Quote Of The Day 28/03/2020

SATURDAY, 28/03/2020:

https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/709739222510962833/

‘Hearing him talk about his mother, about his intact family, makes my chest hurt for a second, like someone pierced it with a needle.’

– Veronica Roth

Quote Of The Day 27/03/2020

FRIDAY, 27/03/2020:

https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/596797388105427976/

‘After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’e own relations.’

– Oscar Wilde

Dragon Boating: The Importance of Stretching.

Stretching before and after a training session or race keeps muscles flexible, strong and healthy, which is very important – especially when using muscles in a repetitive way, such as constant paddling.

Dragon Boating is a physically demanding sport, guaranteed to increase your overall fitness with a combination of strength and endurance training.

But also requires an element of aerobic fitness, and a certain amount of power.

And for power, you need muscles.

While there is obviously an emphasis on upper-body strength, it does well to note that the sport actually comprises of a full-body workout.

When it comes to any kind of exercise, it is important to look after your muscles. And you’ll quickly realise that Dragon Boating works a lot of different muscles.

Besides the obvious muscles groups involved, such as the arms and shoulders, there are a lot of other muscle-groups utilised.

The most worked muscles in Dragon Boating are the following:

  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Back
  • Legs
  • Core
  • Chest

So how do we look after all these muscles, so they’re kept in powerful, working order?

Stretch!

Stretching is vital when it comes to Dragon Boating in any capacity, whether it be social, competitive or at an elite level.

And while stretching has obvious benefits in warming up your muscles before heading out on the water (sometimes in cold conditions), stretching is also a great way to decrease stress, enhance your range of motion, and improve circulation.

Stretching before and after a training session or race keeps muscles flexible, strong and healthy, which is very important – especially when using muscles in a repetitive way, such as constant paddling.

Remember, Dragon Boating is a full-body workout, so it’s really important to check with your coach and devise a warm-up and warm-down plan.

There’s nothing worse than sustaining an injury and being out for part, or all, of the season.

How?

So what stretches can we do to keep our muscles healthy, and reduce the risk of injury?

See the image below for some basic stretches you and your team can try together, to help get your muscles warmed up before jumping in the boat!

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330995083_Popsugar-fullbody-stretch

Related Posts:

Quote Of The Day 30/01/2020

THURSDAY, 30/01/2020:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/143200463140310326/

‘Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.’

– Markus Zusak

Quote Of The Day 06/01/2020

MONDAY, 06/01/2020:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/374361787755209282/

‘You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.’

– Cormac McCarthy

Quote Of The Day 01/01/2020

WEDNESDAY, 01/01/2020:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/287386019948569189/

‘Isn’t is nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?’

– L.M. Montgomery

Editor’s Note: DECEMBER.

What a year we have had!

What a year we have had!

This month, I decided I wouldn’t do a post at the start of the month – mainly because I wanted to leave it until Christmas Day and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and New Year all at once.

For me, I was brought up to believe in the tradition of Christmas. However, whatever you believe (or don’t believe) I wish for every single one of you to be safe and happy, no matter what you get up to over December and in to January.

Mostly, I believe in love, family, friends and fun – things that are universally accepted as good things.

So let’s all focus on the good things we have in our lives, and learn to see the good in each other, rather than the bad – the similarities, rather than the differences – and look out for one and other.

This time of year can be difficult for some people, for all types of reasons. So please, extend your hands, rather than withdrawing them – embrace each other, rather than pushing one and other away – and remember that we are all human.

I won’t babble on any longer.

Today, I would like to share with you some of the good things in my life – my family and friends:

I look forward to hearing from everyone in the New Year (2020 – oh my goodness!). It’s going to be a big one – I can feel it!

Stay safe!

Miscarriages of Justice on Adelaide’s Doorstep.

While high-profile cases that are printed in the media are crucial in highlighting and educating the public on issues such as false confessions, misleading evidence, wrongful convictions and malicious prosecution, it would be incorrect to assume these particular cases are exceptional or uncommon.

