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help us end the mess in Iraq

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Sam McMillan + Louise Barry
Last week, we saw the Prime Minister launch his campaign – and the most astonishing thing happened. As the leader of a nation at war, setting out his vision for the future, Mr Howard failed to even mention the war for which he is responsible – not a single word.

??We are not experts. But we are two young Australian women who know something about the real cost of this war in Iraq. I, Louise, survived the 2005 London bombings. I underwent six operations and spent three months in traction. And I, Sam, was married to Jacob McMillan – an American soldier, my 25 year old love, who was killed in action in Iraq last December. ??

Please. Join over 60,000 of us calling for accountability – and a plan to end the mess in Iraq by putting your name to the petition below: ??www.getup.org.au/campaign/OurOwnPlanForIraq

??We think anyone who wants to lead Australia must have a plan for peace. So today, we are publicly asking Mr Howard to meet with us before the election so we can directly present your petition and report his answer back to you. ??We don’t know if he will agree to meet. We’re just two people. But we do know that when thousands of Australians sign the petition, we all become part of something too big to ignore. So please sign below: ??www.getup.org.au/campaign/OurOwnPlanForIraq

??We know war can seem remote to many Australians, especially this war in Iraq, but it is very real to us. It has changed our lives – and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. ??This issue must not simply slip away because our politicians would rather ignore it.

Together, we can make sure that what happened to us doesn’t have to happen to any more Australians before we finally start down the road towards peace. ??Please add your name today: ??www.getup.org.au/campaign/OurOwnPlanForIraq ??

Thank you for standing up, ??–Louise Barry and Sam McMillan ?Tuesday, November 13th 2007

??P.S. Whilst in Sydney recently to accept the Sydney Peace Prize, the former UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix caught up with GetUp Executive Director, Brett Solomon. He had some really interesting things to say about how we got to where we are, and how to get from here to peace. You can read Hans’ message to GetUp members on our blog here.

The Kelly Women

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The Kelly Women
Wayfarers Australia presents
The Kelly Women
125 years of neglect…the womens story must be told.

A new Folk Opera written by Cathleen Meggitt

Musical Director Judith Clingan

Director barb barnett

Paris Hat presents Mamet/Marber double bill

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Paris Hat presents Patrick Marber''s Closer with David Mamet''s Sexual Perversity in Chicago
MEDIA RELEASE
20 November 2007

Paris Hat Productions presents
A double bill of contemporary classics
Patrick Marber’s Closer with David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago

Paris Hat Productions presents a double bill of Patrick Marber’s Closer, and David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago 28 November to 8 December at the Street Theatre. The pairing of these two modern masterpieces represents an exciting step forward for theatre in Canberra. The two works play off each other to lay bare the destructive intensity of modern relationships.

‘While the two plays are set worlds apart,’ says director Fiona Atkin, ‘one in London in the nineties and the other updated to present-day Chicago, the pairing of Closer and Sexual Perversity in Chicago shows the universality of human emotion, and how we can be so unceasingly cruel to one another – no more so than to those we love’. Both plays deal with the agony and the drama of falling in and out of love, and what it means to be ‘happy’ in a modern world unkind to those left alone.

Marber’s Closer is a bruising examination of modern relationships – where sex is the subject even when it’s not, and where honesty and trust are handled with tongs. Marber explores the distance between art and truth, and the ways in which human beings mediate their experience of life through the lens of creation. The beauty, and the brutality, of the language shows why Marber is considered one of the most exciting playwrights in Britain today.

Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago focuses upon the brief moments shared between individuals, brilliantly dissecting the sensitivity and weakness of humanity. In a series of brief, staccato scenes two people are brought together ‘in love’, and then brutally torn apart over one hot summer. A master wordsmith himself, Mamet’s dialogue is blistering, exposing the emotional fragmentation of his characters through their dysfunctional communication and rapid-fire speech.

Like most intense love affairs, both plays are emotive, intense, funny, intimate and devastating. Audiences will love them separately, or as an emotional rollercoaster of a double bill.

