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Seasonal time to help, and all with a smile By Tony Nicholl THE highly regarded Governor General at the 1988 bicentenary, Sir William Deane, said what sets us apart as Australians is generosity of spirit. I love the generosity of spirit of Australians overseas. You get the feeling that you will never come to harm if there is another Australian around. In 1984 I was hospitalised at the university of Penn State medical school in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I woke to find a dignified looking fellow staring at me and asking "G'day mate, how are you feeling? I am the director of surgery here and come from Queensland". I felt assured immediately and I remembered that this chap had won a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics, David Thiele. How generous is our generosity of spirit now since 1988? A step up has been our approach to the Indigenous community which Sir William masterminded. I voted No in the same sex marriage survey, but I certainly respect the vast majority who voted Yes. How good is it to see kids at Christmas with that extra joie de vivre and how people smile and have more patience with each other, usually anyway. I saw a notice on the window of a deserted shop in the destitute part of Frankston imploring us to "always be sure that people feel better because of you" or words to that effect. Voluntary workers unconditionally contribute in places like Frankston Support Services and dinky di mum set up the canteen at footy clubs even before the junior match begins so they can make sales to keep the club financial. Christmas is a time when those whose lives are programmed by mortgages, children's commitments and education costs are able to modify their rightful sense of entitlement to include those outside of their day to day world. Let it be a time of joy sharing and reflection and being thankful for what you have and the opportunities our

country presents to us all, including those of less privilege. Just as an unfulfilled sense of entitlement can bring about a sense of frustration, so also can unrequited expectation. For 53 years now we Melbourne supporters have had unfulfilled expectation, so the majority of us follow the Demons with hope, then we don't feel disappointment. Expectation can be folly but hope is not and can be many times fulfilled when the Melbourne Demons win. This constitutes a good analogy about life "always have hope because tomorrow is a brand new day". We could well address issues on behalf of those less fortunate. Take for instance suicide, a national catastrophe. About 3000 people will suicide this year even though it is said to be a fixable humanitarian crisis. That is bad enough, but 5000 will die as a consequence of alcohol alone. In 1980 the road toll in Victoria was around 1000 and this year it is under 300. We see stickers on cars saying "touched by the road toll”. What if they had stickers saying "affected by suicide". There would be so many. The Salvos, University of NSW and the Wesley Mission and others have programs relative to suicide on the internet for those needing information. We know Christmas is about kids. The Family Peace Foundation may be doctrine based, but basic tenets ring true, such as giving eight distraction free minutes to each child every day can work wonders. So often domestic violence and alcoholism have their foundations in dysfunctional childhood development. I wish they would bring back the 1950s-style of families having dinner together or Sunday lunch. Put Nat King Cole's song into your computer: Smile tho' your heart is aching Smile even tho' it's breaking When there are clouds in the sky You'll get by If you smile …

Filling the learning gap A MORNINGTON entrepreneur has created a website that makes it easier for families to access unfilled, afterschool lessons and activities, at lower prices. Dr James Zois, CEO and founder of Slekii.com, says the program is a platform for lesson providers to post their unfilled classes for families to access on a casual basis. As a long-time coach and sports researcher, Dr Zois says he knows how hard it is for families to keep up with the rising costs of extra-curricular activity. “We also know that kids taking part in more than two or three activities, like piano, swimming, tennis or martial arts, have a greater chance of academic success in life, so I was really driven to help make a difference,”

he said. “We’re also helping local businesses market themselves and reach more people, so it’s a win-win for everyone.” Another benefit of the program is that it combats rising childhood obesity, which currently stands at more than 20 per cent. “This is a real problem and is one way that we are trying to make a difference,” Dr Zois said. Slekii posts more than 400 lesson spaces per week and has garnered a membership base of about 350 in the three months since launching. “We plan on keeping it local for now, but hope to help other areas of Melbourne once we’re ready,” he said. Details: info@slekii.com

There’s no questioning the facts. In a bushfire, most homes burn down due to ember attack. It’s your responsibility to be fire ready this summer, so prepare your property, fire plan and emergency kit now. And on high-risk fire days, leaving early, before a fire starts, is always the safest option.

emergency.vic.gov.au Download the VicEmergency app PAGE 14

Mornington News

19 December 2017

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Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

19 December 2017  

Mornington News 19 December 2017

19 December 2017  

Mornington News 19 December 2017

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