When we think of ‘Miscarriages of Justice’, our minds immediately float to cases like the ‘Central Park 5’ or Brendan Dassey and Stephen Avery from Netflix’s ‘Making a Murderer’ documentary.

Thanks to platforms like Netflix, Social Media and Innocence Project initiatives, the public is more informed than ever when it comes to Miscarriages of Justice.

In the last few years, there has been a growing interest in such cases – Netflix has an ever-expanding library on the topic, with titles such as:

Source: https://www.netflix.com/au/title/80200549
‘When They See Us’ – A Netflix Documentary Series based on The Central Park 5
Source: https://www.netflix.com/au/title/80000770
‘Making a Murderer’ – A Netflix Documentary Series based on Stephen Avery and Brendan Dassey

And while high-profile cases that are printed in the media are crucial in highlighting and educating the public on issues such as false confessions, misleading evidence, wrongful convictions and malicious prosecution, it would be incorrect to assume these particular cases are exceptional or uncommon.

In fact, Miscarriages of Justice are more common than you might think.

There have been a number of cases across Australia in recent years which have amounted to Miscarriages of Justice, including: Lindsay and Michael Chamberlain, whose baby went missing at Uluru; Gordon Wood, whose partner was found at the bottom of a notorious suicide spot in Sydney; and closer to home, Henry Keogh from Adelaide, whose partner was found dead in the bathtub.

All of these cases were found to have amounted to a Miscarriage of Justice, and although the total number of innocent people convicted of crimes can never be fully known, Civil Liberties Australia estimate 7% of all people convicted of crimes are innocent.

Now 7% may shock you, or it may not.

But if we’re talking about 10,000 prisoners, that means 700 of them are serving time for a crime they did not commit.

That’s a lot of cases, a lot of people, a lot of suffering families, and a big problem for the Australian Legal System. The University of Cincinnati Law Review published an article written by Lynne Weathered in 2012, which outlines the fascinating way in which Australia’s (generally modern) Legal System seems to fall drastically behind in regards to wrongful convictions.

Weathered is co-founder and Director of the Griffith University Innocence Project, and believes that although there are many reasons why a Miscarriage of Justice may occur – acknowledging flaws in the Justice System does not necessarily undermine it, but opens up opportunities for reform.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-09/calls-for-royal-commission-in-wake-of-high-court-ruling/9131598
Dr Colin Manock (ABC News)

This is a view backed by other experts in the field, such as Dr Bob Moles, who has been heavily involved in Miscarriages of Justice cases all over the world, including Adelaide, Australia.

He and Associate Professor, Bibi Sangha from Flinders University are especially interested in the State of South Australia’s several failings in regards to their former Chief Forensic Pathologist, Dr Colin Manock.

Dr Manock performed thousands of autopsies and testified in hundreds of court cases in South Australia – after the state declared that he wasn’t competent to certify the cause of death.

Ms Sangha and Dr Moles said:

‘…question marks now hang over a substantial number of criminal cases in which Manock appeared as a scientific expert, as well as casting doubt on the findings of the thousands of autopsies he conducted.’

Dr Bob Moles is calling for a Royal Commission into the matter, after Henry Keogh’s conviction was overturned in 2014, after spending 20 years in prison after being convicted of drowning his fiancee in the bathtub.

The Court of Criminal Appeal found there had been a Miscarriage of Justice due to flawed evidence provided by discredited forensic pathologist Dr Colin Manock. Two new experts, Professor Derrick John Pounder and Dr Matthew Joseph Lynch found that Dr Manock’s evidence was flawed.

In the judgment, it was found that:

‘…Both [experts] agree that there is nothing in the autopsy findings to exclude the probability that Ms Cheney’s death was a drowning in the bath following a fall and a head injury which rendered her unconscious…’

Twenty years is a long time to sit in prison for a crime you didn’t commit – which begs the question: are there more innocent people sitting in prison because of the evidence of Dr Colin Manock?

The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. One such case, which is currently before the courts, is that of Mr Derek Bromley.

