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School readiness - Bike ride celebrates Ryan’s cure - Foster mummies Mobile phone debate - Mini marathon raises awareness - Dancers moving boundaries


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I HOPE you are all surviving the school holidays... and have some hair left! But seriously, it looks like there was a lot for the kids to do in Geelong to keep them busy these school holidays! And to top them off, we have jam-packed this edition with lots of great stories and advice for you. First off we share the story of gorgeous Ryan Hart, 6, who has been fighting Leukaemia for the past three years of his life. However, this month he will complete his final dose of IV chemotherapy and be deemed cured. To celebrate this exciting milestone, Ryan’s family will ride 855kms in the Great Cycle Challenge, to raise money for kids’ cancer research. We wish Ryan and the RIDIN’ 4 RHINO team the best of luck and want to thank Chris for sharing his son’s inspirational story. Next up we hear from two Geelong ‘foster mummies’ who have opened their home to 18 different children. The couple love seeing the positive changes in the everyday lives of the children in their care.

They encourage other potential foster carers to take the leap and sign up for the rewarding experience. Bellarine Community Health share advice on when is the right time to send your child to school and Shelley Gross deals with the great mobile phone debate. Shelley admits there is no real answer to what age a child should be when they receive their first mobile phone, as everyone’s circumstances are different, but highlights some interesting research and explains the options. We also hear about two Geelong mums who are the brainchild behind a new program Meals4Mums, which organises teams of volunteers to prepare and deliver meals to mums with newborn babies, who have little or no support. What a great idea! Lastly, this month I would like to introduce Harry, 4, who is having a go at long jump. His mum Kim McDonough, of Highton, sent us this great action photo!

Bec Launer EDITOR

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Kids’ Voic e Team Elisha Lindsay Photography

d... l r o w e h to t Welcome

Kids’ Voice is a monthly publication for parents with children of all ages. Each month the magazine will be jam-packed with news, views, reader stories, feature articles, advice columns as well as product, book and website reviews. There will be something for everyone. Experts have joined our team and will provide regular columns to ensure you’re in the know about all sorts of issues in the areas of health, education and alternative therapies. EDITOR

Rebecca Launer

Jude Priest born in August


Sugar newborn images

Michele MItten

Ryder William Nelson born 13/08/2013 Son of Emily and Clayton and brother for Ruby


Alan Barber GRAPHICS

Elise Blach

PO Box 54, Ocean Grove Victoria, 3226 Phone; 03 5255 3233 Fax: 03 5255 3255 Find us on Facebook Voice Geelong COVER MODEL

Tanner Keast

No part of this magazine, including the advertisements, may be reproduced without permission of the editor. The opinions expressed within Kids’ Voice magazine are not necessarily the views of the publisher, but those of individual writers.

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C o n t e nts


8 Youngsters raise awareness of disease


11 Woodlands preschool 12 Whittington Primary School 13 Oberon High School


14 Kids’ corner photos 15 Letters & NEWS


18 Is your child ready to start school?




7 Big bike ride celebrates Ryan’s cure 9 Carer’s foster a very rewarding job 10 Young dancers moving boundaries 25 Helping kids explore, eat, play, see and shop 27 Positivity has become the new black



21 Mick’s trip to hospital not so scary


23 Dealing with the great mobile debate


17 A woman’s power to birth her baby

30 Easy brekkie bars / Healthy chocolate crackles



19 Isolated new mums get helping hand

31 Events happening in the Geelong region

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R e ad e r S t o ry

Big bike ride celebrates Ryan’s cure I

Ryan Hart, 6, was just three years old when he was diagnosed with Leukaemia. But this month the inspirational little man will beat the life-threatening disease and, to celebrate, his family will cycle 855kms to raise money for kids’ cancer research. Ryan’s dad Chris shares his story.

AM extremely proud and inspired by my six-year-old son Ryan Hart and how he has taken on life under very tough circumstances. One week after his third birthday he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. As a parent it is the worst news to hear as all you want for your kids is to be fit and healthy and have a good start in life. Initially in his treatment he would undergo weekly intravenous chemotherapy to try and wipe out the leukaemia cells. It was pretty tough for him early on as he didn’t understand why we were doing all of these terrible things to him. For the last two and a half years he has undergone monthly IV chemotherapy, lumbar punctures and daily chemo tablets. It has amazed us during the last couple of years how he has grown to just accept his illness, take all his medicines and gets on with enjoying life as best he can. Yes, there have been plenty of times where he has been feeling sick and flat from the chemo and doesn’t have the energy to do much. However, more often than not he just wants to get out there and be a normal kid. He absolutely loves any type of sport and loves getting out and playing footy, cricket, tennis and golf. It has really given us a good perspective in life watching him and how he just gets on with enjoying everything in life. The great news for us is that after three years of treatment on September 27 this year he had his last dose of IV chemotherapy. He will have a further three weeks of chemo tablets and then all going well in the middle of October his treatment will stop and he will be deemed cured of leukaemia. It has been a long road travelled with him and an exciting time for us as the light at the end of the tunnel is almost here. I would especially like to thank the team of oncologists at the Royal Children’s Hospital and also the Geelong Hospital for the care they have given our son over the last three years. They have saved his life and we are forever grateful. As a celebration of his completion of treatment I have signed up to do the “Great Cycle Challenge”, which is raising money for kids’ cancer research. I have nominated to ride 500kms throughout the month of October to help raise much needed money. I thought it would be a great way to celebrate Ryan’s cure and also give a little back as we have received a lot of great support from various organisations over the last few years. When I mentioned to Ryan what I was doing he was excited and wanted to also come along and ride with me as he loves to get out on his bike. He has nominated he will ride 50kms on his bike to help out other kids as unfortunate as him. My wife Karen and four-year-old daugh-

Chris, Karen, Ryan and Eloise in January 2011.

A very proud Ryan receiving his Auskick Medal in August this year. ter Eloise have now also decided to join in and that is how team RIDIN’ 4 RHINO was born. In total, our family has nominated to ride 855kms throughout October. For my whole family and especially Ryan to want to get involved and help out others makes me one very proud dad.

If anyone would like to sponsor Ryan and give him some encouragement on his ride in October visit our team page - then click on Ryan.

Ryan after he received his Great Cycle Challenge riding jersey on September 19, 2013.

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S ch o o l s

Youngsters raises awareness of disease A BOUT 80 three and four year olds from Allanvale Preschool took part in a mini marathon to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s. Doing laps of the Links building at Leopold Primary may not have equalled the official 42km distance but the youngsters had a lot of fun taking part and along with their teachers and parents helped raise the issue - and a few hundred dollars in cash too. The fundraiser saw local businesses sponsoring the runners for $50. Organiser and kinder teacher Sharon Daborn was just 31 when she was first diagnosed. She had three kids under four and had just started university.

Over time her will to overcome adversity has translated into taking on the role of a Parkinson’s ambassador, working to raise awareness and understanding about this degenerative disorder. This month she is in Canada representing Australia and the world Parkinson’s Congress. Sharon has also been working with Ocean Grove’s Alan Barber who is running the New York Marathon next month. Alan is raising money and awareness for the work of Parkinson’s Victoria. You can make a donation to: alan_barber. To follow the campaign go to www.

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R e ad e r S t o ry

Carer’s foster a very rewarding job B

Two Geelong ‘foster mummies’ are making a positive difference to disadvantaged youths throughout the community. Lisa and her partner Michelle have opened up their home to 18 different children and they’re not stopping there. Lisa shares her story.

