Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Daring to Dream 2

The NSW Rural Women’s Network’s Daring to Dream 2 is a tribute to the many women from rural, regional and remote backgrounds who have dared to follow a passion, overcome challenges and make their goals a reality. Their stories display creativity, perseverance and resilience.

Each freely shares their knowledge and experiences to provide inspiration and ideas for others who may want to start on daring to dream journey of their own. Like the first collection of stories in Daring to Dream, Daring to Dream 2 celebrates and recognises rural women who are playing key roles as innovators, achievers and/or agents of change within a wide range of industries, business, community, sport, the arts and natural resources.
This book features twenty-five incredibly diverse women from across NSW and includes high profile leaders alongside many remarkable ‘unsung’ heroines. The book is produced by the Rural Women’s Network (RWN).

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY (Caring for our Country / Sustainable Agriculture stream / Community Landcare Grants)

The Commonwealth Government is calling for applications for Community Landcare Grants.

Grants between $5000 to $50 000 (GST exclusive) are available to help local community-based organisations and groups take on-ground action as well as build their capacity and skills to manage their natural environment and productive lands, while contributing towards program outcomes.  

CLOSING DATE: 20 MARCH 2013 [online applications preferred] 

Additional information is available on their website http://www.nrm.gov.au/funding/agriculture/clg/index.html

Aspect Recognition Awards 2013

Nomination Guidelines for the 2013 Aspect Recognition Awards 

Nominations for the 7th Annual Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) Recognition Awards are now open.

This is an important event as it helps us honour the outstanding contributions and achievements of extraordinary people and organisations in the autism spectrum community and in the wider community that support Aspect.

The Awards recognise the actions and achievements of individuals or organisations that go far beyond what might be reasonably expected.  Through this award program, Aspect celebrates these people as representatives of a community of people all of whom achieves and excels.

Nominees and the people who nominated them will be invited to a special event on 9 April 2013 for the announcement of award recipients.

Award Categories

Aspect will present awards in 2013 for the following categories:

Individual Achievement Award The Individual Achievement Award recognises significant personal achievement for a person with an autism spectrum disorder regardless of age.  Nominations are open to any person who has excelled or overcame significant barriers to achieve in a particular field or area of their life.
Parent and Carer Award The Parent and Carer Award will be presented to an individual who is a parent or carer of a person with an autism spectrum disorder.  The award recognises the essential role parents and carers play in the care and development of people with an autism spectrum disorder.
In judging this award, consideration may be given to a number of criteria including, but not limited to, the following:
• Service as a role model or support to others in a similar role
• Degree of adversity overcome or level of hardship faced
• Contribution to community understanding or promotion of an awareness of autism spectrum disorders.
Professional Achievement Award This Professional Achievement Award recognises an exceptional professional contribution made by an individual working in the field of autism spectrum disorders improving the quality of life for people with an autism spectrum disorder or their families and carers.
The award recipient may be an Aspect employee or someone from outside the organisation. They will have a demonstrable record of professional excellence in their chosen discipline.
Patronage Award This award may recognise either:
• an individual, group of individuals or organisation which has provided Aspect with outstanding patronage or philanthropic support, or
• an organisation whose business partnership with Aspect has significantly improved services to people in the autism spectrum community.
The David Foster Award for Volunteer Service The Volunteer Award acknowledges an outstanding contribution made by a volunteer to Aspect by an individual. The award recognises the role of volunteers in the life of Aspect.

Making a nomination

Any individual, community organisation, professional organisation or similar group can nominate someone for an award.  Family members, carers, friends, colleagues and service providers are particularly encouraged to make nominations.

Find out more here

Nominations are to be lodged with Aspect no later than 5 pm AEST, Wednesday 6 March 2013.

How to nominate
  1. Make sure you have read and understood the Nomination Guidelines
  2. Click here to complete your nomination of an individual or or organisation before 5pm AEST on 6 March 2013.
 Further information

For more information or if you have questions, please email comms@autismspectrum.org.au This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Find out about other Aspect activities to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day

Monday, January 28, 2013

Where's Your Positivity Footprint at?

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Leo Buscaglia

I love the idea of increasing your "positivity footprint"

What's that?  

Just like our carbon footprint measures our emissions of greenhouse gas and our impact on the environment, our “positivity footprint” measures our emission of good vibes and our impact on society.

And here are  five simple strategies to help you raise your own positivity footprint. via

1. Smile Often

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”
Mother Teresa

Try to end each conversation with your most heartfelt smile. The other person is likely to return the favor, and you’ll both be walking away with a smile on your face.

