Category Archives: imagination

Thank You, Dr. Charles French

This is my first reblog but I join many others in thanking Dr Charles French and Jennie for all their help and support over the years

A Teacher's Reflections

I posted on my blog yesterday, “A Gift of Charlotte’s Web.”  As I scrolled down to print a hard copy (yes, I have a hard copy of every blog post- it’s wonderful), I looked at the three suggested readings of similar posts.  One was titled, “Death and Dying and Chapter Reading.”  What? I could not remember the post, as it was quite old.  Well, I read it again, and it was terrific.

Then, I looked at the bottom of the post.  There was only one ‘like’.  One!  That ‘like’ was Charles French.  He has been a follower and supporter of my blog since way-back-when.

I learned everything I needed and wanted to know by following his blog.  I learned how to thank people, how to follow people, and how to reblog.  I learned, and Charles French kept reading and liking my blog posts.  His blog has become a favorite and a gold…

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Our Australian Christmas 2016

Christmas was filled with sun, sand and happiness and lovely gifts.

We caught up with so many family and friends and Jason, Karen, Tahlia and Caxton were here for a very special Christmas morning.  A night boat trip around the canals to see the Christmas lights was a highlight.
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 Christmas morning the sun shone through the window and the seagulls made a racket hoping there would be some interesting treats later in the day. They were not disappointed. Santa bought bikes and under the tree were toys and games. Wrapping paper was quickly torn away to reveal hidden treasures.

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Boxing day both our sons and daughters -in-law were with us plus Alan’s sister, Betty, John , Carol-Anne and Margaret.

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We cut the cake from my Book Launch. At the book launch on the 11th December Wendy Dunn presented me with a fantastic book-shaped cake with the front cover of Something Missing proudly displayed on top. I couldn’t bear to cut it so froze it to share with my Queensland family.gold-coast-family

New Years Eve we were caressed by the last rays of the evening sun and joined other families sitting on the sand to watch the sun slowly sink beyond the blue waters of Port Phillip Bay. Later, jet skis dashed past, well out of the way of the many swimmers enjoying the welcome coolness of the water. Children played cricket until it was too dark to see the ball while others enjoyed the swings, slides and other activities at the beach-side Keast Park foreshore playground.

In the darkness at home we lit a brassier filled with pine cones, ran along the sand waving sparklers in either hand and popped party poppers. The multitude of  colourful streamers covered our outdoor deck.

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How wonderful to start a brand new year. It feels like opening a special new book with empty pages just begging for some interesting events to be recorded.

May 2017 be a year of fun, good health and happiness.  With fingers crossed we all made New Year resolutions. Hopefully they will last…at least until February.

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Happy New Year to all fellow bloggers.

May all your writing dreams come true in 2017.

Mentone Public Library supports local authors

How fortunate we are, in the city of Kingston, (Victoria, Australia) to have someone like Julia Reichstein to support and nurture local writers. Via her Author for All Seasons events at the Mentone Public Library , she not only showcases local writers, but also supportive organisations such as the Mordialloc Writers Group.

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This group meets every second Tuesday to workshop work in progress and has seen both my novels in their raw form.

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For over twenty years, creative writing teacher and author, Mairi Neil has been the founder and mainstay of the group. Her editing expertise is legendary. Through her tireless efforts many local writers have had their stories published in the eight anthologies produced. I count myself fortunate to be amongst them.

I was delighted to be with her and members of the group to showcase our latest anthology of essays, Kingston Our City.

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Julia also invited me to give an author talk on Saturday, 26th November 2016 and has sent out fabulous flyers showcasing my book cover for my latest novel to be published this year by MadeGlobal Publishing.com. Another Victorian author Wendy J Dunn has had her third historical novel Falling Pomegranate Seeds published by MadeGlobal in 2016.

book-cover-new Something Missing is about Diane, a naive young married woman who knows that there must be more to life than hairdressing and mothering and needs to discover what it is. When she meets in outback Australia, an older, ‘educated’ American she is attracted by Maggie’s self confidence and broad literary and general knowledge. Diane instigates a pen-pal relationship in the desire to absorb wisdom from Maggie and her knowledge of the world. Something Missing is a story about growing up, growing old, of love, lies and reconciliation.

