Tag Archives: health

After cancer

By Kate Bickford – originally shared internally with ABC employees.
Kate Bickford went to hell and back when she was diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer. But the experience has galvanised her to help others, with a trip to Bhutan the next step in her journey. Why Skin Deep? A number of levels for us. You can’t necessarily judge a person’s health just by looking at them, nor do we always know the stories behind those we encounter each day. On another level, it’s also important that we take steps to look after the different aspects of our health and be thankful for each day.
KateTo look at me you wouldn’t know I’ve been battling cancer. You probably wouldn’t know that I take seven medications daily.
I still see doctors most weeks and I’m fighting back waves of nauseas and other side effects of the medication I take.
To look at me you wouldn’t know that my doctors have told me that if I had left my pap test for another 3 – 5 years my treatment would be very different: they would not be curing my cancer, they would only be prolonging my life.

Having a routine pap test saved my life.

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Magnifying Mindfulness

Words by Lauren Moss.

 

The World Health Organisation in 1948 famously defined health like this:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

photo copyThis was more than 60 years ago, and yet we often forget to make a plan for our mental and social wellbeing, not to mention our spiritual and emotional wellbeing. It’s an easy default position to shift to exercising more or changing our diet when we need to boost the way we are feeling about our health (and also our selves), but we need to shift our thinking – this is one component that fits into a much bigger picture.

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End of Year Detox – Free Gift Included! (reblog from Evidence, Please)

New Year’s often brings with it a bunch of companies ready to help you detox – but how much of it is actually true?

We loved this blog from  Jo at Evidence, Please. So much so, that we HAD to share it with you. Thanks for permission to share, Jo!

Enjoy!

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Dance (like everyone is watching)!

Skin Deep is lucky to have connected with many youth leaders over the past 4 years. Isobel Cammarano is no exception. At just 16, she blew us away with her community project for Youth Round Table in 2012, which culminated in the formation of a dance workshop program called Dance 21. Dance 21, with Isobel at the helm, runs dance workshops for young people with disability, including ballet, yoga and Zumba. Her story was featured in Dolly magazine – a very well deserved recognition of her hard work and dedication! Now 17, Isobel continues to run these dance workshops (whilst attending school!) and is a shining example of a young Territorian doing amazing things.

Isobel Cammarano

Isobel Cammarano

Over to you, Isobel!

I think body image issues seem a lot more important when you have a disability.  Everything in life becomes a big deal, even the things that most people would take for granted. For example, one night at ballet I pointed to the back without loosing my balance for the first time in my 11 years of dancing and it was such a big deal for me, I was so excited! A big achievement! But anyone else who does ballet even just once can do that.  The same thing goes with body image.  Some of the people with Down syndrome I work with look different because of their disability.  They notice this and compare themselves to everyone else because all they want is to be “normal”. They don’t see that they are perfect just the way they are.

I would like the community to realise that a disability doesn’t define someone. Most people don’t notice my disability because it is mild and it’s my goal to make sure that people don’t notice. But as soon as I tell someone about it, everything they thought of me changes. It’s like cerebral palsy has changed who I am. That I now have to be spoken to like a child or told publicly to slow down.  This is not the case for people with Down syndrome. They don’t have the choice to hide their disability, everyone notices. Their personalities don’t change because they have a disability – yes you have to walk at their speed but they are beautiful people and I think that society needs to learn to look past a disability and see who is behind it.

Dance 21 workshops for young people with a disability.

Dance 21 workshops for young people with a disability.

Dance helps my body image because when I’m dancing I disconnect from the rest of the world, nothing else matters.  I forget about everything else going on and it’s just me in my own little world.  I couldn’t care less what other people thought about how I looked.  I think everyone should find something that makes them so happy that they can disconnect because it gives you time to just be with yourself and not worry about what society thinks.

I hope that my dance students realise that they can do anything that they set their mind to, despite their disability and that they can find that place to disconnect from the world and not care what anyone else thinks.

Dance 21

Dance 21

Dance 21 workshops are run in collaboration and with the support of Down Syndrome Association of the Northern Territory (DSANT). Workshops are held during school holidays. More information can be found on the DSANT Facebook page.

December 3 is International Day of People with a Disability. Sanctioned by the United Nations, it is a day to celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with a disability whilst increasing awareness and understanding of disability.

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Women of the World Festival Katherine

Women of the World ProgramWOW. That is one word to describe the Women of the World (WOW) Festival held in Katherine, in the Northern Territory, this weekend. The brain child of Jude Kelly, the Festival took place over three days bringing together a large number of urban, rural and remote women (and a few men as well) to share stories and extend their networks.

Our particular interest in the Festival, aside from the obvious awesomeness, was a panel aptly named Looking the Part, exploring the topic of women and the ever present pressures to look a certain way. On the panel was Skin Deep team member Jess Cullen, local youth leader Jane Alia and Natalie A’apa’a (Blue King Brown), three young women from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and chaired by Domino Pateman from the UK’s Southbank Centre.

The panel covered a range of themes important to this broad issue, including:

  • Skin Deep’s own conversations with over 250 young Territorians in 2010, where 60% indicated body image was a big issue in the Northern Territory;
  • the impact of external factors – commercialisation, fashion, media, advertising…and the impact of conversations with our family, friends and ourselves;
  • finding a balance and having a holistic view of health (mental, emotional, spiritual and physical); and
  • cultural differences between the way we view our bodies, and other people’s.

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The Positive Body Image Awards (Lauren Moss)

Friday the 9th of August marked an important day in the world of body image, and I was lucky enough to be involved: it was the day of the second Positive Body Image Awards.

In 2009 a working group was established to create and implement initiatives to support more positive body image in young Australians. Part of the final product is the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct , outlining principles that the fashion, advertising, media, health and wellbeing industries should follow in order to be more body image friendly.

Panelists and Peter Garrett

The panelists with Peter Garrett

The Positive Body Image Awards recognise the hard work by organisations across these industries to align their practices, initiatives and products to the Code of Conduct. For the second year I was part of the panel, devouring the important work that is taken on by businesses in industries where they could quite easily turn a blind eye. Where plenty of others are not, these organisations differentiate themselves by clearly identifying that it is important to declare where images have been altered, it is important to reflect diversity and it is important to be socially responsible.  How beautifully refreshing!

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What makes you happy? (Kristian Goodacre)

Not many of us think “happy” when we think of Mondays. Kristian Goodacre is the founder of the video blog Happy Monday, which aims to brighten the lives of its viewers with a video purely and simply about what makes people happy, every Monday morning. He started the project in 2012 as a way to chat to his family and friends who have positively impacted his life, about what makes them happy. A simple and brilliant idea.

Happy Monday. Pure and Simple.

Happy Monday. Pure and Simple.

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