ECOMING foster carers was something we both wanted to do, for me it was something about the little girl Sally on Home and Away not having a family and seeing the love that Pippa and Tom were able to give to her when they included her in their family. This seemed like such a simple gesture which made such a huge difference to the life of a child, and surely we could offer the same to children in our local community, a safe home, loving environment and guidance to become happy confident adults. For Michelle it was an overseas work trip to Africa which opened her eyes and heart to the need of the less fortunate children in our local community. We are a lesbian couple who are in a long term relationship. My partner has a 16-year-old son who shares living arrangements with both his mother and father. We also enjoy hosting exchange students and currently host a 21-year-old university student from Japan. We both work full-time and my partner’s son attends a local high school. Juggling our work and personal commitments with the varied requirements of the foster children can be quite challenging at times, however with the extra assistance and support when required from Glastonbury Community Services we are able to achieve balance in managing these commitments. Glastonbury has offered us varying degrees of support 24 hours a day, seven days a week through their daily accessibility, over the phone, via email or, after hours via the ‘Oncall Service’. The staff are reassuring and offer guidance when we are unsure if our responses in certain situations are in the best interest of all involved or when we are just unsure of what action needs to be taken in certain situations, such as the child absconding. They have also provided transport assistance to get the children to appointments when needed during our working hours and at times to and from school when the child’s school is not close to our home. There have been many times when we have been offered the opportunity to attend additional training courses, catch-up’s with other carers and information sessions. We have also had access to counselling services when we required them due to one placement being quite challenging and the need to get an outside professional opinion of the feelings and concerns we had at that time. Foster care for us has enabled our families to gain a more empathetic perspective on life for many of the neglected and disadvantaged children in our community. Our son and our extended families have been able to see that not everyone has been given the opportunities which we have had, and there are ways in which we can help others by providing a safe, supportive and nurturing environment to these children. We have been accredited Foster Carers with Glastonbury since December 2007. We have opened our home and family to 18 different children ranging in ages from two to 16 years old from varying ethnic and cultural backgrounds, however all sharing the same basic requirement of needing a safe place to call home for a period of time. Sometimes it’s just a night, a weekend, a month or until they are able to be reunified with their biological family or when they are ready to leave foster care when they have turned 18 years old.

Lisa (centre) with Michelle and her son. No matter how long the children are in your home some of them remain in your heart forever, we remember each and every one of them. The assessment and accreditation process needed to become a foster carer was quite long and over a period of months, with many oneon-one interviews and assessments to ensure that we had all of the information we needed and were ready for the commitment required to care for these children. We found it to be comprehensive and detailed, however we kept on thinking what if this was my child? Wouldn’t I want to know that someone who was being trusted with the responsibility of my child’s care was properly assessed for all potential situations that a potential carer might find themselves in? The answer was a resounding YES, it was a no brainer really. We completed the assessment and then sat in front of the accreditation panel and answered any questions they may have had in regards to us being accredited. At the end of day it was not too hard compared to some of the situations that the children in out of home care can find themselves in. We started off offering our home on a respite basis, taking children for one weekend a month to assist other foster families to have a break. However due to the requirements of the agency and our own confidence in our abilities we took on our first long term placement which was a 13-year-old girl. After 16 months of family life with us the young person moved onto another placement however years later we continue to be actively involved in her life. She currently refers to us as her foster mummies and our son as her foster brother. We are also nannies and uncle to her young infant child. As such we still are able to offer mentoring, guidance, unconditional support as well as regular babysitting duties to her when required, which we thoroughly enjoy and find very rewarding. Over the years we have had a few shorter duration and respite placements along with another longer term placement which ended after 18 months with the child being reunified

with family, which was a fantastic outcome for all concerned. We have taken time out from foster care for a few months twice, the first time being for two months when the young girl left us and we needed time as it was not as easy as we thought it would be to see her move on. We also had a longer break when the other long term placement ended. This break became an extended one due to us then taking in our first exchange student who was 18 years old and without a police check from his country therefore we were unable to foster during his stay. Since he left we have had various respite placements and have been able to have them whilst our second exchange student has been in our home as he is WWC checked for his placement as an exchange student teacher at a local high school. Since April we have been sharing our home with a 14-year-old girl, this is planned to be a long-term placement and we hope to be able to be a constant support in her life for as long as she needs us. Being a foster carer has been very rewarding at times, especially when we have seen the positive changes in the everyday lives of the children in our care. Little things that we all seem to take for granted such as the child having regular daily attendance at school, going to bed at a regular time each night and having a set routine are often things that the children coming into foster care have never had in their lives. Many have not had the ability to just be children and enjoy childhood, they have had to learn at too young an age how to fend for themselves and protect themselves and their siblings from the varying levels of neglect/abuse experienced in Glastonbury Community Services is currently recruiting specifically to meet the needs of three young girls. The girls current care arrangements cannot continue long term and they are not returning to the care of their biological family. All girls require a family environment until they reach independence and

their biological families. Sometimes just taking them out to dinner at a restaurant or going to the movies is a really rewarding experience when you see the joy on their faces, with many never having experienced this before. A memorable experience we had after providing short term care for two primary aged brothers was receiving a letter from their school advising their attendance in the first term of the year (before coming into foster care) had been less than 20 days each for the entire term and when they did attend they were lethargic in class and were not able to learn, as a result this was having a negative impact on their behaviour and ability to move up to the next grade with their peers. Prior to being in foster care the boys were responsible for getting themselves ready for school and were frequently late or absent as there was no positive role model there to assist them with preparing for a day at school, no lunch packed for them and no clean school uniforms. The letter advised since coming into our care the boys had a 100 per cent attendance at school, were more alert in class, their motivation at school had increased and one of the boys had been put up into a higher math’s group already. Receiving this feedback from those involved with the children really reinforced to us that we were making a big difference in the boys live’s, even when at times it did not seem like it. For anyone considering becoming a foster carer, try and keep a good sense of humour, ensure you have a great support network of family and friends around you and a great agency like Glastonbury to lean on when times may get challenging and try to focus on the positives. Remember you may not see the rewards instantly but you are making a positive difference to some young person’s life. beyond. The carers will be provided a comprehensive support package and remember anyone can be considered for foster care. Contact Ms Rebecca Hirst, the Manager of Out of Home Care on 52226911 or email to register your interest.

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R e a de r S t o ry

Young dancers moving boundaries E

Geelong dancers from e.motion21, an organisation delivering a fitness program specifically for children and young adults with Down syndrome, took to the stage for their annual concert ‘Musicool’ last month

.MOTION21 is a not-for-profit, volunteer driven organisation that delivers an Australian-first dance and fitness program designed specifically for children and young adults with Down syndrome through experienced dance teachers employing the latest teaching research and techniques. e.motion21 celebrated its annual ‘Musicool’ concert spectacular last month with two inspiring and fun filled shows. Hosted by celebrity Justine Clarke and supported by Ambassador Jane Kennedy and Natalie Bassingthwaighte, the double concert featured performances by dancers from Geelong and five other e.motion21 centres in regional and metropolitan Victoria. Featuring 1,500 audience members, 170 volunteers, 150 dancers, 80 oversized beach balls, 20 dance teachers the concert was the biggest

and most successful yet! e.motion21 was founded four years ago by Cate Sayers when she was unable to find an appropriate dance class to meet the learning needs of her daughter Alexandra, who has Down syndrome. With the ethos of ‘moving bodies and moving boundaries’ one dance step at a time, e.motion21 offers kinder, primary, teen and adult classes in Geelong and now has over 30 students in the community attending their weekly classes! e.motion21 supporters and volunteers are the foundation and energy of the organisation. If you are interested in supporting this wonderful organisation, you can donate via their website or join the volunteer team by contacting

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Sc ho ol s


F o cus


K i n d er

Woodlands preschool get snap happy Through the eyes of a child BRENDAN Waites (a kinder father) who owns Ocean Grove Camera & Photo came to Woodlands preschool, a Geelong Kindergarten Association service, to speak about the importance of photography and how to use and take care of a camera. Brendan encouraged the children to take lots of photos in our playground - the results were humorous, abstract, interesting and some quite strange. The children were very pleased to see the results, causing a lot of discussion and extended ideas. We thank Deakin University who gave us three cameras they were no longer using and of course Brendan who also printed all the photos for us. Rachael, Robyn and Katie If you would like your kinder to appear in our ‘Schools In Focus’ section, send an article and photos to

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Sc h oo l s


F o cus


Pri m a ry

Whittington Primary mad about science Super Science Month of August HI, it’s Taylah and Nathan here. For the last two Wednesdays the special Science activities have kept happening in the school Discovery Zone. Last week’s activities were to make clucky cups, helicopters and parachutes - so the students were learning about air volume This week’s activities were climbing monkeys, the circadian diver and hovercraft. We learnt about air pressure and how it can make things float and how friction can slow movement. Everyone seemed to have lots of fun and we can’t wait to see what Mrs Simpson has planned for the last session. If you would like to try some of these ideas look them up on the internet and try them at home with mum and dad or come to the next session yourself.

The CFA van visits THE Country Fire Authority van came and every grade had a lesson. I interviewed some students to see what they remembered about the visit. Grade J.M: Tanysha liked ‘Crawl Low’ because she had to learn how to crawl under the smoke. Grade K.C: Hailee said she liked ‘Stop, Drop and Roll’ because she had to roll over on the floor. Grade H.D: Mekhi said his favourite part was ‘not touching the door, because the man said ‘not to touch the door’. Grade A.S: Amie said ‘Stop, Drop and Roll’ was her favourite part because it was fun and she learned that smoke alarms were meant to be annoying.

