Look out Friday – we’re coming at you with our weekly dose of good cheer.
As part of our #spreadingthegoodstuff series, today we’re taking an insider’s look at the Echuca Moama Girls Night Out (GNO) initiative and the profound impact it is having on the lives of men, women and children in our community who are living with cancer.
The GNO initiative began in 2008 and is the much loved creation of a small collective of women (me included) who have experienced first-hand the impact of cancer upon loved ones.
The GNO movement connects, embraces and engages the sisterhood of our community to shape a strong and vibrant network of women who are there for each other in times of need.
GNO is first and foremost a celebration of women – of the joy they bring to one another, and of the amazing work they do in their relationships, in their families, in their communities and in their own lives.
In addition to that, the concept is about showing gratitude and appreciation for the wonderful team at Echuca Regional Health (ERH) oncology, without whom so many local lives would be so much more difficult.
All proceeds raised through GNO events go directly to the GNO Oncology Department Supportive Care Program, established in partnership with ERH to provide extra care and financial support to cancer patients for things like counseling, rent payments, wigs, alternative therapies, lymphodeama sleeves, fuel cards, accommodation and child care.
Since inception, GNO events have raised more than $200,000 for the supportive care fund and the concept has been overwhelmingly embraced by thousands of women in the community.
In 2015, Girls Night Out has been chosen as the beneficiary to the inaugural Imagine The Possibilities conference to be held at Moama Bowling Club on September 17.
This full day conference will explore the challenges that women in regional communities face in their careers and personal lives, and will provide practical tips and insights on leadership, entrepreneurship, social media, communication and self-care.
The event features a stellar line up of presenters including keynote speaker Lisa Messenger – founder and editor-in-chief of entrepreneurial lifestyle magazine The Collective, which is distributed across more than 37 countries.
Joining Lisa in the presenting stakes is social media guru, digital strategist and coach, Kylie Lewis from Of Kin, and Anne Fitzgerald – the dynamic executive manager of member services and marketing at ClubsNSW.
As well as hearing from these top-class speakers, conference guests will have the opportunity to attend a series of workshop sessions with specialists in their fields, providing practical tips and inspiration to apply at work, home and in the community.
Professional and personal development days featuring speakers of such outstanding calibre are rarely held in rural settings, so this event is a must-see for women across the region.
Whether you work for a business, manage a business, own a business or operate a business from home – Imagine The Possibilities is designed with you in mind.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in senior management, an employee, trainee, consultant, budding entrepreneur, or volunteer – this event will help you make positive change in your life, remain true to your passion and embrace your own life’s journey.
So hop to it folks – we’d hate you to miss out on a seat.
Once again it’s time to spread a little love and this week’s #spreadingthegoodstuff praise is twofold.
Two years ago we were nominated for the Campaspe Murray Business Awards and were lucky enough to find ourselves a finalist in the trade category.
This was a thrilling experience for us as we were newly established – still finding our feet – and the awards exposed our business to the wider community for the very first time.
Bravo to the Campaspe and Murray Shires for hosting these wonderful awards every two years. It’s a huge undertaking, and one that provides any business or organisation across our twin towns the opportunity to fly their flag and be recognised for excellence.
For us the experience was a watershed moment where we were able to reflect on what we’d achieved to date as well as identify a clear vision for our business.
We didn’t win our category but received a highly commended ‘special mention’ for the uniqueness of our business and our ability to run a professional and specialist consultancy from our homes – based around our families.
Following our special acknowledgment it was announced a new ‘home-based’ category would be established for the awards to recognise the growing number of businesses choosing to setup and work from home.
Home-based businesses now make up a significant portion of the small business sector and it’s fabulous to see the business community recognising this fact.
So our second shout-out this week goes to those who’ve made the decision to follow their dreams and set up their small business enterprise from home.
We established The Splendid Word to find that elusive work/life balance after starting a family and ensure we could continue the job we loved – writing people’s stories.
Juggling family life and a home-based business can be tough at times but for us the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
And too many people spend too many hours doing something that doesn’t tick enough boxes to fulfill financial, creative or career-based goals. Life is too short!
We originally set out to achieve gradual, sustainable growth and have grown every year since we started four years ago – without going broke or losing our sanity in the process.
We’re thrilled to announce we are again a finalist in this year’s GMCU Allianz Campaspe Murray Business Awards – in the home-based category – and can’t wait to attend the ceremony in October.
It’ll be another opportunity to expose our unique business and help spread the good stuff about the long list of businesses and organisations doing amazing things in Echuca Moama.
