Forging ahead with fictional endeavours: ~ Write a life on a page and hurry not to its grave; abhor not the coming age, for eternal is the next page. ~ Read what you will, I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

Posts tagged ‘Articles’

Getting Involved

It’s been five minutes since I scheduled the last article. I’m still looking for the  others. LOL I hid them. -_-

Modern busy schedules often make it difficult get in touch with the local communities and remain actively social away from the workforce. With health issues related to sedentary lifestyles on the rise it is also becoming very important to participate in healthy activities, making sporty clubs or more social walking clubs attractive options. However, for those of us who are new to the Gladstone region finding a club that is both enjoyable and complimentary to our schedules can be both intimidating and time-consuming. To this end the dedicated team at WIN have invited all Social & sports clubs and organisations in the Gladstone region to a “Join a Club” Information session hosted at their office, 10 Tanks St, on the 18th of February. Club representatives will be available from 10am-12:30pm to provide details, including flyers and brochures, about their respective clubs. The information session presents the perfect opportunity to find a new activities, whether you are looking for something sporty or social. Win also offers a wide range of in-house social activities, such as the monthly Language café and Multicultural Playgroup. For more information, please contact WIN on 0487 422 142 or admin@win-australia.org.au.

Article, were have you gone?

I’ve been going through my old articles to schedule updates here, and found some were missing. 😦 Where did they go? Some of them are boring but they are still precious pieces of writing! Bet I’ve saved them somewhere odd.  Here’s another

 

With the summer holidays drawing to a close, and Christmas and New Year’s now fond memories, it’s Back-to-School time for learners, young and adult. However, finding affordable adult education the fits our hectic schedules becomes increasingly hard when local education has become geared towards industry basics such as hospitality and sciences. Yet a new term is on the horizon for WIN, with Language and basic computing classes set to kick off in the first week of February. WIN’s courses in English, French and Spanish run from 6pm week nights and basic to intermediate courses in computing running from 11am; providing accessible alternative areas of education. Affordability is also high on the not-for-profit organisation’s agenda, charging $240 for non-members and $200 for WIN members for their 8 week courses. WIN membership fees are only $25, leaving new members with immediate saving on course fees if they join before course registration, as well as array of other discounts on other services offered. Spanish classes, with Celeste, begins on 1st of Feb, French, with Marie, starts on the 2nd, English, with Nandini, commences on 4th, and Computing classes, with Deepa, start on the 5th. Whether it’s time to brush up on those language or commputing skills or learn a new language entirely there’s no better time to contact WIN on 0487 422 142, or via admin@win-australia.org.au, or visit us for more information at http://www.win-australia.org.au/.

… *Glomps*

imalive.pngHi Everyone, Thought is was high time I let  all know I was alive.  How are you all?  I’ve been working hard on my placement. Between that and my assessments writing and volunteer works are not getting a look in. The only thing I’m still doing is writing fortnightly articles for the local Advocate.  Here’s one from late last year.  I’m going to try and get some fiction or poetry written but my degree is sapping, fun by sapping. I might have to rely on updating with back dated articles for awhile. 🙂

Mid-Decemeber and Australia is now gearing up for the Christmas season hovering around the corner. Send out the invitations for the Christmas party and finish the shopping because the 25th is not far off. The time to be merry, and spend time with the family is nigh. Of course, Christmas is not the only reason to celebrate this season, with holidays such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, and Pagan Yuletide/Solstice coinciding with the December/January period. It is clear from a brief glance at this list, that is by no means exhaustive, that our global community celebrates the end of the year together. We have a golden opportunity to celebrate, not just as individuals but as community family group.

This chance is not new; it is annual, but oft forgotten in our focus on our individual celebrations. 2015 has brought uncertain times for many here and overseas. The economy still leaves many despairing over their financial situation. The international news has bought us some horrific examples of the strife that is rife around the globe. In this regard we are all in the same boat, no matter from where we hail. During this season of charity, and thanksgiving, is the perfect time to draw together for strength and support as a community. So assist WIN to make this season one of celebration; a period to celebrate similarities, not difference.