By Taylah

By Taylah Dahmes and Nathan Del Rosario

If you would like your primary school to appear in our ‘Schools In Focus’ section, send an article and photos to

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Sc ho ol s


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S eco n d a ry

Oberon High School girls look to the future SENIOR girls at Oberon High School are showing how determination and a willingness to extend themselves beyond the boundaries of a high school environment can lead to rich and rewarding experiences. SONYA REFLINSKI of year 12 is recipient of the prestigious Siemens Science Award and attended the National Youth Science Forum in Perth for two weeks. SHAYE FISHER of year 11 was announced as the winner of the 2012 ABC Heywire Competition. The competition involved submitting a story about what it is like living in a regional community accompanied by audio and visual material. GRACE LEAMING of year 11 attended the University of Sydney as part of the UBS Finance Academy. UBS is an international investment bank and one of the largest stockbroking firms.


It has been wonderful for Oberon High School to see these girls grow, develop and share these experiences.

If you would like your secondary school to appear in our ‘Schools In Focus’ section, send an article and photos to

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Hudson on his first birthday (Splash of Life Photography) - Melissa Hannah, Hamlyn Heights



Jordan with his best friend Olly - Megan Maddock, Grovedale

Alina and JoJo with George the dog - Simon Shand, Newtown

My six-year-old son Jaye with his pet dog Seymour - Anita Barlow- Burman, Drysdale

Noah and his dog Archie - Belinda Chapman, Geelong

Hamish and Shay hardly go anywhere without each other - Nerida van Drunen, Leopold

Layla and Sophia Rowling in their new reading room -Mayan Rowlings, Armstong Creek

Our baby Si창n and one of her two boxers Jack - Ainsley Soffe, Geelong West

Harrison my three-year-old son hanging out with our cat Rumble - Kerryn Messimore, Lara

Send your photos to

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Mia, 5, and Hunter, 3, with their pet pig ‘Hamlet’ - Kylie Feldman, Bell Post Hill

Lucinda and Piper - Kylie Jovanovic, Leopold

Harry and Chevy the Staffy are inseperable - Susan Taylor, Torquay


New iPad app for kids on Autism Spectrum FULL steam ahead for Encompass Interactive! Encompass Community Services is proud to announce the creation of Encompass Interactive, a partnership between the application development company Sharp Agency and Geelong non-profit organisation Encompass Community Services. Encompass Interactive will focus on creating applications for education and for people in the community with special needs. The aim is to create applications with Australian accents and attitudes, teaching Australian vernacular rather than that found on content from overseas.

The first application to be released is Boomgate Gang. Boomgate Gang is an education app for toddlers and preschool aged children. It was inspired by children on the Autism Spectrum but this is suitable for all children. The application features four fun loving characters, Australian voices and showcases Australian landmarks. Everyone will love these enchanting and entertaining characters. The application has been developed for Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. In developing this application, the development team

consulted children and young adults on the autism spectrum, parents, teachers and people working in the disability services field, to ensure that the application engages, educates and entertains children on the autism spectrum in the toddler/ pre-school age bracket. Both Nelson Park School and Barwon Valley School assisted Encompass in trialling the application, as well as local child care centres and kindergartens. Boomgate Gang teaches children four basic concepts using various activities. The “gang” consists of William (the freight train), Caitlin (the monorail), Logan (the bul

let train) and Luca (the steam train). Together, the characters show the toddlers/pre-school children how to learn while having fun through their upbeat attitude, teaching them about shapes, letters, numbers and colours through puzzles, songs, stories and interactive play. The application is available through the Apple App Store

for only $4.49. “We anticipate this being the first of many Apps from Encompass Interactive,” said Elaine Robb, CEO of Encompass Community Services and commented “This is such an exciting project and we anticipate that as Encompass Interactive expands, resultant jobs will be filled by people with disabilities in Geelong.”

Wombat’s Wish proudly presents “Letting Go” a short story writing competition for primary and secondary school students Word Limit: 750 maximum Topic: this competition encourages young people to express their personal experience with grief, and celebrate the life of someone or something special Entries close: November 12, 2013 Prizes for first and second places in both primary and secondary categories Please submit entries to: Wombat’s Wish Writing Competition PO BOX 2045 GEELONG, 3220 Or email to Winners will be announced on November 26 Please check our website for further details

Kids’ Voice reserves the right to edit letters at its discretion. Submit letters to

Katie Fiorillo Photography

Short story competition

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B i r t h S t o ry

A woman’s power to birth her baby C

Colleen believes ‘pain is weakness leaving the body’ and used this mantra while giving birth drug-free to her two beautiful babies. The Portarlington mum, 46, shares her story.

OLLEEN works as a midwife, lactation consultant, and Maternal and Child Health Nurse in Geelong and around the Bellarine Peninsula. Col was raised in Wangaratta and has lived on the Bellarine Peninsula for 10 years. She moved to the Bellarine with her young family and husband Jason; the kids were just four and two when they ventured from Melbourne to the Bellarine. Col says “I will never forget the day we decided to look at Portarlington, it was a sunny winter day and we drove into this small fishing village, the sun was shining and we loved its north facing aspect”. After they moved they lived in a shed on the property while they built their home themselves. Colleen’s first pregnancy was great! She attended the midwife clinic at the Family Birthing Centre at the Royal Women’s Hospital. Col prepared for the birth by reading as much as possible about different things that she feared about the birth. Colleen can’t emphasise enough about taking the time to adequately prepare for one of the most important days of your life, when you welcome your first born into this world. She remembers dragging her husband along to the ante-natal classes at the Women’s. He was so reluctant, he kept protesting and said that as Colleen was a midwife and ante-natal educator that she could teach him everything he needed. But she wanted him to experience it from another perspective, as she had been a part of so many births and needed her husband to realise that he was not a bystander and needed to be the birth partner. Colleen had read a recent study that explained a woman would have a better birthing outcome if she had a female of her choice in the same room as where she labours and gives birth. The woman must be someone she has personally chosen and doesn’t have to be actively involved in her birth (they can even be sitting behind a curtain whilst the woman labours) to positively influence the outcome-an “amazing vingnette”. Colleen’s pregancy was pretty typical, as she was tired and nauseated until 17 weeks gestation. Her blood pressure, blood glucose and weight were textbook. She stayed fit and exercised nearly every day, and also practiced yoga for pregnancy. She visualised having a normal vaginal delivery, and the power of thought was so amazing. Colleen firmly believes as you think so you shall be..... She and her husband had the most amazing birth experience, and their eldest son Will was born in the family birthing centre at the RWH. Col had just qualified as a lactation consultant, and was already on maternity leave, when at 1am her waters broke in her sleep. This woke her up, as she thought she had wet the bed. She was 40 weeks plus 6 days gestation. She tried to go back to bed and sleep as she knew she could expect a long haul, but the contractions began immediately, and for the first hour were every 10 minutes. She just could not lie down as it was too uncomfortable. So she got up and made a cup of tea, and tried

to distract herself, and then began typing up an assignment that her husband was doing at TAFE as she knew that they may not get the chance to finish it before the baby came along. At around 5am (the assignment was finished what a trooper) Colleen phoned that midwife back and told her that they were coming in because she couldn’t keep water down. She will never forget how uncomfortable it was to be in a seat belt in a car whilst travelling along the Tullamarine freeway. Colleen’s husband panicked and he sped on the freeway (sshh, don’t tell the police!) Col remembers having a very heightened sense of smell when her dear friend Penny Barnes walked in to the room. She was bright cheery and smelling of the latest most gorgeous perfume. Col felt at ease as soon as Penny announced that she was going to be the midwife for our birth. Unfortunately because of Col’s heightened sense of smell she felt like she would throw up all over Penny, so Col asked her if she wouldn’t mind showering and taking off what she was wearing in order to be with her whilst she laboured. She obliged Col’s request so willingly that Col was amazed. Penny returned to the room within 30 minutes wearing scrubs from theatre and smelling of nothing.....phew. This experience has changed Col’s practice as a midwife forever. She doesn’t put perfume on for work, as smell can even confuse a newborn and interfere with its attachment to its parents. It would have been around 8am and Col needed some pain relief so she requested a hot bath. So they all moved into the bathroom and Penny ran a deep hot bath, and Col immersed herself, and had instant relief. She remembers every contraction and she could hear herself telling many couples in her antenatal classes over the years “a contraction will peak at 40 seconds and then peter out” so she asked her hubby to tell her when 20 seconds had passed from when each contraction started. One thing guys need to know about a labouring woman is that if they say “jump” their partner needs to say, “how high”. One very simple message even cave men would understand…. The first stage of labour was text book, tick! During the second stage of labour Col was not sure about a water birth so decided to move back to the family birthing room. She pushed with all her might when she had a contraction and birthed their baby boy Will. Jason become very hands on with Penny’s guidance and gently guided Will’s little head out of her body. He was then birthed up on to Col’s chest and she remembers them both just holding him and crying with joy for ages as they were finally a family. The sheer elation of having a baby still can bring Col to tears. Of course, Will was breast fed within the first hour of life and never left her chest. It was a completely drug-free wholesome awesome experience. In hind sight she regretted only one thingwhich was deciding not to have the syntocinon injection for third stage.

