Meander Valley Gazette

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Deloraine House

Steps on the red carpet

CommunityJoanne Eisemann
Jasper Dorman in the green hat, Elliot Bartninkaitis in the red hat, with movie group teacher Danielle Whatley in the middle.  Photo by Mike Moores

Jasper Dorman in the green hat, Elliot Bartninkaitis in the red hat, with movie group teacher Danielle Whatley in the middle.

Photo by Mike Moores

STUDENTS AT Giant Steps Tasmania have entered the Focus on Ability Film Festival for the second year in a row.

Josh, Ben, Francois, Elliott, Jasper and Jacob attended weekly Movie Group sessions for 12 weeks in total to prepare for the event.

Two Giant Steps students, Joshua Lowe and Frankie Louw, were finalists in the competition last year. This motivated other students to get involved and this year, Giant Steps have entered six films.

Students did filming, editing and preparation for their Red Carpet Premieré during weekly movie group lessons with Danielle Whatley.

The students needed votes to be in with a chance to win a prize and voting was open until 3 July .

The Red Carpet Premieré was held at Giant Steps on 4 July so that students could present their films to friends, families, fellow students and the local community. Students sold food, gave speeches, showcased their films, received awards and more.

The Red Carpet event drew a huge crowd, the biggest crowd that has ever attended the event. The DVDs of the students’ films were sold out at the end of the event.

The students also raised money for Deloraine House, to give food for those who need it.

The Focus on Ability competition offered $160 000 worth of prizes and this year’s theme was ‘Focus on Ability’.

by 28 countries with entries viewed in 168 countries and voted on by over 700 000 people.

Giant Steps entered their six films in the School Open category. All of the films can be found on the Giant Steps Facebook page.

The films and links to view the films online are:

School Robbery by Josh

Day at School by Frankie

The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Ben

Brave by Jacob and students of Giant Steps films/1889.html

Bank Robbery by Elliot

Cone Head by Jasper

Making a home for social justice

Community, EventsJoanne Eisemann
From left, Kristina Nicklason, Jai Homer and Krissy Bak, in front of Deloraine House, the hub of generous community service and activity.  Photo by Mike Moores

From left, Kristina Nicklason, Jai Homer and Krissy Bak, in front of Deloraine House, the hub of generous community service and activity.

Photo by Mike Moores

Over the years, there has been a lot more going on here than just a new coat of paint and renovations. It’s the heart and soul of the place that matters.  Photo supplied

Over the years, there has been a lot more going on here than just a new coat of paint and renovations. It’s the heart and soul of the place that matters.

Photo supplied

Deloraine House celebrates 30 years of community service

By Hayley Manning


Deloraine House Inc. invites you to catch-up with past and present friends at their 30 year anniversary celebration on Saturday 31 August.

But it is more than a celebration – it is also a salute to the trailblazing community members who had the foresight to open a neighbourhood house and the courage to keep it going in the face of adversity.

The House was borne out of a lack of social services in the Deloraine Municipality, according to former Deloraine Councillor, Jan Blakeney, who reported there were people ‘doing it tough’.

Minimal government funding was available for upgrading resources in an area that had few opportunities in employment, education and training.

A member of ‘Wacky Walkers’ during the 1980s, Elaine Baldwin, remembers it wasn’t easy to try to start something like a community house in the early days.

‘People would say to me, ‘‘Oh the hippy house. Going to the hippy house are you?” Anyway, we got the “hippy house” up and running and I think now it is the most important thing in our town.’

Deloraine House was purchased in 1989 for around $60,000, through generous community donations and low-interest loans.

In the beginning, the community- owned House relied totally on volunteers until some funding for a family support worker was assigned. The first Coordinator, Kaye Williams was appointed in 1992 and funded for just 10 hours a week.

She was followed by Karan Jurs, then Polly Fowler, the longest serving Coordinator to date, with 13 years service.

‘Today there are five part time funded positions and numerous wonderful volunteers who we couldn’t function without,’ Acting Manager Kristina Nicklason said.

