June Newsletter

Acrylic Pouring Workshop at Chatswood Youth Centre on 220521


Flower of the Month by Dr Bibiana Chan

Baby’s Breath

(Gypsophila paniculata) got Its from the kind of soil it thrives on. The soil is found to be high in gypsum which is a kind of mineral that makes the soil think and heavy.  These flowers were found in Africa and Australia.

Baby’s Breath (BB) Flowers are known as the most popular filler flower.  The snowy white blooms and dainty flowers are lovely. In the early 1990s, BB’s is seen tucked in bouquets and flower arrangements. These days, most florists create bouquets for weddings and other special occasions using BB as the main attraction.  Its name Baby’s Breath was derived from the fact that this flower is widely used as a special baby shower gift. However, BB also symbolizes and expresses everlasting love and purity. It reminds people to cherish their loved ones and show affection as much as possible.

Another meaning of this flower is innocence. This is why many florists use BB for bouquets for baby showers or gifts to new mothers.

BB is a perennial type of flower that grows well in gypsum soil. It blooms early summer and lasts until autumn. The flowers can be dried to keep for a long time.  

Grab a ‘Baby’s Breath Posy’ – at the CFS Pop-up Stall this month. Special discount for CFS members.

PTSD Awareness Month Pop-up Stall Date: Sat 12/6 from 0900 – 1500 Outside Little Giant Roaster Café (525 Willoughby Rd, Willoughby.

PTSD Awareness Month

StreetWork’s Supporter’s Breakfast

Date: Sat 19th June at 10-12 Clanwilliam St, Willoughby from 8 am – 10 am. Register at: https://www.streetwork.org.au/upcoming-events-1/2021/6/19/streetworks-supporters-breakfast

Succulent Terrarium Workshopby Bibi

Date: Sat 26/6 Time: 1230 – 1430 Venue: Chatswood Youth Centre, 64 Albert St, Chatswood (less than 5 min walk from Chatswood Station)

$18 for CFS members. $28 for non-members. Discount for young people experiencing mental health challenges. Send Bibi an email (communityflowerstudio@yahoo.com) to enquire.

Plant of the Month by Dr Bibiana Chan

Kangaroo Paws

Kangaroo Paws are truly one of Australia’s most iconic plants; the flower features as the floral emblem of West Australia. Kangaroo Paws originate from the south west of Western Australia. Most belong to the Anigozanthos genus. The vibrant flower colours and unusual paw-like flower head (that gives them their name) have made Kangaroo Paws immensely popular garden plants across Australia and around the world.

Kangaroo Paw flowers are highly distinctive with their finger-like projections and the cover of fine velvet hairs that give the flowers their colour. In the wild the flower colours range from red and green through various shades of reds and yellows. Native birds love the nectar rich flowers and their presence will enhance the joy of your Kangaroo Paw display.

Kangaroo Paws do best in slightly acidic soils with good drainage and full sun exposure. Most will die back and become dormant over winter. It is beneficial to cut back most of the leaves and old flower stems to ground level. Be aware that regular heavy frosts, especially from mid-winter to spring may hinder flower development. Wet feet and excessive humidity levels will encourage fungal diseases and shorten the life of most Kangaroo Paws.

They will need lots of water during flowering season (spring/summer). Planting can take place anytime from March through to October or early November. With the underground rhizome root system, you can divide your Kangaroo Paws quite easily if they get too big. Dividing large clumps is actually good for plant health and fosters strong vigorous growth. Kangaroo Paws do very well as pot plants. Make sure you use a potting mix with good drainage and keep the plant well fed and watered especially while it’s flowering.

Special Kangaroo Paws cuttings for sale at the June Pop-up Stall for AUD$10 for CFS members.


BOOK REVIEW- by Kim Wilkins

The Broker – By John Grisham

At the beginning of the book we find the main character, Joel Blackman, in prison with his fate being discussed by the president of the United States and the director of the CIA, amongst others. We gradually find out our character’s background as a lawyer ( of course) but engaged in brokering and lobbying for large and often corrupt deals with American  politicians.  He does one deal too many and finds himself the object of a number of foreign hit squads.

Grisham shows his vey low opinion of the integrity and honesty of the American establishment ( and this before Trump! ).  After being pardoned our hero ( or antihero) spends his time under protection in northern Italy and, if you want to know more about the beautiful city of Bologna, this is the book for you. I now want to visit there when I next go to Europe, somewhere in the distant future. The author clearly enjoyed doing his research there. I have not read a spy novel with so many descriptions of meals.

There is no doubt that Grisham is a beautiful writer with a flair for cliffhanger plots- in this case does one of about half a dozen intelligence agencies, including his own, succeed in killing Blackman. The plots may, in my opinion, be a little “over the top” but there is no doubt that the author is the best at this genre.

BusH Tomato Scones by SBS Food


It’s a small native Australian berry with a tangy caramel flavour, also called Bush Tomato.

4 cups plain flour
1 pinch of salt
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp butter
1 cup akajura (bush tomato), finely chopped
3 cups milk (approximately), plus extra for brushing

Instructions (Cooking time: 30 minutes)

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Place flour in a large mxing bowl, add salt and baking powder. Rub the fat (butter) into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add bush tomato and mix through.Gradually add the milk, a little at a time, until you have a soft dough. Knead for a few minutes. Press gently so the dough is about 3cm high. Cut out scones, transfer to a baking tray lined with non stick baking paper and rest for 10 minutes.