Colleen and Jason with their kids Will and Lexie Four hours later Col was placed on a theatre trolley to have a manual removal of the placenta. Fortunately she got an almighty urge to push out the placenta, but she had been slowly bleeding to death in the meantime. Col pushed it out and it was pretty raggered (not good as it was not completely out). Then Col had a post partum haemorrhage, which wasn’t good. Oh well at least it was drug free. The birth of Col’s little girl Lexie again was a great story, which started with her conception….. we won’t go there. She was consulting in lactation at a client’s home in Melbourne the day before Lexie was due. While she was there she experienced her first contraction and then they were about 10 minutes apart. She wrapped up the session pretty quickly for fear of breaking her waters in a stranger’s home. Col scooted off home and decided it would be a good idea to mow the lawn (doesn’t everybody do that in labour?). She mowed her front lawn and nature strip and the labour didn’t come on any quicker so she mowed the neighbour’s lawns as well. That night she crawled into bed absolutely buggered and of course went into established labour around 11pm. Her husband called the in-laws to come and look after Will who was 23 months old. He was already asleep and they decided he shouldn’t come to the Family Birthing Unit. This is something Col regrets, she wishes that she insisted that will go with them. The one bath in the Family Birthing Unit was being used when Col arrived, so she had to have a warm shower. This was not the same, and sitting on those birthing balls was totally overrated. Col was very exhausted and was told by her midwife, Kylie Golland, that she was snoring in between contractions and she had never seen anything like it! Col was knackered.

Col had a wonderful surprise to find Kylie, who was a Graduate Midwife the previous year who Col had nurtured at the Northern Hospital, and now she was Col’s assigned midwife. Lexie was born with two pushes and Jason delivered the baby again. It was 3.30am and the room was dark except for the little light in the corner, the same CD (country album) was playing as when Will was born. Jason proudly announced they had another little boy, when the midwives pulled him up and said she was a little girl. How very nice to have a pigeon pair. Kylie had known all along that we were having a daughter because she had seen the amniocentesis results; Col had this test at 22 weeks gestation because there was a soft marker for Down’s syndrome. Col didn’t find out the sex of the baby as she wanted the surprise on her birthday. Lexie came on her due date and they thought she was very clever cause only five per cent of babies are born on their actual due date. Both Col’s kids are exceptionally clever in every way. They have always been smothered with love and they are pretty resilient because of that love. Col had the most awesome and very different birth experiences, both times without the need for pain relief drugs, as all they do is cause intervention such as forceps and caesarean sections, because they undermine the woman’s power to birth her own baby. Each contraction Col had she rejoiced, because it was one contraction less to have before she saw her baby. Col has a mantra that PAIN is WEAKNESS leaving the body.

- Written by Col Morrison, midwife and Private Lactation Consultant. Check out her website - Questions by Jen Carr

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Is your child ready to start school? T

One of the biggest factors when it comes to deciding whether your child is ready for school is not academic achievement, but their social and emotional maturity. Bellarine Community Health shares some advice.

O start school (Prep) in Victoria, children must be five years old by April 30 of the year they start and they must be at school in the year they turn six. But how do parents know when their child is ready to start school? Research tells us in order for children to maximise the opportunities provided by school, certain areas of development and maturity are essential, and these areas of emotional and social maturity cannot be fast tracked. These include expression and recognition of feelings, awareness of others and speech and concentration. Many education consultants would say it is better to start school too late than too early. It is important to think again about the goal of schooling. In the end, it is not academic achievement which is most important, but rather how children feel about themselves and how they have been challenged to make the most of their abilities. They need to have a good experience of learning, where they see themselves as thriving and flourishing, rather than playing catch up or just coping. Ideally your child will start school with a year of excitement and success. The best person to assist you in assessing your child for school readiness is your child’s qualified early years teacher.

Some questions which may be asked when assessing school readiness include: • Can they make an independent decision and follow through on this? • Can they follow two or three instructions at the same time? • Can they move on to new activities easily? • Do they separate well from their carer? • Do they interact with other children? • Can they recognise and express their feelings and needs? • Can they concentrate on a task? • How do they deal with frustration? Parents can help promote school readiness by undertaking activities with their young children which will help their development. These include: • reading with your child • teaching them songs and nursery rhymes • playing with letters and numbers • taking children on excursions • creating regular opportunities for them to play with their friends and other children. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development recommends that in the year before your child starts primary school, you can begin to focus on different aspects of school life. Starting to talk about school and encouraging your child to become more independent will

your child’s new school • talking to the school about how you can be involved in your child’s life at school • talking to your child’s early childhood professional about other things you can do at home to help your child’s learning and development If you would like some more assistance with assessing your child’s readiness to start school, the health professionals in the Child Health and Development Team at Bellarine Community Health are also available to help. If you have concerns with fussy eating or mealtime behaviours, the Paediatric Dietitian will be able to assist, before your child starts school. There are also some very useful dietary resources for the whole family at the new website Sienna Rowe started school this year. help him/her adjust to school the following year. Some suggestions include: • encouraging your child to ask questions about going to school • encouraging your child to do things on their own, such as dressing, washing their hands, going to the toilet, unwrapping their food, and opening their drink bottle • talking to friends and other families about what school is like • attending transition-to-school programs at

Bellarine Peninsula, Bellarine Community Health ( provides health services to families across the region. The Child Health and Development Team offers a family-centred service focusing on the well being of children aged 0-12 years. The team includes speech therapy, occupational therapy, podiatry, dietetics, physiotherapy and dentistry. They can be contacted through BCH Service Access – phone 5258 0812 or email

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Isolated new mums get helping hand


Vanessa Smith and Emma Abram coordinate the new program Meals4Mums, which organises teams of volunteers to prepare and deliver meals to mums with newborn babies, who have little or no support

AVING a newborn is one thing but having a newborn with no family support is another. Local Mums Vanessa Smith and Emma Abram are coordinators of the new program Meals4Mums, which organises teams of volunteers to prepare and deliver meals to mums with newborn babies. The program is targeted specifically at women who have got little or no support. “Having a baby is a beautiful and important time of your life, time however it also brings a lot of pressure and is full of changes,” Emma said. Emma and Vanessa had their own experiences which sparked the same idea, coincidently approaching Sandra Cooper at Ocean Grove’s Baptist Church, The Wave, separately. ‘When I gave birth to my son prematurely at 34 weeks, it was one of the most stressful times of my life. It wasn’t until I was provided with a few home cooked meals when I realised how much of a help it was,” Emma said. When Vanessa suggested to a group of kinder Mums that they all could cook a meal for a Mum who had just had a baby, she was shocked to get no response. “I knew I had to do something about this,” Vanessa said. The community outreach program has had a great response over the past five months, and is even receiving referrals from local and wider

health centres. “I love the way Vanessa and Emma have taken from their own life experiences and have reached out in a practical way to mums in our community and on the Bellarine Peninsula,’’ Associate Pastor at the Wave Sandra Cooper said. ‘‘They are beautiful young woman who truly care about other people and this shows in everything they do.” Meals started to be made in April, however the program took around five months to organise. “It’s just so important for mums to have that little bit of help when they have no other support around them. Not having to go to the supermarket or cooking in that first week is a blessing,” Vanessa said. Volunteers from The Wave, being a church outreach program, must have their food handling certificate and a police check. Besides those safety precautions, Vanessa and Emma believe you really just need the heart to cook a meal. “It was an avenue we felt we could take to be a part of the community in helping new mums in Ocean Grove, Leopold and the greater Bellarine Peninsula who have little or no support,” Emma said. If you’re expecting or have had your baby and have little support, fill out a request form at: - Stephanie Naylor Ocean Grove Voice

Vanessa Smith with daughter Sophie and Emma Abram with son Rive

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R e ad e r S t o ry

Helping kids explore, eat, play, see or shop


Bellarine Kids, Greater Geelong Kids, and soon to be Great Ocean Grove Kids, are online information portals containing all the answers parents and caregivers like to know. Stacey O’Keefe tells how all three will work together to promote the local goodness the Bellarine, Geelong and Great Ocean Road regions provide.

