CFS Newsletter April 2021

Two young CFS members at

the Harmony Week Pop-up



Flower of the Month by Dr Bibiana Chan

It was believed that the geographical origins of Cockscomb first emerged in the dry slopes of Africa, Asia and North & South America specifically in the dry and rocky regions. It is part of the Amaranthaceae family. Its head can grow up to 12 cm and its stems are 60 cm in height, It blooms from late summer to late fall. Cockscomb is also known as Celosia. It came from the Greek word ‘kelos’ which means burned because of its bright coloured petals. You can find 60 species of Celosia growing around the world and they can be either an annual or perennial growing flower.

Since cockscomb has long stiff stems, it is perfect for fresh and dried flowers. They can live as long as 15 days inside a vase if you just take care of them properly. There are different varieties of colours. From yellow, red, pink and green. Because there is no fragrance, it is perfect for people who are hypoallergenic.

Grab a Cock’s Comb bouquet at the CFS Pop-up Stall this month.

Floral Arrangements Made-Easy Workshopby Bibiana

Date: Sat 17/4 Time: 1230 – 1430 Venue: Chatswood Youth Centre, 64 Albert St, Chatswood (less than 5 min walk from Chatswood Station)

$25 for CFS members and $35 for Non-members. Discount for young people experiencing mental health challenges. Send Bibi an email to enquire.

AUTISM MONTH – Wear something BLUE

Autism Awareness Month Pop-up Stall Date: Sat 10/4 from 0900 – 1500 Outside Little Giant Roaster Café (525 Willoughby Rd, Willoughby.

Plant of the month by Dr Bibiana Chan

Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf)

Bright red leaves with prominent red veins are the attraction of this Brazilian plant. This tropical native seems to adapt well to being indoors. Many varieties have lance-shaped leaves but some are more rounded. The leaves grow to 8-16 cm long in opposite pairs. Small greenish-white flowers may appear in summer.

This tropical native need warmth, humidity and plenty of light to thrive. Put it near a window or in a sunroom to maintain its vibrant colour. Repot in spring. When you see roots growing out of the drainage holes, it is time to repot. Move it up to a container just 3-5 cm larger, using a pot with drainage holes to prevent soggy soil. Water: Water thoroughly, aiming to keep the potting mix lightly moist at all times. Empty drainage tray to prevent soggy soil, which can lead to root rot. Water less in winter, when growth has slowed. Older plants are drought-tolerant. Soil: Any good-quality, all-purpose potting mix. Propagation: Take 8-10 cm soft stem tip cuttings in early spring and root them in moist perlite. They root easily. If you want to add some colour to your living room, get a ‘Bloodleaf’ cutting for just $3 at the Autism Awareness Pop-up Stall on Sat 10/4.


This is one of the top selling books by one of America’s top selling novelists.  It involves a secret American scientific military project combined with a murder mystery. These eventually come together in an intriguing way.  It was published in 2016 and is 420 pages. It is an easy read, but I found it a surprising page turner.

Baldacchi develops his characters well and the plot takes some unpredictable turns. It is a book where you definitely do not want to know the ending.

At the beginning the book  jumps between a murderous ex prisoner, Rogers, and an army lawyer with family issues, Puller, with successive chapters moving from one character to the other.  At first I found this a bit disjointed but you soon adjust to it and after about 100 pages, you get drawn into the storyline.

The author is careful to make the plot as apolitical as possible, although he does have issues to push about military secrecy,  military technology and ethics.  It is the first book I have read by this author and I am impressed with his succinct, flowing style and ability to make the reader look at the storyline through the eyes of the main characters.

