It explodes!

I have really enjoyed the freedom to be creative with my scrapbooking with many thanks to Close To My Heart products and How To Program books. I have taken ideas for this page from Magic – which is all about interactive pages and Reflections which came in the consultant kit. The following page makes use of techniques explained in Magic for slicing openings in the Memory Protectors so the pages truly can be interactive. I love the quality of these memory protectors!

Double page layout with a hidden tag and an explosion box

Double page layout with a hidden tag and an explosion box

As you can see there are two places for interactivity here. One is a little tag and the other is what is a variation of an explosion box. It has no lid, but it does open up

The tag gave me the opportunity to slip in the surprise photo – a second bottle of Moet! The photo didn’t quite fit on the layout about the wonderful presents I got so this was a good way to include it. I do have way too many photos to pick from and it is difficult to choose just a few. I hope i am not alone in this!

A second photo attached to a tag hidden behind the first

A second photo attached to a tag hidden behind the first

The right hand page is the really fun one – it looks like a gift on the page. When you unwind the string holding it closed you get a whole lot more – and plenty of journalling space too. There clearly was a story to tell here as I had 3 parcels to unwrap and two very eager nephews ensuring I got all the help I needed.


So let’s unwind this and take a peek inside!

An Introduction as the first gift was opened - yes there was an order :)

An Introduction as the first gift was opened – yes there was an order ūüôā

A little more story as that flap is turned

A little more story as that flap is turned

The fully exploded box allowing 5 photos to the page where only one might have been

The fully exploded box allowing 5 photos to the page where only one might have been

So there you have the exploding gift. This was the easy bit – the tricky bit is getting the pages into Memory Protectors in such a way your reader can interact with them. The quality of CTMH Memory Protectors allows for a very precise cut and the strength in them means they won’t give way in a hurry. By following the instructions for piercing and slicing in Magic I have an excellent reult. ¬†Here is how the pages look inserted into the sleeves.

All sleeved up

All sleeved up

I created the exploding box with a piece of 12 x 12 Ruby card stock. I scored it twice at 4 and 8 inches both horizontally and vertically then trimmed out the corners. Using my bone folder I made sure the folds were crisp. the photos were cut to fit at 3.5 inches square, as was the journalling card. Given the layout is bright red and uses For Always paper, plain white was too stark for the journaling. To bring it into line with the colours I sponged the edges and a little more with Desert Sand ink. This colour is present on the black and white prints giving them the look of antiquity so the Desert Sand worked well. The titles were cut with my Cricut machine and Artiste Cricut cartridge using CTMH Giltter paper.

Cricut Tip! I have learned that with glitter paper you need to have either a nice new blade, just for this job – and then keep it only for the glitter paper. Use a depth of 6 and after a few sheets you may find the need to cut 2-3 times before getting through – or replacing the blade. Fortunately I will not need to bling up each page I do as I would be hard pressed to keep up with blades. Cutting Glitter paper with the Cricut will be a sometimes thing for me!

The little red rose and yellow hat pins come in the For Always Workshop on the go kit.

If you would like any of these products please hop on over to my online store. You can order any time for direct delivery to you if you are in Australia. If you live in my region (Sunraysia and Malle) why not come along to a play day and learn how to make a page like this yourself or come along to one of my paper crafting nights. We can make and exploding box like this as a card, or even make one with a lid and several layers. (A truly exploding box!)  Contact me for more details about my classes

I would love your feedback on this and other pages I share with you. What would you like to see explored and shred here on the blog? Your comments are very welcome! I would love to hear from you.



Having fun with Artbooking

Have you discovered the joy of Artbooking? I have and I am loving it! It is playful, random and fun!

Artbooking is scrapbooking, journaling and being creative and arty all rolled into one. You make the book, you create the embellishments (and add from your stash) and your very best friend is the Cricut Artbooking cartridge by CTMH!

It has awesome pre-designed shapes in a number of sizes so you can create a journal of photos and memories in a number of ways. I still see myself very much a beginner in all this but I wanted to share with you what I have done so far with a 3 ring Kraft folder, my Artbooking cartridge, and papers from my stash. Most of this has been created with cardstock and papers from the Chantilly paper pack.

The cover made with a frame from the Artbooking Cartridge.

The cover made with a frame from the Artbooking Cartridge.

So I have the Cricut ExpressionII- and the CTMH Artbooking Cartridge¬†collection which includes precut chipboard shapes and three stamp sets- and a project with a purpose. This little journal is going to record my journey as Carer for my parents. The journalling is what will really matter and I won’t be sharing those pages. However, I have made a start with some photos of my parents, and the family they brought into being. I explored a few things on the cartridge and got my head around ‘real dial’ size and other such matters. These page elements all had to be done at the right size so the pre cut holes line up with the rings.