Wish us luck,
Like many, we’ve been following with concern, the media coverage surrounding the disappearance of a young woman in Bendigo, who failed to return home from an afternoon jog earlier this week.
Thankfully, the missing woman was located by police late yesterday afternoon and has since been released from hospital and reunited with her family. A man was taken into custody last night and arrested by police in connection with the case.
If you’ve been following these events as they’ve unfolded, you will be aware that the missing woman’s face and name have been plastered all over social media and in the mainstream media across Australia for the past 36 hours.
You may also have noticed that the coverage has changed markedly today, and now media outlets are choosing not to identify the teenager ‘because of the nature of the police investigation’.
Many members of the public have today expressed confusion as to why the media is now refraining from identifying the woman, when identification didn’t appear to be an issue over the past few days.
Some are vilifying media outlets for changing their tact, and questioning why it was okay to identify her one day, but not the next.
“Isn’t it a bit late to be worried about identifying the teenager now?’ is a common thread on social media posts and tweets this afternoon.
While that seems a reasonable question to ask under the circumstances, it is important to understand the limitations the law places on media outlets in reporting on cases such as this one before pulling out the keyboard warrior card.
During the past few days, the media has rightly treated this story as a missing person’s case, whereby the public identification of the missing woman was required to assist police in her search.
Now that the woman has been located, however, and a man has been arrested and taken into custody by police, in the eyes of the law everything changes.
Under media law, as soon as a warrant is issued, someone is arrested or a charge is laid, the case enters the ‘sub judice’ period (under a judge).
At this point, until facts related to a crime are mentioned in open court, reporters are restricted to reporting just the bare facts. And where identification is an issue – such as in the case of victims of sexual assaults – journalists are also prohibited from directly or indirectly identifying them.
Whilst the exact nature of this case is yet to be established, media outlets are operating with overt caution to ensure their coverage moving forward does not hold them in contempt of court.
Our thoughts and heartfelt wishes are with the young Bendigo woman and her family at this time.
Gearing up for a big day tomorrow to MC the Clubs NSW Riverina & South West Region conference at Moama Bowling Club.
Yes – The Splendid Word specialises in the spoken word too!
The conference runs for three days and will be attended by the CEOs and senior management teams of clubs from across NSW.
Tomorrow, the 200+ guests will hear from AFL coach, elite athlete, media personality, and successful businessman Stan Alves; the creator and author of Your Marketing Mentor Linda Joannides; and highly respected organisational psychologist, trainer and consultant Paul Lyons.
There will also be a panel discussion featuring experts in their fields sharing their views on the challenges and opportunities facing women in leadership.
All in all a big day ahead at MBC.
So tell us – are you a lover of public speaking? Or does the very thought of it make you weak at the knees?
Our fail-safe tip for keeping the nerves in check is slow, deep breathing – works a treat for us!
If you’re game to share, we’d love to hear about your speaking engagement experiences and top tip for killing it behind the mike.
Wish us luck!
Ever wondered what we do at The Splendid Word?
It’s simple really. We help businesses, entrepreneurs and community groups communicate like a boss with their tribes.
Clients come to us for a bunch of different reasons, but they all have one thing in common. They value the impact that clear, polished and effective communication can have on the success of their business, yet they are struggling to reach that pinnacle on their own.
The Splendid Word is sustained by clients who are passionate about making a difference in their communities. Our job is to bring their big ideas to life with beautiful words.
This past few weeks we’ve crafted content for websites, blogs, media releases, speeches, e-books, annual reports, industry magazines, promotional videos, style guides, tender documents, and conferences.
We’ve been collaborating with some sensational businesses including Moama Bowling Club, Gotafe, Ecotecture Design Group, Echuca Community for the Aged, Healthy Happy Staff, Murray Human Services, Rochester & Elmore District Health Service and LA Vision.
If you’d like to join our VIP list to receive a regular dose of word love, writing tips, communication advice, stories of inspiration and other splendid offerings, you can sign up to our contact list on our homepage
We’d love to see you there.
As storytellers we come across tales of brilliance, success and achievement every day.
Every now and then though, we are struck by the motivation and selfless dedication some individuals display in their relentless pursuit to make the world a better place.
These are the stories that stay with us and make our job much more than just reporting on the facts – it becomes a privilege.
One such story involves young Shepparton man, Lyndon Galea, who noticed something in his home town that wasn’t quite right and decided to take some action.
