Newsletter October 2022

FAME Workshop was part of the 2022 EMERGE Festival
The set-up of the CFS FAME Workshop at Chatswood Youth Centre


  • Sat & Sun 8-9/10 Climate Action Art Exhibition at Balgowlah Stockland Shopping Centre
  • Sat 15/10 Mental Health Month Pop-up Stall at Willoughby Uniting Church
  • Sat 22/10 Succulents in Coloured Sand Glass Workshop at Chatswood Youth Centre
  • Wed 26/10 Laughter Yoga with Eastwood Chinese Senior Citizen Club at St Philips Anglican Church
  • Sat 12/11 Beat the Christmas Blues Pop-up Stall at Willoughby Uniting Church
  • 26th Nov – Flower Crown for Christmas Parties

Reflections on events in September – Spring is in the air!

Climate Action Mixed-Media Art Workshop at Balgowlah Scout Hall

CFS hosts our very popular FAME (Floral Arrangements Made Easy) Workshop twice a year – in Spring and Autumn. We had a sellout workshop last month as it was part of the Willoughby Council’s EMERGE Festival held during school holidays. Many parents booked their 11-yr old well in advance. At the beginning of the workshop, I told them it was never too young to start arranging flowers. However, I did ask them to pair up with an adult participant. These budding florists would benefit from someone who could operate the sharp secateurs. One mum came with her two sons, they had a great family bonding time. Wasn’t it wonderful to create some floral arrangements to give to a friend later.

This was the very community spirit CFS would hope to grow in the neighbourhood. I would like to share not only the joy of receiving flowers, but also giving.  We launched our ‘Petal-it-Forward’ campaign in November 2021 at our ‘Come Back Pop-up Stall’ after 4 months of COVID-19 Lockdown 2.0. We re-launched it at the Daffodil Day Pop-up Stall by offering a free ‘Daffodil Bunch’ to every customer to petal-it-forward to someone who had been impacted by cancer. It was very well received, so at the September RUOK? Pop-up Stall, we gave away 15 Yellow Tiger Lily Bouquets to our customers to petal-it-forward to someone (a family member, a friend, even a stranger) who might not feel or look OK!

If ‘It takes a Village to Raise a Child”. We believe it takes a community to Support Youth Facing Mental Health Challenges. Check out our ‘Mental Health Month Pop-up Stall’ on Sat 15/10 (9 am – 3 pm) at Willoughby Uniting Church (10 Clanwilliam St, Willoughby) and grab a ‘Wellbeing Bouquet’ to PETAL-IT-FORWARD! 


“I feel empowered!’ This is the best outcome I could have hoped for!  

These masterpiece will be display at the Climate Action Art Exhibition at Balgowlah Stockland Shopping Centre

There are quite a few events lined up for the rest of 2022:  

22nd Oct – Succulents in Coloured Sand Glass Workshop

26th Nov – Flower Crown for Christmas Parties

Online registrations for some of these workshops are open. Check out the links or pencil in the date for a workshop and event of your interest! Send your suggestions, reflections or photos to Bibi to be published in the next issue.

Mental Health Month Pop-up Stall on Sat 10th Sept at 9 am till 3pm or when fresh flowers sold out! Our popular ‘Petal-it-Forward’ Campaign is RUNNING AGAIN! Grab a Wellbeing Bunch to petal it forward! Find us inside Willoughby uniting Church (12 Clanwilliam St., Willoughby)!

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

Statice (Sea Lavendar)


Statice, sea lavender (Limonium perezii) is a small, low-maintenance plant that flowers for months and months. Statice blooms stay on the plant for months, you can also use them as dried flowers! Statice is an evergreen perennial that stays relatively close to the ground. The leaves are oval and leathery and have wavy margins. The Statice flowers appear on the tops of strong, wiry stems held above the foliage. You can plant statice out at any time of the year into a spot in full sun or very light shade. Varieties are found with mauve, lilac, apricot, pink, yellow or white flowers.

Fun facts:

An average plant is about 15cm high, but flowers stand up to twice as tall. The foliage is evergreen.

It is suited to cold temperate, warm temperate, sub-tropical and tropical.

