Coordinator’s News – September

Every now and then I get a chance to help someone personally, be it through some knowledge that I already have, or some research that we do together or whatever is needed. These times are very special to me and I love being able to do this. The personal one to one interactions ensures that I stay very grounded and have knowledge of community needs and goals. Thank you to everyone who gives me this opportunity and thank you to the SpringDale team who also help to deliver this one to one service.

Usually I learn a great deal through helping someone else, sometimes there are very unexpected learnings but there is always learning. I love learning. I’m not sure how else to say it. Some things are easier for me to learn than others. I know I learn better through listening and conversation, then I can back it up with reading and discovery and even role play.

Mostly I need to learn in waves or layers. I need to have some initial information to outline the whole picture and then I need to build upon this initial information and keep building. Through every conversation and through every interaction helps me to build my understanding and then the next step for me is to try to inform people and I definitely learn from that. Perhaps it helps the information to engage both sides of my brain and thus make it mine.

Knowing how you learn, knowing what helps you to remember, knowing how you receive information the most effectively, are all so important and I wish I knew all these things earlier but then I wouldn’t have known how special this information is. I now carry my iPad with me – it allows me to take notes that I can print out, without retyping and they are all there in date order – it becomes my extra memory.

During September we will be celebrating Adult Learners Week at SpringDale from 1- 8 September there will be special activities happening – please take the time to ring SpringDale and register that you would like to be informed of our special activities – ring 03 5253 1960 or Text your name and that you’d like to be on our keep informed list to SpringDale’s new mobile number 0416 450 534 or email and we’ll be in touch.

Learning helps me stay happy. I was asked the other day Do you get ‘me’ time? I reflected quickly and responded with I’m lucky enough to do what I love. I love focusing on vision for SpringDale and the other groups that I am involved in but I am equally comfortable looking at finances, cooking, washing dishes or taking out the rubbish. Unfortunately I don’t have a bucket list – I have been lucky enough to be able to do things I’ve wanted to do.

I read a quote recently Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. Mahatma Gandhi. This quote rings true with me, through life lessons, I have become very comfortable with its sentiment and intention. My life’s motto of finding fun in all I do is also in harmony with this quote and maybe it’s a philosophy.

Looking forward to seeing you during Adult Learners’ Week or at some other time.

Anne Brackley
Coordinator SpringDale Neighbourhood
Centre for the SpringDale team

Coordinator’s News – July

It is so important to enjoy what you are doing. Having the right mindset to enable you to enjoy your time, your tasks and the people around you is so important to finding satisfaction and being able to enjoy your life.

Have you ever been so absorbed by an activity that time just flies by and you achieve what you set out to do? Luckily this happens to me all the time. But it doesn’t happen by accident. I make a decision to enjoy what I am doing. I try to find the part of the job I am about to start that is going to allow me to look back on it and know it is done and hopefully it is done to the best of my ability.

Over the years I have written about my motto, “Finding the fun in all I do”. This continues to help me along the journey that I am taking. I love finding the fun in anything. The fun may be finding the pattern that I have seen. The fun may include designing a system to help other people to be able to achieve great results. The fun may be being able to understand something that you didn’t understand before.

The fun might be being able to laugh at a mistake you have made. Last month I tried to help my son write whipper snipper for an ad in the Messenger to see if someone might have a whipper snipper that they weren’t using and could donate to Drysdale Train Station. Today I found out from another Drysdale Train volunteer that I spelt the words incorrectly but a local has already answered the call and offered a whipper snipper – although I spelt it wiper sniper.

Another way that I have fun is through learning something new – I love learning new facts and love being able to use that knowledge especially if I can use that knowledge to help others. The reverse of this is – I find it difficult to be around negative people. In the past I would try to let negative words and ideas wash past me but it always had an effect.

Those who know me, know I’m not perfect. I am very human – I couldn’t even spell whipper snipper properly but I keep trying and that’s why my motto is written the way it is Finding the fun ….. it doesn’t say I can or I will.

I am enjoying my journey – I’m not sure what the destination will be but I am looking forward to finding fun along the way, meeting wonderful people, enjoying creative food, art, literature and ideas and learning how to master tasks that I am good at and finding people to help with tasks that I’m not good at and having the wisdom to know the difference.

Looking forward to meeting with you at SpringDale or somewhere else,

Anne Brackley
 for the SpringDale Team

PS Thank you for all your best wishes and congratulations

Coordinator’s News – June

Thanks to everyone who responded to the last messenger. I was told that for each response there are 1000 other people who thought it but just didn’t quite get around to sending the feedback.

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had time to take a breath, Projects we had been working on are finished and there seems to be a few minutes to stop and “smell the roses”.

When you think about the last 12 months and the changes at SpringDale – they have been huge but we’ve been able to maintain all the good things as well.