Y name is Stacey and I have lived in Ocean Grove with my husband and three daughters for six years. I have been working with children for more than 15 years, as an indoor sports coordinator, in various crèche and daycare centres, and also as a graphic artist. Since relocating to Ocean Grove I am currently employed as a City of Greater Geelong school holiday program educator, casual sales assistant, I also run a junior gym, and a parent and toddler fitness group. My most important job, however, is as a stay at home mother of three girls, a cuddly newborn, a sporty four-year-old and a crafty six-year-old. It is in this very busy role that I have recognised the need for an easy to access and community relevant site that specialises in all things for kids in this beautiful Bellarine area. You can be a part of ‘Bellarine Kids’ on Facebook and on and also follow ‘Greater Geelong Kids’ on Facebook and on www.greatergeelongkids.

In addition to joining our websites, joining Bellarine Kids and/or Greater Geelong will also allow you to be a part of the Bellarine Kids and/or Greater Geelong Kids events and promotions! For the past two years Bellarine Kids have released 500 ‘Local Bags of Goodness’ each year and held two successful bK Expos. The Expos have been very well received by the families who came to enjoy all the great stalls and activities available, and the stall holders themselves. Other events planned for Bellarine Kids include a family fun day, a couple of children’s health and wellness workshops and a series of family movie nights. The Greater Geelong Kids Expo will be held on Sunday, March 23, 2014, where we will also be launching our ‘GGK Local bags’ of Goodness’. If you would like to be a part of these exciting initiatives please email

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H o sp i t al S t o r y

Mick’s trip to hospital not so scary I

Eight-year-old Michael Rakic shares his story about what it was like to undergo a tonsillectomy in hospital

WAS sick. I kept getting tonsillitis. My throat always hurt and my tonsils were big. I had lots of visits to the doctors for medicine. I was sick of being sick. It wasn’t much fun. One day when I was at the dentist, Ali (Dr Allison Robinson), looked in my mouth and said that my tonsils were very big. She gave my mum a letter to go and see Dr Noel Russell. When I went to see him he had lots photos of his family everywhere in his office and he barracked for Carlton. That’s was not such a good thing cos I barrack for the Cats. He was a very nice doctor though. He asked me if I snored and how long it took me to eat dinner. “It takes forever” my mum said. She said I snored worse than dad. Dr Russell said I had to get my tonsils and adenoids out cos they were big. I felt a little excited and scared at the same time. It meant I wouldn’t get sick anymore, but it meant I had to go to hospital and I had not been there before. We went home and read the notes he gave

us about the operation. My mum told me what was going to happen. I was still a little scared but excited too, cos I got to stay home from school for two weeks. Finally the day came to have the operation at St John of God Geelong Hospital. I could not eat breakfast on the day of my surgery. Lucky, I got to have my operation early so I would not starve. At the hospital the nurses were really nice. They put “Angel cream” on the top of my hand. I could not feel my mum pinching me where they put the cream. It had gone to sleep. Next I got a visit from Dr Rowan Neerhut, he was nice. He was putting the medicine into my arm to make me stay asleep and not feel anything when they did the operation. He had a cool iPad for me to play with. I played a racing car game and my mum helped me hold the screen while they put in the needle. I knew it was going in but it just felt like a mozzie bite. I started to fall asleep, it felt like floating on a cloud.

Michael Rakic with St John of God caregiver Michelle Showell When I woke up, my Mum was there and they gave me some more medicine so I could not feel any pain. They took me for a ride down to my hospital room. I had it all to myself. It had a big TV with lots of channels.

I got to have anything I wanted. I had ice, ice-cream, juice, an icy-pole and a roll to eat. My dad even got me a singing balloon to make me laugh. There were lots of nurses coming into check on me. They told me jokes to make me laugh. After a few hours they gave me some more medicine so I could not feel pain and they let me go home. On the way home I spewed in the car, all over my mum and the whole back seat. Gross! When we were at home my mum kept giving me medicine to make me feel no pain for more than a week. Then I was ok to go to the movies and have popcorn while everyone else was at school. My visit to the hospital wasn’t scary or bad. The doctors and the nurses at the hospital were funny and kept checking on me the whole time. I really liked playing on Rowan’s iPad, it stopped me from being worried about getting a needle. I hope I can see them all if I ever have to go to hospital again because everyone was really caring and nice. Best of all I got two weeks off school.

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T e ch no l o gy

Dealing with the great mobile debate T

The director of Wonderful Websites, Shelley Gross, says deciding if and when to buy your child a mobile phone will take some serious consideration. She shares some facts and advice.

HE great debate – when should your child have their own mobile phone. Every child wants one. Why wouldn’t they – they are fun, interactive and social. But, as a parent, there are reasons why you shouldn’t head out and make your child’s day without some serious consideration. HOW OLD SHOULD THEY BE? There is no real answer to this question. Every child and every set of circumstances are different. One of Australia’s leading adolescent psychologists, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, says that there are three important questions to ask when considering whether your child is ready for a mobile phone: 1. What temperament does your child have? 2. Do they have a track record of making good choices? 3. What kind of friends do they hang out with? Dr Carr-Gregg suggests children have to undergo a licence test before being allowed to bring phones and tablets to school. He says communication tools such as phones are similar to cars. That is, a student needs to reach a certain level of proficiency with both to avoid accidents and avoid trouble with the law. Does your child self-regulate other things like watching television? If not, you may need to wait until they mature a little more, or learn the habit of knowing when to stop. Set some rules around usage of video games or television, and only when they can adhere to these rules they may be ready. If you were to give your child a smart phone, do you believe that they would make good decisions on the types of apps to download? And do they know what sort of information is okay to share with others online. These are the sort of questions you should be asking. Conversations with your child will allow you to make a better decision, and make sure you listen to their reasons for wanting a phone to decide whether they are valid reasons. While there is no specific legal age, Bill Gates believes13 is okay. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a survey conducted in 2012 indicated that 818,500 children aged between five and 14 years

had a mobile phone. The number one reason parents buy their child a phone is for safety reasons. But kids have more than safety in mind. Investigations into usage identify that text messaging is the number one use. Just like adults, children are just as addicted. Most schools have a policy that mobile phones must be either handing into the office for the duration of the day or switched off. With the threat of confiscation if found using a phone during school hours, most kids adhere to the warnings. WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS? Advances with technology are advancing so rapidly that there is always the chance to pick up a cheap second hand phone that still has all the bells and whistles. There is the option of giving your child a mobile phone that does not have internet connection, and simply just has the ability to make and receive calls. It is important to program the numbers into the phone, so that your child only answers phone calls from someone they know. Another option taken by some is to purchase a ‘family’ phone. This phone is given to the child in the situation where a phone was necessary. This may cause some arguments amongst siblings, so you may need to do some negotiating at times. When purchasing a mobile phone, do your research. Most telco’s offer a wide range of packages;

there are fixed monthly plans, pre-paid phones, pay for usage, etc. The type of plan or phone you choose will depend on what the phone will be used for. Young children may only need it for phone calls whereas older children may need full access to the Internet for educational purposes. Tweens may also be suited to a plan with unlimited talk and text. For anyone on a post-pay plan, it is important to ensure your child receives notifications (usually by text message) about usage and when they are approaching their limit. You may also want to switch off certain functions such as premium messaging and international roaming. Sit down with your child and show them the bill so they can get an understanding of what costs are involved. This might include explaining about the higher costs for certain phone numbers such as entering competitions and voting on reality TV. When signing up, be sure to read the fine print, especially if you are locking into a 12 or 24 month contract. See what options you have for switching plans during the contract period, as your child’s needs may change along the way. A great way to work out what plan is best for your child is to ask around to compare what friends have. You must be 18 or older to sign a contract, so any large bills will legally be your responsibility, so be careful for any excessive fees, especially for post-pay contracts.

Sport Dancers hit the floor YOUNG movers and shakers took to the floor last month when they competed in the Geelong Classic DanceSport Festival. The event, held at Club Italia, comprised a full day of competition dancing with colourfully costumed dancers aged between seven and 70 years. The festival is the only registered Dancesport competition held in Geelong. The competition was fortunate to have more than 30 juvenile medallists dance, ranging from five years to 13 years.