To promote and publicize this latest novel, Julia has already contacted a long list of local and wider Melbourne media. Fingers crossed they all respond and accept the challenge. The Mentone Public Library is at 36 Florence Street, Mentone Vic Australia 3194. You can see the work Julia does for the community and the aims and focus of this library at the following internet sites. http://mentonepubliclibrary.blogspot.com.au/
http://www.mycommunitylife.com.au/Community/Mentone-Public-Library

Below is the flyer she has sent out for me.

MENTONE PUBLIC LIBRARY
PROUDLY PRESENTS
“AN AUTHOR FOR ALL SEASONS: SERIES SIX”

WITH AWARD-WINNING LOCAL AUTHOR:

Glenice Whitting

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https://glenicewhitting.wordpress.com/

Glenice will be talking about the process involved in publishing Pickle to Pie (Ilura Press) and her latest novel, Something Missing by  MadeGlobal Publishing.com.

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MENTONE PUBLIC LIBRARY SPEAKING DATE:

Saturday, 26th November 2016
Entry:
Gold Coin Donation Welcome
Please RSVP by: Thursday, 24th November 2016
Bookings Required:
Phone: 03 9583-8494
Email: mentonepubliclibrary@gmail.com
Mentone Public Library…Where Print Becomes Personable

With people like Julia, Mairi Neil and the Mordialloc Writers Group writing is no longer a solitary occupation. It is a shared experience with like minded people who care.

Rebecca Jane: Public Relations

Last Friday I met Rebecca Jane in a coffee shop in Lilydale Vic Australia.

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We are going to work with MadeGlobal Publishing to plan how we are going to market my latest novel, ‘Something Missing’.

Rebecca is studying at Swinburne University for her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Creative Writing and Literature. Her minor is in Film and Television. At the moment, we are simply discussing how best to market my latest book.

The book launch is only 10 weeks away and there is so much to do.

Wendy Dunn and Swinburne University have kindly arranged to launch my latest novel, ‘Something Missing’ at 3pm Sunday 11th December at Swinburne University at Hawthorn. . We still have to decide on the final book cover but Mary Jane Neil designed this one for me and I’ve passed it on to the publisher. I feel it captures a story about two countries,two women, a life altering pen-friendship and the lies they tell each other.

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This is a free event, but to ascertain numbers for catering please obtain your ticket for the launch via this link:  https://www.trybooking.com/230231

It is so good to see the book launch actually in print. It makes me feel it may all actually happen. How wonderful it will be to hold this book in my hands and know that it will be in hard copy as well as on Amazon.com as a kindle book.

Check out Rebecca’s interesting interview at Wendy Dunn’s website 

A Writers’ Journey To Publication

Dreams do come true

I’m so excited. The manuscript of my novel, ‘Something Missing’ has been accepted for publication by MadeGlobal Publishing and I’m over the moon. I feel like a child on Christmas morning unwrapping something I’ve wanted for ages.  Imagine the pleasure in reading these words from Tim Ridgway,  ‘I’m attaching the contract. Can you sign and send back to…?’ Fantastic.

It all came about because my dear friend, Wendy Dunn, author of Falling Pomegranate Seeds published by MadeGlobal suggested I send the  manuscript I’ve been working on for ages to them  just in case it was what they were looking for.  Apparently all the planets aligned  and here I am on this exciting journey.

Mary Jane Neil did an amazing job designing a cover for me when it isn’t even her field of expertise. She used several old envelopes with American stamps etc. I’ve sent it to MadeGlobal for their consideration, plus they asked for a couple of extra photos.

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This story, about two women, a life-altering pen-friendship and the lies they tell, has been through many reincarnations before it was finally accepted by Tim Ridgway and Melanie V Taylor at MadeGlobal . This is a predominately a Tudor England site but they will soon be branching out into popular fiction. Tonight, in London, they have an inaugural, Meet the Authors night and for those of us who can’t go they have arranged for us to join in via live streaming. Below is their invitation to join them.