The new kitchen is fantastic and being used for so many different foods. We are about to introduce Indonesian cooking and Moroccan is coming back. During this slower period it has given us time to tidy up paperwork and even find time to rest a little ready for the next wave of activity. I continue to have the dream of a project in which the community is connected.

We’ve been chasing a grant to assist with this for a number of years and now it’s time to ask the community to help. We have set up a tax deductable charitable trust for this with a goal of $5000. The money will help us to create the frame work for this to be successful. It’s about neighbourhoods getting to know neighbours.

Why is this important? About 4 years ago on the Friday before the long weekend it was just on 5pm and we were all about to run out the door ready for the break, when the phone rang. It was a lady in Dubai she was ringing to ask for help. Her daughter and granddaughter were in Clifton Springs and both were ill and needed food (they’d run out) and support. They didn’t know their neighbours and so couldn’t ask them. They rang us to help and we did, but ever since then I’ve had this project in mind to help neighbours get to know each other.

The other part of the project is to help our local businesses to get other people through their doors for coffee or tea. The project involves invitations that people can put in their neighbour’s letter box inviting them to a get to meet you Morning/Afternoon tea at a local Café/Restaurant and perhaps one of the pair (or both) ringing SpringDale to celebrate the interaction and use of a voucher at the Café/Restaurant to gain a discount which is then subsidized by this project.

SpringDale would create a map of people who had interacted. We would have a map for each town on the Bellarine and as interactions occur a network would be drawn of first, second third fourth interactions of different colours and hopefully within a year we would have a wonderfully colourful interconnected web of meetings and good conversations and something like the catalyst for this project wouldn’t ever happen again because we would know our neighbours!

Yours sincerely

Anne Brackley

for the SpringDale Team

Coordinator’s News – May

Dear friends and those yet to be friends,

Themes are becoming part of the Messenger structure, last month it was service and this month it is education, June will be about heritage, July will be about finding fun in what you do and August will be about Science. If you have an idea you would like to share under any of these upcoming themes – please submit it to I think a theme helps to take ideas and push them in various directions. Who knows what will happen next?

My life has had a number of different learning chapters – most of which I have written for myself some seem to have been started for me but I have finished them once I realised where I was heading. Learnings have been gained along the way and I have loved the feelings those learnings have stirred inside me making me ready for the next adventure.

When I was about 8 years old my Brownie Leader Mrs Bigmore sat with me and patiently helped me to do something I thought was impossible – tie a sheet bend knot for a Brownie challenge. Although the meeting only went for 1 1/2 hours, she seemed to sit with me for hours until I had success. She taught me patience and perseverance for success. I still use the rhyme she taught me to tie the knot and I share this with guides when I teach them. I have shared that skill with thousands of guides locally, nationally and all over the world.

When I was 17 Mrs Fawcett, the local Guide Commissioner asked me to reopen Drysdale Guides, I was overwhelmed and I was nervous, especially when the parents visited. I felt their eyes and ears on my every move and my every word – but they thanked us for the role we played in their girls’ lives. I realised I had the self-confidence to take risks and this was brought out by the confidence Mrs Fawcett saw in me and taught me to have faith in myself. I continue to be a Guide Leader with Drysdale Guides and this month I will complete 41 years as a leader in this voluntary role.

In my twenties I was a programmer for State Bank and believed I would be more effective as a trainer and asked to be transferred. Within a few weeks my role changed and my life became far more fulfilling. I learned to be true to my dreams and live with integrity. Once I had this role I celebrated having the best job in the State Bank and eventually in the Commonwealth Bank.

I’m so lucky to have had so many different learning experiences – during work on a child health project in Bangladesh, learning from my parents, learning on the job, learning as a volunteer – I don’t think there has been a day when I haven’t learned something – I love learning.

I love it when someone comes into SpringDale and I can draw on my experience to answer the question immediately but I love it even more when asked a question whose answer I don’t yet know but I say “Lets learn this together” and invest some time to find out the answer.

SpringDale has so many learning opportunities on offer – learning as a child or family through our Occasional Care Service, learning as a writer or advertiser in the Messenger, Directory or our Welcome Kit, learning as a student in our class or as the trainer for a class, learning as a member of one of our Groups or starting a new group as a leader/ facilitator, learning as a volunteer in the office or around SpringDale. We are all learning, the world is changing so quickly we have to keep our learning spirit pushing us along.

I love learning and I love finding fun in all I do.

Yours sincerely

Anne Brackley

for the SpringDale Team

Coordinator’s News – April

This edition has a theme of service. ANZAC Day inspired us to think about all the forms of service that we participate in. All through our lives we are given opportunities to serve others. In the home, in the neighbourhood, in the community, in the region, in our state, in our country and in the world. Often it is the little things we do that have multiple roll on effects.

Those of you that know me well, know I love to watch a good movie and gain inspiration from situations portrayed. One of my favourites is Pay it Forward, the story of a very young boy who comes up with a practical theory of making the world a better place. His idea is to do 3 generous things to change the lives of 3 people and they need to pay it forward to 3 other people and so the concept continues. It doesn’t take long before thousands of people are helping each other.