The double bill is the first production to be put on by Paris Hat Productions. Paris Hat is an exciting new Canberra theatre company dedicated to presenting innovative, entertaining and educational productions of seminal international and Australian plays. Paris Hat is the creation of Fiona Atkin and Eliza Bateman, good friends, and former Arts undergraduate students at the Australian National University.

Fiona, a PhD Candidate in Drama at the ANU, has a long history (and love affair) with American playwrights, and has been waiting for an opportunity to direct a David Mamet play since Assistant Directing Glengarry Glen Ross with Free Rain in 2001. Teaming Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago with Patrick Marber’s modern classic Closer is a courageous and exciting decision – a fantastic challenge for a director – and seemed a great way to introduce Paris Hat to Canberra.

A media call for the shows will be held on Tuesday 27 November at 10am at the Street Theatre.

Paris Hat Productions presents
Patrick Marber’s Closer
in a double bill with
David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago
28 Nov – 8 Dec 2007
at the Street Theatre
Ph 6247 1223

Mon – Sat, 7.30pm, Sun 5pm
Double Bill: Wed 28 & Fri 30 Nov; Sun 2, Fri 7 & Sat 8 Dec
Closer: Thur 29 Nov, Tues 4 & Thur 6 Dec
Sexual Perversity in Chicago: Mon 3 & Wed 5 Dec

Tix (Double Bill/Single Show): $33/$23
Conc/Groups 5+: $28/$18
Student Rush: $25/$15

Featuring:
Closer – Jess Brent, Sam Lavery, Naomi Milthorpe and Ben Williams
Sexual Perversity – Steph Brewster, Andrew Dillon, Carly Jacobs and Sam Lavery
Directed by Fiona Atkin
by special arrangement with Dominie Pty Ltd

For more information on the shows or to contact Paris Hat, call Fiona Atkin on 0438 517745 or email parishatproductions@gmail.com

Manning Clark House National Cultural Awards

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MCH to offer 2007 national cultural awards

Manning Clark House is offering two national awards for outstanding contributions to the
quality of Australian cultural life in 2007.

Manning Clark House will honour the accomplishments of both an individual and a group between November 1, 2006 and October 31, 2007. This is the second year in which the Canberra-based centre is presenting the awards.

“Culture will again be interpreted in the widest sense to cover an innovative project or achievement that has enriched the Australian community,” said MCH vice-president David Headon.

“Applications/nominations from all areas of creative and community endeavour will be considered, including art, dance, film, history, literature, music, public intellectual life, science and technology, sport, theatre and the workplace.”

The Manning Clark House awards are presented in association with the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and the Centre for Australian Cultural Studies.

In addition to a citation, both winners will receive a superb medallion crafted by Canberra silversmith Gilbert Riedelbauch.

The closing date for nominations is Monday, December 3. Winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony in the following week.

Further information on the awards is available on the MCH web site on: www.manningclark.org.au

Manning Clark House is a Canberra-based cultural and scholarly centre based in the home of the late historian Manning Clark, his wife, the linguist Dymphna Clark, and their children.

For further information please contact Manning Clark House director Clare Hoey on
02 6295 9433 or email director@manningclark.org.au

PO Box 3096, Manuka ACT 2603
11 Tasmania Circle, Forrest ACT 2603
Tel: 02 6295 9433 director@manningclark.org.au

Spring Fair

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Parish St Barnabas, Charnwood and St Michael and All Angels, Hall

What could be better than to spend a relaxing and spiritual Saturday, than among friends in the garden at St Michael and All Angels, Hall.

Members of the parish young and old, held a Spring Fair on Saturday 22 September 2007, in the garden and it was obvious to everyone that God was looking down on them that day. The weather was a balmy 22 degrees and the local magpies and cockatoos visited (as usual) as did many people from the surrounding Canberra areas and also as far afield as Yass, Murrumbateman and even a mum and daughter from Thredbo came along.

We were very fortunate to have the Hall Village Brass Band donate their time and play some toe tapping music for people to sing along to whilst enjoying a sausage or a very delicious Devonshire tea, with scones made by both the ladies and gentlemen of the parish.