‘Deloraine House has evolved with the needs of the community. At first it was the base for the local environment group, The Deloraine Environment Centre.

‘The other focus was family support. It later added childcare, youth, health services and counselling and has continued according to the input of the people who have accessed it.

‘Today, activities are community development orientated – courses, food preserving and distribution, community gardens, regular group meetings and visiting services,’ said Kristina.

The festivities at the House on Saturday 31 August, from 11am–2pm, will appeal to everyone: music, face painting and PCYC Circus Trailer for the children, informative displays, photos and more.

Deloraine Lions Club will be present, cooking burgers, sausages and making sandwiches. Harvest Helpers are providing apple juice and pumpkins for soup and apple turnovers from the local glut. House volunteers are making soup, a cake and more.

All food and drink will be free. For catering purposes please RSVP Deloraine House. Phone: 03 6362 2678

A Thirty Years Panel will feature special guests: Julie Roach and Sue Chaston, past staff, house users and volunteers sharing brief snippets about their roles at the House and their vision for its future.

A commemorative artwork, by local artist Niecy Brown, will be unveiled.

For visitors who have travelled far and locals alike, Deloraine Deli is hosting an informal buffet-style dinner in the evening, 6–9pm. Bookings and prepayment of $35 per head are essential. Please phone the Deli on 03 6362 2127.

At your service

Community, EventsJoanne Eisemann
Tristan Webb and Shane Dale (right) from Deloraine Trade Training Centre.  Photo by Hayley Manning

Tristan Webb and Shane Dale (right) from Deloraine Trade Training Centre.

Photo by Hayley Manning

By Hayley Manning


The Rotary slogan captured the collective sentiment of the volunteers who attended the National Volunteer Morning Tea on 23 May at Deloraine House.

The occasion was officially opened by Mayor Wayne Johnston and OAM recipient, Merrilyn Young, who said the community needed more young volunteers. ‘It is not all hard work. You make friendships for life, while helping others,’ she said.

The day room full of volunteers mingled to the lively beats provided by U3As Strummers and Drummers.

Hardy’s ‘Frogs’ Bakery made the Meander Valley Council funded cake, Linc funded the lunch, which was catered by Deloraine House with Deloraine Trade Training Centre volunteers serving.

Here are some of Meander Valley’s dedicated volunteers.

Kathryn Bryan

‘I did my Certificate 3 in Community Service and want to do Cert 4 via TAFE to get into welfare work. I love meeting people at Deloraine House.’

• Deloraine House Reception

• Deloraine Footy Club

• Junior and Amateur Basketball


‘I Iove meeting new people and being involved in the community.’

• Literacy volunteer for Linc Tasmania

• Community Visitor Scheme for Aged Care

Paul Kilroy

‘Meeting people and being useful to others as part of community. Satisfaction. Fun. Mixing with other like-minded people.’

• U3A Golf organizer

• Movie Club Exercise Group

• Lions Club

• Strummers and Drummers

Russell Witcombe

‘The rewards are fantastic and far outweigh the effort. You come to realise how much the same people do, five days a week.’

• U3A golf

• Cycling group

• Westbury Baptist Church Kids Club

• Westbury Rotary

• Strummers and Drummers

Tristan Webb

‘I like serving the food and doing the clear away afterwards.’

Shane Dale

‘I enjoy working with food and gaining work experience today.’

• Shane and Tristan are both doing the Core course Certificate 2 in Hospitality at Deloraine Trade Training Centre.

Do you know how to help a suicidal person?

CommunityJoanne Eisemann

A FREE course, Suicide Prevention Training for Mental Health Carers, is in Deloraine on Wednesday 15th May.

The course takes 4 hours to complete and participants will receive a Handbook and online Certificate of Completion at the end of their training.

It pairs with the 12 hour Standard MHFA course.

Course content will be evidence-based, with the input of mental health professionals, researchers and consumer supporters.

The training is delivered by Mental Health Carers Tasmania and an accredited trainer through funding from the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services.