I’ve had a couple of ideas around this before, that haven’t quite become a reality yet, I’d love to hear from people who might help get this started on the Bellarine.

When you think about the amount of service that is given on the Bellarine it is overwhelming – at playgroups, at kinders, at school, at sporting clubs, at Guides and Scouts, for the environment, for civic engagement, for health and welfare, through the food banks, through service clubs, our seniors clubs, through the RSLs and so many more. Every club and group has governance committees and each of them provide a vision, direction and energy to meet the need of our community.

I found inspiration in this quote – Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. Muhammad Ali

Thank you sincerely to everyone who provides service on the Bellarine. Special thanks to our staff and volunteers who regularly go out of their way to support our community. Once again I ask people to pass this Messenger on to someone you think might appreciate its content and hopefully uplifting articles.

Please consider supporting the advertisers who support us and please consider submitting information for the Messenger.

Yours sincerely

Anne Brackley

for the SpringDale Team

Coordinator’s News – March

Making Dreams Come True is what we try to do every day. Whether it is something fairly small like copying a video to a DVD or whether it’s helping to create something much bigger like quarterly Bush Dances. We try, if we possibly can to make it come true, we will.
Every day a new opportunity is presented to us. Some dreams we can do straight away but many take a number months or sometimes years like the renovation to the SpringDale Kitchen which took 7 years but when people see it they go “wow” and so do I.
Dreams that I know from your feedback we’ve helped to come true are the Life Drawing Group, which became too big for our premise, our Men’s Kitchen groups – some men were sick of eating eggs on toast as their wives wouldn’t let them in the kitchen, a number of classes including Cheese Making that a salt intolerant person was so happy to be able to have cheese again and she could make it.
A really big dream that we were very instrumental in coming true was the Fishing Platform at Clifton Springs. John Williams approached us late in 2012 just as we were planning our first Community Summit. His idea gained support via hundreds of signatures on a petition and we wrote articles about it in the Messenger and it gained more support and now it is a reality. It may be a bit shorter than we’d hoped for but people are fishing from it and catching fish.
What might your dream be? You might want to play in a band, you might want to create an app for your phone, you might want to start a group, you might want to create a new career path via something that you are very interested in and wonder why no one has done it before. We have a band, we have a coding course, we have innovation classes and we are happy to talk to you about what your dream is.
Every time we make a dream come true we help the community to become stronger and more resilient. We build the capacity of what we can do next because we have had successes that we can draw on for the next challenge.
If you have a computer and you use email – please register to be part of our email network so you can be included and informed of upcoming events and opportunities that spring up quickly. If you don’t have email but would like to know about using it please join our introduction class and or pop into SpringDale to gain updates. We would love everyone to know what is happening so you can choose what to be part of and feel connected with and belong. That’s my dream, please help it come true.
Yours very sincerely,

Anne Brackley for the Team SpringDale

Coordinator’s News – February

After having a few weeks to regroup as a family and achieve some goals at home, I’ve had time to reflect on transitions and how to successfully move from one thing to the next. I know I find it takes a lot of energy to do something new, to actually ring that new person or get through that new door. Sometimes it makes it easier if someone invites you and personally escorts you across the door for the first time. It is so important that people have a great first experience to reward them for showing courage and trying something new.

We face transitions all through our lives. Some transitions are smaller than others. Each transition that we cope well with equips us to be able to transition more easily to the next if a transition becomes a bit stressful we will know from experience that we will be successful based on what has happened before. When our children move into Pre-School or into the School system, when we move into work or when we change work places, when we change homes, when we move from work to retirement all these are very significant transitions. It’s important during these times that other parts of our lives are as consistent as they can be to help us cope with the change.

When we decide to fill our lives with a new skill, hobby or interest, this can be a time of transition. Questions such as: Will it start where I’m at? Will I be able to cope? What will happen if I can’t learn? What if no one likes me? What if I don’t like anyone? What if I don’t like the activity? All of these questions can keep us from starting or having a go, but when we summon up the energy and the courage to go through the door for the first time and you are welcomed in and you sit or stand near a likeminded person and find you have at least one thing in common and a conversation starts and then the activity starts and it’s ok.

I’m not sure how common these feelings are but I know some of these thoughts affect the way I approach situations. This means that if you are coming to SpringDale for the first time you know that we have thought about what it is like to walk through the door that first time and we will try to make it is easy for you.

Hoping you can find something new to do this year that might make a difference for your life – it might just be a one off activity or it might be a regular activity. It might be at SpringDale it might be somewhere else. Whatever it is you might tell us how it goes and what a difference just walking through that first door has made. By you telling your story it might help someone else to have a go and so it is paid forward.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Anne Brackley for the SpringDale Team.