Here comes Christmas!

volunteerday

Just in case you were not aware: CHRISTMAS is here. Or so the stores would have you believe. If they had their way you’d start shopping after Easter. Of course that has affected which articles are being published. This one to the left has been the last one to be published for this year so far.  The last few weeks it seems they have been converting much of their broadsheet space to advertising spots or making way for the Christmas theme.  I’ve noticed only a few columns are being published the past few weeks and all of them are about *Christmas*, directly or indirectly.  With luck my next article (that I still have to write) will make the cut. It’s a community piece focus on The Multicultural Playgroup’s Christmas Party. Fingers Crossed. 🙂

The only other writing I’ve down this week has been for my first assessment for one of my modules. The Presentation worked out really well so I thought I’d share it to – WWDPass1. The purpose was to share our experience, state our learning goals, and write a reflective comment on why it is important for human services workers to know how to work with diverse populations.  I thought it was a silly question!

Win, our Annual meeting

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The Advocate, 16th Nov 2015

I have to say with this article: You Win a Few, You Lose a Few.  My article went down well with the Win team (at least as far as I was told), but somehow never made it into The Advocate as my version.  Instead of using the article I wrote the editors chose to make space for a photo and essential rip the dialogue from the company flyer.  😀 I didn’t think it was as potent as my version but it was much more succinct, and boiled it down to the main point – an invitation for all to get involved in the team.  The version in the Advocate will be available here until the 22nd of Nov. I actually didn’t have a problem with how they have chosen to present the story.  It just was one of those moments where I thought ‘Hmmm, it would be nice to have direct communication with the paper Editors.’ After all, I could have re-written it. 🙂 It was also a new learning chance.  They have altered it because their version drew more attention to the story. I feel as though I learn something every time they alter my work or take my story and put a different spin on it.

This my article:

On the 23th of Nov WIN holds their Annual General Meeting with all Management Committee positions up for re-election. The current Committee has extended an invitation to local community members from a diversity of backgrounds to participate, in the hope that many more passionate, experienced individuals will become involved in the organisation as Committee chairs. Community members are further encouraged to take part in the nominations and vote in this valuable chance to have their say in the future direction of the organisation. Win’s Committee strives to maintain an influx of new ideas brought about by a refreshed management, while putting their best candidates forward to represent the not-for-profit organisation. Win’s dedication to advocacy of multicultural rights and integration includes deep ties with remaining relevant to both their current members and the wider community.

Thus far this has been a highly successful approach, with Win winning the 2015 Premier’s Multicultural Awards with the youth group GYCD, while securing an ever increasing amount of funding for future programmes. Win already has several successful new programmes under their belt after a cooperative effort with local organisations such as GAPDL and CQU. These programmes include the Communities for Children’s Multicultural Playgroup, The Circle of Security Parenting Program that assists local parents to develop new childcare strategies, and the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program that offers free training for 14 individuals to reach a Certificate 3 in Early Childhood Education and Care Services. These programmes have been no small feats, however Win pushes forward to create fresh programmes to further support our local region.

 

Reporting…Reprt-*freezes*

I’ve been quite busy with my journalist adventures this past 2 weeks.  I wrote a piece on the Halloween bash of the playgroup I volunteer with that actually drew the attention of the local Observer, the parent paper of the Advocate in which my articles are published.  As a result my article was heavily paraphrased by a senior journalist and published in the Observer on the 6th of Nov.  I should be a little annoyed that I was not quoted as a source, but it was paraphrase so well I couldn’t feel it; I was also elated that my story had got that much attention.  It was great for the charity, WIN, and for the Multicultural Playgroup.  Even better, they still ran my article in the advocate on the 9th.

On Friday the 30th the Multicultural Playgroup opened it’s doors to a horde of monsters for their Halloween bash. The happy assortment of creatures took a break from their normal routine with a costume party. The days activities included a craft session with copious amounts of glitter, and a witches cauldron full of eyes, insects and goop. There was also slimy spaghetti worms to be squished, and small haunted house for the little ones. A few children even added to their costumes with face paint. Not even family members could resist joining in the gooey fun. This Halloween celebration arranged by Marie Daix, WIN’s Project officer, and Debbie Flaherty, of Playgroup QLD, went down just as well as the tasty featured treat – banana-ghosts that were quickly fashioned (and eaten) by little hands.

Of course, the popular celebration is not just a favourite with kids and families in Australia. Halloween is now one of the more widespread celebrations globally; celebrated not just in the western cultures, but in various Asian, European, and middle-eastern areas. It is know under a variety of different titles, such as ‘the hungry ghost festival’ in China and Singapore, ‘All souls day’ in Italy and ‘Noć vještica’ in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Though each celebration contains it’s own unique style, each is celebrated for the similar purpose at the same time of year. This makes Halloween a frighteningly fun way to break down cultural barriers by engaging in a little harmless horror.

