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The Lively Gazette May 2023

Salutations splendid readers of our marvellous May issue #23 of the Lively Gazette!👩‍💻👋


This edition is action-packed with Helper/Member duo stories, Tech Help session accounts and Helper development reports. May bids farewell to two amazing Lively Helpers who have had an instrumental role in the operations of Lively; Michelle and Chloe. Both Helpers were part of a pilot program which aimed to provide a community of care around several Lively Members in their local area. Michelle has been a long-time keen Home Care Helper and company secretary of Lively's board. As a member of our Tech Mates team, Chloe helped develop the Lively Helper app which we all love! We send them both off with our best wishes and look forward to hearing about their adventures! 🗺️🙋‍♀️


Reflecting on the Lively Gazettes – past, present and future – please submit something to this form if you feel inspired or inclined to contribute. The Gazettes are an awesome way to stay connected with the Lively community and keep up to date with the goings on within our organisation.

Member Norma & Helper Xinran: Teddy bears and babies 🧸👶

“Norma went to New Zealand for a holiday. We paused our session for a month and when I met her again, she was very excited and gave me lots of updates on her trip to New Zealand. She also told me she had a new great-granddaughter who was born the same day as her birthday. Her grandson came and visited her with the newborn baby by the end of our session on that day. I had helped Norma prepare her gift for her great-granddaughter before they arrived, which is a cute teddy bear. Norma let me put my name as the witness of this bear's birth.”

Words from Helper, Xinran


Defeating the garden’s clivias with ‘girl power’ 👩‍🌾🍝

“These clivias have been all over my Member Anastasia's front garden. We've spent the last 2 months slowly digging them out so that she could plant basil and other herbs and seedlings. We have since adopted the name "spaghetti monsters" due to their root systems. We always admire our "girl power" when we successfully remove one!”

Words from Member, Kay


Member Miranda & Helper Ann: gardening and laughs over coffee 🍐☔️

“Today I helped Miranda with weeding around the lemon tree base so we can sprinkle fertiliser on. I then turned the soil and weeded a section of the garden bed where Miranda would like to plant some broad beans. It started raining heavily so we came inside to have some coffee. I bought over a funny pear for a laugh as Miranda has been in a state of worry about all the people around her getting sick. It was great to catch up again & to see her smile!”

Words from Member, Ann

Lalor Library Club Digital Literacy

This month, digital literacy sessions at the Lalor Library Club have concluded. Over the past month, Lively Helpers Kay and Bhavi have been helping Members to tackle their individual issues. These included using Excel, email, Google Drive and booking venues online.


Lively Helpers Jeanne (left) and Bhavi (right) pictured at Lalor Library last year


Throughout the program, Kay learnt some Macedonian phrases that she showcased to her Members in the final session. Kay described how this made the Members “very happy” and how it was “a pleasure speaking their language and connecting in small ways”.


In the final session, Bhavi and Kay, “assisted Members to fill out the end of tech and tea survey google form. We did some troubleshooting of opening google sheets and editing the contents of the sheets. Then, Bhavi and I shared together at the end of the session what we learnt and enjoyed about the sessions with members before we parted ways.”

Words from Helper, Kay


Kathleen Syme Community Centre Connect Cafe

We are almost to the end of an eight week digital literacy program at the historical Kathleen Syme library in Carlton. Sophia popped into a session last week to see how they were getting on.

“Our three Helpers, Mahyar, Cherry and Wei-Ting have had a really engaged learning group in these sessions, helping local seniors on topics including navigating their smart phones, connecting online through email, video and whatsapp, social media, QR codes, taking photos and online safety. In the session I attended they learnt how to use google maps to get around and also to find local amenities. They also learnt how to use google earth and visited Paris which was fun. Several of the participants were really keen to keep coming to sessions so I let them know about upcoming sessions set to start in South Yarra, Kensington and North Melbourne.”

Words from Community Relations Builder, Sophia


For any City of Melbourne residents, we will be running more Connect Cafe sessions, if you or someone you know is keen to learn more on their device in a friendly setting! (See flyer above.)


Thomastown Senior Clubs Barry Rd

“I really enjoy spending time with those fantastic members who attend Tech & Tea at Thomastown Senior Clubs Barry Rd! Most of them are leaders of different senior clubs from different cultures backgrounds in City of Whittlesea.

Me and Isabella worked with Diana from the council and helped our lovely ladies and gentlemen with things like Google sheets, digital literacy, email and online booking systems. They are delighted to learn something different every week to help them with the internal issues of the clubs and appreciate our help. They told me that they believe the sessions are successful and useful as they are capable of handling those ‘missions impossible’ by themselves now!”