We came across Lyndon’s inspiring story while writing a media release for one of our biggest clients, Goulburn Ovens Tafe (GOTAFE), whose stories we share on a regular basis. https://gotafe.com.au.
Two years ago Lyndon became aware that too many children in the Shepparton area faced a day at school without breakfast or lunch. What started as a couple of mates making sandwiches from home has turned into a full production line of school-based snacks and lunches.
All produce is provided by local surplus-food charities and prepared by hospitality students at GOTAFE. The program, known as Eat Up, is now providing much-needed food for school children across Shepparton, Bendigo and Melbourne – with plans for a nation-wide roll out.
So this week’s #spreadingthegoodstuff shout-out is dedicated to Lyndon Galea and GOTAFE for opening our eyes to the amazing people and their life-changing programs that exist in our very own back yard.
Check out the links to the Shepparton News and The Age to find out more about Eat Up and make sure you help spread the word.
Christy – lover of good storytelling
At The Splendid Word, we’re passionate supporters and champions of businesses dedicated to leaving a positive imprint on their communities.
We are loud and proud advocates of the doers, dreamers and believers who are using their skills, knowledge and qualifications as a force for good.
There are legions of inspirational small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), community groups, home-based businesses and entrepreneurs in our community and beyond, who are creating real and meaningful change in their respective patches.
The opportunity to work with them – helping to shape their words and the way they communicate with their tribe – fuels us on a daily basis.
Yet despite all this goodness in the world, we continue to be bombarded with an endless stream of bad news and negativity in mainstream and social media. All too often we read and hear of people using their words to tear each other down.
In some workplaces, committees, sporting groups and family life, people are using language that hurts. Sometimes intended, sometimes not – but either way that language is causing damage to the reputation of their business and to their relationships with staff, clients, friends and loved ones.
At TSW, we’re on a crusade to teach people the power of kind language – the beauty of positive thought and expression. We’re working to change the way people use the written and spoken word to communicate with their customers, their peers, their families and themselves.
We all know that words can inspire. But they can just as easily destroy, and for that one powerful reason we must choose them well.
And what better way to promote positive communication, than to spread more of the good stuff right here, in The Splendid Word virtual space.
Each Friday, on our TSW Facebook page, we’ll be spruiking the virtues of a business, community group, school, program or entrepreneur that is doing its bit to promote unity and to consciously change the world for the better. (And when those public praise announcements are time sensitive, we’ll slip in a post on the days in-between).
So if you know, or hear of a good news story that fits the bill – send the info our way and we’ll be sure to sing its praises.
Our first shout out will be coming your way this evening, so keep a look out – and in the meantime choose your words wisely.
Moama Bowling Club (MBC) has been short-listed as a finalist for two award categories in this year’s NSW Clubs & Community Awards.
The awards recognise the enormous contribution NSW clubs make to their communities across a range of areas including arts and culture; welfare and social inclusion; health, sport and environment.
MBC has been announced a finalist in the new category of arts and culture for its support of tourism-related events across the Echuca Moama region including the Riverboats Music Festival, Winter Blues Festival and the inaugural Flavours of Echuca Moama.
The club has also been named a finalist in the welfare and social inclusion category for its work in supporting individuals faced with social, emotional, cultural or financial barriers.
MBC Chief Executive Officer Paul Barnes said it was a great thrill to be short-listed as a finalist in each of the categories given the strong and deliberate emphasis the club placed on supporting these sectors in the Echuca Moama community.
“Each year we look forward to these awards as an opportunity to showcase the many amazing volunteer groups and individuals in our community who are pouring their heart and soul into their passions and into leaving a positive imprint on the social fabric of our wonderful riverside home,” Mr Barnes said.
“As a club we feel incredibly privileged to work along side them – to share their dreams and to help them achieve their goals.
“Our is an inclusive community – a generous and supportive community – and any recognition MBC receives through these awards, is a direct reflection and acknowledgment of the important work carried out by those we serve.”
ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said the 2015 awards had received a record number of entries, which had made the competition tougher than ever.
Across the Riverine and South West New South Wales, six clubs have been named finalists.
“You just have to look at the finalist clubs from the Riverine and South West region of the state to see what a critical role these organisations play in their community,” Mr Ball said.
“I would like to wish the finalists all the best and congratulate them on their innovative, exciting and effective programs that make such a difference to people across New South Wales.”
The 2015 NSW Clubs & Community Awards will be held on 8 May at the Royal Hall of Industries, Moore Park, Sydney.