2. Compliment People Every Chance You Get

Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise”
Napoleon Hill

It’s amazing how a few simple words have the power to make a person’s day.
Whenever someone gives you good service, says something smart, wears something you like, or cooks you a good meal, give him/her a genuine compliment. Watch what happens next. Seeing their face light up in appreciation is guaranteed to uplift you too.

3. Be Funny, Silly, and Playful

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.”
Mark Twain

Whenever you get a chance, try to lighten up the conversation with something funny or silly. Even if you don’t think you’re a humorous person, you can do it. Humor is just like anything—the more we use it, the better we get at it.

4. Give Hugs

“Hugging is the ideal gift. Great for any occasion, fun to give and receive, shows you care, comes with its own wrapping, and, of course, is fully returnable”

They’ve been proven to increase our levels of oxytocin, the “love hormone,” and to create deeper connections between humans.

5. Ask Questions and Listen Intently

Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.”
Sue Patton Thoele

Do you know someone who asks you really good questions and listens to your answers with the utmost attention?
Always try to ask people about themselves, their ideas, their dreams, and listen as though they’re the only person in the world in that instant. It’ll make them feel like a million bucks, and you’re bound to learn some amazing things about them.

Pinned Image

Phil Drolet is a writer, triathlete, lover of wisdom, and a Peak Performance Coach, helping people take bold action towards their dreams, optimize their lifestyle, and overcome their fears. For more on Phil please visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Creating Spaces Conference

Creating Spaces Conference will bring together regional-based community leaders from across Australia who are passionate about renewal and creativity, and interested in reactivating spaces within their own communities.


Whether you are an individual with drive to activate empty spaces in your home town or a local government employee charged with reinventing redundant spaces in your town centre, a member of a  main street organisation, in property development, or another enterprise involved in the activation of spaces, this conference is for you.
As an attendee you will sit down with people who have imagined, executed, and inspired others with their space activation projects, such as Renew Newcastle, Gap Filler (Christchurch, NZ) and Empty Shops Network (UK).
You will learn the impact and potential of creative activation of empty spaces in previously struggling town centres, and be introduced to essential DIY tools and strategies to build creative and engaging spaces and town centre activation.
Most importantly you will leave with inspiration and foundation knowledge to initiate and build similar projects in your own community.
Join your community and urban renewal peers, and an inspiring group of people involved in successful space activation projects, this coming March at Newcastle City Hall. The schedule includes keynote speakers, group workshops, panels, a walking tour to see Renew Newcastle projects and evening receptions.

Register before 18 February 2013 to receive the early bird rate of $495. Registration includes two days of presentations, workshops, tour and panels, lunch both days and our cocktail events.

Registration rates:

+ Early bird rate to 18 February 2013 - $495
+ 19 February 2013, onwards - $645
To register, please click on the 'Register' tab at the top of this page for more information.


Currently accepting applications for number of subsidised places until 14 January 2013. Please click on the 'Apply for Subsidy' tab at the top of this page for more information

Horizon Scholarships for Ag Related Degrees

Scholarship offers $5,000 a year for students studying ag degrees at university 07 Jan 2013

A Government-run scholarship is offering first-year university students $5,000 per annum if they study an agriculture-related degree.
The Horizon Scholarship is an initiative of the Rural Industries R&D Corporation in partnership with industry sponsors and not only offers students financial support but also work placements, mentoring and professional development opportunities.
The Horizon Scholarship also provides students with opportunities to network and gain knowledge at a range of industry events.

To be eligible for The Horizon Scholarship students must be entering their first year of university and studying a degree related to agriculture, such as agricultural science, rural science, livestock/animal science, veterinary science or agribusiness.

Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of their commitment to a career in agriculture, as well as their leadership potential and high school academic record. Applications close on 1 February 2013 and shortlisted applicants must be available for a telephone interview on 21 and 22 February 2013.  The Scholarship winners are announced in late February 2013.

Application forms can be downloaded from the RIRDC website at www.rirdc.gov.au/horizon or by contacting RIRDC on 02 6271 4132.