To the enjoyment of the children the Hall Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade, brought out one of their fire trucks – honking horns, blasting sirens and generally having a good time. To the amusement of those born in an era of cars that were known as ‘sports cars’ the ACT MG Car Club brought along a variety of MG’s for the motor enthusiast.

If you didn’t want to sit down and listen to music, have something to eat, join in the fun of the fire engine or just drool over a motor vehicle then you could take advantage of buying something from the stalls set up around the garden.

People had the opportunity to buy well loved books, homemade cakes, biscuits and slices, jams and preserves, clothing, plants or some wonderful hand made pottery, made by a couple, some would say are the patriarch and matriarch of St Michaels, The Reverend and Mrs Herb and Marjorie Robey.

The children who came along enjoyed being able to have themselves transformed into spiderman, batman, fairies and an assortment of other creatures either fiction or non-fiction, at the face painting stand.

A couple of raffles were held and prizes included gift vouchers donated by Magnet Mart in Belconnen and a variety of plants donated by parishioners.

The Spring Fair gave us the opportunity to enjoy time with members of our local community and each other’s company. The funds raised will be used for painting the interior of the ‘historically listed church building’.

Book launch "Someone Forgot to Tell the Fish" by Hal Judge

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6pm Monday 26 November – Launch of Hal Judge’s “Someone Forgot to Tell the Fish”.

Interactive Publications invites you to a launch at Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, 76 Alinga Street, Canberra City.

“Hal Judge is a energetic, risk-taking poet who is formulating a unique poetics. A poet worth watching closely” – John Kinsella.

“A distinctive and effective fusion of ideas and styles. Very evocative and funny” – Shaun Tan.

Details www.ipoz.biz/Titles/sff.htm

Evolution – the survival of the nicest

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From amoeba to super human being
Evolution – the survival of the nicest

Climate change is the biggest and most serious challenge to human beings and to life on earth at the present time. How can human beings meet this challenge and adapt to the situation to survive? It is becoming increasingly clear that competition and aggression is not the way forward. There is evidence to suggest that it is only by becoming better human beings who are altruistic and able to co-operate that we will be able to avert the destruction of the planet. Research has shown that people who demonstrate wisdom, courage, compassion, judgement, self-discipline and forgiveness, who help others, who contribute to the larger society and who appreciate what they do have are happier and healthier than those who do not. The survival of the ‘fittest’ may in this instance be the survival of the ‘nicest’.

Since she founded Sahaja Yoga in 1970, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi has given hundreds, maybe thousands, of public lectures all over the world during which she has spoken about the evolution of human beings into what she calls ‘super human beings’.

Shri Mataji describes the last breakthrough of evolution as the attainment of ‘self-realisation’. Self-realisation is the process by which the residual life-force in every human being, (called the ‘kundalini’), which resides in the sacrum bone, the triangular bone at the base of the spine, rises up the spinal column and up through the limbic area (the ‘old’ brain) and out of the fontanelle bone area to unite with the all-pervading power of the universe.

When this happens, we become connected to the power that created us. We become more knowledgeable about ourselves. We become collectively conscious, as Carl Jung has described. We are more connected to, more knowledgeable about and more compassionate towards others. We feel peaceful and joyful, and we feel loved and more loving towards others.

As we begin to meditate and to strengthen this connection after attaining our self-realisation we become ‘thoughtlessly aware’, we become better people, we automatically act in more selfless and constructive ways and all our bad habits drop out. We gain the benefits of better health, good self-esteem and improved relationships with others. We receive inspiration to help us in our endeavours and experience being ‘in the flow’, where everything happens effortlessly and spontaneously, more often. In this way we become, as Shri Mataji says, ‘super human beings’.

Shri Mataji describes this new state as the last step in our evolution and says that it is our birthright as human beings to receive it. It is very helpful on the microcosmic level, the personal level, to achieve this new state of being, through our self-realisation, but even greater benefits accrue when this breakthrough is achieved on the macrocosmic level, the collective level.

Just as self-realisation integrates all the best qualities of the human being in each individual, when many human beings have their self-realisation then integration can take place on a global level and people of all cultures and backgrounds can transcend their differences and live in peace, and work co-operatively towards a new era of harmony and prosperity in a truly multi-cultural world. It may just be the kind of evolution needed to save our planet.

