Bringing your story to life

Want a Life Writing tip to get you started with writing a piece of your own history? Life Writing is a style of writing that draws out your unique story and preserves it for you or whoever you choose to share it with. It’s a wonderful way to honour your life and anyone, regardless of their writing skills, can start today.

Every Sunday night we all tuned in to see Molly and his guests

A few weeks ago, I sat down on my couch with a cup of chai tea and flicked on the TV. On came a TV show that immediately flooded me with memories. It only took a few minutes of Classic Countdown for my mind, and my body, to be transported back 34 years to 1984 and my Year 8 classroom at high school.

Flock of Seagulls

Classic 80s pop band Flock of Seagulls

I could taste the cherry lip balm we all carried in the side zip pockets of our striped cotton school dresses. I could smell the cheap supermarket hairspray that all the girls used to slick the sides of their hair back and sculpt their fringes into gravity-defying sweeps. I could even hear the Flock of Seagulls song that inspired such monumental hair dos! On my weekends, dressed in corrugated, overdyed, acid wash denim jeans (with zip ankles!) and a ‘Choose Life’ Tshirt, I felt like I knew all there was to know about life at our

Choose life tee

Classic 80s apparel – Choose Life T-shirt thanks to Wham

local Blue Light Disco in Belmont, Geelong (would you believe we had Cold Chisel and Pseudo Echo play gigs there!). With a studded double wrap around belt, a love for music and a career goal to be the first female synthesiser player in a band (unfortunately I was beaten to that honour by The Eurogliders a loss I may never get over), I was an 80s teenager in every sense of the word.

Why do I share this story? Does it spark memories of your own teenage years? Life Writing provides us with a wonderful way to capture the stories of our life, often with the goal of sharing and connecting with others. Even when we think we don’t remember much of our own lives, or we don’t think our lives have been particularly interesting, there are many ways to fire up the memory bank in our brains and recreate all the moments that make our lives unique.

Just like a TV show that transports us back in time, there are many ways we can trigger the stories that live within us. And that is Life Writing. If you’d like to get started and you’re keen to learn a few tips and techniques to make your writing process easier, in flow and even a little bit fun, take a look at my upcoming 4 week program starting next month at Cire Community House.

I promise I won’t play any 80s music, and there won’t be any hairspray or purple eyeshadow, just some great insights into what I wish I had known when I started to write, a supportive environment of like-minded people, and a touch of inspiration to get your Life Writing ALL FIRED UP! (Whoops, wasn’t that a Pat Benatar song?)

If you would like to know more about this course or wish to enrol call Simone on 5967 1776 or email Life Writing with Lindy Schneider commences Tuesday 15th May at 6.30pm to 9.00pm (4 sessions).

Volunteer call out: Tax Help program

Cire Community House has just become a Tax Help centre and we are looking for a volunteer to run our Tax Help program.

Tax Help is a network of ATO-trained and accredited community volunteers who provide a free and confidential service to help people complete their tax returns online using myTax.

From July to October, every year Tax Help volunteers guide and encourage clients to prepare and lodge their own tax returns. They help people with simple individual tax matters to lodge their tax returns online with myTax and lodge claims for refunds of franking credits. Where necessary, they help clients create a myGov account and link to their online tax account.

You don’t need any special experience to be a Tax Help volunteer. Tax Help volunteers come from all areas of the community with a diverse range of ages and backgrounds. If you can spare a few hours each week between July and October, you can help.

The ATO will introduce you to myGov and myTax and show you how to prepare and lodge tax returns online. They will reimburse you for any reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, such as travel and phone calls.

You can become a Tax Help volunteer if you:

  • are at least 18 years old
  • have lived in Australia permanently for the last two years
  • can use a computer or mobile device
  • meet the requirements of a pre-engagement check (which includes a police records check)
  • can complete training, online and in person.

Volunteer training

Tax Help volunteers train between March and June each year.

Training is self-paced and online so you will need access to a computer and the internet.

An ATO community liaison officer will oversee and guide you through the training and support you once you begin delivering Tax Help in your community.

How to apply to be part of the Tax Help program

Applications are now open for Tax Help volunteers.

If you are interested in becoming a Tax Help volunteer and would like more information, email your name, phone number, suburb and state where you live to Individuals Tax Help at by 20 April 2018. Alternatively, you can contact Simone from Cire Community House on 5967 1776 for further information.

Information provided by ATO website as of 01 March 2018

Back to Grass Roots Community Support

Exciting times ahead for the Upper Yarra region with the re-introduction of grass roots community engagement at Cire Services. In the coming months, Cire Services will be focussing on a new community house structure that aims to bring people together to connect, learn and contribute in their local areas. We will be providing locals with the opportunity to identify and address their own needs, to do something for themselves in order to develop and grow their own personal skill set and wellbeing. We welcome people from all walks of life and provide an approach that opens up opportunities for individuals to broaden and enrich their own experiences, in turn enriching their community.

Cire Community House will operate from the Yarra Junction office using a unique community development approach in order to engage, connect and develop community members. We aim to provide a safe learning and social environment where community members feel they belong, can meet new people and learn something enriching and new along the way. We will be a hub of fun activities that not only provide locals with an outlet to channel their passions, but a space where valuable life skills can also be learnt.

In order to develop a strong community offering, we want to provide exactly what the community wants and needs. So to kick off Cire’s new Community House we are seeking input from our local communities in the Upper Yarra to assist in developing ideas that will strengthen our community and lead to diverse and innovative outcomes.

Some of the activities and services recently developed in response to your needs are; community lunch, community events, health and wellbeing, numeracy and literacy, digital literacy, leisure and life style activities. Have you got any more ideas of what you’d like to see us deliver?

We invite you to join our first community lunch on Wednesday 3rd May; 12.30 to 2.30 pm at Upper Yarra Family Centre, 2444 Warburton Highway Yarra Junction. Bring with you your appetite and ideas to share. Please call 5967 1776 to book your seat click here Hoping to see you there