With a pastry brush, brush the tops of the scones with a little milk and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until brown on the top. Rest for 10 minutes before enjoying.

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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).

Trauma and Mental Health

by Dr. Bettina Christl, Clinical Psychologist (CFS Vice-President)

Australia certainly had its fair share of events in the past two or so years that could be described as traumatic, whether it was devastating drought, the horrific fires of 2019/2020, or the current pandemic.

Besides natural disasters, traumatic events include accidents, physical and sexual abuse, severe neglect, war and many other experiences of violence or threat of violence. Traumatic events can impact us when they happen directly to us or when we witness these, or when we learn about people close to us having been subjected to a traumatic event. Trauma can also be experienced by being exposed to details of traumatic events repeatedly as is common for first responders and mental health professionals.

Traumatic events impact everyone differently and do not automatically lead to the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most people recover from traumatic events with the help of family, friends and community without developing PTSD. However, 5 to 10% of Australians will experience PTSD in their lifetime.

So, what is PTSD? PTSD is characterised by unwanted re-experiencing of parts of the traumatic event through distressing memories, nightmares, flashbacks in which the person feels like they are back in the traumatic situation, or extreme distress in response to reminders of the trauma. PTSD is marked by an effort to avoid reminders and memories of the traumatic event. PTSD impacts one’s thinking too; it leads to difficulties recalling details about the traumatic event accurately and can lead to believes that the world is dangerous, or others cannot be trusted. Concentration may be impaired too. Individuals with PTSD may be more prone to anger outbursts, may get startled more easily and may feel disconnected from their family and friends; they may suffer from sleeping difficulties too. In summary, PTSD impacts feeling, thinking and relating to others considerably. Trauma also increases the risk for physical ill health, especially childhood trauma, as the Adverse Childhood Events (ACE) study has shown (for more information see https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/index.html).

If you think you or someone you know is suffering from the impacts of a traumatic experience, talk to your GP about this and they can link you in with a mental health professional to help.

Phoenix Australia and the Blue Knot Foundation are organisations in Australia that specialise in psychological trauma and provide helpful resources on their websites:

Many people with mental health issues have also experienced trauma; therefore, it is important for organisations working with people with mental health issues to adopt a trauma informed way of providing their services, which is based on the following principles:

  • Safety – emotional as well as physical e.g. is the environment welcoming?
  • Trust – is the service sensitive to people’s needs?
  • Choice – do you provide opportunity for choice?
  • Collaboration – do you communicate a sense of ‘doing with’ rather than ‘doing to’?
  • Empowerment – is empowering people a key focus?
  • Respect for Diversity – do you respect diversity in all its forms?


CFS strives to adhere to these principles in all its activities.

  • Safety – emotional as well as physical e.g. is the environment welcoming?
  • Trust – is the service sensitive to people’s needs?
  • Choice – do you provide opportunity for choice?
  • Collaboration – do you communicate a sense of ‘doing with’ rather than ‘doing to’?
  • Empowerment – is empowering people a key focus?
  • Respect for Diversity – do you respect diversity in all its forms?


CFS strives to adhere to these principles in all its activities.

From the Desk of Bibi



The 20th anniversary of RECONCILIATION WEEK (27th MAY – 3rd JUNE) just passed. The 2021 theme was ‘MORE THAN A WORD. RECONCILIATION TAKES ACTION’ What actions could I take? I came across a TED Talk by Prof Sheree Cairney entitled ‘What Aboriginal Knowledge can teach us about happiness?’

Perhaps the first thing I could do was to ‘UNLEARN’ the bias or stereotypes I held about Indigenous Australians. Then I could ‘RELEARN’ the Indigenous culture and gain some KNOWLEDGE to help me understand their values, their world view. This reminded me of a ‘Conversation with the Artists’ at MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) I attended during the 2018 Sydney Biennale. I was fascinated by the presentation ‘ ‘Learn and Un-lean – Process in Creating Art’ of a South Korean artist.

I did make an effort to LEARN the Indigenous culture. I visited Darwin in 2010 and joined a ‘Aboriginal Cave Art’ tour to find out the livelihood of the First Nation. Reflecting on that tour, I was very attentive to the narratives of the Indigenous guide: she passionately explained the symbolic meanings behind the cave art at various sites inside the Kakadu National Park. However, I had not been through the ‘UNLEARNing’ process! I might still carry with me the bias about all the negative images and reports I read from the medical journals and academic book chapters. Prof Cairney illustrated very well how Australians (from all ethnic backgrounds) and the First Nation People could work together and learn from each other: ‘operate from the safety and strength of your own culture and enable you to be true to who you are, which appears to be key elements of wellbeing!’

She asked her Indigenous friend, an elder of Arnhum Land, ‘What is the one thing Government can do to improve the wellbeing of Aboriginal people?’

He answered, ‘Walk with us.  To share those knowledge  from the those two shared world views.

Actions speak louder than Words!

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.


Email: Communityflowerstudio@yahoo.com

Website: http://www.communityflowerstudio.org Mobile: 0412 613 073

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