Newsletter December 2022

Flower Crown Workshop at Chatswood Youth Centre 26 Nov 2022
CFS Christmas Dinner on 3 Dec 2022


  • Sat 10 Dec – Christmas Pop-up Stall outside Little Giant Roaster Café (9 am to 3 pm or until fresh bouquets are sold out)!
  • Sat 17 Dec – Christmas Sustainable Presents Pop-up Stall outside Little Giant Roaster Café (9 am to 3 pm)
  • Sat 21 Jan – Flower Crown Workshop at Chatswood Youth Centre.
  • Lunar New Year Celebrations by Willoughby City Council (WCC) – Year of Rabbit begins on Sun 22 Jan. 2023.  WCC has put together a series of activities from 18 Jan to 12 Feb for people of all ages and all cultural backgrounds to celebrate this occasion: Chatswood Year of the Rabbit Festival
  • Floral Trends for 2023 from Marginpar – it is a proud member of the FSI initiative. FSI stands for Floriculture Sustainability Initiative. Its goal is to achieve a sustainable production of 100% for all plants and flowers.
  • Sustainable Christmas Presents – CFS is proud to be a sustainable florist. We are offering the following sustainable gifts for this Christmas: Succulent Terrariums, Succulents in fishbowls, DIY Kits (Succulent Terrariums and Colour-Sand Glass).  

Reflections on past events!

Flower Crown Workshop

Flower Crown Workshop

The first full Flower Crown Workshop held on 26/11 was very well received. Let’s here from the participants (aged from 11 to 60+):

It was great fun and relaxing!

This workshop was very fun/enjoyable to do and there was a great end result!

So much fun and the materials and sections are well prepared. Therefore, people are so friendly and supportive.

It was a fun workshop where you get to leave with a cool original flower crown!

Due to sickness, there were 3 last minute cancellations. Thus, this workshop will be offered again on 21 Jan 2023, just in time to take the flower crown to Chinese New Year (22/1) or Australia Day (26/1) celebrations!

Disability Pride Flag Raising Ceremony

Three CFS members attended the Disability Pride Flag Raising Ceremony at Ashfield Civic Centre Courtyard on Mon 28 Nov. The Inner West Council is the first council to support the Disability Pride movement – recognising the identity and community of disabled people around the world. The Inner West Council is saying “We see you. We value you. We respect you. The diversity in our community represents diversity of ability”

 We’re different, not less. ..

We need to be proud of who we can be and who we are, so we are able to take that space that is difficult to step into.” Deb Roach (Three times International Pole Dancing Championship)

This first Disability Pride Flag was raised at Ashfield Civic Centre Courtyard on 28 Nov 2022.

“Pride is the opposite of shame — it’s not about saying we’re better than other people,” Kerry Chin (Him/his) said. He works as an electrical engineer in the rail industry. Watch his speech below:

 More details are available here: These Australians are flying the flag for Disability Pride | ABC News

AGM of CFS and Circle of Friends Meetup

The 3rd AGM of CFS was held on 1 Dec. I thanked everyone who attended the meeting and contributed to ideas for activities for next year. In particular, CFS will be hosting some fundraising events. A BBQ at Bunnings Warehouse at Chatswood is planned for Youth Week, 2023.  You can read the President’s Report here. Return of the CFS Circle of Friends Social Gatherings – if it wasn’t because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, CFS would have organised regular social gatherings to connect our members and a wider circle of friends. On Sat 3/12 some members and their friends were able to celebrate the end of 2023, Christmas as well as CFS being awarded ‘Deductible Gift Recipient’ endorsement by the Australia Tax Office. Watch this space for the next Circle of Friends meetup!  

The CFS Circle of Friends Meetup was back for the first time since July 2020

If you would like to order a DIY Succulent Terrarium or Colour-Sand Kit for Christmas, check out the CFS online Shop.

The Petal-it-Forward Campaign is proudly sponsored by generous donations from our members and supporters. Donations to CFS are tax deductible. Donate – Community Flower Studio

There are many ways to support CFS: become a member or contribute to the columns here. I’m always looking for a great recipe passed down from generation to generation. If you have a story to share, either write a short piece around 250 words or shoot us some photos. If there is a book or a movie you want to write a review, the CFS e-Newsletter will be happy to share with our e-Newsletter subscribers.  Contact Bibi on

If you would like to purchase a DIY Succulent Terrarium Kit for a loved one or a friend as a present, order online here !

Here is a new ‘Succulents in Colour-Sand Glass’ DIY Kit. Available here.

Flower of the Month

By Dr Bibiana Chan


Week 1 – bought from Flemington Flower Market

 Chincherinchee is perennial, attaining 29–50 cm in height, becoming dormant during winter. It produces half-a-dozen fleshy leaves which die after flowering. The leaves are some 15–30 cm in length and 0.5 – 1.5 cm in width, arrow-shape and soft-textured. The flowers are in a compact raceme of 30-50 flowers or in a loose inflorescence of 5-20 flowers. It occurs in the Northern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa. Its distribution extends from Namaqualand to the Cape Peninsula to Caledon and the Agulhas Plain.