It is a great feeling to have some of my writing published outside my own blog. 🙂  It has also brought more attention to a local charity I think the community really needs. After the Halloween articles the Observer did a further two pieces about other projects WIN has created.  It actually feels like I made a difference.

However, I aware more then ever how important a continued media presence so I’m trying to do two articles a week for the next few weeks because I will be starting my Master’s soon and will likely have to reduce my frequency of publication.

What-to-remember from the Journalism newbie

The issue with news articles is…

They are subject to bias, and editor demands. The articles I currently write are for ‘Welcoming Intercultural neighbors Inc.’ (who use ‘WIN’ despite the fact that it is also a major news network here.). As such my articles wind up subject to two bouts of editing.  First by WIN, who have their own agenda, and then by the advocate editors, who decided its worthiness and are liable to cut out extra ‘fluff’ or superfluous subject matter.  I was more aware of this when I took the role so I’ve always kept articles short and sent them in an extra day early so that if the ladies at WIN decide they want changes I have some extra time to alter the article.

This week this tactic proved it’s worth.  My original article (here) landed back in my inbox with this extra info added.

…WIN steps in to bridge the gap with this upcoming employment workshop facilitated by Lyndal Hansen and Donna Burton from Many Rivers as a guest speaker, both with expert knowledge of the Gladstone labour market and cultural differences.

Within her 14 years as a Director and Lead Consultant for Amarna, Lyndal Hansen has managed a number of large scale projects, as well as building her business.

Donna will introduce Many Rivers Microfinance Limited (Many Rivers), a not-for-profit organisation that supports aspiring business owners with microenterprise development support and access to finance in order to see the potential of people and communities realised.

This interactive workshop is aimed at educating workers about the Australian employment system while giving much needed advice about anything from job seeking to resumes and interview expectations.

This pressure to find employment…

A lot of this is good and belongs in the article. However, it demanded a rewrite because of the clear difference in writing styles and the lack of concision.  Some of is, perhaps, superfluous to the ‘news worthiness’ but they wanted it so I worked it in.  I ended up with this –

With unemployment in Gladstone reaching a 5.1% high not seen since 2013 the pressure is on for job-seekers. Yet local employment agencies are not fully equipped to deal with our communities diverse migrant labour force, whose needs cannot be met purely through translation services. WIN steps in to bridge the gap with their upcoming Employment Workshop facilitated by Lyndal Hansen, Director and Lead Consultant for Armarna, and featuring Donna Burton, from non-profit organisation Many Rivers, as a guest speaker; both of whom have an expert knowledge of the Gladstone labour market and the impact of cultural differences.

During WIN’s interactive workshop Lyndal will share wisdom garnered from her 14 years managing large scale projects alongside building her own business, while Donna introduces Many Rivers Microfinance Limited: a project devoted to assisting aspiring business owners with microenterprise development, and accessing essential financial support in order to achieve the full potential of individuals and communities. Though the workshop is aimed at educating workers about the Australian employment system and providing advice about anything from job-seeking techniques to resumes and interview expectations, the workshop achieves much more by providing the knowledge of what help is available to those who need it.

This help could not come at a better time. Australia is in need of a skilled workforce yet in the push to be gainfully employed migrants often settle for jobs below their skill level. This is commonly the result of a lack of sufficient knowledge to cross-over their existing skill sets and experience into Australian terminology. It is here that WIN’s workshops show their true benefits, assisting migrants to re-frame their capabilities to suit the Gladstone labour market.

WIN host their next workshop on the 5th of November at their office Tank st. Interested parties are urged to contact the office on 0487 422 142/ 07 4903 1931 or admin@win-australia.org.au to secure a place.

I managed to sort out the issue I had with the opening lines, which is great!  But, even though I really tried to get the flow back, the article now really feels like a patchwork quilt.  There’s bits I know I could take out and still achieve the same aim.  It’s also a bit on the long side and I feel that if it is used it will most likely  be cut by a good 50-100 words.

I wonder, is it really a learning experience if you predicted that something like this might happen? ‘:) I will certainly try to make a list of an extra questions I need to ask in future, and possible bank up some extra articles just in case ones not going to make the cut in time.