Venue: Deloraine House, Wed., 15th May, 9.00am – 1.00pm

Breathing, laughing, living

EventsJoanne Eisemann

March 2019 | Hayley Manning

TO MOST people, yoga conjures up visions of chanting, sweaty bodies and limbs contorted into poses such as Downward Facing Dog, Reclined Cow Face and, of course, the Eight-point Shoulder Opener.

However, laughter yoga bears no resemblance to traditional yoga besides shared health benefits and a Hindu form of cultural greeting and/or parting from Sanskrit known as Namaste: “I bow to the divine in you”.

Attuned Vitality owner, Debby Kemsley describes her Laughter Yoga Club as “exercise for the soul” – designed to drive the stale air from your lungs, while creating a favourable environment for the happy, feel-good hormones - endorphins. Each 30 minute session features alternating sequences of laughter and breathing exercises, repeated over five rounds, followed by a pause at the end of each sequence.

“Laughing can increase the body’s endorphin levels to create a more positive attitude and generate a lot of energy. It can also lower the stress hormone cortisol, which can make people feel tired and unenergetic, without them even realising why,” Debby said.

Laughter Yoga Club will be at Deloraine House starting on 13th March, Wednesdays 9.00am for a 9.15am start. It’s free. Private and extra sessions also available. Contact Debby Kemsley: 0477 772 739.

From L-R Brenda Greichen, Debby Kemsley and Jilli Porter-Bains, all practice laughing yoga on a regular basis.   Photo | Mike Moores

From L-R Brenda Greichen, Debby Kemsley and Jilli Porter-Bains, all practice laughing yoga on a regular basis.

Photo | Mike Moores

Becoming dementia friendly

EventsJoanne Eisemann

March 2019 | Wendy Laing

A FAMILY information and support session on an introduction to dementia, causes, symptoms and typical changes that may occur, was held in February at Deloraine House. Also discussed was the availability of support services in northern Tasmania and Dementia Friendly Communities.

Ms Kim Curley, a Dementia Advisor based in Launceston, told of an estimated four hundred and thirty-six thousand Australians living with dementia. This not only impacts on individuals with the condition but also family and friends who provide support and care.

“Dementia is not a normal part of ageing,” Kim said, “and no two people are affected in the same way.”

The word Dementia is the umbrella term used to describe a collection of symptoms which cause changes in memory, thinking and behaviour of the brain.

Services provided by the Tasmanian Division of Dementia Australia include counselling with practical and emotional support, education and training to increase understanding and awareness, and living with memory loss programs.

As a family member, friend, neighbour or co-worker you can increase your awareness of the impacts caused by dementia and make a person coping with dementia feel accepted, safe, included and involved. Further details about dementia friendly communities can be found at

The national helpline, 1800 100 500, is a free and confidential service where you can chat with caring and experienced professionals about dementia and memory loss concerns you may have for yourself or others. The Launceston branch of Dementia Australia can discuss aspects of care regarding diagnosis and treatment.

To contact Kim Curley phone 6325 4688 or email


Practical strategies for living

EventsJoanne Eisemann

February 2019

A FREE mindfulness workshop will be held at Deloraine House, spread across three Sundays in March and April.

This workshop is provided for free from Mindfulness Programs Australasia, with support from Primary Health Tasmania under the Australian Government’s Primary Health Networks Program.

Learn practical strategies for managing difficult feelings, thoughts and situations in a relaxed environment with qualified Mindfulness Teacher, Christine.

From 10.00am to 4.00pm on three Sundays: 3rd March, 24th March & 14th April 2019.

Attendance at all three days is required and registration is essential, so apply now.


Phone: 0488 064 228.


Deloraine House, 112 Emu Bay Rd.


Standby Support standing by

EventsJoanne Eisemann

January 2019 | Hayley Manning

Standby Support After Suicide team stand firm in the knowledge that effective communication is the biggest preventative factor for suicide.

Standby recently held two powerful events in Deloraine, as a part of their sustained campaign for community education and bereavement support in the Meander Valley.