Statice prefers light to medium open sandy soils and is fairly drought resistant. They tolerate heavy frosts and flourish in all salty soils, making them ideal for Australia’s hot, dry weather and coastal areas.

Statice usually flowers in spring, summer and autumn. This long flowering period is a major attraction.

Young plants require reliable watering as they establish. Older plants will need occasional watering in very dry periods.

Statice does not require pruning. However, you may find that as the plant ages, some of the lower leaves brown off and die. This is entirely natural.

Statice, when used in cut flower arrangements signifies fond memories.

The photo on the front of my Statice Mixed Seed pack.

How To Use As Dry Flower?

Yellow statice can brighten up your mood!

If you want to use Statice as a dry flower, cut the flower along with 12-18inch of the stem when the flowers are ¾ percent open. As they dry, the remaining flowers will open. Hang the cut flower with stem upside down in a dark room with proper air circulation. It will take 7-10 days to get the flowers dried. Keep the dried flowers away from direct sunlight so that the vibrant colour will last for many years.

I am absolutely a big fan of Statice. I bought some seeds hoping to start growing Statice in Spring. Why don’t you join me? We can compare notes at the next e-Newsletter? Here are 2 YouTube clips to keep our spirit up high!

Tips For Harvesting & Drying Your Garden Grown Statice Flowers:

Lilac Statice is one of my favourite filler flowers
The bucket of flowers for the FAME Workshop participant

Plant of the month

by Dr Bibiana Chan

Succulent – Haworthia

Haworthia is a large genus of small succulent plants endemic to Southern Africa 

They are members of the Asphodeloideae. They form rosettes of leaves from 3 cm to exceptionally 30 cm in diameter, depending on the species. These rosettes are usually stemless but, in some species, stems reach up to 50 cm. The plants can grow solitary or can be clump-forming.

Many species have firm, tough, fleshy leaves, usually dark green in colour. You may like to check out this Gallery for identification. Their flowers are small, and generally white, lilac or reddish orange.

Flowers of Haworthia

Fun Facts:

  • Haworthia is an easy plant to grow both outdoors and indoors in a container.
  • Haworthia likes bright light and does well with direct morning sun. However, strong afternoon sun can be too much for the plant and burn its foliage.
  • Haworthia is a relatively slow-grower, and most species remain small.
  • Soggy soil can kill the roots. When water does not drain readily, the water continually fills soil air pores and the roots cannot “breathe” or exchange gases. The roots will eventually die from a lack of oxygen.Make sure you are watering only when the soil has dried out, and never leave your plant in waterlogged soil.
  • Yellow leaves on Haworthia are often a result of too much sun, as are red or white leaves. Move your plant to a slightly shadier spot—but not full shade—and that might solve the problem.
The Haworthia Zebra is my favourite. It bears tiny lilac flowers.

If you would like to know how Haworthias are propagated, this video clip is for you: How to Separate Pups from Haworthia

A very interesting video showing you how to separate bubs from Haworthia Cooperi, Cymbiformis, limifolia and Fasciata Zebra.

Haworthia Bubs propagated for our succulent terrarium workshops

The Secret to Propagating Haworthia Succulents Fast. In this video, you will learn a special twisting technique.

Roots growing from the stem of the Haworthia ‘zebra’ bubs.

Here is an update of how the cuttings are developing new roots.

By Stephen Boisvert from Chicago, United States – Haworthia. Uploaded by Jacopo Werther, CC BY 2.0,

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Recipe of the Month

Healthy Avocado, Egg & Vege Wrap by Geoff Turner

Simple ingredients can create healthy and delicious meal.


One piece of wholegrain large wrap

One small avocado, sliced

One raw egg, a small tomato, some lettuce leaves.


  1. Put one piece of wholegrain large wrap on a round plate. Sliced the avocado for use as filling.

2. Have other ingredients ready, a raw egg, a slice of Cheddar cheese, lettuce and a few slices of tomato, to add to the wrap

3. Place the cheese and tomato slices at the centre on the wrap. Break the egg onto the other ingredients (as shown). Put the plate with the egg, cheese, tomato slices & wrap into a microwave oven on high for 30 sec. Take it out to stir and mix well. The tip is to stir the egg quickly and mix with the other ingredients to distribute the heat evenly.  Repeat this step 3 – 4 times until the egg is fully cooked.