For those that like books of this genre I highly recommend it.


by Geoff Turner


Whole grain flour:   500 g Yeast:    5 g Mixed seed              100g Water   400 ml


  1. Make the dough: Combine yeast, warm (not hot) water in a bowl/measuring jug and mix well. Allow to stand for 5 minutes until foamy. Combine the flours (start with only 250 g of flour), mixed seeds in a large bowl and mix. Pour in the yeast mixture and bring together into a rough dough. Mix and knead. Add the remaining flour, a tablespoon at a time, and knead until the dough is smooth and soft. You might not need all the flour. It should be slightly tacky but not overly sticky.
  2. Allow to rise: Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Transfer the dough to a loaf pan and cover again. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 200°C.
  4. Bake the bread: Brush the top of the loaf with a beaten egg then sprinkle on some extra seeds (Optional). Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the bread

Ba;gowlah Cubs Climate Action Mixed-Media Art workshop

The first Harmony Day was launched in 1999 by the then NSW MP Dr. Peter Wong. This was an initiative in respond to Pauline Hanson’s 1996 maiden speech at Parliament describing how Australia being ‘swamped’ by Asians.  According to the 2016 Census, nearly half (49 per cent) of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was. Mandarin came first as the most spoken language other than English.  Eighty-five per cent of Australians agree multiculturalism has been good for Australia (check out the Australian Bureau of Statistics website for more details).

From the Desk of Bibi

“One in a hundred years flooding!”

During the heavy downpour in the Mid-North Coast, I was in Canberra visiting family and friends. I was lucky to have escaped yet another unprecedented weather event. I hope our CFS members were not affected by the wet weather too much.

My first day back in Sydney, I facilitated my 4th Climate Action Mixed-Art Workshop for 20 Balgowlah Cubs (8 – 11 yr). What a timely activity to discuss how we could take ‘Climate Action’ to slow down the impact of ‘Climate Change’. For these young cubs, it was a way to help restore the health status of Planet Earth via creative arts. In a small old fashioned scout hall, 20 young cubs and 6 leaders were busy creating their masterpieces using household plastic waste and dried flowers/leaves (mostly from my garden). I encouraged them to plea to make a small change in their daily routine as their ‘climate action’. Be it ‘Reduce water consumption by taking shorter showers’; choose to ‘Repair their everyday items rather than dispose them in the bin‘; ‘Reuse cleaned takeaway plastic food containers; Re-Imagine using single-use plastic as craft material. Recycle as far as possible.

Community Flower Studio is a Sustainable Florist. We try to source our flowers from local growers. We use bio-degradable zip-lock bags to pack raw materials for our succulent terrarium workshops. We recycle and reuse plastic wrappings. We collect all green waste and turn it into compost for our indoor plant.

If everyone makes a small effort to practise the 5Rs (Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Re-imagine) of Climate Action, Planet Earth will restore to its good health soon. Plea to take your Climate Action Today!

Little Acts of Kindness by Mrs. Carol Sudul

On 8th March, the International Women’s Day, my workplace celebrated this occasion by giving every woman a nut bar with a note saying:

 “Happy Women’s Day you are loveable and loved!”

This is such a small gesture, but it brought a big smile to me. I am sure others will feel the same. Moreover at my workplace, you can buy a “pay it forward coffee card’ where you give the free coffee card to a deserving person”.  Whenever I received the free coffee card I smile, I feel special that someone has appreciated the work I do.  Even though I don’t drink coffee, I accept the card and will then pass it onto someone else. Then that person also smiles and feels special as well. A small act of kindness makes a big difference.  I often think, ‘anything that makes someone smile is worth the effort!’

Community Flower Studio Logo Explained

Community: CFS is a community to support young people facing mental health challenges.

Creative: CFS hosts events to unleash young people s creative talents.

Resource: CFS provides members with resources to enhance their wellbeing.  

Support: CFS  offers support to members to develop their potential.

Growth: CFS fosters a growth mindset which is helpful in dealing with challenges.

Recovery: CFS sees recovery as achievable and a journey to cherish.



Website: Mobile: 0412 613 073

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Address: 10-12 Clanwilliam St., Willoughby, 2068, NSW, Australia.