Response Team member, Angela Enright, facilitated an inaugural Meander Valley Memorial Walk along the Kooparoona Niara Cultural Trail; while Deloraine House hosted a Pathways to Care workshop to develop a community response plan and increase understanding of bereavement.

Northern Team Leader, Rod Lambert, says there is so much complexity surrounding suicide and each individual response is different.

“It is important for the bereaved to know that while we cannot change what’s happened, we can be there to help their pain in an informed, non-judgemental, and compassionate way,” Rod said.

“We help anyone, no matter what their relationship has been. We are here to support you even 20 to 30 years later, for as long as needed.”

Standby was originally started in Queensland 17 years ago and now offers a 24/7 service across all communities Australia-wide.

First responders, family, friends, or anyone impacted by a suicide can refer or be referred themselves to Standby for immediate support at home, a community club, workplace, or by telephone if preferred.

For further information visit: or email: standbytasmania@


A plum job for pickers

NewsJoanne Eisemann

LAST SUMMER, Nan Preston saw the need to acquire preserving equipment for Harvest Helpers. She applied for and recieved a Tasmania Hydro grant, one of six awarded from the 90 applications received.

“It was one of those projects that you just have to support,” explained Kate Hickey, Hydro Tasmania Community Coordinator.

Based at Deloraine House, fruit tree owners in the Valley contact Harvest Helpers when they have fruit they are unable to pick and wish to share with the community.

Once assessed, a crew is sent to pick fruit when ready to harvest. Fruit is divided between owners, pickers and the community.

The community share goes out fresh through various programs such as Deloraine House emergency aid, the Eating with Friends program and other meals and functions prepared by volunteers, or is preserved by Harvest Helpers Preservers.

Outreach areas are linked through Westbury Community Health Centre, with other areas being implemented this year.

The need to preserve excess fruit has grown with the Harvest Helpers program, so Preservers have now joined Pickers as volunteers.

As an experienced preserver, Nan Preston knows fruit can be preserved by various methods. Tasmania Hydro and Meander Valley Council grants have helped purchase equipment so excess fruit can be juiced, bottled, dehydrated, water-bathed, pressure-canned and stored for distribution throughout the year.

“We train those who have done no preserving,” Nan said. “We use accredited kitchens in the community and all volunteers are trained in safe techniques”. The group is selfsustainable, partnering with other community groups and through generous community donations.

“We want to remove wasted food in the community and get it to people struggling to give good food to their families. We also want to teach people to preserve and use the food they have access to,” said Nan.

Working with Westbury Community Health Centre, Deloraine House and the Tech School, Nan will bring food-preserving awareness through programs beginning in autumn.

To volunteer as a Picker or Preserver, call Nan Preston at 6302-3377 or email

David Hudson from Harvest Helpers tests the newly-preserved produce with Elena Olah from Deloraine House. Photo by Mike Moores

David Hudson from Harvest Helpers tests the newly-preserved produce with Elena Olah from Deloraine House. Photo by Mike Moores

In for your chop

NewsJoanne Eisemann
L to R: Butcher Joshua Porter, Deloraine House Coordinator Sandra Thomas and Maree Matanle from Rotary Club of Deloraine.

L to R: Butcher Joshua Porter, Deloraine House Coordinator Sandra Thomas and Maree Matanle from Rotary Club of Deloraine.


Deloraine Rotary’s Rob van der Elst’s Community Services committee has donated $200.00 to Deloraine House for meat from Best’s Butchery.

Volunteers at Deloraine House cook up and freeze meals for needy and homeless locals. They were low on meat after their usual source had been reduced. The cheque was presented to the Butchery, from which Deloraine House will collect the meat.

Photo | Mike Moores

Bopping a la Bollywood

Arts and ReviewsJoanne EisemannComment

AUGUST 2018 | Wendy Laing

HAVE YOU ever thought about learning to dance Bollywood style?

The Deloraine Neighbourhood House now hosts Bollywood dance classes on Saturday mornings.

