Womenfolk Series: Elizabeth McDonald – Meet My Mum

IMGP1039As most of you know, our family lost our Mum three years ago and we still feel her absence keenly. On Mothers Day in particular – not just because it’s Mothers Day, but because Mothers Day marks the beginning of the end of her life. Mothers Day was the last time I saw her at home. It was the last day we shared a cuppa, and the last day that we had a proper conversation. After that, for the next couple of weeks, it was just the hospital bedside, and Mum, asleep.

But I don’t want to dwell on the sadness, or how keenly I feel her absence. Or how much I know she would have loved my three-year old, if she’s had the chance to get to know her. I’m not dwelling on that, because it makes me sad.

I want you people to get a feel for the woman that she was. So today for my Womenfolk series, I introduce you to Elizabeth McDonald, my Mum. [Read more…]

From One Mother to Another – Why I Support the St Kilda Mums Mothers Day Campaign

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Last year’s beautiful collection of donations

Mothers Day is just round the corner. For many of us this represents breakfast in bed, lovely (or interesting) gifts, cute attempts by our kids to pamper us and make our day special.

For many Mums it is painful recognition of the absence of all these things. Some Mums (many Mums, actually) have a long term lease on Struggle Street. Often it’s not their fault. Often it’s through domestic violence, mental health issues or drug dependencies.

St Kilda Mums is a Melbourne-based volunteer-run organisation that re-homes used baby goods and nursery equipment. Donating goods to families in need. They have relationships with Maternal and Child Health Nurses and local social services agencies. In anticipation of Mothers Day they run a campaign called ‘One Mother to Another’ where people can donate packages to other Mums who are not as fortunate. Here’s an outline of what it’s all about: [Read more…]

Womenfolk Series: Jenny Jessop on Painting, Motherhood and the Creative Life

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Jenny Jessop – adding final touches to one of her pieces in the ‘Grounded’ exhibition.

Through exploring imagination, place, distance, and transience Jenny Jessop has created a body of work that will be exhibited in Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Parkdale. I spoke to Jenny about her artistic career, her creative process and her current exhibition ‘Grounded’.  

Jenny is a painter from Ireland, living in Melbourne with her Australian husband and three children. In anticipation of her first Australian solo exhibition she takes us through where she has come from creatively, her creative process, and what underpins this.  [Read more…]

Womenfolk Series: Jo Langhorne, Life Coach and Mentor

jo_headshots-39785Jo Langhorne is the Founder and Director of Jo Langhorne Coaching for the Soul – a life coaching practice that is underpinned by an ethos that if your soul is nourished and you look within, you will move closer to finding what you seek.

Jo has always gravitated towards people and is naturally inclined to make connections. She’s had a successful career in travel but always struggled working in a world driven by ‘the bottom line’. She left this behind to try and have a baby. During this time she contracted back to the travel company that had employed her, but worked in a different capacity, by providing training and mentoring. She discovered her greatest satisfaction came from seeing the staff she was working with grow, both personally and professionally.

[Read more…]

Womenfolk Series: Meaghan Shelton

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Meaghan Shelton (photo by Charmaine Lyons Photography)

Next in The Morning Drum’s Womenfolk Series is a profile on talented and inspiring artist, Meaghan Shelton. Based on the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland, she is first a painter, but also works in sculpture, drawing and photography, among other things.

Without labelling her work as surreal, for me, it has an ethereal and dreamlike quality to it. We chatted last week about her life, her work and her influences.

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[Read more…]