Louise and Jane Marsden are lesbian and share stories of their growing up in Campbelltown in the 50’s and 60’s. Of the six siblings in the family three are gay – John passed away in 2006. Interviewed by Captain Pat on c91.3 as part of the on going support many in the media share for lesbians and gay fighting for same sex equality in Australia. Recorded on July 26th 2015.
The Macarthur Ukulele Group was started in May 2012 by two students who attended classes at the Macarthur Community College with John Chandler. In their early days the group was mentored by John and also by members from the Blue Mountains and Illawarra ukulele groups.
Stephen Varhegyi was one of the early members He had forty years guitar experience under his belt – and he picked up the ukulele pretty quick – the group encouraged him to take a leadership position. He also sang during this interview.
They first met in private residences and then the Leumeah pub. But with new members arriving all the time they outgrew the pub and moved to Campbelltown RSL. They still meet there three times a week. You can find a link to their meeting times here. Macarthur Ukulele Group
The Group has about forty members with twenty who are regular performers at events. They play at various ukulele festivals and community events. And recently at the Seniors Week Soiree at the Campbelltown Arts Centre.
The Macarthur Ukulele Group is always looking for new members. And at their stage of their life they would love to hear from Djembe, bongo or conga drum players.
It was great meeting and interviewing the weight loss angel, Clint Grattan.
In this interview he talks about confusion. There are so many products on the shelves. So many offering this and that. So many offering the best for you. But it all comes down to the “why” as Clint explains. You have to get your thinking right.
Why was it great? Well to start he’s a nice guy. He’s passionate about weight loss. He loves his community. And he’s a man who creates change. Now I’m not talking a few kilos here and there. He is into the serious stuff – helping people are are obese. People I really feel for.
In January this year (2015) he had 400 people turn up to the Raby Oval one Monday night ready to start the 12 week program. At 11 weeks 150 remained. In anyone’s books that is a pretty good success rate. He is talking 11 and 12 kilos for some people – young and old.
I have interviewed a few people over the years who have gone from 160 kilos plus, to an acceptable weight. They did it themselves – the thinking had to be right. They are beautiful people who for some reason had just ballooned. They hated walking in public.
Clint is an angel for these people. He works each day in a normal job. And then gives his time in the early evening to people who really need help. Why? It all started with a mate some years ago who asked for help. And Clint devised a program to help him. It worked. Then another person. Then another.
Clint’s wife Danielle is very active with the program too. And together they take people from despair to freedom.
Have a listen to the interview. It’s uplifting – and not just for weight loss. The weight loss angel Clint Grattan gets my vote.
Angela Flack isn’t edible and nor is her book. But that’s the name she has chosen for this great piece of work. With 90,000 words and nearly 500 pages you could say this tome is her life so far – her culinary journey. It has been painful for Angela – and anyone who has an allergy to dairy or wheat will understand this.
What I love about ‘Edible’ is that Angela did this without little help. She dragged herself through the creative process – and licked the wounds afterwards – with no guru to guide her. And what a learning experience she has had. Her passion drove this. From writing, photography, printing, fund raising and distribution. It sells, it looks great, it is a wonderful achievement and many are raving about her work.
Angela bought a small Canon Powershot s100 camera – which was perfect for macro photography without breaking the bank. She created the recipes, prepared the dishes and took the photography. Many of those who funded the project hoped and prayed she would deliver the goods. She did. And what an accomplishment – it’s hard covered and the pages are thick. But your copy should soon be covered with food – as any good cook book should be.
In this radio interview Angela talks about her journey. She raised $15,000 through a Kickstarter campaign.
Being self published means Angela Flack also handles distribution – already she has over 40 outlets in NSW alone as well as selling on line.
Angela is now learning about the media and how it works. As well as my interview, The Macarthur Chronicle has helped with this great story – Angela Flack – Edible. We all love someone who creates – but someone who drives themselves to achievement is very special.
I am sure Angela has only started on this journey. She has a wealth of knowledge and energy.
Please pass me another macadamia and date ball please Angela.
Angela Flack – Edible.
Over the past few years a novel has been evolving. Nigel Bartlett – King of the Road. Launched last week – Nigel’s journey into the literary world has received wide acclaim. Something rare for a first time author.
The book is published by Vintage – although at fifty, Nigel is not. He has a unique mind with a fresh and creative look at the world.
For many years I have interviewed police about people who have gone missing. Those loved ones who just disappear. Most return but there are still people who have never been found. But it’s family’s worst nightmare when it’s a child.
This is a work of fiction about Andrew who has gone missing from his Uncle David’s home. All fingers point to David and he becomes the prime suspect. To clear his name and find Andrew, David runs from the police.