Skills re-claimed

There is nothing worse for the writing process the a sense of lethargy and a  teen.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make deadline for this weeks article because I’ve been woefully out of it because of tiring myself out volunteering for the Multicultural playgroup (the subject of my last article) and for the RSPCA adoption day.  Better yet, this afternoon when I attempted to start the new article proper, my teenage sister was left with me and insisted on interruptions every minute (not an exaggeration!) Blew my patience, and my ability to concentrate right out the window.  So I gave up and took her (and the dogs) for a walk before I blew my stack.  I’m actually surprised I finished writing this one tonight…

Local unemployment has risen 1.4% since last September, reaching a high of 5.1% not seen since 2013. The pressure for job-seekers is on. Yet local employment agencies are not fully equipped to deal with our communities diverse migrant labour force, whose needs cannot fully be met purely through translation services. WIN Inc. steps in to bridge the gap with employment workshops run by multilingual specialists with expert knowledge of the Gladstone labour market. Their 5 hour workshop is aimed at educating workers about the Australian employment system while giving much needed advice about anything from resumes to interview expectations.

Australian culture has a firm belief that migrants ‘earn their keep’. This pressure to find employment mean migrants often settle for jobs below their skill level at at time when we need skilled labourers. This is often the result of a lack of sufficient knowledge to cross-over their existing skill sets and experience into Australian terminology. It is here that WIN Inc.’s workshops show their true benefits, assisting migrants to re-frame their capabilities to suit the Gladstone labour market.

WIN Inc. host their next workshop on the 5th of November at their office Tank st. Interested parties are urged to contact the office on 0487 422 142/ 07 4903 1931 or admin@win-australia.org.au to secure a place.

I’m not entirely happy with this one; I wish I could have come up with a better entrance line. However it is entirely representative of the local state of affairs and leads to a logical comment on the article focus sooo… I should be pleased it links nicely and leave it as it is.

Published!!

IMG_20151026_210102736My News Article was published! They’ve cut off the last paragraph (which was just contact info for the playgroup) and have left out my by line; but that’s all they’ve done. The rest is unaltered – it was fit for press use. ^_^

Now to write this weeks one… bleargh… I now have a standard bar…

Molding our young.

And here it is, my second news article!  I see no reason why it shouldn’t be published in some fashion if The advocate can’t find room for it in the already full broadsheets.  My writing seems to have focused strictly on the non-fictional at the moment.  While this is a learning experience, I’m missing fiction.  I’m going to make myself do so flash fiction this week, damn it!  The following article is one I submitted last week for possible publication.  I’m currently working on another on behalf of Welcoming Interculteral Neighbours Inc.

Gladstone cultural diversity has seen a steep rise over the past few years, yet we only have one playgroup that reflects the changes within our community. The Multicultural Playgroup, run jointly by Playgroup QLD and WIN Inc., establishes a safe niche for children to learn and play while creating a place of mutual respect, and dignity for family groups. For these families, the playgroup makes a refreshing change from normal as children are encouraged to use both languages in the very same social activities provided by other playgroups. Through exploring the various cultures in a social context these children form an accepting community at an early age – preparing them for a future where communities are certainly going to become far more diverse.

The early years of childhood are important to the development of a child’s social awareness of their world. It is during these formative years that children learn how they should cope with others who are ‘different’ from them. This makes is the best period for forming healthy inter-cultural interactions. As such it would be a mistake to think that the Multicultural Playgroup is purely for those of different ethnic origins. Many Australians could benefit from a deeper understanding of our neighbours, and this playgroup provides a perfect forum. Any and all are welcome to join us. The Multicultural Playgroup is free and runs at the Neighbourhood Center on 105 Toolooa st every Friday from 9:30-11:30.

For more information please visit us at Welcoming intercultural Neighbours at 10 Tank st, Gladstone. We can also be contacted by email at admin@win-australia.org.au or by phone on 0487 422 142.

I feel that this one is an improvement on the last article; flowing more fluently with the structure of a proper news article.  This style is not a bad fit for someone already experienced with the concision of flash fiction.  Hopefully, practice will make perfect and I will be able to get fiction written.  Of course, I’ve been keeping myself busy with work for both WIN and the RSPCA and prep for my course starting in November.  I like to be busy, clearly.

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