4. Add the rest of the ingredients (avocado & lettuce) to the wrap. You are now ready to roll your wrap! If you have access to a toaster oven, grill the wrap for 5 min. to give it a ‘gourmet’ look!

Fun facts about microwave ovens:  

A self-taught engineer, Percy Spencer, working for Raytheon, was the first person to patent the microwave oven. He discovered this cooking process accidentally. He placed an egg near a magnetron and the egg began to move from the heat creating pressure inside the egg. The egg exploded and Spencer saw that the yoke had become hot. He realised that the radio-frequency power from the magnetron could cook food quickly.

On 8 October 1945, Raytheon filed a United States patent application for Spencer’s microwave cooking process,

By 1972, Litton (Litton Atherton Division, Minneapolis) introduced two new microwave ovens, priced at USD$349 and USD $399, to tap into the market estimated at $750 million by 1976. Compared to the first popular home model introduced in 1967by Raytheon at a price of US$495 ($4,000 in 2021 dollars)

By 1986, roughly 25% of households in the U.S. owned a microwave oven, up from only about 1% in 1971; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 90% of American households owned a microwave oven in 1997. In Australia, a 2008 market research study found that 95% of kitchens contained a microwave oven and that 83% of them were used daily

Book Review

by Kim Wilkins

Still Life by Sarah Winman

This was an international best seller in 2021 from British author, Sarah Winman.

It centres around the life of a young World War II British soldier named Ulysses who visits Florence in Italy when the Allies are capturing it in 1944, where his meeting with an art historian and a brave act on his part will change his life.
We follow the post war life of Ulysses and his friends over the next 40 years, centred around a London Pub and a hotel in Florence.
For those who love Italian painting and Italian food this novel is a must.

It is beautifully written by Sarah Winman already an established novelist. We even have an element of magic in the form of a wise and gifted parrot, pictured on the front cover. It is often very humorous, sad and in the end very uplifting.

This is one of the best books I have read in several years.

Photos from StreetWork Glam & Grudge Fundraising dinner. Flowers donated by CFS.

Orange Ranunculus & Rose Posy
Pink Ranunculus & Rose Posy
StreetWork Glam & Grudge Dinner
Posies for table centre pieces

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From the Desk of Bibi

Social Impact and Accountability!

Growing up in Hong Kong, I learnt much from my parents and elders about Chinese wisdom. I still remember as a primary school student, I had to recite many 4-word Chinese idioms which were loaded with histories and important values as well as morals. This particular idiom came to my mind when I was reflecting on what CFS has achieved at its 3rd anniversary. “只問耕耘,不問收穫” (Zhǐ wèn gēngyún, bùwèn shōuhuò ,pay attention to the cultivation, not so much about the harvest)! 

A recent post on CFS Facebook page attracted much traffic.

I think any manager in today’s ever competitive business world would disagree with me and say, ‘Show me your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)! What is CFS’ social impact? How many members do you have? What is your annual turnover?

Analysis of demographics of CFS Facebook page followers

I’m by no means ignoring the importance of objective statistics to measure success or accountability. In our application to become a member of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Council (ACNC) and Deductible Gifts Recipient (DFR) endorsement, the CFS Committee answered many questions about the kind of ‘business’ (the social enterprise division) and ‘services’ (mental health promotion division) CFS engaged in.  The tables (1 to 5) below provided a glimpse of what CFS has achieved in the past 3 years.  Taking COVID-19 Pandemic into account, CFS has done pretty well in the past 3 years! At least, CFS has achieved what it is set up to do! Our vision is to ‘Help Young People Learn Life Skills and Find Meaningful Employment’! Perhaps the bonus is CFS, being a youth-focus charity, also provides a unique community platform for people from all ages and from multicultural backgrounds to come together.

  • To create something one is proud of (build creativity and confidence),
  • To share some stress-less tips (build resilience) and
  • To ‘talk in a common language’ of growth, support and resources (build a community).