Among the six dancers, pictured right, are Allan, 7, Ariza, 9, and Jay, 12. Allan and Ariza danced in the Juvenile sections of the ballroom, Latin and new vogue styles of dancing. Both have danced for two years. Jay danced over the three styles and again in Juvenile. He will move into the junior age group (13 – under 16) once he turns 13. Jay has also danced for two years. If your child would like to get involved in dancesport call Zalie Merrett on 0403 418 922.

HOW CAN I MONITOR USAGE? Make sure you clearly set some rules about possession and usage. This includes: • What the phone can be used for • When the phone can be used and whether there is a time restriction • Make sure the phone is not with them during sleep times so they are not tempted to access it during the night • Who will be responsible for the costs associ ated with the phone? And what happens in the phone is lost or stolen? There are some apps that restrict access for usage. They can automatically lock a user out after a specified period. As your child gets older, there is also the issue of sexting and texting while driving. Sexting is something that you need to educate your child about. Sexting is sending sexual messages or images or videos via text messaging. If these are under the age of 18, this may come with a 15-year jail term. Not to mention the psychological effects. Texting while driving may have more fatal consequences. A good way to manage the risk is to make your child place their phone in the boot while driving to omit any temptations. The timing of when our children need a phone is complicated, and really is dependent on the child and their circumstances. Having a phone can be great for giving your child responsibility and independence as well as reassuring the parent. Making the decision of when your child should have a phone is a hard one, and so is what to choose. Take your time to make the right decisions. Last Christmas one mum made her 13-yearold sign a contract when she gave him an iPhone. It outlined the appropriate use for the phone and one of the points in the contract read: ‘It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?’ Personally I love this idea and I may adopt the same approach for my own children.

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Ch i l d re n ’s W eek 2 013

Enjoy lots of fun activities this month CHILDREN’S Week is coming up and to celebrate the City of Greater Geelong is supporting a number of fun activities this October. National Children’s Week draws attention to our regions smallest citizens, promoting learning and play, bringing together the community and our children. This is a great opportunity for parents to introduce children to new activities, allowing them to develop added skills in a fun and supportive environment. Getting involved with Children’s Week is also a great way for kids to make new friends that live in the area! There will be events happening all around the region, all of which are free or at low cost.

Some events include: Children’s Week Launch Friday 18 October Barwon Valley Fun Park and Geelong Play Strategy re-launch Saturday 19 October Family Fun Day @ the Potato Shed Sunday 20 October Playgroup in the Park Tuesday 22 October North Early Childhood Expo Tuesday 22 October Flamefest Friday 25 October

It’s easy to get busy with work and other commitments, so Children’s Week is a great reason to get your family together and enjoy a fun day out. Bookings for some events are essential.

Page 25

Sch o o l H o l i d a ys

Kids excited about Cars and Planes Children flew into Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre to test out their skills on a remote control Cars and Planes track, made their own paper planes at a craft station and trialled the new Disney Planes game

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R e a de r S t o ry

Positivity has become the new black I Blogger Jessica Sawyer talks about a consuming obsession people have with being positive and happy

’VE been reading a lot lately about happiness. About how to be happy. Stay happy. Define happy. About why we feel the need to be happy. About how happiness is completely within our control. About how writing makes you happy. I’ve read about how being happy increases your life span and overall health in general (so quality and quantity – you just don’t get that anywhere these days) and have actually been noticing every second Facebook re-post extolling the inner happiness we all possess if only we look deep inside our souls, learn to love who we are, stay positive... and ah, train harder apparently... I’ve also found articles suggesting that trying to be happy is making us unhappy and about how this quest for happiness is a recent Generation X invention. Wait a minute... Before I go on, I have to clear something up. Technically, I’m a Gen Y (if you stick with the born between 1960 and 1979 classification), but I only miss the X boat by two weeks, which is negligible on its own. However, I was at, like, the second Big Day Out ever and didn’t miss another until the year 2000; I watched Singles and bought the soundtrack; I owned multiple pairs of Doc Martins before Agyness Dyenn or Alexa Chung were even born (probably); Pulp Fiction is still one of my favourite movies and damn it, I smelt like teen spirit better than anyone (not as gross as it sounds Gen Ys - Nirvana wasn’t always the definition of spiritual enlightenment... well, yes it was but not between 1991 and 1994).

Anyway, the point is, weren’t we supposed to be the ones who wore unhappiness as a badge? Where did this obsession with perpetual happiness come from? At what point did the appeal of being the dark broody man or the damaged neurotic girl become so...unappealing? When did we cross over to the light side? I mean, there was a time in our recent past when saying “positive” instinctively led people to think only of HIV/AIDS and the slow, painful fate it inevitably led its exclusively first world homosexual victims toward. Now, I can barely have a conversation without it slipping in somehow, and don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it, I’m totally on board, I’m in the process of carving out a life in which I’m just trying to make people happy for goodness sake! Because, I too, like my fellow Gen Xs (yep, you’re not getting rid of me), kicked my angst to the curb before the turn of the century and jumped on the happiness bandwagon that had formerly been reserved for do-gooders and acidtrippers. Now we hear about people beating terminal cancer from remaining ‘positive’, there are countless books selling out at our bookstores professing the life-changing power of ‘positive’ thinking, instead of just plain old learning from our mistakes, we must focus on the ‘positives’. There’s positive psychology, positive medicine, positive teaching, positive parenting (yep, it’s a real term, there’s a network and a two week courses you can take).

Which, are all great, and I’m sure have helped change and mould lives for the better. We all know being positive and surrounding ourselves with positive people and experiences enriches our lives in general and increases our overall wellbeing. However, it’s this new, consuming obsession with being positive and happy - all the time – at all costs, which is becoming a point of concern (for me anyway). It’s become a measure of success – are you happy? And if you can’t answer in the affirmative every time, across the board, you can start to feel as if something is horribly wrong with your life. Add to this the fear of admitting that things aren’t going swimmingly in one or more facets of your life and we’re producing a generation (of women, mums in particular I’m finding) who would rather drive themselves into the ground rather than admit to a deficiency (much less to defeat) and risk sounding like an incompetent whinger. Speaking to my friend recently about this happiness perpetuation, it’s the term “happily married” which grinds on her nerves – one is not dependent on the other she insists, and when people ask, what happens when you have to say “no” she further questions? Another friend admitted after the first few months of motherhood, she’s decided it’s actually not how she imagined (like all of us), and despite initially thinking she would dread going back to work, is now looking forward to it, to which I re-

sponded: Oh my God! You are a terrible mother who does not deserve to have a child at all! Well, of course I didn’t say that and nor do I come anywhere near close to thinking it, but it is the response she is certain she will illicit from others and therefore does not dare speak her feelings to anyone outside her immediate family (within which I include myself). Note: she (like all of us) truly LOVES her baby. So at the risk of negging out on you, herein rests my issue with the happiness revolution: when positivity goes bad, you end up feeling as if happiness is even further out of your reach than you originally did, like in the first place, like in the 90’s. My personal belief is that it is perfectly okay to feel like crap sometimes, to bawl your eyes out with Carrie Bickmore during The Project, get angry at the news when Tony Abbot, you know, speaks. Go ahead and feel totally disenchanted with life when we hear about the incomprehensible tragedy of Jill Meagher or completely helpless about the deteriorating situation in Syria. Emotions, which should naturally ebb and flow, are not a crime against the positivity movement, nor will the negative ones compromise your happiness! In fact happiness is an emotion and should be left to sit in that category, rather than be passed off as the zenith to which we must all not only aspire but ultimately achieve... immediately and constantly.

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R e v i e ws

ECOM A N Mal co m R and s


Malcolm Rands started ecostore from New Zealand’s first permaculture eco-village with his wife Melanie in 1993. They sourced local manufacturers to make a range of organic gardening, home cleaning and body care products for the then mail-order business in the dug-out basement of their home. Twenty years on and Malcolm has developed ecostore into a multimillion dollar business. It’s a fascinating story of humble beginnings, taking on the multinationals and their nasty chemicals, bucking the trend and setting a new standard of healthier living. At latest count, there are more than 84,000 chemicals in existence for commercial use, with 1000 new ones being developed every year. Malcolm is more determined than ever to work toward restoring the health and wellbeing of communities by making it easier for people to be green. This book includes his tips on how to green up your home and office.