For more information about Sahaja Yoga and to get your self-realisation online go to www.freemeditation.com.au. You can also subscribe to our free online newsletter which has lots of informative articles called Light of Love.

Sahaja Yoga in Canberra holds free weekly meditation classes for beginners at:
o 77 Chewings Street, Scullin on Thursday nights at 7.30pm and Sunday mornings at 10.30am
o Woden Health Centre, Corinna Street on Tuesday nights at 7.30pm
o Tuggeranong Library Community Room, Cowlishaw Street on Thursday nights from 6.30pm to 7.30pm

According to the wishes of the founder, Shri Mataji, Sahaja Yoga is always taught free of charge.

Creative Writing Workshop – Finding Inspiration

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ACT Writers Centre
Creative Writing Workshop

Saturday 24 November from 1-5pm – Finding Inspiration with Anthony Eaton

The workshop will include of a combination of informal presentation with plenty of time for questions, answers and discussion, as well as exercises to help you find inspiration in the unlikeliest of places, brainstorming, idea mapping and using creative stimulus. The session will also involve a good amount of ‘hands-on’ writing and reviewing time. Anthony Eaton is an established author of books for children, teenagers and adults. Since 2000 he has published six books through the University of Queensland Press and aims to produce a new novel set in Antarctica. Anthony researched Antarctic life, its environment and history, to produce a book that will promote the interest of young adults in the issues and history surrounding Australia’s involvement in Antarctica. Venue: ACT Writers Centre Workshop Room, Ainslie Ave, Braddon. Cost: $55 conc members, $60 members, $90 non-members. Payment by cash cheque or credit card at time of booking, on 6262 9191 or online at www.actwriters.org.au

Volunteer Interpreters needed for Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

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Volunteer Interpreters will help visitors to discover nature
Regular visitors to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (TNR) will be aware that the wetlands area has been closed for several months. The redeveloped area will be opening at the Tidbinbilla Extravaganza on March 30th 2008 and will provide new opportunities for visitor experience and education. The ACT Government has formed a partnership with Conservation Volunteers Australia to introduce a Volunteer Interpreter Program at the Reserve. Under this Program, trained volunteers will be positioned at interpretation stations along trails in the new wetland area, offering informal education to visitors. From July 1st, 2008, CVA will also manage the TNR Visitor Centre and Volunteer Interpreter duties will extend to the Visitor Centre.

Volunteer Interpreters will help visitors to better understand and appreciate the natural world. They will have a chance to develop their own knowledge and to share this with others. A uniform and travel allowance will be provided, as well as a range of benefits to recognise and reward their commitment including a formal qualification, discounts and social events. Anyone 18 years and over can apply to join the Program but good communication skills and spare time will be essential. Volunteer Interpreters are asked to make a two-year commitment, to spend at least 144 hours per year volunteering and to regularly participate in training. The initial training will take place over a six-week period during February and March and will be delivered by experts, including TNR staff. There will be quizzes, assessments and a final exam but the aim is to provide applicants with the skills and knowledge to pass these and graduate as a Volunteer Interpreter. Upon successful completion of the initial training, graduates will receive their uniform and badge and can begin volunteering.

Anyone interested in becoming a Volunteer Interpreter is encouraged to attend an Information Session – these will be held regularly until the end of January. Call the Volunteer Manager, Paula Banks, on (02) 6247 7770 or email vip@conservationvolunteers.com.au for details. Be quick – applications for the first intake will close on February 1st and places are limited. Whether you want an active role or just to visit, we hope to see you out there!

Graduating Exhibition 2007

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ANU SofA Graduate Exhibition 2007
This year’s ANU School of Art Graduating
Exhibition features the works of students
completing their studies in Bachelor of Arts
(Visual) Honours, Bachelor of Arts (Visual) and
the Diploma of Art.

Students have majored in wood, textiles,
sculpture, printmedia and drawing, photomedia,
painting, gold and silversmithing, glass and
ceramics. Visitors to the School will witness
the talent of its emerging artists and
experience the quality and diversity of art and
craft education offered by the School, from
fine furniture making to installation, digital
imagery to ceramic objects.