Meet MadeGlobal and Authors in London – online or in person
24 September event
(5am Sunday 25th Sept if you are live streaming  in Australia)

19 of our authors will be in London on Saturday 24 September, and you can meet them in person. You’ll need a ticket, so book soon!

Can’t get to London?
Don’t worry, you can join us online through a ticketed private streaming event where you can ask questions, and you’ll enjoy the whole event from the comfort of your own home (or wherever you are in the world!)

8pm tonight, London time will be 5am here in Australia Sunday morning. Even though I’m never at my best at 5am and it’s the first time I’ve live streamed, I’ll hopefully be joining them. Fingers crossed I’m not too bleary eyed and please wish me luck that all goes to plan.

 

 

 

Wendy Dunn, Author and Friend: Falling Pomegranate Seeds

I have known Wendy Dunn for many years. Recently we both completed our doctorate at Swinburne University. Believe me, those study bonds run deep.

Women collaborate and support each other. There is no competition, no one-up-man-ship, just genuine friendship.

Wendy on the radio

As soon as Wendy’s name is mentioned images flash through my mind of being in a warm loft of an old stone winery on a cold Melbourne winters day. Wind whistled through cracks but we were cozy. Best of all,  Wendy had arranged and found funding for this amazing venue for a workshop with author, Christine Balint. All this small group of writers had to do was sip mellow red wine and write, write, write. The result was an anthology titled Journeys.

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She is my close friend  and a  talented author who is always honing her craft

This third Tudor book published by MadeGlobal Publishing is no exception. It is engaging, entertaining as well as being informative. Through her books, I have learnt how people of Tudor England lived, loved and survived. In an exciting and new way they opened a previously closed window on a section of English history I knew nothing about.

Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters (The Katherine of Aragon Story Book 1) by [Dunn, Wendy J.]

About Wendy

Wendy J. Dunn is an Australian writer who has been obsessed by Anne Boleyn and Tudor History since she was ten-years-old. She is the author of two Tudor novels: Dear Heart, How Like You This?, the winner of the 2003 Glyph Fiction Award and 2004 runner up in the Eric Hoffer Award for Commercial Fiction, and The Light in the Labyrinth, is her first young adult novel.

While she continues to have a very close and spooky relationship with Sir Thomas Wyatt, the elder, serendipity of life now leaves her no longer wondering if she has been channeling Anne Boleyn and Sir Tom for years in her writing, but considering the possibility of ancestral memory. Her own family tree reveals the intriguing fact that her ancestors – possibly over three generations – had purchased land from both the Boleyn and Wyatt families to build up their own holdings. It seems very likely Wendy’s ancestors knew the Wyatts and Boleyns personally.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Wendy is married and the mother of three sons and one daughter–named after a certain Tudor queen, surprisingly, not Anne.

Gaining her Doctorate of Philosophy (Writing) from Swinburne University in 2014, Wendy tutors at Swinburne University in their Master of Arts (Writing) program.

For more information about Wendy J. Dunn, visit her website at www.wendyjdunn.com

Wendy J. Dunn

 

An announcement from MadeGlobal website

Wendy Dunn – Hot new release
Posted by Tim Ridgway on August 25th, 2016 at 9:33 am
Falling Pomegranate Seeds: Wendy J. Dunn
Hot New Release

Wendy J. Dunn’s book “Falling Pomegranate Seeds” was launched on 20 August, and it’s already listed as number 3 in Amazon’s coveted “Hot New Releases in Tudor Historical Romance” category, just behind Philippa Gregory’s new book “Three Sisters Three Queens”. Well done Wendy!

If you’ve missed all the hype and news about this book, then it’s time to catch up – people are loving the way Wendy has told the story of Katherine of Aragon in her early life… this book is the first installment in a series and takes us up to Katherine preparing to leave Spain for England.