Stems are cut when the buds showed some colour (tuned white from green)

Chincherinchee, Ornithogalum thyrsoides, have large cones of tightly packed white blooms on tall straight stems. From the Greek “ornis” (a bird) and “gala” (milk), in reference to the colour of the flowers. The name “thyrsoides” describes its compact flower type. Chincherinchee belongs to the Hyacinthaceae. The genus in the traditional sense contains about 120 species with a distribution in Africa, Europe and Western Asia.

Week 2 – blooms looking their best

As cut flowers, Chincherinchee blooms have up to 3 weeks of vase life in water alone. The long vase life earned its common name: Wonder Flower! The petals are white with yellow stamens in the centre.  

Every bud on the stems is open by the end of week 3

Chincherinchee prefers full sun in well-drained soil. It multiplies quickly so they are ideal for garden borders.

Fun Facts: The Afrikaans vernacular name tjienkerientjee is the simulation of the chink sound made when fresh stalks are rubbed against one another and is based on the name given by Thunberg in 1772 as tinkerintees. Chincherinchee is the English translation of the Afrikaans name. 

By the end of week 4, natural aging appears.

Check out this YouTube clip to find out how to grow Chincherinchee in a pot. I have 2 pots in my garden.

This Orange Star Plant (Ornithogalum Dubium) is in the same family. Its common name is Sun Star – you will agree with me that its orange blooms definitely justify for the name.

Plant of the month

by Dr Bibiana Chan


Glossy leaves of Viburnum

Viburnum is a genus of about 150 – 175 species of flowering plants in the moschatel family Adoxaceae. Its current classification is based on molecular phylogeny. The member species are evergreen or deciduous shrubs or (in a few cases) small trees native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere. In Africa, the genus is confined to the Atlas Mountains.

Clusters of white flowers

Viburnum Odoratissimum – sweet viburnum is often used as greenery for floral arrangement since the leaves are glossy green and long lasting after cutting. It bears fragrant white flowers in Spring and early Summer. Its quick growing nature made it an ideal hedge or screen. 

A Happy bunch made up of Gerberas and Viburnum leaves.

Once the plant is established, it will tolerate most soil conditions and drought. Good drainage will definitely promote healthy growth.  It enjoys full sun or part-shade and grows to 3-4 m in height and 2-3 m in width. It can also be grown in pots and containers.

A viburnum hedge outside my church – the Willoughby Uniting church
Viburnum leaves are used in this Lily bouquet.

Viburnums can be propagated by seed or by taking softwood cuttings of about 15 cm from a terminal branch in summer. I learnt that four popular varieties of viburnums in America after watching this YouTube clip. Arrowwood, Shasta, Onondaga, and Japanese Snowball. You may find it interesting too.  I will definitely look out for them at my next trip to a local nursery.

I think the Japanese snowball tree (Viburnum plicatum) absolutely has won my heart with its lacy white globes of flower clusters, similar to hydrangeas. Apparently, Japanese snowball care is really quite easy.

Check out this YouTube Clip about Snowball Viburnum:

Read more about Japanese Snowball and other viburnums varieties here.

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Recipe of the Month

French Crepes by Laetitia Desmons
The classic French crepes recipe you need in your life. Perfect for any occasion. The special T-shape crepe spreader evenly distributes batter to make crepes with uniform thickness.


2 cup (250g) all-purpose flour, sifted.

1 pinch of salt

3 large eggs

1/4 cup (50g) melted butter

 1 Tablespoon (15g) sugar (optional)

500 ml milk

 2 Tablespoons oil for cooking

Pour flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the eggs, the melted butter, and the optional sugar if desired. Whisk vigorously starting from the centre, and slowly start to pour in a little milk, mixing as you pour, to keep the batter smooth. Pour in the rest of the milk until it looks smooth. Cover the bowl and let sit for 2 hours. Heat a 15 cm/6-inch crepes pan and grease with oil. Pour in a ladle of dough by tilting the pan in all directions to distribute the dough well. A Crepe spreader will be ideal for this task. Heat until the surface is cooked, then flip the pancakes and cook the other surface for about a minute, or until the crepe becomes lightly blonde. Proceed the same with the remaining batter.  Stack the crepes onto a plate and serve with your favourite topping. Add a bit of Aussie flavour by adding mango and other stone fruit!

Book Review

by Kim Wilkins


This is the latest novel by well-known Australian/ American author and journalist Geraldine Brooks. It is what you might call historical fiction. it is based around a nineteenth century horse named Lexington which was one of America’s greatest racing and stud horses.

It contrasts the life of the horse’s contemporaries and the modern professionals searching for his bones and a famous portrait of the horse. The story details the life of the trainer in the 1850s, a slave from Kentucky, and the parallels between his life and that of a modern African American and the prejudice each must face.