In this interview Nigel talks about “King of the Road” and how it came into being. He also talks about his writing process. The putting of one word in front of another – just one word at a time. He says the most important part for any writer is to “just start doing the work”. He mentions any old computer or a pen and paper will do – just start. Each writer crafts their drafts at different hours. Nigel used to write daily before work – but now keeps Sunday’s free.
He also talks about the courses he has done to help with technique – and the wonderful people he has met who walk a similar path.
What wasn’t mentioned in the interview is that his agent sent the manuscript to nine publishers. Four were interested – but no bidding war!
Nigel arrived in Australia from the UK in 1995. He is familiar with words having worked as a sub editor and deputy editor with a wide variety of magazines. But this is a work of fiction – where magazines might have articles from 300 – 1,500 words, King of the Road has 100,000 words.
Will King of the Road have a sequel? Nigel has plans.
Ashley Conception was the keynote speaker at the Lifeline Macarthur Annual Ball. Her story was heart wrenching – but she shared her hope. Her cousin Salvador Cordero-Derza took his own life. Ashley nearly did the same.
She suffered with mental illness since she was 14 – but as a teenager she thought it was just normal. People at school noticed she was withdrawn and isolated. She listen to music rather than talk in groups. Even though counselors at the school spoke to her she still didn’t think she had an illness. After high school things got worse and her lowest peak was in 2013. She became numb to things, happiness was not coming, she didn’t care what others said. She even wondered why she did not care – but ignored it – she had treatment and medication – and just tried to cope – she self harmed.
The Worst Week of Ashley’s Life
Ashley’s mother was ill with bouts of cancer. And on September 9th 2012 they were preparing her for surgery when her teenage cousin, Salvador, took his life. Salvador had kept his mental health issues from friends. He had been hospitalised at one stage but in the end the system failed him. He was rejected at his lowest point. He approached a mental health unit but didn’t meet the criteria for assistance – and then two days later he took his life. Ashley and his family are campaigning that this will never happen to anyone again. Ashley regrets never opening up to Salvador about her own issues as they were both on a similar journey.
Salvador was a very good looking young man who was into health and fitness. To look at him you would not imagine he had any mental health issues – and there it is! What we see on the outside does not resemble what is on the inside.
Ashley shares the words of her mind in turmoil. Do it, you don’t deserve to be here, you don’t deserve to live.
Two months after Salvador’s death Ashley suffered relationship breakdowns and her demons got bigger. Then after her birthday she hit her lowest. She feels the mind can only take so much. And she started planning to take her own life.
What’s the point of living? No energy, no vitality, nothing. She knew people loved her – but she felt she was a burden to them. She started to hone in on anything and everything negative. She was tired. Her mind was fragile but at the same time very active in planning how to end her own life. And her pills seemed to be the answer. She didn’t want to talk to anyone she loved. She did not want to burden them. She started to take the pills.
Thankfully a millisecond of clarity came in her darkest moments. Salvador doesn’t want to see me any time soon.
She called a stranger at Lifeline for help – that person saved her life. She dialed 13 11 14 (Australia).
The volunteer from Lifeline spoke with Ashley for some time. Then asked would she still feel suicidal once their call had ended. Ashley’s response set Lifeline into action – and with her permission they arranged for an Ambulance and Police to assist. She was admitted to the Adolescent Mental Health unit at Campbelltown Hospital – Birunji.
Life changed for Ashley. Motherhood. Championing the cause. Being an advocate for mental health. And ensuring Salvador is not forgotten.
Ashley suggests self care and knowing our limits. She says it’s ok not to be able to cope. If things are getting too much talk to someone.
Ashley Conception is a brave soul to share her journey. Thanks Ashley.
Two days before Salvador left us he wrote in his diary:
Phil Morphew is his journey. He is living the life many would love the courage to lead. He is creative, compassionate and intelligent but more than that he shows empathy to his fellow human beings.
And during this interview Phil courageously shares his darkest moments. He shares those challenges with truth and sincerity. I respect him for “opening up” – and hanging his washing on the line for all of us to see. Phil is a human being like us – if he can do – so can we. We are all learning.
He encourages others to grab their gifts and use them. For many, fear keeps us trapped. The fear of rejection, ridicule, failure or the fear of success.
Sadly many of us today are on somebody’s else’s journey – the decisions that change our lives are made by others.
The Fire of Desire – Phil Morphew
Phil uses this phrase with passion. And listening to the interview you’ll discover that he leads the life he encourages others to lead. Passion wins Olympic Medals. Passion gets us out of bed earlier than others. Passion means fighting for what we believe.
Phil Morphew talks about surrounding ourselves with members of our tribe. This doesn’t mean family. It’s the people we connect with who help us grow and challenge us. The people who walk a similar walk.
Phil’s Favourite Books
Most people will share the “usual suspects” but Phil’s favourite three are from the library of the ancients. This wisdom has been around for longer than most of us have been alive – urging us to find that special thing within.