GET THE BOOK HERE at Amazon.com

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All writers, whether published or not, need support, encouragement and inspiration. This connective network may be found in a writing group or being amongst like-minded friends who you know will support and care for you through thick and thin. I am so fortunate to have the MadeGlobal team, especially Tim Ridgway and Melaine V Taylor, a totally supportive family and great writing buddies who watch my back and point me in the right direction. Bless you all.

What Happened at Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve, Victoria Australia

May we never forget what happened at Coranderrk Reserve. 

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Winter in Victoria. Every Saturday at 5am, I still dream I will throw snow chains in the back of my car, grab my skis and head for Healsville and the the cross country skiing at Lake Mountain. I love driving through the tall mountain ash forest near wild dog creek, over the black spur into a pristine world of white. The air crisp and clear, the only sound the swish of my skis and the gentle plop of snow falling from trees.

On the way home I deliberately divert down piccaninny lane (piccaninny means an Australian indigenous child) and slowly climb to a fenced area surrounded by tall trees. Opening the gate I quietly stand by Barak’s grave and gaze over rolling green hills towards where Coranderrk once was a thriving community. In the past, Coranderrk was a government reserve for Australian Aborigines in the state of Victoria between 1863 and 1924, located 50km north-east of Melbourne..

S0mething in the sound of the wind in the grass and the gently sighing of trees keeps drawing me back time and time again to this place. There is a sense of longing I can’t explain. I always knew some facts but I didn’t fully understand what had happened here, so when I had the opportunity to see the play Coranderrk: We Will Show The Country based on actual transcripts from the  records of the 1881 Government Inquiry into self determination, I could not resist.

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William Barak (1824-1903), Aboriginal spokesman, variously called ‘King William, last chief of the Yarra Yarra tribe’ or ‘Beruk (white grub in gum tree) belonging to the Wurundjeri Willum horde whose country lay along the Yarra and Plenty Rivers’. This is from his official biography

William Barak, by Florence Fuller, 1885

With his Gippsland-born first wife Lizzie, he was among the first group of Goulburn Aboriginals who settled at Acheron in 1859, hoping to have the area reserved. After much official indecision Coranderrk, near Healesville, was gazetted and he settled there permanently in 1863, in a ‘neat little cottage and garden, most tidy and comfortable’. Barak worked for a small wage on the station farm and acquired a few horses. Further schooling and religious instruction were undertaken; he could read but not write. He was baptized, confirmed, and took a second wife Annie ‘of the Lower Murray’ (Lizzie died before 1863) in a publicized Presbyterian ceremony in 1865. The fate of his family was typical of the time; two infants died of gastro-enteritis, David and Annie of consumption. When he married Sarah (Kurnai) on 7 June 1890 he was the oldest man at Coranderrk and only full-blood survivor of his tribe.

Following the reservation of the land, Barak and the Kulin together with the first managers, John and Mary Green, enthusiastically embarked upon the task of making Coranderrk their new home. Their vision was to make the station fully self-supporting.

However,soon vested local interests began to agitate to move Barak and his people off this land, and so began a sustained, sophisticated campaign for justice, land rights and self-determination.  In collaboration with white supporters, the Kulin people used the legal and political system to force a Parliamentary Inquiry.

In the late 1870s when management of Aboriginal affairs came under vigorous public criticism Barak emerged as a respected spokesman. Until his death he was the acknowledged leader at Coranderrk and a liaison between officialdom and the native population.

His petitions and public appearances were important spurs to action, especially the government inquiry of 1881. Barak outlined a plan for autonomous communities under Coranderrk’s first manager, John Green:

‘give us this ground and let us manage here ourselves … and no one over us … we will show the country we can work it and make it pay and I know it will’.

Lisa Hill’s excellent review of the play and the book Coranderrk: We Will Show The Country from La Mama Courthouse Theatre Carlton Victoria Australia can be found at ANZlitlovers blog

Coranderrk

Lisa says the play is unique because it’s based entirely on transcripts from the 19th century paper trail of an heroic struggle for Aboriginal self-determination.  Having been dispossessed of their ancestral lands by European settlement, a small band of survivors from the Kulin Nation petitioned the colonial government for a land grant to set up the Coranderrk Reserve.  There they created an award-winning farm and an impressive settlement.