They are run by Pooja Thakkar Noshi, a professional Bollywood dancer who has been teaching this style of dancing for eight years.

Based around the popular Indian film genre, this type of dancing fuses classical Indian dance steps with folk, hiphop and free form.

“Bollywood dancing is suitable for all ages,” Ms Noshi said, “It is upbeat and energetic, and most of all fun to do.”

At present classes are held from 10.00 am to 11.00 am once every fortnight. You do not need special clothes; just track pants and a t-shirt.

The next classes will be held on Saturday, 11th August and Saturday 25th August 2018.

To learn more about this style of dancing, or if you wish to attend a class, please phone Pooja on 0475 608 062 for further information.

Photo | Mike Moores

Hydro grants

EventsJoanne EisemannComment

August 2018

THIS YEAR Hydro Tasmania’s annual Community Grant Program has awarded two of its grants to services in Meander Valley.

Mole Creek Opportunity Shop will use its grant to fund maintenance and revival work to extend being a community focal point beyond its three decades, giving volunteers, averaging an age of 80, heating for the first time.

Deloraine House will assist “Harvest Helpers” maintain its programme of preventing excess fruit wastage through preservation for use in an emergency, as food for people in need, or as catering at community get-togethers with its grant.

Applications for Hydro Tasmania’s 2019 Community Grant Program open in February. For more information, visit www.hydro. grants.

Treat yourself

EventsJoanne EisemannComment

August 2018

WHAT BETTER way to celebrate the first week of spring than a get together with friends at the Deloraine House High Tea.

Organisers Mary Tyson and Charlie Keane, who volunteer at Deloraine House, have been busy collecting an array of traditional cups, saucers, plates and tea pots to make the experience something special.

Mary and Charlie are experienced in hospitality and have been trying out recipes all winter to create a delicious selection for the High Tea menu.

The Deloraine House High Tea will be an event to not miss. It will be held at Deloraine House on Wednesday 5th September 2018 at 10:30am, serving an assortment of scones, finger sandwiches, petite sweets and more. Gluten free is also available by order.

This is a fundraising event to support Deloraine House programs, events and community activities. Tickets are to be pre-purchased before the day and cost $25.00 per person. Limited seats available, so to avoid disappointment buy your tickets early. Sorry, no walk-in's on the day. Tickets on sale now at Deloraine House Ph: 6362 2678.

Passing around the big cup

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

July 2018 | Hayley Manning

WHEN LEANNE Horton made casual enquiries regarding this years’ Biggest Morning Tea, she never imagined she would be hosting the function herself just three weeks later.

But that’s exactly what happened when Leanne joined forces with Deloraine House volunteer Charlie to organise one of the Cancer Councils most popular fundraising events, currently in its 21st year.

Statistics show that most Tasmanians are touched by cancer, therefore it is comforting to know the $1,492.50 raised by a supportive Deloraine community will remain in Tasmania for preventative education, clinical research, and more.

A recent outcome of clinical trials in Cleveland is a ‘liquid biopsy’ blood test which according to Dr Eric Klein has the ability to detect early signs of cancer years before symptoms develop.

Leanne and Charlie have been buoyed by all the positive comments they have received and would like to thank Barry Westwood for use of the Western Tiers Community Club, and everyone else who helped in any way or donated raffle prizes.

“The Biggest Morning Tea is a great opportunity to catch up with friends while helping a good cause at the same time,” Leanne said.

Drug Education

EventsJoanne EisemannComment

May 2018

MENTAL HEALTH Carers Tasmania in partnership with The Drug Education Network are offering a two hour education session for families, friends and unpaid carers of a person with mental ill health.

Participants can expect to gain more understanding of drugs, drivers of drug misuse, how mental ill health and drug use intersect, harm reduction, self care and accessing support.

Monday 28th May 10:00am to 12:00 noon at Deloraine House, morning tea supplied. Register online at www.surveymonkey. com/r/6XJRBL8 by Monday 21st May or call Vicki on 6228 7448.