The works are displayed in the School of Art
Gallery, Foyer Gallery, Photospace and in
Workshop spaces throughout the school. Many of
the works are for sale.

All welcome to the Grand Opening at 6 pm on
Friday, 7 December.

The exhibition continues 8 – 16 December, 10.30 am – 5.00 pm daily throughout the School of Art.

ANU School of Art
Childers St, ACTON, ACT 0200
ph. 02 6125 5841

John Howard is destroying our welfare

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John Howard is destroying our welfare.

His prostrate on fire and his heart full of hate,
he wants to destroy the entire welfare state.
For years, day by day, he’s cut bits away
and though he’s been deft, there are parts of it left.
He’s slashed and he’s burned and it is depleted
but he tells us the job is still not completed.
The widow and kid are still getting a quid
and he sighs with regret that his target’s not met
while the unemployed maid is still getting paid
it’s opportunely time for an “obligations” upgrade.

With his heart full of hate he’s going to cremate
all that he can find of the old welfare state.
In its place he’ll create a new form of despair,
and in a lasting nightmare he intends to ensnare
all those in wheel chairs and those needing care.
With his bellicose piety he’ll impose a variety
of incentives,
invectives,
directives and
detectives
as he builds his opportunist society.

John Tomlinson and Penny Harrington

livingetc expo

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New livingetc expo is an inspirational experience for travel, home, garden and food enthusiasts

If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration to enhance your home and lifestyle, you must visit the livingetc expo on the weekend of April 5 and 6.

This brand new expo has four distinct areas, each of which focuses on providing information about increasing your enjoyment of everyday living. You’ll find traveletc, homeetc, gardenetc and foodetc – all located under one roof at Exhibition Park In Canberra.

You’ll meet well-known presenters from popular TV programs including Angus Stewart from ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and some of the presenters from the Nine Network’s Getaway.

Start planning your list of questions to ask the experts at the free, how-to clinics which feature talks and advice on gardening, home projects and more. You’ll also see entertaining demonstrations by cooking personalities, exhibitors and other topical speakers on the expo’s livingetc Stage.

If you’re out of ideas for weekend activities, want to sink your teeth into a new do-it-yourself or garden project or are looking to add some extra zest to your life, the livingetc expo has the answers.

Where & When: Exhibition Park In Canberra, April 5-6, 2008
Open: 10am – 4.30pm daily
Cost: Adults $12, Pensioner/Senior $10, Children 5-16 $5,
Children under 5 FREE, Family (2 A + 3C) $31.
All prices include GST.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Tickets:Tickets available at the door. Cash only.
Groups: Pre-booked discounted tickets @ $9 each are available for groups of a minimum of 10 people. To arrange a group call (02) 9452 7575
Information: Visit www.livingetcexpo.com.au or call 02 9452 7575.

My Perspective: Election

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Mind injected advertising, is that what it''s really all about?
I don’t want to vote because I have to, I want to vote because I have the right to choose who I want to, but there’s the confusion:

The Election is days away, and after months of constant advertising and campaigning, as of next week, we will have decided on who will be the next Prime Minister of Australia.

The question is who are you voting for and are you voting for them for the right reasons? Each party, has very good motives as to why they should be voted in. However, what concerns me is how a majority of this election is based through advertising. There is nothing wrong with advertising, but alot of it are attacks at the opposition (especially regarding the Unions). Unfortunately this is the help of the media, but I do believe politicians do play a big role. To me, it seems this is an election which is based on who has more friends of myspace, and who can speak the most languages. It is an election on who has Prime Minister experience, and the fact you must be a working class man.

The advertising on television from both parties has been particularly shocking. I think it is unnecessary to spread this advertising Propaganda. It’s ironic, before Mr Howard came into power, he said he’d rid this Propaganda. However, he’s had the highest spending in advertising. And Rudd, reminds me of someone running for class president, with the Kevin 07 ads.
I’d like to send to say to Mr Howard, and Mr Rudd: We are a tough nation, if you can’t do something; please do not promise that you can. We want a Prime Minister we can keep our faith in. We want a Prime Minister that will do their best to make things right, and take into consideration what the community has to say. I know it is hard, as you are just one person, but like I said, don’t make promises if you can’t keep them.