The outcome of the Inquiry?

In the short term the inquiry marked a clear victory for the Corranderrk community, for they succeeded in publicly exposing and preventing the Board’s underhanded plans to close down Coranderrk. John Green was never reinstated as manager as they requested, but the despised Rev. Strickland was dismissed and living conditions improved. Finally in 1884, Chief Secretary Graham Berry ordered that Coranderrk should be permanently reserved as a ‘site for the use of Aborigines’. It was a short-lived victory, however. In 1886, the Victorian Government passed the infamous ‘Half-Cast’ Act, designed to push so-called ‘half-cast’ men and women off the reserves and facilitate their assimilation into the white population. The 1886 Act caused the breaking-up of families and separation of the younger, literate, generation from their Elders. As a direct result, Coranderrk was eventually closed in 1924.

Barak and the Coranderrk community’s fight for self determination should never be forgotten. Finally I am beginning to understand the sense of longing I feel when I stand on that high rolling hill in Healsville.

It’s a story every Victorian should know.

Many thanks to Jason and Karen Whitting for supplying the tickets and to Lisa Hill and Maureen Hanna for accompanying me. An excellent, thought provoking play, good company and plenty of strong coffee. What a great way to spend a Sunday in Melbourne

 

A Wintry Sunday in Melbourne

A dull overcast sky, drops of rain and wind straight off the glaciers of Antarctica didn’t stop me from catching a train for the hour trip from Carrum to Melbourne. Arriving at Flinders Street station I caught a tram to Melbourne University and walked to the La Mama Courthouse Theater in Carlton, Victoria Australia.

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Tucked in my pocket was a Mother’s Day present from Jason, Karen, Tahlia and Caxton. Two tickets to see the 4pm Sunday performance of Bijou: A Cabaret of Secrets and Seduction. A one woman play by Chrissie Shaw set in a French cabaret after world war two.Kathy, myself and others sat in chairs around small tables on which, strategically placed was a candle, a half filled glass with an obvious lipstick stain and some feathers on a stand. Tiered seats rose behind us but we were part of the performance, a cabaret audience on the floor-level stage.

We are in a cafe-bar in Paris 1933. A wine, a chat, the music plays…Chrissie Shaw enters from a side door and instantly command our attention. She is a ravaged figure in faded finery and fake pearls. The evening takes an unexpected turn. Madame Bijou, former queen of the Demi-Monde, (the term refers to a group of people who live hedonistic lifestyles, usually in a flagrant and conspicuous manner) unleashes a string of intimate, colourful memories, taking us backwards in time to the shadows of her youth

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This intriguing cabaret gave us a glimpse into the private, sensual world of a riveting ageing Parisienne who tells her life stories of seduction, survival and revealing intrigues accompanied by music and songs by Satie, Weill, Hollander, Bruant and others sensitively accompanied on the piano by Alan Hicks. The songs introduce the year and set the scene for for the aging Madam Bijou’s memories and stories.

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We came away having run a gauntlet of emotions from dismay at the tragic revelation that, as a child, Bijou witnessed the death of her father, sadness for the loss of innocence when she was groomed and seduced at fifteen by a person in a position of trust, laughter at the silliness of her many conquests, and amazement at how she survived in France during and after war had ravaged the country and the world.

La Mama is a favourite haunt of mine and I’ve seen many community plays written and produced by Ray Mooney of Holmesglen TAFE play writing class. The theatre is nationally and internationally acknowledged as a crucible for cutting edge contemporary theatre since 1967. Valued by artists and audiences alike, La Mama is treasured for its continued advocacy of those seeking to explore beyond mainstream theatre.  A not-for- profit association it is essentially a playwright’s theatre, a place where new ideas, new ways of expression can be tried out, a place where you can hear what people are thinking and feeling.

We had dinner in an old Italian restaurant and I could not resist recounting tales of times spent in Lygon Street Carlton during my Masters Degree days at Melbourne Uni. It was so much fun to revisit old haunts, such as book shops, coffee shops and devour a steaming bowl of pasta with a glass of red on a cold wintry night when our breath fogged the windows.

