Toni’s ‘Gratitude’ practice points!

Toni Powell gave an inspiring presentation on Gratitude and Mental Health during a recent Sunday workshop. In concluding, Toni provided some simple strategies to put into practise:



  • Each day for a week, or preferably a month, hand-write a thank-you note or letter to someone who is contributing to your life, or who has in the past.
  • First thing in the morning, think of one good thing to look forward to or reflect on something positive that happened at night before sleep. Perhaps write in a journal about it.
  • Take one photo each day of something you can feel grateful for – look around and select things that are not all that obvious.

Carmel Rosella: A personal reflection

When I think of Carmel Rosella, a smile comes to my lips. It comes from a sense of admiration and affection for this wonderful woman, a woman of significance who changed so much for so many. She had many friends and supported people in the community with whom she shared an understanding of the challenges life can bring.

Her childhood was one of massive abuse, an absence of trust when it was so needed and her life was scarred with alcohol and self-harm in her attempts to obliterate the pain.Carmel emerged as an adult who could not read or write – life for her was very unfair and she wanted it otherwise. Remarkably, she made it so and became an inspiration for us all. She learned to read and write and her abilities with communication, especially her work as Co-ordinator of the Reading and Writing Group, helped change the lives of others in her community.

Most of us reading this know these things about Carmel and something of the hurt she carried with her. But she was also a person of humour and kindness, with great depths of courage and goodness; a woman with persuasive power and a huge capacity for love and generosity. It was these qualities she shared for the good in her short stay on this earth. We are poorer without her presence amongst us. People like Carmel are rare though and never really go away. Who amongst us will ever forget that she had overcome so much and had given back what she could to others. Most of us could never have achieved what she did.

I will always be grateful for her friendship and the fact that she trusted me enough to talk about her life. I will take her with me always. Thank you Carmel. You are a profound spirit.

Debbie Price, former Anglicare employee.

A Riddle: What is it?

It isn’t a trip to Dreamworld, although some dreams do come true here,
It isn’t a building, although sometimes it’s in one,
It isn’t a club or a meeting, although meetings do happen here,
It isn’t an emergency room, although some small crises (and some big ones) occur daily,
It isn’t a bandaid, or a pill, or a rescue package,
It’s not on Facebook, or Twitter, as far as I know,
It isn’t a sermon, or a congregation, although people talk, and others listen,
It isn’t a day program, or a detention centre for recent maritime arrivals,
It isn’t a casino, or Westfield Shopping Town,
It’s not a cult, but it has a charismatic leader, or two, or three…
So, what is it?

If it were a game, it would be the Ungame,
If it were a music ensemble, it would be the choir of hard knocks,
If it was a colour, it might be green,
If it was a TV show, it would be Friends, or even Neighbours,
If it was a feeling, it would be the complete spectrum from misery to joy, because they are all important,
If it was a flower, it would be a desert rose,
If it was a carbon footprint, it would be very small,
If it was a painting, it would be a Jackson Pollock,
If it was an animal, it would be a unicorn,
If it was a place to shop, it would be the West End Markets,
If it was a personality type, it would be a sensitive introvert,
If it was a celebration, it would be Christmas in July,
So, what is it?

It’s an idea.
A very big, and very optimistic idea. A huge idea.
It’s an idea in the minds of those of us who already know the answer to the riddle.
In fact, although its not Dreamworld, it is a dream of a better world.
And guess what – we are all helping to build it right now.
So, what is it?

It’s a place to feel safe,
A place to feel connected,
A place to be real,
A Place to Belong.

Claire Edwards 2012