Women With Heart EOI

QRRRWN Annual Conference
9-11 September 2013
Blackall, Queensland

In 2013 the Queensland, Rural, Regional and Remote Women's Network (QRRRWN) celebrates 20 years of commitment and passion to linking and building strong communities of women across the state of Queensland.
In this special year of celebration, we invite you to help us to achieve our vision to "build a strong community of women" that will "grow the validity and legitimacy of all rural, regional and remote women" by expressing interest in presenting at our annual conference.
Expressions of interest are being called for workshop presenters and speakers at the annual QRRRWN conference, 9th - 11th September 2013 in Blackall, Queensland. Breakout workshops run for 75 minutes. The theme for this year's conference is "Women with Heart, Passion & Purpose".
Please click on the link below to complete the form to submit your 'expression of interest'.
If you would like to submit a second presentation proposal, please complete the form again. You will be given the option to return to this page to complete the form a second time if you choose. Please make sure you hit 'Submit' to finalise your first submission. Make sure you tick the box to send a copy of the form to yourself for your records.
Each presentation must have a separate form, a speaker bio and high resolution head & shoulders image of the speaker. Additionally, a logo and weblink are also able to be uploaded if desired.
We are also requesting where possible for speakers to provide a 30-60 second You tube clip to promote and explain their workshops on our website and in our marketing. The aim of this is to help conference attendees decide on the best workshop selections for them. If you could attach a link to a youtube clip, that will be appreciated. (This is not an essential part of the EOI process.)
President of QRRRWN, Georgie Somerset says, "For our 20th anniversary, it will be wonderful to reconnect with the Central West and the many women who have been an essential part of QRRRWN, as well as providing gathering point for women from across the state."
To submit an Expression of Interest, either:
1. Go to the QRRRWN website and click on the 'Conference EOI' link.
2. Click here to use this online form.
EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST CLOSE 5pm on Wednesday 6 February 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mind My Farm


The aim at mindmyfarm.com is to match Australian farmers with people who are interested and have particular skills suitable for all sorts of farming enterprises.

Similar to house sitting; farm sitting is when a farm owner leaves their farm and entrusts it to a Sitter while they are away.

Duties of the Farm Sitter can vary from simply checking the mail and watering the plants to herding sheep and assisting cattle deliver calves.
Farm Sitters are compensated for performing their duties.

More Information

More information for Farmers looking for a Sitter for their property can be found under the For Farmers tab.
More information for people interested in becoming a Farm Sitter can be found under the For Sitters tab.

Rural and Remote Australian Women's Network

Rural & Remote Australian Women's Network

An online network for Rural & Remote Australian Women that aims to be a repeater tower, bringing all the most current information from networks, associations and groups together.

Down To Earth Australia Day Concert Young

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Red and Black

I sat through my first movie on my own when I was 1 week overdue with my first baby.  4 babies later and I entered the theatre on my own again today.

 I probably prefer it on the stage but nonetheless I cried and am driving everyone mad with my singing of the songs which I know off by heart from younger days.

My favourite scene is a rousing speech for the the rallying of the troops.  That speech is “Red and Black,” sung by the students-turned-revolutionaries on the eve of the Paris Uprising of 1832.
The musical number centres on the revolutionaries’ leader, Enjolras, as he reminds his friends what they are fighting for.  His friend Marius, has just met and fallen in love with Cosette.

It is stirring and romantic and I dare you not to feel the need to go out and change the world, or want that moment of breathless delight after you watch it.
My kind of scene.
And now I want to go back to Paris....

It is time for us all
To decide who we are
Do we fight for the right
To a night at the opera now?
Have you asked of yourselves
What's the price you might pay?
Is it simply a game
For rich young boys to play?
The color of the world
Is changing day by day...

Red - the blood of angry men!
Black - the dark of ages past!
Red - a world about to dawn!
Black - the night that ends at last!

Had you been there tonight
You might know how it feels
To be struck to the bone
In a moment of breathless delight!
Had you been there tonight
You might also have known
How the world may be changed
In just one burst of light!
And what was right seems wrong
And what was wrong seems right!


I feel my soul on fire!


My world if she's not there!


The color of desire!


The color of despair!

Marius, you're no longer a child
I do not doubt you mean it well
But now there is a higher call.
Who cares about your lonely soul?
We strive toward a larger goal
Our little lives don't count at all!

Red - the blood of angry men!
Black - the dark of ages past!
Red - a world about to dawn!
Black - the night that ends at last!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

AgForce Sheep & Wool Youth Director Position

AgForce Sheep & Wool
Youth Director Position
AgForce is calling for nominations for a 'Youth Director' to sit upon the Sheep & Wool Board.

This position has been filled previously which the board has seen the benefit of having a fresh perspective on different issues. If you are passionate about the sheep and wool industry and would like to get involved please see criteria and contact details below.
Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must be a member of AgForce
Be involved in and have a passion for the Queensland sheep industry
Be willing to participate in three face to face meetings per year
Be willing to get involved in specific industry issues relating an area of interest
Have an interest in personal development

Please express interest to Sheep and Wool Policy Director Michael Allpass on 0427 250 045 or email by 18 March 2013.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Unearthing the Experiences of Young People With Autism

Australia’s largest not for profit autism service provider announces the launch of new research to explore the life experiences and support needs of adolescents with high functioning autism* and Asperger’s disorder.

Debra Costley, General Manager, Education, Development & Research at Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), believes that this new study is essential to understanding the development of policy and services. She said, ‘we hear from many young people with high functioning autism and Asperger’s disorder, and their families, that there is a distinct lack of support to help them achieve their potential and that can present huge barriers to their success’.

‘At Aspect, we are really keen to unearth the specific limitations in the support available for this talented, yet overlooked group of young people’, Debra continued.

The primary goals of the Aspect research project are to raise awareness and to improve the kinds of services and supports available for Australian adolescents who have an ASD but do not have an intellectual disability.

Aspect researchers have developed questionnaires for adolescents, aged 12-17 with a diagnosis of Asperger’s disorder (AD) or high functioning autism (HFA) and parents of a 12-17 year old with AD or HFA. The questionnaires cover life experiences including questions about their health, experiences at school, friendships, and daily life.

We would like to invite participants to contribute to this research by completing an anonymous questionnaire. Participants will have the opportunity to tell us about their hopes and plans for the future, and about the supports that adolescents with AD and HFA need to achieve their goals.

If you would like to participate in this research, you can:

• Click here to access an online version of the adolescent questionnaire in Survey Monkey.

• Click here to access an online version of the parent questionnaire in Adobe Reader. If you do not already have Adobe Reader installed on your computer, you will be prompted to download the program free of charge. (Please note than in some versions of Adobe Reader, you may need to scroll back to the top of the questionnaire to access the ‘Submit’ button when you have finished.)

• Contact Susanna Baldwin, Aspect Research Officer, on 02 8868 8510 or sbaldwin@autismspectrum.org.au This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to request a paper copy of either or both questionnaires. They will post this to you with a reply-paid envelope so that you can return it directly to them.

*Having ‘high functioning autism’ means you have autism but you do not have an intellectual disability. If you are not sure whether you have high functioning autism, please contact Anthony Warren, ASD Consultant at Aspect, on 02 8977 8302 or awarren@autismspectrum.org.au for further advice.

Ends: Research shows that autism spectrum disorders affect around one in 100 people and that they are more common in males than females. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which remains largely misunderstood by the community despite its prevalence and far-reaching consequences.  Limited social skills and an inability to communicate and interact are the most obvious impairments. Early intervention opens up the best opportunities for progress so that many people with autism can lead productive lives.

 Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) operates a network of eight schools plus more than 80 satellite classes in one of the world’s biggest education programs for children with autism.  A not-for-profit organisation working in partnership with families and service providers, it offers evidence-based interventions for individual needs.  Professionals and families benefit from Autism Spectrum Australia’s assessments, early intervention, behaviour support, workshops, volunteer support, and outreach programs.  It also offers services for adults with autism.  All programs aim to maximise learning potential, participation, and independence by increasing capacity and confidence in communities.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Confused About Social Media?

Are you a farmer trying to figure out social media?

Social Media Strategy, Influence & Information
Getting Started in Social Media

Facebook Fundamentals

Twitter Tips

Pondering Pinterest

Blogging Backgrounders

Leveraging LinkedIn

YouTube Strategies

and more via CauseMatters.com

Fires Near Me NSW App

The NSW RFS uses social media to engage with the community and to provide information on incidents and activities attended by our volunteers.
The Service has a number of social media channels:
Facebook Facebook - www.facebook.com/nswrfs
Twitter - www.twitter.com/nswrfs
YouTube - www.youtube.com/nswrfs

The "Fires near me NSW" app offers information on fires. A great tool for landholders.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Love Yourself Today

Love all that is you today and think about these when you walk out the door this morning. via

Of all the things that can be stolen from you – your possessions, your youth, your health, your words, your rights – what no one can ever take from you is…

Your uniqueness. – You are unrepeatable. There is a magic about you that is all your own.  Having a low opinion of yourself is not humility, it’s self-destruction.  Holding your uniqueness in high regard is not egotism, it’s a necessary precondition to happiness and success.  You deserve to wear a smile in your heart.  Not because of what you have or what you do, but because of who you are.  Yes, you are changing each day, but you are always amazing just as you are.