It does the heart and soul good to take a holiday and visit the theatre for an evening of make believe.

Isabelle’s Cafe La De Da

Isabelle’s annual Easter Cafe La De Da raises funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. 

Isabelle may only be seven years old, but when she was five she decided to follow her parent’s example and find ways to help others in need.

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The Children’s Hospital in Melbourne Australia  improves the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents through healthcare, research and education.  It is an amazing place: bright, cheerful and giving the best care and attention possible to very sick children. Their motto seems to be,

The impossible will be done immediately, miracles take a little longer. 

But the hospital is always short of funds to help desperately ill children.

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Three years ago, Isabelle’s imagination sparked when she watched the TV  coverage of the Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.  Seeing children in wheelchairs and suffering from so many disabilities saddened her. She wanted to do something to help.  The idea was born to have Isabelle’s pop up cafe.

She decided to call it, Isabelle’s Cafe La De Da. The name makes me smile. In Australia, the expression la de da is used as an expression of derision directed at affected gentility or pretentious refinement. You are being very posh, up-market and putting on the airs and graces. It means you can dress up, wear all your bling and celebrate. Family and friends  would have fun gathering at the house for good food and hot coffee knowing all proceeds from the day would be sent to the Royal Childrens Hospital . The family also decided to save every spare coin to be counted at the end of the day and added to the grand total. They had a large wicker basket full.

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Cafe La De Da opened its doors for business on Easter Friday with a vast array of delicious Easter treats. Isabelle took the day very seriously. Everything had to be just right. Dad, in his chef’s apron, would cook an all day breakfast for the many family and friends who called and participated. The main food was followed by an amazing array of muffins, macaroons, stacks of pancakes plus scones, jam and cream. Her Mum would bring out her best china and ensure the guests had everything they wanted. Isabelle would be maître d and welcome people when they arrived, take orders for coffee, and offer treats. She tempted us with chocolate bunnies, brightly coloured Easter eggs and delicious macaroons.

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Everyone was having a great time and Isabelle was free to experiment. The result was an offering of hot scones covered in raspberry jam, smothered in cream and topped with brightly coloured chocolate smarties. Does it get any better than that? Just in case you are inspired to make a batch of scones and have Devonshire tea with your family and friends,  here is a quick and easy recipe.

DT@The Victoria Room Tea Salon #5

Quick and Easy Scones

3 cups SR flour in bowl

2 tabs sugar

Pinch salt

 

Melt 50g butter in saucepan

Add 1 cup milk

Whisk in 1 egg

Add this to flour mixture

Quickly make into a stiff dough (may need a little extra milk)

Place on floured bench & quickly knead, cut into shapes with a cutter or a glass. Brush with egg and milk

Place on floured baking tray and pop into hot (250) oven for 10-15 mins

Serve with raspberry jam and whipped cream (multi coloured chocolate smarties optional) Makes 18 med sized scones.

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Last year, Isabelle received a certificate acknowledging her donation of $485.00. Her Mum and dad framed it for her and it held pride of place on the tablelast year

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This year (the third year she has run this fundraising event), with huge support from her staff, family and customers, she managed to raise a whopping $708.10 for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, an increase of 46% on last year, and a total of $1,433 over the last three years.

Children learn from the example set by their parents. Isabelle has great role models in her life and it is wonderful to see her develop into such a caring soul. I feel she also believes The impossible can be done immediately, miracles take a little longer.

Good Friday Appeal 2017

The 85th annual Good Friday Appeal on Friday 25th March 2016, brings together the community to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital.

The strength of the appeal lies in the thousands of volunteers who give freely of their time and their talent. Many groups and organisations fundraise throughout the year, in order to publicly present their grand totals during a live telethon broadcast by Channel 7 on Good Friday.

The Channel 7 telethon is an opportunity for people to view the miracles performed at the hospital, to ring through their donations, and in many instances hear their contribution acknowledged publicly.

Royal Children’s Hospital | Give that they may grow!

Happy Easter to you and yours

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