It all starts out innocently enough when two curious curlews discover a stash of artist’s paints and brushes. Who could resist this opportunity to dab a little colour here and there? Certainly not these birds, and soon enough it’s a freefor-all. Readers will take particular delight in the wonderfully messy— and colourful—ending. Colours for Curlews introduces young readers to the joy of colours and the principles of colour mixing. Distinctly Australian, this picture book captures the vibrancy and character of a wide range of Australian birds.

To win a copy of this book, LIKE our Facebook page KidsVoiceGeelong and send us a message telling us why you’d like to win.

R e ne e Tr em l - R a nd om house



- R a nd o m ho us e

To win a copy of this book, LIKE our Facebook page facebook. com/KidsVoiceGeelong and send us a message telling us why you’d like to win.

WAZ H A C K 12 + By War w i ck Al l i s o n

WazHack is a rogue like dungeon crawler that is for IOS (most apple products) or also you can play it online at For those who have never played a game like this before what happens is you walk through different rooms which might have goblins or rats or other monsters or might have chests filled with riches and weapons. When you start off you can choose from 4 different classes and their different genders. The classes are; Knights-which are best for close range fights (and they have a puppy), Wizards-which are good at healing and buff spells but horrible with weapons (and they have a cat), Sorcerer- good at attacking and offensive spells but horrible with weapons (they have a cat too), and Huntsman-which are good with bows (and they have a dog). You just keep going as far down into the dungeon until you get overwhelmed or just find a stronger monster like an ogre. It is worth noting that after you get 300 feet down, to go further you need to purchase a character kit for $1 which grants you access to 300+ feet and multiplayer with that class. As you progress you find weapons, spell books, wands, food, potions, scrolls, armour and more stuff. You can identify if your items are cursed, or just equip them and hope that they’re not. Cursed weapons cannot be unequipped until you remove the curse. Its always fun to take risks and there is always something new to find each time you play through it. I usually don’t like these sorts of games but this one really appealed to me, and I especially like playing it portably with my iPad mini. You can contact me at or play with me on Steam at Sushiphantom. Frag out for now! - Callum Bedson

KI M O CHI S Tat e s Toywor l d


Adored by both parents and children, Kimochis ( - which means ‘feelings’ in Japanese - are tactile, interactive educational toys designed to help children learn about, identify, and manage their feelings in a fun, comfortable way. According to education expert, Kathy Walker, Director of Early Life Foundations, the multi awardwinning Kimochis provide “children with a range of opportunities to explore, to identify and to express their emotions and to develop a greater awareness and understanding of others’ feelings and responses.” Each with their own unique personality of strengths and challenges, the collection of seven, loveable, plush Kimochis characters, together with their tactile, expressive Kimochis ‘feelings’ pillows - ranging from mad, sad, loved, brave to happy, frustrated, silly and so on - are designed to get children talking, promoting strong parent-child connections and encouraging children to express themselves, building self-esteem, confidence and resilience. With their unique point of difference, the quality range of Kimochis has become the leading plush toy for a number of Australian retailers, with parents and children falling in love with Cloud, Bug, Huggtopus, Cat, Lovey Dove, Bella Rose and Clover. As a toy with vast educational scope currently supporting social and emotional learning programs in more than 1000 early-learning, primary and special education schools in Australia, the Kimochis Tool Kit and Curriculum for Teachers have helped schools fulfil the “Personal And Social Capabilities” required by the Australian Curriculum.

To win a Kimochis set, LIKE our Facebook page KidsVoiceGeelong and

send us a message telling us why you’d like to win.

Characters include ‘Cloud’, a bit moody and unpredictable, and can be happy or sad by turning his head to display a grey sad face, or white happy face. He teaches kids that it’s okay to be angry but never okay to be mean. ‘Bug’ is a rather timid caterpillar who is afraid of change, and tucks his wings away when uncertain. Turning into a butterfly, his beautiful wings come out when he’s feeling brave. ‘Cat’ is a natural leader but can be somewhat bossy and is known to get into a few cat fights! She comes with a set of her own replaceable bandages to heal physical or emotional wounds. ‘Huggtopus’ is very loveable, but sometimes overly friendly and needs to learn about boundaries. ‘Lovey Dove’ is nurturing and patient and like all doves, keeps the peace! Lovey Dove comes with her little baby Turtle Dove, a grey dove specifically designed in a different colour to help children who feel a little different – whether that be for adopted/foster families, mixed race families or even because a child’s hair colour may be different to that of the rest of the family. ‘Bella Rose’ is sensitive and insecure. Whilst being sensitive can be a blessing, sometimes it can be a challenge for this beautiful character. ‘Clover’ is a four leaf clover with bad luck. He’s a bit absent minded but always means well and has a great sense of humour. Clover comes with his lucky (removable) lady bug, Howard.






Contact Shaun on 5255 3925 OR 0411 416 384 to discuss your requirements!

We provide a managed IT support p lan for: · IT Mainte nance

& Audits · Project Pla nning & Su pport · New Purc hases & Up grades · Network M onitoring · Data Back up · Broadban d, E-mail & Website Se · Anti-Virus tup , Malware & Spyware M onitoring

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R e v i e ws



Melis s a Wr ay

To win a signed copy of this book, LIKE our Facebook page KidsVoiceGeelong and send us a message telling us why you’d like to win.

Destiny Road is a story of decisions and consequence. It is a real life journey that changes the life of the main character, Jessica, in ways she couldn’t imagine. Brought up without a father, at 16 Jessica meets him for the first time. Before she has a chance to get to know him, her mother whisks her away to a new town. Leaving her life-long friends behind and starting at a new school is more than Jessica can cope with. Being threatened on her first day at her new school doesn’t help at all. She struggles to fit in and begins to question her life. And then she is faced with a huge decision – a chance to go back to her old life – but it comes at a cost. Follow Jessica’s journey as she struggles to find the right path and deals with the trauma of a new life, her first relationship and growing up.


R i c k Ha nson R a nd om house

Recent scientific breakthroughs have revealed that what we think and feel changes the brain. Dr Rick Hanson’s Hardwiring Happiness is the first book to show how to transform the simple positive experiences of daily life into neural structures that promote lasting health, contentment, love and inner peace. To keep our ancestors alive, our brain evolved a ‘negativity bias’, which lets positive experiences flow through it like water through a sieve. Yet positive experiences are the building blocks needed for health, happiness and fulfilling relationships. Drawing on neuroscience and the contemplative traditions, Hardwiring Happiness shows how to overcome that negativity bias and get those good experiences into the brain where it can use them, providing the tools we need to heal old wounds, develop our inner resources and, ultimately, transform our lives.

MOV I E RE VI E W S Sponsored by P L A N ES

Dusty is a cropdusting plane who dreams of competing in a famous aerial race. One small problem... He is afraid of heights! A heartfelt story filled with great comedy, adventure, and emotion. Great for the kids! WATCH IF YOU LIKE: Cars 2 (2011)




An all-access pass to the British boy band that has hearts melting. Watch Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis’ meteoric rise to fame, from their humble hometown beginnings and competing on the X-Factor, to conquering the world. WATCH IF YOU LIKE: If you simply can’t get enough of the lads!


School holidays might soon be over guys and gals, but put a smile on the dial as it’s the final term before the Summer break! All the best movies from the hols are still showing at VILLAGE Cinemas this October, so I’ve put together a quick wrap-up on what you might have missed!




IN CINEMAS 31ST OCTOBER 2013 Crashing to cinemas late October is THOR 2, the latest from the Marvel Comics ‘Avengers’ universe. Beefed up Aussie hunk Chris Hemsworth reprises his role as Thor and is set one year after the events of The Avengers. Thor battles to save the Nine Realms from a mysterious enemy older than the universe itself that threatens to plunge the world into darkness. Our hero must reunite with his crush from Earth, Jane Foster, and set out on a dangerous journey that will force him to make the ultimate sacrifice! Seriously how good are the Marvel Comics films!? (Who’s your fave Avenger superhero? For me, Thor is a close second to Iron Man of course!) Blending the right mix of action, grandiose and humour, THOR 2 is a blockbuster that will hit you as hard as a blow from Thor’s Mighty Hammer! Must see for teens!