Derek Bromley, an Indigenous Adelaide man, was convicted of the murder of Stephen Docoza in 1984, based on the evidence of Dr Colin Manock, much the same as Henry Keogh.

http://netk.net.au/BromleyHome.asp
Derek Bromley (Networked Knowledge)

As stated on Dr Bob Moles’ website, ‘Networked Knowledge‘, Bromley completed his non-parole period in 2008, but has not been released, as he maintains his innocence.

For a prisoner to be released, they must admit their wrongdoings and display their remorse, proving their rehabilitation – something someone who is innocent cannot do.

Derek Bromley has been in prison for 35 years – making him one of Australia’s longest serving prisoners.

Bromley’s case is due back before the courts in the coming months, with supporters keen to see his conviction thrown out:

Some may still question whether or not there is a possibility that Bromley may have committed the crime for which he was convicted, despite the botched evidence from Dr Manock. Regardless, Bromley has served more time than people convicted of much more horrendous crimes, who have long-since been released because they have admitted to what they have done.

But for an innocent man who refuses to admit to a crime he did not commit, he must stay in prison.

Some might also question why Bromley would not just admit to the crime, and therefore potentially be released on parole?

So let me ask you:

Would you admit to a crime that you did not commit?

If you would like to learn more about Derek Bromley’s case, or find out more about Miscarriages of Justice, head to:

*There is also a link at the bottom of my blog to Networked Knowledge, a page (and the people behind it) that I am proud to support in the continual search for justice, not only locally, but world-wide.

Quote Of The Day 24/11/2019

SUNDAY, 24/11/2019:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/733523858039205662/

‘Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.’

– Mohsin Hamid

Working With Young People: 5 Lessons I’ve Learned.

It’s been about 5 months since I started my journey as a Support Worker, but I really wanted to write about some of the things I’ve learned along the way, and how it has helped me become better at my job.

Mid-way through this year, I decided to change the trajectory of my life by switching into a career supporting young people who are under the Guardianship of the Minister (in State care). This is something I have always wanted to do, and I had the qualifications to do it – but never took the leap into the field – preferring stable, (boring) but reliable full-time employment instead.

Working with young people has always appealed to me, given my own background and experiences, which involved drugs, neglect, homelessness, transience and custody disputes between parents. But even though I have had those experiences in the past, each day is entirely different, and nothing can fully prepare you for the wide range of things you hear, experience and see while on shift.*

Assorted-color Alphabet

It’s been about 5 months since I started my journey as a Support Worker, but I really wanted to write about some of the things I’ve learned along the way, and how it has helped me become better at my job.

* Obviously, client confidentiality is of utmost importance when it comes to working with young people, so there will be no mention of names or specific locations etc. in this post.

Keep An Open Mind.


Top View Of Assorted Colored Stones in Wooden Containers

Sometimes people forget that young people in care are just like everyone else their age.

They have dreams, fears, failures and successes, just like you and me – all of which should be nurtured and celebrated.

One of the most valuable things I learned in my training was this:

Change the word attention to connection.

If a young person is exhibiting ‘attention seeking’ behaviours, try seeing those behaviours as ‘connection seeking’ instead.

Young people don’t always know how to express their feelings and fears, or ask for help and encouragement when they desperately need it – and sometimes this can seem like they’re being ‘attention seeking’ or being ‘naughty’ or ‘disruptive’.

Next time you notice a young person exhibiting some interesting behaviours, ask yourself: ‘is this young person seeking connection?’ rather than writing them off as being annoying or naughty, and chances are, you’ll get a better response.

Educate Your Friends & Family.


One of the saddest and most frustrating things I’ve encountered since becoming a Support Worker is the negative reaction of my peers when I tell them I work with young people in care.

There is an automatic stigma associated with these children, which sticks to them like glue, no matter how hard they try to get it off, and society’s attitude doesn’t help.

It is something worth highlighting, because these children are just that – children. People automatically stick their noses up, have an opinion or see these children as criminals before they consider giving them a chance to prove them wrong.

