News, Reviews & Resources   ||   Issue 113 November 2014 Dear Reader, Another year, another birthday. We've stopped counting our own but hey ... we


News, Reviews & Resources   ||   Issue 113 November 2014


Dear Reader,

Another year, another birthday.

We've stopped counting our own but hey ... we could pause, perhaps, to light nineteen candles on a cake for Starlink. :)

And we hope you'll also be able to unwrap at least one or two useful gifts from this month's issue.

Sue & Chris
BJ Seminars International

Meetings ... dontcha just love 'em?


"So many meetings .. so little time!" could be today's catch cry.

Meetings we call or convene are of course critically important. Meetings called by other people are far less so - indeed those are often such a waste of time. :)

That last was written very tongue in cheek of course. But there is a gem of truth in it, reflecting the 'love-hate' relationship we have with meetings. Working life for many of us seems to consist of one meeting after another. We sometimes wonder when on earth we'll find time to do the actual work that needs to be done!

So, among all the other excellent resources at we had to smile at the top item on their Six Tips for More Effective Meetings. It was "Don't Meet!".

But there's some sound advice to accompany that point. And the rest of the site is well worth browsing as well.

On a lighter not, David Grady's TED talk entitled How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings is amusing - and astute! And we're sure many of our readers will share our own wry laughter at his rendition of The Conference Call.

We've all been there ... :)

What Makes Great Teachers Great

great teachers

What Makes Great Teachers Great was loaded to YouTube in 2010, so it's not new. And in many ways there's 'nothing new' in it. Well, certainly not to those who are great teachers from anywhere around the world.

"Research out of the US indicates there are characteristics that can predict whether a teacher will be a great teacher before they even get in the classroom. And that's important when other studies show the teacher is one of the most crucial factors in your child's school success. A poor teacher can set your child back forever; a great teacher inspires them forever."

The panel in this video talks about the difference between the good and great teachers out there.

Here's a powerful TED talk by Lisa Lee, called Getting at the Heart of Teaching. She's funny, she's passionate ... and she'd fall into the group of 'great teachers' the panel was talking about!

And another inspiring video - very different this time - called Truly Amazing Teacher.

The Palliative Care Bridge


Developed by HammondCare, in conjunction with Sacred Heart Health and Calvary Health Care Sydney, the Palliative Care Bridge website, launched earlier this month, has a growing library of resources for any individual or organisation providing palliative care.

As Rod MacLeod (senior staff specialist in palliative care at HammondCare) said:

"One of the important things about people who provide palliative care in the community is that they don’t do it very often and for most people it’s a question of just getting confidence ... The resource is there to cover a very wide range of topics related to palliative care and end-of-life care, [so] that if people need to they can just click on one of the videos, watch it for 10 minutes … and just feel confident that they know what to do.”

On the website you'll find a palliative care handbook, a pain guide booklet and many video interviews with doctors, counsellors, physiotherapists, nurses and occupational therapists about end-of-life care. It's also a developing resource, so worth bookmarking - more information will be added to the site over the next couple of years.

Aussie Childcare Network

aus childcare

The Aussie Childcare Network website has a huge range of resources including online tools, many articles, a wiki, downloadable templates, printables and a discussion forum.

It's a private venture, run by a husband and wife team in New South Wales. You need to register and log in to access resources, but there is no charge to do so.

An excellent site for anyone involved in childcare or early childhood education!



The ServiceSpace website is a pretty amazing window into a world of generosity, a very different economic model ... and a breath of fresh air in the midst of all the gloom, doom and nay-saying with which we're so often confronted.

ServiceSpace ... allows people to stay connected with others interested in service, participate in service opportunities through any of our dozen projects, organize their own local service event using our tools, and stay connected to inspirational content. Above all, we believe in the inherent generosity of others and aim to ignite that spirit of service. Through our small, collective acts, we hope to transform ourselves and the world.

You can also watch Designing for Generosity, a TED talk by the founder of ServicSpace, Nipun Mehta. A fascinating and thought provoking speech!

And thanks to the work of Nipun and colleagues, we've also added a new word to our own vocabulary ... "gif-tiv-ism". It's the practice of radically generous acts that change the world. Isn't that a wonderful concept! And it's also about honouring small acts of generosity. The four key principles of Giftivism are not only inspiring, but make a lot of sense!

We don't have to be extraordinary people to make a difference!

Out and About on the Web

risk song

Risking Song


The Mighty


Striking a Balance: Vitamin D


Flipping Classroom in Germany

Gallery Sunshine News



This weekend at Gallery Sunshine Everywhere we're taking down the Sunshine College exhibition and hanging the work of the Diversity and Disability Group. Download our invitation to the morning tea opening on Wednesday 3 December (International Day of People with Disability). Hope you can join us at the Granary Cafe then.

The final exhibition for the year will commence on December 13 and will feature work from Marian College. And don't forget to visit the Art Gallery section of the web site for images of all work shown during the year

Deer Park Mosaic Mural

Launch Time: 10:30am – 11:30am
Light refreshments provided
Date: Tuesday, 9 December 2014
Venue: Deer Park Arcade, Beside Soul Pattinson Chemist, Shop 811a Ballarat Road Deer Park
RSVP: Tuesday 2 December 2014 (for catering purposes) Wambui Thirimu (Brimbank City Council) by phone on 9249 4899 or by email.

Debbie Qadri and Alessandra Azzone and many schools and members of the local community have contributed to this wonderful project for which Gallery Sunshine Everywhere received funding from Brimbank Council. Check out Debbie's blog which tells the story of the history mural's development.

Happy Days
Maureen Ryan
Gallery Sunshine Everywhere

2014 Top 100 Tools for Learning


This article makes for interesting reading! It has links to each of the 100 tools in the list, which was compiled by Jane Hart, who says:

A learning tool is defined as any software or online tool or service that you use either for your own personal or professional learning, for teaching or training, or for creating e-learning.

The annual lists have also become a useful longitudinal study into how the way we learn is changing. Take a look at this year’s analysis or if you are still surprised at the results, read The Web is 25 years old – so how has it changed the way we learn?

Youth Policy

youth-policy is a website dedicated to "building a global evidence-base for youth policy". The site has a huge range of resources - there's an online library of well over a thousand documents so far, with fact sheets that summarise the state of youth policy in 196 countries around the world, five online mappings related to youth policies around the globe, and much more.

You may also like to take a look at Youth Policy Press, their publishing house on youth and policy. As they say: "Youth issues deserve to be considered holistically. We do. We publish, online and offline, magazines, podcasts, books and journals on youth research, youth policy, youth work & youth rights."

Both sites well worth visting and bookmarking!

Just For Fun


These are so true ... :)

1. The colder the X-ray table, the more of your body is required on it
2. The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread
3. The severity of the itch is proportional to the reach
4. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research
5. To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles
6. Two wrongs are only the beginning
7. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive

Dates for Your Diary


Visit our Events Calendar to find details of conferences, workshops, training opportunities, exhibitions and special days to celebrate!

It's Social Inclusion Week this week and Give Now Week next week. You may also like to check out the "12 Dos of Christmas", starting on 1 December .. or the Big Boys Toys Car Show, also next week on 7 December.

And you could either grow a beard or wear a fake one to raise awareness of bowel cancer during Decembeard! :)

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