Rev ie w s by M a t t L a n ca st e r ( a k a t h e M ovie Guy)



TURBO: A highvelocity comedy about a snail who dares to dream big and fast. After a freak accident infuses him with the power of super-speed, Turbo kicks into overdrive and embarks on an extraordinary journey to achieve the seemingly impossible: competing in the world’s fastest race, the Indy 500! WATCH IF YOU LIKE: Valiant (2005), Cars (2006)



The pint-sized heroes are back in SMURFS 2 with the focus on Smurfette as she finds herself and learns the meaning of family. The cheeky blue Smurfs are always entertaining and this is no exception! WATCH IF YOU LIKE: Smurfs (2011)

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s r a B e i k k e r Easy B

C r ea t i o ns These are so tasty the kids won’t stop asking, ‘Are they nearly done?’ as they cook! This recipe is a slight tweak of the Brekkie Bar recipe found on the ‘4 ingredients’ page on Facebook. Many easy recipes for your kids can be found there. In the meantime, we tweaked this around what we enjoy. Just add or remove the stuff you don’t like. They are delicious warm too!

METHOD: Preheat oven to 180C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Put all the ingredients in to a bowl and mix them together using your hands. Squishing it up a bit gets more juice out of the apples. Then, press the mixture in to your loaf tin, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake for 25 minutes until slightly golden.


Cut into bars while still warm (we ended up with six).

1 ½ cups quick oats ¼ cup wholemeal self raising flour ¼ cup apricot nectar (you can use any frui t juice instead if you like) - 2 apples gr ated (we left the skin on) Handful of sultanas Cinnamon sugar

NOTES: • If you use a piece of baking paper that’s larger than what you need when you line the tin (so it sticks up a bit), you can easily lift the final cooked slab out of the pan without burning yourself, ready to cut into bars while warm.

Written by Megan Brooks, a mum of two beautiful kids who runs her business ‘Fudgalicious’ from home

kles c a r c e t a hocol c y h t l a e H

These healthy chocolate crackles skip the Copha and replace it with healthy coconut oil and delicious cocoa. These are the perfect guilt-free party food.

METHOD: Line a 16cm x 23cm slice tin with baking paper and set aside. In a saucepan, over low-heat, stir coconut oil and honey until melted. In a large bowl, combine kamut, coconut, cocoa and sultanas. Pour over melted coconut oil and honey and mix well. Press into a lined slice tray or dollop into patty cases. Refrigerate until set. NOTES:


200g coconut oil - 1/

2 cup honey - 4 cups puffed kamut 1 cup desiccated coco nut - 3 tbsp cocoa 1/4 cup sultanas (opt ional)

• The coconut oil and honey won’t come together completely, they will look a little bit separated, but this is OK. • I used kamut but you can use any puffed grain or even toasted muesli. • I used Dutch cocoa, which is darker and richer and has a deeper flavour. • This recipe was created by Katie Rainbird of Katie180. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter and see her delicious food on Instagram.

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W h a t ’s Health & fitness EVERY MONDAY: Parent and toddler group fitness, 9-10am, Barwon Heads Community Hall, corner of Hitchcock Avenue and Ozone Street. EVERY WEDNESDAY: Yoga and dance, 9.30am-10.30am, Barwon Heads Community Hall, corner of Hitchcock Avenue and Ozone Street. KID’S DANCE CLASSES: Tuesday to Friday evenings, 4/22-26 Essington Street, Grovedale. Phone 0420 998 596. KOOMBAHLA PARK EQUESTRIAN CENTRE school holiday program, phone 52562742. GROUP FITNESS LARA: Monday and Wednesday, 9.30am Mums and Bubs/Kids. Tuesday and Thursday 6pm, circuit.Sunday 9am, running group. Foot Crt Lara. Phone 0403369917

Music EVERY MONDAY: ‘acabellas kid’s’ singing and music group for primary school children, 4.30pm - 5.30pm, Kalkee Hall, 48 Thomson Street Belmont. Phone 0407 804 886 or visit EVERY TUESDAY: ‘acaBellaBubs’ singing and music group for bubs and pre-school children, 9.45am -10.30am, Geelong West Senior Citizens Hall, cnr Autumn and Pakington Streets Geelong West. Phone 0407 804 886 or visit COASTAL SOUND YOUTH and CHILDRENS CHOIR - Amy Leposa’s choirs are filled with FUN, FUN, FUN! Children’s Choir - Grades 1-4 Time : Wednesday 3:45 - 4:30 Youth Choir - Year 5 - 8 Time : Wednesday 4:30 - 5:30 Held at Torquay Salvation Army - 35 Boston Rd, Torquay. For more information and details please go to our website



EVERY MONDAY: Road to Reading, agegroup sessions between 9am-3pm, at Uniting Church, Anderson Street, Torquay. EVERY TUESDAY: Road to Reading, agegroup sessons between 9am-1pm, Western Heights Uniting Church, Douglass Street, Herne Hill. THE MUSICAL GARDEN: fun, educational music classes for young children in Geelong West. Contact Liz on 0415 977 860 or visit

Schools CLIFTON SPRINGS PS has a transition program for its 2014 Preps. Dip into D.I.P. allows new Preps to participate in a Developmental Inquiry Program. Dates are: Term 4 Thursday, November 14 - 2pm -3pm Tuesday, November 26 - 2pm -3:30pm Tuesday, December 10 - 9.30am -1pm New preps, enrolled or soon to be, can come to one or more sessions. Call the school on 52513581for more information. Orientation days are a great way to transition your child into their new school!

Mums TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS: Freshwater Creek Steiner play groups- toddler’s group and 3-year-old groups- experience baking, singing, storytelling, crafts and free play. Phone 5264 5077 or visit www. EVERY WEDNESDAY: Pregnant Young Mum’s Club, Newcomb Community Health Centre, 104-108 Bellarine Highway, Newcomb. Phone 0423 603 633 or 52603333. FIRST FRIDAY OF EACH MONTH: Greenmums, Moby, Esplanade, Torquay, 10am.


GIRL CONNECT 3241: Free community art program for women 14 and over. Programs will run on Wednesday in Winchelsea from February to June. Phone 5221 6333 or email The fOrT Drop In youth centre, St Georges Rd, Corio (Old Tourist Information Centre-Stead Park), open Monday, Thursday and Friday, from 4pm, for anyone aged 12 to 25. MONDAYS: Food for fOrT, 4-6pm. THURSDAYS: Movie Night, 4-7pm. MUSIC LESSONS: guitar and drums – bookings 0488 443 778. EVERY THURSDAY: 4-6pm at StudioMade, A unique opportunity for kids older than eight years, to free fall on art, allowing experimentation and exploration of clay, wood and other organic materials. Visit

Events ONE HUNDRED FOR 100 FUNDRAISING FILM NIGHT - A screening of ‘Girl Rising’ to celebrate international day of the girl and raise money for the One Hundred for 100 Campaign! WHEN: Friday, October 11, 2013 WHERE: Geelong Courthouse ARTS Theatre TIME: 7pm (doors open at 6.30) Girl Rising is a groundbreaking film that has already been seen by millions. It tells the stories of nine girls in nine different countries, and has ignited a movement for girl’s education. Proceeds will go towards One Hundred for 100 to restore the lives of women who are victims of human trafficking in India. Your attendance will send a message: Investing in girls is not just right, it’s smart. Tickets available at

BELLARINE KIDS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27 - Great Ocean Road Surf Tours “Ocean Awareness” info session @ Barwon Heads Community Hall, 6:30-7:30pm. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3- The Happy Parent Project “Healthy Eating” info session @ Barwon Heads Community Hall, 7-7:30pm. For more information visit - linking child friendly services on and around the Bellarine Peninsula. ROYAL GEELONG SHOW: October 17,18,19,20. Animals galore Harry’s Farmyard, the famous racing pigs, the cute, cuddly, weird and wonderful. Visit THE KARDINIA SUPPORTED PLAYGROUP will host a guest speaker from Disability Care Australia on October 22 at 11.30am. The talk is at South Campus, 9/147 Marshalltown Road, Grovedale. For information contact the Kardinia Church office on 5272 2003. THE TREEHOUSE GEELONG AUTISM SUPPORT GROUP’S free Special Families Dance Party. All Geelong families living with disability are welcome to a free afternoon of music and fun! It’s on Saturday, October 12 from 1.30 to 4pm at Club Italia, Moolap. To register email Sharon and John Demopoulos at MATERNITY WELLBEING EXPO 2013: Visit the St John of God expo for information and advice about pregnancy, care for mother and baby and all the latest products to assist during this exciting stage of life. Sunday, October 13 from 11am to 4pm at the Mercure Geelong. Free entry. Visit

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Kids Voice October 2013  
Kids Voice October 2013  

Free parenting publication for Geelong, the Bellarine, Lara and the Surf Coast. Covers ages 0 - 81