To the rest of the country. Make sure when you go to vote on November 24, think to yourself, who will lead this country properly. I know I will try, and hope for the best, no matter what the turn out is.

Remembering ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Supporting People with ME/CFS in the Canberra region
On Sunday 18 November the ACT Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Society held a movie screening of the award-winning documentary, ‘I Remember Me’. Over 75 people attended the film and many people were moved by this powerful documentary. “ME/CFS is a real, physical illness that is extremely misunderstood. By holding events like this we hope to generate awareness and understanding about ME/CFS” said the Society’s President Mary Campbell.

What is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)?

The story below explains this question well.
In 2001 Jane had an experience she would never forget. “I’d driven home after finishing night duty and was standing in my kitchen when I was suddenly hit by such overwhelming nausea and dizziness. I felt utterly drained, as if somebody had sucked every ounce of energy from my body. It was so sudden; I’d never experienced anything like that before.” The formerly fit and active hospital nurse woke the next morning feeling as if she had been run over by a truck.

Jane visited her doctor who arranged for tests and advised her to return in a few days. By then things were getting worse, “I started to ache all over, suffered headaches, wasn’t sleeping well, and just felt like I was locked in a really bad flu.” But none of the tests ordered by her doctor showed anything wrong and she was advised it would pass.

What followed were agonizing months of tests and specialist consultations. On a couple of occasions she tried to return to work but her headaches got worse, she started experiencing confusion and concentration problems and developed puzzling food intolerances. Eventually she started feeling more exhausted than she’d ever previously known; some days she didn’t even have enough energy for a shower, to read a book or even watch television. At one point she saw a specialist in immunology who could also find nothing wrong. It was 7 months before her doctor eventually told Jane what she was suffering from.

The medical explanation
In the past five years research by some of the world’s leading medical organizations has shown ME/CFS is a crippling physical condition affecting people of all ages. The Royal Australasian College of Physicians estimates that as many as 140,000 Australian’s suffer from ME/CFS and of those it is thought that some 25% are so seriously affected they are permanently bed or housebound. Though some people do recover from the illness the majority achieve a level of functioning well below that prior to onset and a significant proportion don’t recover at all. The disease, once characterized as ‘yuppie flu’, is now known to affect all social, economic and ethnic groups and even children as young a 5yrs. About two thirds of suffers are women.

Patients in Australia have enthusiastically adopted the Canadian Clinical Guidelines for ME/CFS published in 2003 which more accurately diagnose the illness. To be diagnosed with ME/CFS patients must experience a persistent ‘flu-like’ illness that includes widespread pain, headaches, sleep disturbance, worsening of symptoms after exertion, significant persistent or recurrent fatigue and a variety of other neurological, immune, gut and endocrine symptoms. The disease isn’t just about fatigue. The new guidelines offer a much more advanced approach to treatment as well as being much clearer on understanding and diagnosing the illness.

Meanwhile Jane reflects on the diagnosis she received all those years ago, “My journey since then has been a lonely and difficult one. There is little if any real support available, even from doctors that are aware of the illness which many aren’t. My symptoms are still severe but fluctuate so I have to very strictly manage what I do and eat or I pay heavily. I still get negative comments from both family and friends, even after all this time.”
The Society’s President Mary Campbell is aware of the stigmas surrounding ME/CFS. She believes the film ‘I Remember Me’ gives insight into ME/CFS and will enable others to comprehend the realities of the debilitating disease. The society hopes to hold another movie screening in 2008.

You can get support.
The ACT ME/CFS Society aims to support and help members, provide information to patients, medical practitioners and the public; and promote research. For more information contact the Society, details below.

ACT ME/CFS Society Inc.
c/o SHOUT, P.O.Box 717, Mawson, ACT, 2607.
Tel: 6290 1984, Fax 6286 4475, Email: admin@mecfscanberra.org.au
Web: www.mecfscanberra@ org.au