The author, who has an Order of Australia and whose past work has won her a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, is a clever writer and has chosen an interesting angle to discuss the issue of race.

I found the shifting back and forth between the 21st century and the 19th a little strained at times. As well, found that the 19th century figures have greater character development than the contemporary figures. It does have an insightful depiction of the life of slaves in pre-Civil War America

It is well researched. You do struggle a little through the first 80 or 100 pages while the characters are developed. The book is about 400 pages. After that it is a real page turner. Maybe had too high expectations considering the reputation of the author but, in any event, it is interesting and enjoyable enough for me to read her earlier books.

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From the Desk of Bibi

I wonder…

I wonder…

‘Where is the right place and the right time for an aboriginal teenager walking home after finishing school for the day?

Watching Cassius Turvey’s mother’s plea for people not to use the candle light vigils for her son to instate violence was heart-wrenching. ‘Forever Fifteen’ is what Michelle wanted everyone to remember her son as a vibrant, caring and funny boy with a beautiful smile. Cassius died at a hospital in Perth after being bashed violently on his way home with some school friends. While the investigation is still on-going, it is too early to claim the incident is definitely related to ‘race’.

Michelle Turvey was hugged by a supporter

I wonder…

‘What if the victim was a white teenager?’ 

WA Police Commissioner made a statement early on and stated

‘He was at the wrong place at the wrong time!’

WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch

However, a community representative Hannah McGlade, who works for Curtin University on issues of justice and race discrimination, said the Aboriginal community was concerned the police response had not been adequate…

“When Cleo (Smith, a 4-yr old) was abducted a police task force was established and it got the attention the case deserved,” she said.

“Why doesn’t the killing of a young boy deserve that kind of attention?” 

I wonder…

 ‘Where is the right place and the right time for a teenager, of aboriginal background, walking home after school?’

Is this the classic ‘blame the victim’ mentality? Cassius was ‘allegedly’ bashed to death with a metal bar moments after getting off his school bus was in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’? When the George Floyd was killed by a policeman kneeling on his neck, his last words were ‘I can’t breathe!’

I wonder

what was Cassius thinking when the 21-yr old white male started bashing him.  How many lives have to be lost before people see why ‘Black Lives Matter’!  

I wonder…

How many aboriginal kids would be thinking in their minds, “This could be ME!’

Let’s hear from the Indigenous leaders: 

Open letter from Indigenous leaders

We have come together as a Noongar Nation.

Let’s make this a fight for all of us, for change.

We are hurting, our people are hurting for a long time.

We are standing straight and tall, for our children and young people.

Cassius was the most beautiful young man you could ever meet. Instead, he’s being portrayed differently.

Our kids aren’t bad, but they are portrayed as bad. None of the kids are bad, they have a right to walk the streets.

We need to be a Voice for our young people.

You see them locked up in prison, you don’t see them for who they really are. It seems like our state government just wants kids locked up.

This is our chance to come together for our children. There were several people involved in this very serious attack on our children. Only one has been charged with murder. Why is that?

Why did Perth Children’s Hospital release Cassius from hospital after just 5 days? We know that if a white child was killed like this it would be different.

Cassius was not ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’. He was in his school uniform with his friends in broad daylight.

They set upon him with weapons.

We want our children to stand up to racism. It’s very real in this community. We must respond to this as a Hate crime. That’s what it was.

The Premier and Police Commissioner are telling us to be quiet. We know attacks on our children are real. They are minimizing this horrific killing of young Cassius. This is wrong and dangerous especially as our people are not selected for juries.

We as a Noongar Nation are outraged by this mindless, inhumane, cowardly racist act against an innocent child. We call on Government to meet us now.

The Noongar Nation. Enough is Enough.

Signed: Jim Morrison, Dawn Wallam, David Collard, Donna Nelson, Justin Kickett, Hannah McGlade

Photo credit: Cason Ho: People attend the funeral wearing Kids Matter shirts. (ABC News)


Model Minority – poetry slam by McKayla Tan

Listen to McKayla’s performance:

Not your Model Minority –

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have become aware of another pandemic that has been ignored for decades – anti-Asian racism. The normalisation of the “model minority” stereotype may have been around for all my life as an Asian-Australian teen, but the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened that racist mindset. In the past few years, we have seen more and more attacks on innocent Asian people due to their race. This poem was born out of anger from the 2021 Atlanta Spa Shootings. I hope reading this poem will help raise awareness for the anti-Asian discrimination prevalent both internationally and in Australia. The full transcript is available here.

Note: I came across a Photography Exhibition ‘We Bleed the Same’ of Portraits of ‘Hyphenated Australians’ held at Australian National University. Here are some highlights.

A poster for the ‘We Bleed the Same exhibition
Racial Discrimination experienced in Sydney, Australia

Kun Hung’s story of COVID-19 related Anti-Chinese sentiment
Blood samples displayed at the We Bleed the Same Exhibition

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.



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