Words from Helper, Harry












April Helper Meet-Up @ Our Community House 👨‍🏫

“Every two months, we gather for our regular Helper Meet-Up, where our Helpers can reconnect, share the stories of their recent sessions, and up-skill in new areas.


In the past six months, we've covered topics from professional boundary management to resume writing to group facilitation. In April, our focus was on responding to Members experiencing mental health challenges. Our Helpers are not mental health workers, so together we discussed how to support Members to stay active and connected in the present, and how/when to loop in other support services when additional help is needed.”

Words from Helper Coordinator, Robin

Ella, Phuong, Rochelle, Michelle, Sophie, Cherry, Ann (pictured clockwise from back row left)


“At the latest Helper Meet-Up, it was lovely to meet and welcome so many new Helper recruits. These bi-monthly check-ins are always a good opportunity for us Helpers to regroup and to air out any challenges, sticky points and stories of success through our work with Members. We later opened up a discussion on Member-centred mental health, realising that through our work, we will often witness these discussions and experiences. Robin helped to provide us with resources to enable us to gently support a Member through tough times towards support and reassurance. Thank you to everyone that contributed.”

Words from Helper, Michelle


Member Brains Trust - still recruiting! 📣

In our April edition, we mentioned an exciting opportunity for Members to get more involved in sharing feedback, ideas and suggestions to shape Lively's services - the 'Member Brains Trust'! We've been thrilled to have six wonderful Members put up their hands so far to join the group, which will meet regularly for relaxed, fun and meaningful conversations about how Lively can better serve older community members, and how we can continue to grow our reach and impact. We've still got room for a few more group members - could you be one of them?


Members of the group will be compensated for their time, and we'll be deciding on timing and location of meetings to fit the needs of group members. You don't need to be a person who 'has ideas', or specific experience and skills, to get involved - just a belief in Lively's purpose, an interest in connecting with other members of the Lively community, and a desire to contribute.


If you're interested in getting involved, or finding out more, reach out to Anna directly (anna@lively.org.au, or 03 9070 4741). We're hoping to get the group up and running in the coming months!


May’s new Helpers: Welcome to the Lively Helper brood! 👋

We were stoked to bring on six sparkling new Helpers this month!

Together with our Helper Coordinator, Robin, this fabulous team of smart, caring, driven and creative young people have completed their Lively Training and can't wait to get working with our Members! If you're a Member working with Greta, Aisha, Asher, Monique, Bella or Ruby (left to right), please make them feel extra welcome as they find their feet in the job.


Au revoir Michelle: Reflections and farewells from our beloved co-sec ✈️

“After 2 years I come to an end or temporary pause to my Lively journey, and it feels bitter-sweet.


This Monday I will hoist my backpack on and trek overseas with a one-way ticket in hand, so it's been an emotional week of goodbyes. Is it weird to say that I think I will carry a bit of Lively with me in my heart? But truly. I have cherished all the rich experiences I have had as a Helper and company secretary. I'm thankful for my time with the Lively team, board and of course with my dear Members.


It's been such a humbling exchange, I feel like I've acquired a lot of cleaning hacks, I'm ever thankful for the abundant supply of fresh produce along the way, pearls of wisdom and for the empowering space that Lively create and hold.


Bon voyage and onto the next chapter!”

Words from Helper and Company Secretary, Michelle

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (15 June) is a day to advocate for the rights of our older community members. Elder abuse can be intentional or unintentional. Most often the abuse is carried out by someone known to the older person.


On June 15th, Seniors Rights Victoria will host its annual ‘Stir a Cuppa with Seniors’ afternoon tea. This year’s guest speaker is Patricia Edgar, reflecting on ageing 10 years since the publication of her book, In Praise of Ageing. Bookings are required for this free event.


Wear purple on Thursday June 15th to show your solidarity and support for our elders.

For more information about elder abuse contact Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821, or visit seniorsrights.org.au.



National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week – 27 May to 3 June every year – is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. Reconciliation is about reflecting on the past, looking at ways to build a better future and taking meaningful action to make that happen. 


The theme for National Reconciliation Week in 2023 is ‘Be a Voice for Generations ’ and encourages Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise.  



May Pearl of Wisdom: the importance of dreams 🙏


Are you a Member, Helper or Friend of Lively with a pearl of wisdom (life tip or inspiring quote) or any content ideas for the Lively Gazette that you’d like to share with us? We'd love your contribution! Please email us at stories@lively.org.au if you would like to feature anything in the next edition!

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