The winners will be decided by an expert judging panel including Australian philanthropist and actress Paula Duncan AM, former Minister for Gaming and Racing Kevin Greene, Centre for Volunteering Chairperson Valerie Hoogstad and former ClubsNSW Deputy CEO Wayne Krelle.
Words, love them or loathe them, they certainly can cause a stir.
And using the right words for the right situation can be one of the hardest things to do.
Writing in the Age recently, Washington Post blogger Alyssa Rosenberg condemned our misuse or often overuse of words such as awesome.
If everything is awesome, she argued, how can anything be deemed awesome at all?
Now I’m pretty sure she’s talking to me… I am so guilty of abusing the word awesome in all its awesomeness – sorry.
And I’m not sure why, as there are so many other wonderful adjectives.
I do like its positiveness but I’m acutely aware of my laziness and lack of adventure when searching for the best way to describe something… well… awesome.
The article referenced the Lego Movie song Everything is Awesome and how our overuse of the word awesome can dull its effectiveness. In other words, many of us use certain words for popularity rather than meaning. Words like ‘tomoz’, ‘cray cray’ and ‘peeps’ all come to mind.
This overuse conforms to mass-media following of what’s in and lacks any individual thinking. But don’t feel bad… we all do it.
I had a suspicion I was on the awesome abusers’ list well before I read Alyssa’s article but still found myself going back to the well of awesomeness.
I am however, reconsidering my penchant for overusing awesome after learning its meaning has changed somewhat over time. And I like to stay true to my words.
A 2011 Robert Lane Green investigation taught us awesome started out as a word to describe the overwhelming feeling of an encounter with the divine.
Now we all know some things are great (even awesome) but probably not at all in the divine category! I suspect divine is another word that might need some attention.
I’m not pointing the finger here or criticising positiveness, but simply making a point about our use (or overuse) of words and their true meaning.
Some folk think about words all the time, new words are actually invented each day and some are officially added to the dictionary every year. Did you know English is actually the most added-to language in the world?
In 2014, the word shirtfront was officially added to the dictionary – no explanation needed here. It was also named Australian National Dictionary Centre’s Word of the Year… go figure!
Shirtfront is a good example of a change in meaning, or use in Tony Abbott’s case.
So where does a word come from and how does its meaning change?
In a recent TED talk, language historian Anne Curzan * shared some words that have changed meaning over time.
We find this stuff fascinating at TSW and would love you to share any words that have had you reaching for the dictionary.
Here are some of Anne’s words to get you started:
Yours in words,
The Splendid Word
* Source: ideas.TED.com 10/11/2014
Picture from: www.thepartnerstrust.com/blog/2011/01/07/awesome
I drink it when I’m happy. I drink it when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless of course I’m thirsty. (Madam Lilly Bollinger – London Daily Mail, October 17, 1961)
If the ‘dream job’ truly does exist – then my friends, Melbourne-based Kyla Kirkpatrick surely must have it.
The Champagne Dame lives a fairytale life of glitz and glamour, jet-setting across the globe spruiking the virtues of the most powerful champagne brands in the world.
Her indulgent masterclasses have a cult following – both in Australia and abroad – and for good reason as we came to discover during her exclusive appearance at Moama’s stunning new bar and restaurant, Junction, at the weekend.
In a sell-out event, Dame Kirkpatrick led her captive audience on an elaborate journey through Champagne’s elegant and illustrious history, offering a rare glimpse into the lives of those families and names so synonymous with the ‘nectar of the gods’.
Champagne royalty like Pol Roger, Dom Perignon, Laurent Perrier, Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Dom Ruinart – the Champagne Dame introduced us to them all.
Through her eyes and exquisite narrative, we visited luxurious and exclusive champagne houses and clinked glasses with famous wine makers – discovering exactly why champagne is the world’s most enigmatic beverage.
And then came the tasting…..Oh boy, the tasting.
A 1531 Grand Aimery to open the set, followed by a non vintage Pol Roger, a 2004 vintage Pol Roger, a Chassany D’Arce Rose and a Laurent Perrier Demi-Sec to round out the ultimate of tasting experiences.
And Dame Kirkpatrick didn’t just talk the talk – she came with party tricks too.
With a clean swipe of a sword she sliced the top off the bottle of an expensive champagne, and used a stemmed glass flute to delicately pop the cork of another.
And for those curious about the correct way to open a bottle of bubbles, blowing the cork through the roof of the house is not the answer.
“The metal cage must remain intact, and it is the bottle that should be twisted, not the cork,” the Dame explained expertly through demonstration.