Pinned Image

How you feel about yourself. – It takes a long time to learn how to NOT judge yourself through someone else’s eyes, but once you do the world is yours for the taking.  We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own life, and we will never be happy or successful if we try to live someone else’s idea of it.  So give up worrying too much about what others think of you.  What they think isn’t all that important.  What is important is how you feel about yourself.  Read Emotional Freedom.

Your intuition. – If you’re thinking just like everyone else, you aren’t really thinking.  Follow your intuition.  Do what makes sense to you.  Never compare your journey to someone else’s.  Everyone has their own struggles, their own challenges, and a different path that they chose to get to where they are.  Remember, you don’t need to wait for external circumstances to perfectly align in order to show up for the life you’ve been dreaming of.  What you’re looking for is already somewhere inside you.

Your passion. – If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.  Find your passion, whatever it is.  Become it, let it become you, and great things will happen FOR you, TO you, and BECAUSE of you.  And even if things don’t work out as planned, you’ll still be heading in the right direction.  Because nothing you have passion for is ever a waste of time, no matter how it turns out.

Your determination. – When life gives you something that makes you feel afraid, that’s when life gives you a chance to grow strong and be brave.  Nothing is permanent in this crazy world, not even your mistakes, failures, or troubles.  If you keep your eyes open and your feet moving forward, you’ll eventually find what you need.

Your attitude. – Something nobody can take away from you is the way you choose to respond to what others say and do to you.  The last of your freedoms is to choose your attitude in any given circumstance.  Choose to be happy and positive.  It is not always easy to find happiness in ourselves, but it is always impossible to find it elsewhere.  Regardless of the situation we face, our attitude is our choice.  So smile as you walk away and move on from negative people and their actions.

Pinned Image

Your ability to spread love and kindness. – The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.  And 99 percent of the time you get what you put in, so give freely.  Charity can be in the form of a smile, lending an ear or a helping hand.  There are many acts of kindness that don’t cost a cent.  Remember, the ultimate goal of all goals is to be happy.  If you want to be happy make those around you happy.  Read The Happiness Project.

Pinned Image

Your hope. – It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.  The biggest obstacles that stand between a person and what they want in life is the will to try it, and the faith to believe it’s possible.  Hope is the little voice inside your head that whispers “maybe” when it seems like the whole world is shouting “impossible!”

Pinned Image

Your knowledge and life experiences. – Character and wisdom are sculpted over time.  They come with loss, lessons, and triumphs.  They come after doubts, second guesses, and unknowns.  If there was a definitive path to success, everyone would be on it.  The seeds of your success are planted in your past failures.  Your best stories will come from overcoming your greatest struggles.  Your praises will be birthed from your pains.  So keep standing, keep learning, and keep living.  Read The Road Less Traveled.

Pinned Image

Your choice to move on emotionally. – Don’t let past relationships and old mistakes ruin your future.  Don’t let someone or something that didn’t make it in your life continue to hurt you.  If you do, you’re still giving a portion of your life to something that no longer exists – it’s like letting your happiness slip into a black hole.  Learn the lesson, release the pain, and move on.  Scars remind us of where we have been, not where we are headed.

Pinned Image

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day In The Life @ ABC Open

Capture a typical day in your life, or the life of someone you know - in a short video.

What does one day tell you about a person and their life? This project invites you to make a short video exploring someone's life through the story of one day. Using a combination of techniques, your story can be part of a collection showing the huge range of activities people around the country get up to in a typical day.
And here's the really fun part - for this project we're focusing on time lapse, a great technique that allows you to show the passing of time in a just a few minutes. It's not essential, but it can be really easy and works well for all kinds of stories.
Day in the Life

Begin It Now

 Every morning ask:  “Is this what I want for myself?”

Whenever the answer has been “no” for too many mornings in a row, you know it’s time to make a change.  If you follow this principle a lot of life’s big decisions are actually pretty simple.
Long-term happiness is the settling of your soul into its most appropriate spot.  This spot contains the ideas, passions, people, and places that move you.
Accept responsibility for making these things possible in your life.  Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.  Be honest with yourself.  If you catch yourself following the crowd on automatic pilot simply because it’s the easiest option, it’s time to pause and reflect.  Read Quitter.