This sums up the 6 petals on the CFS logo. I hope while CFS is stepping into its 4th year of operation and having our Deductible Gifts Recipient endorsement approved, it will continue to ‘grow’! There will be a series of fund-raising events planned for the next 12 months. You can also donate a workshop or make donations for the CFS ‘Petal-it-Forward’ Campaign! We welcome donations big or small, every cent counts! Donations over $2 will receive tax deduction.  Shoot me an email or give me a call if you have a brilliant fundraising idea! Thank you in advance. 


Table 1: Some key performance indicators

1.  Young People found meaningful employment after engaging with CFS7
2. Young People co-facilitated CFS creative workshops11
3.  Young People assisted with CFS pop-up stall6
4a. Total number of creative workshops hosted31
4b. Total number of virtual workshops via Zoom7
5a. Total number of attendants to the CFS workshops340
5b. Total number of CFS workshops attendants who were 25 yr  209
6. Total number of Pop-up Stalls24
7. Ethnic groups of participants17
8. Total number of visits to the CFS website7,789
9. Total number of countries with 10 or more visits to the CFS website11
10. Organisations collaborated with CFS14

Table 2: Top 11 Countries of visitors to the CFS websites

CountriesVisitors to CFS Website
United States551
Hong Kong SAR China302
United Kingdom49

Table 3: Organisations collaborating with CFS

1. SBSMental Health Talks
2. Commercial Radio 2acMental Health Talks
3. Commercial Radio 2rrrLaughter Yoga Explained
4. Willoughby City Council,Family Festival & Emerge Festival
5. Eastwood Chinese Senior Citizen ClubSucculent Terrarium Demonstration & Laughter Yoga Program
6. Willoughby & Northbridge Uniting ChurchClimate Action Mixed-Media Art workshops
7. Sydney Autism Community Lions ClubAutism Awareness Pop-up Stalls
8. Balgowlah Scouts,Climate Action Mixed-Media Art workshops
9. StreetWork,Youth Week Creative Workshops
10. Ryde City CouncilLaughter Yoga Program
11. SECNA (Social Enterprise Council NSW & ACT)Media Workshop
12. Mental Health Coordinating CouncilNDIS Re-Imagine – Multi-lingual resources
13. Lane Cove CouncilSucculent Terrarium Workshop
14. Chinese Australian Services SocietyMental Health Training

Table 4: Community Flower Studio Activities

Pop-up  Stalls24
Creative Workshops:31
Total No. Workshop attendance340
≤ 25yr209
25 yr +131

Table 5: Ethnic backgrounds of CFS Workshop participants   

New Zealander
South African


Friendship Month Meetup!

By Charlie C

Marjorie Tenchavez, CEO of Welcome Merchant

On the 1st of September, I had the wonderful opportunity to specifically join Bibi as a member of the Community Flower Studio, attending Social Enterprise Council NSW and ACT(SECNA)’s ‘Friendship Month Meetup’ event. At the beginning of the event, I had the chance to mingle and chat with a really large number of attendees while snacking on some of the food provided.

Cooking class offered by refugee entrepreneurs.

The presentations for the two speakers, Marjorie Tenchavez and Abbey Pantano were being set up, there was a delay due to a problem with connecting their presentations. During the wait, I was able to speak with others about social enterprises. Once the projector was up and running, the first to present was Marjorie Tenchavez. She spoke about their social enterprise, Welcome Merchant and how they got to this point. Welcome Merchant assists Refugees and Asylum Seekers to start up their business as entrepreneurs, helping with things like setting up online stores, connect them to the wider Australian community.

Abbey Pantano, CEO of Seed Spaces

After that, Abbey Pantano from Seed Spaces, presented the key insights and lessons learnt throughout the process from then till now. Seed Spaces is a social enterprise Abbey co-founded. Seed Spaces acts as a means of connection; connecting one to a business or connecting another business which provides services you need or a business which needs your services. Its goal is bringing people together to form collaborations and partnerships. This event was a great experience for me, allowing me to meet new people and learn new things.

Abbey Pantano’s community

More photos from the FAME Workshop

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.