invent imaginative and creative ways of using the cards. The compact nature of the Views from the Verandah cards makes them easy to carry and able to be used on the kitchen table, the lounge room floor, the counsellor’s desk or in the boardroom. Four elements that St Luke’s hopes would be present any time Views from the Verandah is used are: • A respectful relationship between the facilitator and those using the kit. • A focus on the subject’s strengths, not deficits. • The activity occurs at an appropriate time when a learning opportunity exists. • Noone is exploited, discriminated against or disadvantaged by the process or outcomes of the activity. Innovative Resources actively seeks feedback on creative and successful applications of all strengths-based materials. 29


Building a planning grid One simple way of using Views from the Verandah is to create a planning grid. From the eight Time Frame Cards choose two or three that would appear to be the most relevant or useful. These Time Frame Cards are then placed at the top of the grid. For example: now

6 months

1 year

From the Focus Cards choose time two or three that ask the frame most relevant and useful questions for the type of pictures of the future focus being developed. These Focus Cards are focus placed down the left hand side so the focus grid looks like this: 30

5 years time frame

time frame

time frame


The Time Frame Cards provide reference points to help imagine into the future while the Focus Cards use different metaphors to evoke different questions relating to future planning. The 60 Pictures of the Future Cards can be sorted according to those that best fit the categories of the grid. Some cards may have no relevance and can be discarded. Others can be stacked on the grid and prioritised according to which are the most important. This sorting and matching process can be done quickly to capture first impressions or it can be completed more slowly and methodically. In either case, it is the questions and conversation that are important. The sorting and matching may suggest new insights or open new ‘windows’ to consider the future. 31


Using the cards with other resources

Innovative Resources publishes a range of strengthsbased materials that can complement and build on the conversations generated by Views from the Verandah. Strength Cards were first published in 1992. They work as prompts for reminders of the strengths we have and how we can use them to find solutions to issues we are facing. Strength Cards can be used to identify the strengths people can use to achieve their pictures of the future:

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• What strengths do you already have that will help you to achieve your goals?

• What new strengths might you need to develop?

• What strengths from other people might you need?


The I Can Monsters have messages about skills and competencies that can help construct strategies to meet goals. While designed originally for young children, the I Can Monsters are appealing to adults and families with their humorous approach to taking action: • Can you use the I Can Monsters to identify the range of strategies you can employ to meet your goal? • What can you do or what competencies can you employ to achieve meeting your goal? The Bears have no words but each of the 48 bears identifies and demonstrates a feeling. The Bears are a fun way of going beyond words to portray a feeling: • Can you find a bear that represents how you feel about the future or the pictures of the future you have identified? • Would this be the same bear others would pick for you? • What bears would your family and friends pick to represent how they feel about your goals?

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The Scaling Kit is made up of pads with tear-off sheets of simple visual metaphors that can be used to measure change. Based on the understanding that ‘Change only happens when it is noticed’, The Scaling Kit provides pictures that help notice change. Working towards a goal is usually incremental; in small steps. The Scaling Kit provides 10 different pictures that can be used to record the steps towards a goal: • On a 0 to 10 scale, if achieving your goal is a 10, where would you place yourself on the scale now? • Are you close to meeting your goal or a long way away? • What can you do to move one step closer to this goal? • How can you ensure that you don’t slip backwards? • How will you know when you have achieved your picture of the future? • How will you celebrate your success?

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FARM

MANAGEMENT

500

About Farm Management 500

Farm Management 500 (FM500) is a private extension program linking farming families across south eastern Australia with agribusiness partners, consultants and a powerful resource network. FM500 commenced in 1991 and aims to accelerate the adoption of better business practices by fostering high quality, open and interactive farmer group meetings. All members share ideas and experiences so as to recognise and develop skills, values, self-worth and enhance profits. The main focus is on people and their individual needs, thus ensuring a balanced approach to issues relating to all the family members. Members of FM500 claim that they have greatly improved their networks and ability to manage change. Being a member of a FM500 group has removed both social and decision-making isolation.

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The project now encompasses 530 leading farming families, 17 agriculture consultants and over 40 groups. They recognise the need to create wider industry networks to assist them successfully manage the ever changing face of agriculture. FM500 enjoys the support of four agribusiness partners: • National Australia Bank • PIVOT Agriculture • Aventis • Caterpillar Australia. For more information please contact: Farm Management 500 PO Box 189, Bendigo Victoria 3552 Ph: 03 5441 6176 Email: fm500@netcon.net.au Website: www.fm500.com.au ACN: 053 927 629 ABN: 98 053 927 629 36


About St Luke’s St Luke’s Anglicare is one of Australia’s leading community service organisations. St Luke’s provides a range of child, family, disability and community development services throughout north-central Victoria. Originally auspiced by the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo in 1979, St Luke’s is now independently incorporated but still receives active support from the Anglican and Uniting churches. St Luke’s is a member of Anglicare Australia as well as a number of other peak bodies. Service delivery at St Luke’s is built around a commitment to social justice and strengths-based, client-directed practice. St Luke’s mission is to: ‘assist people to develop choices in their lives and to contribute to their communities. St Luke’s is committed to practices that promote justice and hope, and challenges actions that devalue, disadvantage and discriminate.’

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About Innovative Resources Innovative Resources was created by St Luke’s to value-add to its many service delivery roles. It has developed expertise and a wide reputation for its publishing and training. In both these activities, Innovative Resources incorporates and builds on the distinctive strengths-based approach that characterises St Luke’s service delivery. Innovative Resources’ Statement of Purpose is: ‘to enhance the mission of St Luke’s through the development and distribution of innovative and excellent materials and learning opportunities that contribute to St Luke’s philosophical and economic sustainability’. Both St Luke’s and Innovative Resources are enthusiastic about the potential of strengths-based ideas to re-energise human services. We actively seek feedback on our publications, training and consultations. Visitors are welcome as are enquiries about our philosophy and practices. 38


St Luke's Innovative Resources 137 McCrae Street, Bendigo Victoria 3550 Australia Telephone: 03 5442 0500 International Telephone: +61 3 5442 0500 Facsimile: 03 5442 0555 International Facsimile: +61 3 5442 0555 Email: info@innovativeresources.org Website: www.innovativeresources.org Incorporated as St Luke’s Anglicare ABN 99 087 209 729 39


Other 'seriously optimistic' materials produced by St Luke's Innovatative Resources:

◆ The Scaling Kit

◆ Deep Speak

◆ The Bears

◆ Our Scrapbook of Strengths

◆ Can-Do Dinosaurs

◆ Shadows

◆ Inside Out: a journalling kit

◆ Sometimes Magic

◆ Name the Frame

◆ Strength Cards

◆ Reflexions

◆ Strength Cards for Kids

◆ Stones ... have feelings too!

◆ Strengths in Teams

St Luke's Innovative Resources 137 McCrae Street, Bendigo, Victoria 3550, Australia Phone: 03 5442 0500 International Phone +61 3 5442 0500 Fax: 03 5442 0555 International Fax +61 3 5442 0555 Email: info@innovativeresources.org Website: www.innovativeresources.org

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27/10/09 1:31 PM

Views from the Verandah  

Views from the Verandah booklet

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