Ok – so this is what it all looks like so far.

This is the title page - not as wide as some of the other pages but I actually like that they stick out.

This is the title page – not as wide as some of the other pages but I actually like that they stick out.


I am enjoying the stamps that came with the collection too! Here are the following pages – with tabs and lacy edges and more!

artbooking 5artbooking 6






The titles have also been cut with the Artbooking cartridge.











I love the overlays in the Artbooking cartridge – the hexagons and lattice above can be made to fit any page and I have seen awesome artwork done with these on scrapbook pages too.

artbooking 9








These are blank Рstill to be filled with photos and love. I did these just because I wanted to see how they cut! In future I will have a bit of a plan for each page I do. I may also replicate the many ideas shared by CTMH on the Artbooking Made Easy series on You Tube. They have some awesome ideas and the ongoing series is an inspiration to us all!

Imagine making something just like this one by CTMH design team

07 ‚Äď Cricut Artbooking Beauty










Imagine feeling this clever! You know you can!

Here is a video showing you more

If you are in the Sunraysia region a class in Artbooking is right here in town in Mildura. Why not book into one and get a guiding hand to get creating a gorgeous Artbook just like these ones? I can give you a supply list on your inquiry and classes are just $10 per session. Of course if you do not have the cricut or the cartridge yet you can use mine! I will also be able to assist with artbooking projects on play days even though artbooking will not always be the focus. Play days occur each month in Mildura, Merbein, Robinvale and we are just launching in Wentworth.

For a complete list of classes and play days complete the form below. Be sure to sign up to my newsletter for the latest news and specials coming up including our super special Warm Holiday Wishes from the Heart Brochure, available to customers from mid October.

I hope to see you in classes and one day when I am brave, if prompted enough I just might have a go at a how to video! Start commenting and requesting and some magic may happen!

I dare you!

Artfully yours



Do you have a photo of the single best moment of your life?

And if so, how do you share it?’

My CTMH director shared this post with our team and it is heart-warming to know that we can find a photo that in a specific moment in time we might define as our single best moment in life. I suspect in a year or two some of these photos could be replaced with another ‘single’ best moment as our life continues and perspectives change. The more I think about it the more I have decided I would struggle to pick just one as you can see below.

Is it the birth of my child? Seeing one of them all dressed up like a princess for her Deb ball? The birth of my Grandson?….I would easily make a book of the single best moment of each year, but for a lifetime I would be hard pressed to choose just one defining moment. What would you choose? Why? How would you share it with others?

I guess this is why I scrapbook. Every photo I put into an album is there to show some aspect of my life I want to share with the fuuture generations of my family. It was fantastic seeing how people looked over my albums at my 50th birthday! There is a shelf of books of moments for future generations of my family to enjoy. Their story is preserved in pictures, with words, and with journalling, all lovingly embellished so the record was both enjoyable to create and will be enjoyable to read.

I am not sure who will enjoy my scrapbooks, or when – but they have been created to record my defining moments! I am proud to share them even if my handwriting is crappy. The important thing is, my family will know what I thought was important to celebrate and acknowledge.

So…did you see the original tweet or share your photo?

Here is the film clip about a tweet that got ‘hot’ on twitter. The fountain of humanity – alive and well ūüôā

Phots of life’s best moments

Do you have a photo of the single best moment of your life? 

When Sports Illustrated writer Richard Deitsch saw this photo on Twitter two weeks ago of brothers celebrating Yale University’s national hockey championship, he was inspired.¬†

Deitsch sent a Tweet of his own, asking his followers, “How many of you have a photograph of the single best moment of your life?”¬†

Within minutes, answers, in the form of photos, came rushing in: Parents’ first moment with a newborn, the moment he asks and she says yes, the moment of homecoming from the danger of war. Dozens, then hundreds of photos streamed in, in what Deitsch describes as a “fountain of humanity.”

So…Do you have one single defining moment captured in a photo? what might it be? Perhaps you can tweet it ūüôā ¬†@nenifoofer #definingmoment or head straight to the man who began this¬†@richarddeitsch

All of the photos could be defining moments for me. If I had to choose just one and one only I am going to have to say the sponsorship for International Exchange and tripping off to Mexico. That experience changed me completely and opened my eyes to a world I could never have imagined. I felt honoured and humbled, I learned a new language and I suddenly understood what poverty, and faith, and cultural tradition really was. (At 15 I also found a fun way to live;) )

But really…how do you choose from these moments? They all matter – and they are all recorded in a scrapbook!