LGBTI communication

EventsJoanne EisemannComment

April 2018

DELORAINE HOUSE is hosting a five-hour workshop on working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) on 20th April from 10.00am.

Free for community members, service providers and professionals, it deepens understanding and confidence in relating to LGBTI’s mental health. It offers practical strategies to reduce suicide.

Conducted by Sharon Jones, Julia Taylor. Register by 15th April via email: or phone 64 911 552.

New coordinator for Deloraine House

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

MARCH 2018 | Cody Handley

SANDRA THOMAS is the new coordinator of Deloraine House.

Meander Valley Gazette spoke to Sandra in February to learn a bit about the House’s new head honcho.

Originally from Orange in NSW, Sandra has lived and worked on the Gold Coast and in Sydney prior to moving to Tasmania last October.

She has always been drawn to Tasmania ever since her first holiday here when she was 18 years old. “I fell in love with the place,” she said, and she has been coming back regularly ever since. Each time she made the trip across Bass Strait she always felt as if she had to re-visit Deloraine.

Last year she made the call to move here.

“Once I’d made the decision to move, it all happened really quickly,” said Sandra. Within 21 days she had ditched the Gold Coast for Deloraine. “When I got here I felt like I could breathe again,” she said, giving her slow gravitation towards the state an air of inevitability.

Sandra has a background in finance and superannuation. From there, she moved into disability support and counselling. At one point in her career she was a personal trainer. When asked about this curious move, Sandra said she has always had a bit of a coaching style, even during her time in the finance world where she helped people to reach savings goals and to pay o‘ their loans.

Although she admits she is still learning the ropes, Sandra has a clear vision for Deloraine House.

Having a personal interest in mental health issues, Sandra places an emphasis on “acknowledging it’s out there and stopping the stigma around it.”

She says there is a tendency to see organisations like Deloraine House as being for people down on their luck or out of work. It is Sandra’s hope to begin a process of educating the public as to what Deloraine House can do for anyone in the community.

“Essentially we do whatever people need us to do when they walk in here,” she said. That can range from putting people in touch with various people or services through to helping people get to appointments. “It’s about coaching people into a better lifestyle,” she said.

Deloraine House is always on the lookout for volunteers, with a number of areas to suit people’s interests. Recently they had a circus trailer donated to them and are looking for people with relevant knowledge and skills to use this asset to do something for the children. They also run a community garden and welcome any excess produce that community members might have from their own gardens.

If you want to know more, volunteer, or think Deloraine House might be able to do something for you, Sandra invites you to drop in for a coffee and a chat.

Photo | Mike Moores

Westbury welcomes legal literacy volunteers

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

March 2018

LAUNCESTON COMMUNITY Legal Centre (LCLC) have recently extended their Legal Literacy Volunteer (LLV) service to Westbury Community Health Centre.

Legal Literacy Volunteers help people to fill out forms of all kinds, write letters, and identify when an issue needs to be referred to a free lawyer.

Volunteers will be available at the Westbury Community Health Centre on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10.00am to 2.00pm.

LLV coordinator, Beylara Ra says “We find that many people who come to us are really good at reading and writing but when it comes to filling in a specific form they have real difficulty. This can be for lots of reasons. The terrific thing about having access to the Legal Literacy program is that rather than putting off completing the form or writing the letter and risking things getting out of control, people can get help locally and confidentially, when they need it”, she said.

Ms Ra said about 50% of what Volunteers help with are Centrelink forms, but they are skilled to assist with many different forms and writing tasks. If you think you might enjoy helping people in your community, please contact Beylara on 6334 1577 to find out more. Deloraine House continues to provide a Legal Literacy Volunteer service.

Ms Ra said free lawyer visits and availability of LLVs at Deloraine House will not change. “What will change is that people who face difficulty with transport from Westbury to Deloraine or Launceston will have the option of getting help in Westbury”.

Volunteers are available at Deloraine House by appointment (ring the House on 6362 2678 to book an appointment).

Anyone wanting a free appointment with one of the LCLC lawyers should call 6334 1577.