“When it comes to corking a bottle, champagne should sigh like a lady, not scream like a whore.”
Despite appearances, life wasn’t always Parisian men, private jets, luxury boats and glamour for The Champagne Dame.
Kirpatrick grew up in a working class family in regional Victoria’s Bacchus Marsh, spending summer holidays camping with her family on the river at – you guessed it – Echuca Moama.
“Mum and dad had a caravan at Cottonwood – we thought that was fabulous. Every summer we would come up, dad would bring his little boat and we would spend our days by the river. We were used to a very simple life, so those holidays were the most exciting times. As children, we never went to restaurants, we never had take away food and we were never allowed to have a take away lunch order at school. There were no luxuries whatsoever in my childhood.”
Kirkpatrick’s parents – who now live permanently in Echuca – have never been champagne drinkers. In fact her mum is a teetotaler and her father a devotee of the amber brew.
Her first encounter with champagne came at the age of 21, after she moved to London to carve out a career in finance.
“I was with my boss at a really fancy restaurant in London. I was 21 years old and I’ll never forget looking down at those prices on the menu.”
From that night onwards, Kirkpatrick’s fascination with champagne blossomed into an obsession and ten years ago she turned her back on her career and moved to Champagne, near Paris, to become a full-blown champagne connoisseur.
And what led her to that life-changing point?
“My nose and my heart,” said the Dame.
“There was no real game plan. I sort of turned on my heel. I think it was that I’ve always been entrepreneurial. I don’t respond well to being put in a box. I didn’t think twice about turning my back on my career and I think that’s definitely reflective of my personality type – I’m quite risky and I really just go with what I want to do without thinking about the consequences.
“Maybe in the back of my mind I thought I could take a job at a champagne house, worst case scenario. I didn’t know what the possibilities were. It unfolded so very naturally, that everything just fell into place. I’ve got to say that first experience, that first eight months in Champagne, in Paris, was one of the most amazing times of my life. I would never, ever be able to replicate that – it was incredible.”
It’s hard to believe there could be a downside to a career as magnetic as this one, however Kirkpatrick admitted the long hours could be grueling.
“I’m very careful of complaining about that because I know that I have a job that I love. I earn good money doing what I love and I’m really lucky to have wonderful clients and such strong repeat business and obviously working with such a beautiful product is amazing. But that said, I do work really long hours. I know people just think I turn up at a show and I drink champagne and tell all these wonderful stories and that’s it, but you know I work from six in the morning until 10 at night doing all the little things that I need to do to get this show to you.”
And has life for the Champagne Dame changed in the past two years since marrying the man of her dreams and becoming a mum to her precious baby girl?
“It has changed. Even just the way that I’m perceived when I’m in Paris has changed. I mean let’s be honest, the French men are the French men and they don’t really care whether you have a husband or a baby. But there’s certainly not as much flying around on private jets and in French boats these days. There is that definite consideration when I go to Paris now that I’m leaving my husband and baby behind and on some trips they’re coming with me. So things have changed, but they’ve changed for the better too because I have such a kind and loving husband and he’s really given me a platform to take my love of champagne to another level. I truly don’t think that I would be as successful as what I am now without him and that stability that he provides.”
2015 is destined to be another huge year for the Champagne Dame, and one of many firsts.
She is working on her inaugural book and her life is to be the subject of a pilot documentary about champagne.
“I’m really excited about the book. It will focus on champagne and culinary paring and there’s nothing else quite like it on the market. Champagne has always been considered a celebratory wine, something that you would start with. But I believe it’s so beautifully complex that it really comes alive with food. It just takes it to a whole other dimension and I want people to start thinking about drinking champagne during the meal and not just as a starter.”
But the biggest highlight for the year, the Dame says, will be her launch into the Asian market in July.
“Asia Pacific is going to be a huge opportunity for me. They’re not big champagne drinkers yet. At the moment their palates are quite immature, but they are very hungry for education and for learning. They love luxury and they love the western life so once they adapt to the style of champagne, then it will be a huge market.”
And no interview with Australia’s Queen of bubbly would be complete without her personal recommendations – so here they are.
The go-to champagne:
Pol Roger Brut Reserve – an exquisite and beautifully balanced champagne. A real crowd pleaser.
Favorite high-end champagne:
Dom Ruinart prestige cuvee. The vintage that I love is 1996 but anything from Dom Ruinart is incredible.
Best champagne for those on a budget:
Laurent Perrier non vintage. A beautiful, elegant champagne if you’re on a budget.
xx Lee – The Splendid Word