As a Man Thinketh – James Allen (1902)
The Game of Life – Florence Scovel Shinn (1921)
In Tune with the Infinite – Ralph Waldo Trine (1892)
Never Give Up
Phil Morphew shares this over and over. Never to give up on our dreams. Phil believes our education system doesn’t allow kids to follow their passion. He should know – he was told by his teacher to be “realistic”.
He was. He kept that teacher’s negativity as a sign. His interpretation of “realistic” was to “believe”. He still does.
Gale Collins bought the Black Queen in Lightning Ridge over a decade ago. And what a journey it has taken her on.
Gale originally from the US was leading a normal life with her husband and looking forward to retirement after a career in design. They went north on long service holidays. The journey Cobbitty to Cairns. But a friend suggested they visit the Black Queen in Lightning Ridge on route. Gale was horrified when she saw the town – in fact, she thought it was disgusting and wondered why anyone would want to live there.
Gale Collins – Serendipity or Mystical?
Joan Collins a breast cancer survivor who built the Black Queen invited Gale and her husband inside. Gale stood in the Black Queen and froze. Since she was 19 she had been having a recurring dream – now she was standing in that dream. Her dreams took her to a place full of coloured circles and patterns. And right there and then Gale was standing in a room filled with coloured circles and patterns.The Black Queen was built from 14,000 bottles – and the reflections and patterns send Gale into a frenzy. She bought the place immediately – her husband thought she was mad.
The Black Queen – Back to Life
Together they refurbished the place that had gone into disrepair. The white ants had wanted full control – but were soon evicted.
Gale Collins is a person who does things. So Gale and Roger left work and put their energies into creating something with the Black Queen. Today it is a major tourist attraction. And why?
Gale wrote a play. She was not a playwright. But she scribed three acts. Two acts are about Joan’s journey building the Black Queen. And the third is about the old bottles they have collected – some over 4,000 years old.
Gale started acting. She was not an actor. But created a routine. And for six months in the winter she performs the play and tells the story. Some say the spirit of Joan takes over and leads you on her journey.
One Decision – Many Journeys
Gale and Roger never made it to Cairns. Gale drove Joan back to Sydney. Roger drove their car back to Sydney. And their whole new adventure started.
Joan passed on a few years later. Knowing that her Black Queen had taken a new lease on life. Thanks to Gale Collins.
You may have passed Sarah Allen in the street and not given her a glance. She is your average teenager with an infectious smile. But that wasn’t why I asked her to come into the studio for an interview. She had 56 million hits on her youtube video – Girl with a Funny Talent.
Some time ago a video of mine had jumped ten thousand youtube hits in a week and I was quite excited. It is called – Secrets to Hanging the Wash Correctly. The local paper did a story and I was quite beside myself.
Until I met Sarah and was quickly brought back to earth. I held my head in shame at only have 55k hits to her 55 Million.
How 36 Seconds made Sarah Allen a Worldwide Star
Young Sarah Allen had seen a television commercial where a girl moved her eyebrows in a strange way. That commercial has special effects to make it work. But Sarah practiced in the mirror until she mastered the art. A friend did a video and put it up on his account. It was shot in a local library and went for 36 seconds. Just a fun thing. Then it started climbing. And climbing.
Sarah says the music in the background (copyright) prevents them from making money. Here is the radio interview with Sarah.
The Music Career of Sarah Allen
Sarah has appeared on Australia’s Got Talent with a few friends and is studying at JMA. She also has a manager who took her to Japan to appear on a program “Unbelievable”.
Sarah Allen’s future looks pretty bright. She’s writing, recording, acting and ferociously making youtube videos – she knows the value of PR.
Here is her official youtube channel.
Roxana and her daughter Mon believe in themselves. I’m not talking about the fairy tale kind. They are a Mother and Daughter who have known hardship and have driven themselves to success.
In the 1980’s they fled Iran and lived as refugees in India. They eventually arrived in Australia. For generations Roxana’s family had excelled in beauty care and those secrets arrived with them. They had no English language skills or money. Roxana started her business from a rented room in Fairfield, Western Sydney.
They eventually bought a small shop in Campbelltown. Most thought they were crazy as Campbelltown was seen as the backwoods and definitely not a place to start a beauty business. They created Roxana Pourali Celebrity Beauty. Here is a link to their website.
When Mon shared with friends that the Roxana Pourali business would become a magnet for celebrities they thought she had gone completely mad.
Paula Abdul visits Roxana Pourali
One of their clients Paula Abdul asked the driver to take her to Roxana Pourali in Campbelltown. He smiled and said: “I think you mean Camperdown”, which is very close to the heart of Sydney. She politely told him it was Campbelltown.
Roxana and her daughter were once refugees. But their passion and belief has taken them from nothing to a thriving business. Their ingredients for success are something we cannot buy – passion, love and sheer determination.
I hope you enjoy the interview with Roxana and Mon from Roxana Pourali.