Diversional & Recreation Therapy Australia News

Entries for September 2014

President's Piece

Hello Members,


I am writing this after the fantastic 2014 DTA Conference held in Adelaide. What an amazing three days! The pre-conference workshops and conference time has been a wonderful and enlightening journey.
I know that many of you developed new acquaintances or renewed old ones. This is part of the immense benefit of an annual conference. In the big scheme of health services, we are often isolated in our daily working routine; to be able to call on a support person, or even better a support network is vital.

The theme for this year’s conference was shaping diversional therapy: from theory to practice. When the call for papers went out, authors were invited to prepare papers that would inspire professional practice, to motivate, stimulate and encourage, to invite new vision or to renew commitment to the DT role, with a view to exploring the relationship between theory and practice. DTA were privileged to put together a diverse program designed to offer many opportunities to motivate, inspire and encourage. My challenge to all present was to take away at least one new practice, new way of thinking or one new concept which inspires, invigorates, or renews. 


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2014 DTA Partners' Tour - Men on Buses

Submitted by Margie Kennard

The Magnificent Seven Plus One we could call them! Handsome or what!

Friday 19th saw another first – the first DTA Conference partners’ tour. A wonderful time was reported with most of those present vowing to return to the Conference in 2015 for another tour! The Adelaide Conference Committee organised a fun day out in the safe hands of volunteer driver, Brad Goodes (2nd from left). The official tour was for a viewing and lunch along the way doing the Historic Port Adelaide Hotels Tour…. We know there were deviations from the route but all enquiries were met with a firm “What happens on the bus – stays on the bus!” And so it should! Congratulations and thanks to organisers for a wonderful fun boy’s day out.


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2014 DTA Pre-Conference Workshop 1

Introduction To Art Therapy By Paula Gillespie-Fotheringham
Submitted by Katrina Vuori, QLD

I have had some experience with Art Therapy and have always found it a bit of a mystery as to how it really works or the benefits for the client. Paula was able to unlock much of that mystery. I found during her session that I learnt much more during the practical exercises than by the verbal explanations. I guess that is the beauty of art, in that we learn to communicate and express ourselves very differently.

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2014 DTA Pre-Conference Workshop 2

Introduction to Music Therapy By Dr Loretta Quinn
Submitted by Katrina Vuori, QLD

This session was outstanding. My only complaint - it finished far too soon! Loretta really knows her stuff and presents it in a very professional manner. She comes from a nursing background, so knows firsthand how often Diversional Therapy "skills" and "activities" are overlooked as being frivolous and unimportant. Loretta learned, when studying Music Therapy, how important our profession really is, especially for reaching Dementia specific clients/residents. She has created a C.D. and “Music Activity Workbook “ 

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Cocktail Party Awards Event

with special guest Rachel Sanderson, MP. Member for Adelaide.

It was a friendly and happy night with record attendance for our Cocktail Party event! Even though we were all pretty exhausted from workshops on Thursday and Conference Day 1, most delegates made the effort to support the event. 2014 saw our first DTA Award for Excellence on offer and there was also the Wendy Butler Award and the Conference Best Poster Award. The standard of entries for all awards had been exceptional which made the various judges’ tasks very hard!


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DTA Award for Excellence

Winner: Lindl Webster

Diversional Therapist - Avondale Lifestyle Community NSW

Avondale Technology Design Challenge

Brief Description.
The annual Avondale Technology Design Challenge provides an opportunity for residents within two aged care facilities to engage with year 8 students who are set the task of designing something to improve the life of an older person.


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Winner: Michelle Maslen

Activities Assistant, Hamilton Planned Activity Group, Victoria.
Program – Aqua Splash.

The Program started out as an idea that came from members of the Hamilton Planned Activity Group chatting about what they used to do and how they would love to do it again. Members often spoke about swimming in the river and across the lake and doing laps at the local pool. 


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ABC – Mental As 




To support Mental Health Week 5th – 12th October and to try and reduce the stigma of mental illness the ABC has its own project called Mental As with the underlying logo of talk, give and seek. They are encouraging donations to Mental Health Research, providing mental health contacts such as Lifeline, Black Dog Institute, Headspace, Sane Australia and the Kids help line just to name a few and have a charity auction occurring. 


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Hello Everyone,

Well the year is certainly flying by. I am looking forward to meeting some of our Group Leaders at the National Conference this coming week. I hope by meeting you in person we will be able to support each other even more in our valuable roles.

There is still so much we can do, as Group Leaders, to raise awareness of DTA in the community. A local Database of email addresses that include all Aged Care Facilities in your area can really help. 

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Hi everyone, 

Our two workshops, running consecutively the day before the conference, got a great response with some of our international visitors taking the opportunity to attend a workshop on Takeaway Café Activities or Music and Art Therapies.

I facilitated the fun and laughter at the Activities workshop where we launched the first DTA takeaway café booklet. We worked through the activities one by one, including ceramic cup painting, wool craft donuts, speedy dice and card games, Minute to Win it and lots of other practical ideas to encourage client engagement and fun. We even came up with a DTA anthem which some musically inclined people put to a tune that stuck in our heads the whole Conference.


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