Young people end up in care for a variety of reasons, and it is never their fault. Some of them have parents who are unfit to care for them due to addiction, neglect or physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

Neon Signage

Some are orphaned and have no other family. Some end up in foster care, but are given back when their behaviour deteriorates due to their trauma. Some have intellectual disabilities that their parents don’t want to deal with. Some are refugees. There are hundreds of reasons children end up in care.

Oftentimes, people look at children in care as lesser than other children. But for me, I look to these children for inspiration. Their resilience is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. These young people have suffered adversity and still try their very best, each day – whatever that may look like. And it’s worth remembering and acknowledging.

Expect The Unexpected.


Photography of Green and Red Fire Works Display

If you think you’ve seen everything, you haven’t.

Each shift I work is entirely different. One day I’ll be looking after a toddler, the next day I might be looking after a teenager, or a house full of siblings. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s to never go into a shift with any expectation about how it’s going to go.

I’ve had to clean walls covered in drawings. I’ve wiped poop from walls and hands. I’ve had to follow a kid around in a mini-van trying to convince them to get back in the car after they ran off. I’ve had to call the police, clean wet bed-sheets and listen to music that has so many swear words my brain ends up hurting.

But even more importantly, there are bright, shining, heart-warming moments that I never expected.

I got to be the person to take a child to their first day of school. I’ve had open and honest conversations with young people that have helped me grow as a person. I got taught how to make cold rolls (I always wanted to learn!), I’ve danced around the room with children and teenagers and high-fived toddlers when they realise they haven’t wet the bed.

I’ve seen milestones, birthdays, sad days and happy days, and I’ve seen firsthand just how wonderful, bright and resilient these young people can be.

Never assume you know it all. We truly know nothing. All we can do is expect the unexpected.

Don’t Underestimate Young People.


Silhouette Photo of Man Throw Paper Plane

Many people underestimate young people – even those not in care. But young people aren’t stupid. They’ll know if you’re talking about them – because it happens every day of their life.

They know when you’re being genuine – because they’ve had so many different carers before you.

Young people are in care for a variety of different reasons, but you can bet your bottom dollar that they can tell who has their best interests at heart and who doesn’t.

The young people that I work with also know all of the things they’re allowed and not allowed to do – and sometimes they use this to their advantage – especially if you’re new.

This isn’t something to worry about, generally – most of the things the young people try to get away with, we’ve all tried as a kid. They’ll try and push their bed-times, get extra dessert or negotiate their curfews – all normal kid-type things to do.

The bottom line is that children and young people, no matter who they are or where they live, will test limits and push boundaries. It’s completely normal and to be expected. This is all part of growing up and seeing who sticks around – even when we make mistake or play up.

Put Yourself In Their Shoes.


Putting yourself in the shoes of a vulnerable young person can sometimes be hard, especially if you were lucky enough to have had a relatively ‘normal’ or ‘safe’ upbringing.

I find that the best way for me to truly empathise with the young people I work with is to ask myself:

‘Given the circumstances, what would I have done at their age?’

Now this might be difficult if you don’t know the full story. In which case, ask yourself:

‘Do I know enough about this young person to be judging their behaviour?’

Either way, it is helpful to remember these questions when dealing with behaviour that might seem risky, aggressive or otherwise upsetting behaviour.

For example:

Person in Blue Jeans And White Sneakers Standing On Metal Railings

If you had been forced to live off of scraps for most of your life and didn’t know when your next meal would be, wouldn’t you, as a young person, hoard food or steal it where you could, so you felt safe and knew you wouldn’t starve?

If you had grown up in a house where drugs and alcohol were normalized, wouldn’t you, as a young person in a new living environment, have trouble understanding what is safe and what isn’t?

If you, as a young person, had been physically beaten or emotionally abused when you had arguments with your family, want to run away every time you have an argument with someone, so you don’t get hurt?

These may be confronting scenarios, but they are incredibly real.

There is almost always a reason behind why someone does something – even as we mature into adults. We need to be able to see some situations from the perspective of the young people in order to connect with them and find ways to help them.

For more content, see below: