CFS Newsletter March 2021


Flower of the Month by Dr Bibiana Chan

Lisianthus’ scientific name is eustoma, derived from the Greek words, eu, meaning beautiful, and stoma, meaning mouth. They are native to warm regions of the southern United States, Mexico, Caribbean and northern South America. The single flower resembles poppies, while the double variety has the appearance of peonies or roses. With delicate petals and oval shaped leaves, it has been said to symbolise appreciation, making Lisianthus an ideal gift of appreciation. It also symbolises gratefulness, this beautiful long-stemmed flower with secondary buds surrounding it makes a perfect bouquet to show respect, love, acceptance, and acknowledgement. Lasting from two to three weeks in a vase once cut, Lisianthus also make an ideal gift-to-self for the home! Grab a Lisianthus bouquet at the CFS Pop-up Stall this month.

3D Origami Workshopby young people for young people

Date: Sat 27/3 Time: 1230 – 1430 Venue: Chatswood Youth Centre, 64 Albert St, Chatswood (less than 5 min walk from Chatswood Station)

FREE to CFS members and anyone aged 11 yr. – 25 yr. $10 administration fees otherwise.

Harmony Week – Wear something ORANGE

Live in Harmony Pop-up Stall Date: Sat 13/3 from 0900 – 1500 Outside Little Giant Roaster Café (525 Willoughby Rd, Willoughby.

Plant of the month by Dr Bibiana Chan

The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is quite easy to grow and available in green or variegated varieties. It survives a wide range of conditions with the occasional brown tips due to too much sunlight and high humidity. The spider plant is so named because of its spider-like plants, or spiderettes, which dangle down from the mother plant like spiders on a web. These spiderettes often start out as small white flowers. The spider plant is an excellent choice for new gardener or those without a green thumb. All you have to do is to provide the plant with well-drained soil and bright, indirect light and it will flourish. Water them well but do not allow the soil to become too soggy, which can lead to root rot. If you would like a pot to kick-start your gardening career, it is just $5 for CFS members at the Harmony Week Pop-up Stall on Sat 13/3 March.


This is a mystery fiction novel by American author Martin Cruz Smith, probably better known for the novel, Gorky Park.  It is a stand alone story set in northern Italy in 1945 in the closing years of World War 2, when Venice is still controlled in theory by Mussolini and his fascists, but in reality by the retreating German army.

The central character, Cenzo, is a Venetian fisherman who meets a mysterious 18 year old girl floating down in the Venetian Lagoon, but still alive. She turns out to be a Jewish refugee whose importance Cenzo will eventually discover.

The book was published in 1997 and is about 300 pages in length. It is an easy, light read with a story that is not all that original but is quite a page turner..

I found the plot a bit of a stretch.  At various times Cenzo meets the German SS, the Italian fascists, the Communist partisans, senior officers of the regular German army and, at one stage, Mussolini, all of whom are portrayed in an unflattering light.

As far as I can tell, the history is fairly accurate and  well researched.  The author describes a love story in the midst of historic events as well as attempting to portray everyday life in war torn Italy.

This is a good book to read on a plane or a trip when you do not want to tax your brain too much.

Review of Cakes & Slices of Woolworths Supermarket by Anthony Ni

You may have seen them before and found them taste amazing. They are the same size and all cost $5. I will give these items a brief review as a former member of Woolies Baking Team.

Chocolate hazelnut mousse slices (sugar content: 18.2/100g) Appearance: 4/5. It is separated into hazelnut crust layer, chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache and roasted hazelnut on top. Taste: 5/5. Well above expectation for the price range with rich chocolate flavor and a nutty crust.
Ingredient quality: 4/5. Good quality chocolate coverture used compare with normal and the crust is blend with good quality hazelnut. Some of the products have chocolate slightly melted on top.

Creamy Vanilla slices (sugar content 24/100g)
Appearance: 2/5. It separates into with puff pastry, frozen vanilla custard, pale white vanilla icing on top. Taste: 2/5. Sweet icing and very expensive for frozen vanilla slice, puff pastry not crusty.
Ingredient quality: 2/5. Frozen puff pastry, synthetic vanilla flavour and frozen custard.

Raspberry Custard Slice
Appearance: 4/5. It separate into puff pastry with no layers, frozen raspberry custards , pink icings on top. Pink and white colour are appealing. Taste: 3.5/5 Good flavour, expensive for frozen slice, great raspberry custard, puff pastry not crusty.
Ingredient quality: 3/5. Frozen puff pastry, decent flavor with genuine raspberry and frozen custard.

Appearance: 3.5/5. A very ordinary New York cheesecake with crust, slight up with icing sugar. Taste: 3.5/5. Good flavour, expensive for frozen cheesecake, rich cream cheese. Ingredient quality: 4.5/5. Very good cream cheese quality and decent graham cracker crust.

Conclusion: chocolate hazelnut mousse and cheesecake recommended but not the vanilla slice or the Raspberry slice.

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

‘Live in Harmony’ Pop-up Stall

CFS will be hosting a ‘Live in Harmony’ Pop-up Stall on Sat 13/3 to celebrate the 22nd year of this Harmony Day Movement. Wear something orange to brighten your day and say ‘How are you? Nǐ hǎo ma? Aloha!’ to a stranger on 21st March – Harmony Day! This choice of the day is to coincide the United Nation’s International Day of Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  

The Harmony Day theme colour ‘orange’ is a warm, up-lifting colour. In contrast, its complementary colour ‘blue’ is associated with sadness. I recently watched a short film *, “Sadness – Depression Short Film (2019)” written and directed by Elena Walton for her HSC that aims to shine a light on the reality of depression. This film placed 1st in HSC Design and Technology at MacKillop College 2019. Elena’s mum, Louisa Petrou, played the role of the mum of a teenager in this film.  I recently received a Facebook message from Louise to thank me for my 2008 journal article (reporting major findings of my PhD research) which she found very helpful for her assignment about mental well-being of elderly Chinese-Australians. We had a few exchanges on the current scene of Australia’s mental health services. I mentioned that I started Community Flower Studio in Sept 2019 and found it more rewarding than punching numbers inside the Ivory Tower. Louise told me she used to own a flower shop at Bondi Junction and was now studying a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. She sent me a photo of a bouquet she arranged recently and I sent her the link to the CFS Newsletter. I think this is a great story of Intellectual-Cultural Exchange – in Florist’s style!   *

Messages I learn from StreetWork Dinner by Carol Sudul

We had a table of 10 from CFS for the street work dinner one male and nine females he said he was the thorn between the roses but not true all of us were of  equal value , importance and as nice.

We were of varies ages.  It was so lovely to see the two young ladies only in their early twenties having so much fun especially watching the dragon and sharing each other’s company.

A Chinese lady told me you don’t just give money to the dragon you have to make the dragon work for it by doing tricks.  I guess the message is nothing comes so easy you need to work at it. 

The most important thing I observed at the dinner was the generosity of others donating to Street work.  In addition, when you see people giving to others it makes you think about how can you also help others, this doesn’t have to be by donating money it could be by volunteering your time.   The dinner was about helping others that are less fortunate than yourselves which is such an important message for everyone.

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

Like us on Facebook:Community Flower Studio Inc. Instagram: communityflowerstudio

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