Seeing my daughters dressed as princesses for their Debutante Ball

Seeing my daughters dressed as princesses for their Debutante Ball

Being nana - A defining moment the day my Grandson was born
Being nana – A defining moment the day my Grandson was born

Capturing my parents cuddling on the beach in their late 60's

Capturing my parents cuddling on the beach in their late 60’s

Having two beautiful girls all dolled up in beautifully crafted dresses made by my sister

Having two beautiful girls all dolled up in beautifully crafted dresses made by my sister

Being sponsored by Rotary to go on Exchange to Mexico

Being sponsored by Rotary to go on Exchange to Mexico

Seeing my daughters graduate Year 12

Seeing my daughters graduate Year 12

Turning 50 in grand style

Turning 50 in grand style


Mystery creative workshop

I had a fantastic play date today with my long time friend, patchwork teacher and fellow CTMH consultant Sandra Boutlon. She had been planning this little treat for us ‘creative’ girls for some time and her effort stands out in the crowd for the personal touch. We arrived to find we each had a very large box and a glue stick. The box was gorgeous and ¬†full of goodies. I was excited to see I now have my very own Paris Box!

My smashbox and clean workspace

My smashbox and clean workspace

Now I tend to tell the truth and here is no different. Sandra had told me about all the bits and pieces she was collecting and this phrase smashbooking first entered my lexicon at a market about 6 weeks ago when a customer sifted through my baggies and found a couple of scrap bags, a few card kits and some leftover ¬†ST Pat’s dies cuts I had made with my Silhouette cutting machine. I asked if she was a cardmaker. ‘No’ she said. ‘I do smashbooks. They are like scrapbooks but also very different’.

I mulled this over, asked Sandra if that is what we were doing and got ‘kind of but don’t go looking’ or I would ‘spoil it’. Hmmmm…..Curiosity never killed my cat! So I had a poke around, joined a couple of facebook groups but avoided You Tube. There is a group for smashaholics on FB and now I know why!

If you have been following me you would also no I am now a Close To My Heart consultant eagerly awaiting the arrival of the precious first kit. In that kit is the¬†My Crush‚ĄĘ Modville Book and¬†My Crush‚ĄĘ Besties Assortment. This has all us Aussie consultants scratching our heads a bit. We are so used to our ‘normal’ scrapbook albums just for photos and photosafe embellishments that consist of CM brand pages, protectors and strap bound cover we have no idea about the lumpy bumpy stuff. As a consultant we all stood by the flat scrapping that was CM with only a¬†slight¬†third dimension from a foam square or a little bling with an epoxy gem or pearl here or there – a ‘smash’ book was¬†foreign¬†to many of us and many have wondered what they were. Some are even a little uneasy about all the new ‘creative’ stuff we are going to get. I am not…I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this!

Sandra is demonstrating a basic Manilla folder smashbook

Sandra is demonstrating a basic Manilla folder smashbook

I tried to help some sisters on discussion boards but words do fail to really describe these pieces of art in any kind of quick post in a discussion forum. Off I went to You Tube to find out more…(yes Sandra…I bowed to temptation and went to do some research!)

Smashbooks vary a lot. Variations are sometimes called art journals, or junk journals. They include much more than paper! I won’t define them here…but will direct you to my video list on you tube that has the videos I have liked (and will) and listed under smashbooking so far. Take a look from here.

Back to my fun day! My box of goodies contained:

Scrapbook paper, paper scraps, bits of exercise book paper, a sheet of postcodes, an empty box, some envelopes, some old CM workshop vouchers, my original invitation to Sandra to my birthday party, some punchies, tiles and phrases cut from nagazines

Fabric scraps in red, red hat print, ribbons and lace to coordinate, a red artificial rose, pipe cleaners, a bag of buttons, some lovely red silk….

Some really stiff board, an empty box, and empty pillow shaped chocolate box printed with red roses on a silver background…

A funny little tupperware ruler corner maker thingy from when Sandra was a Tupperware rep. (You learn something new every day. I didn’t know this about my friend!) This came in handy for spreading glue and flattening folds.

What is in the box?

What is in the box?

Red Hat!

Red Hat!

Can you see where this was all headed? I have just become a Red Hatter, and Sandra has given me a whole box of goodies to celebrate both that and my milestone 50th birthday.

So…I had a lot of….red and purple….junk!

Most of it was scrap something. The kind of stuff we often hoard and then in a moment of clean up and downsize frenzy turf out to the garbage, ready to be recycled. We all got similar things in our boxes but Sandra focussed on that personal theme- the end result being we had very different looking products at the end.

Just as well there were only 3

Just as well there were only 3

But, there was more, and it wasn’t steak knives. I secretly harbour just a little envy for Sandra’s Shed. It is a tin shed, fully lined, airconditioned and chocablock with goodies. Most of this is sewing related, but there were loads of ribbon and trim, scrapbook paper, bits cut from magazines, old notebooks, paper labels from haberdashery and a few wall paper sample books. These were my favourite of the day! ¬†All of this ‘junk’ was made available to us along with old manilla folders (recycled from the days of needing to keep office for a patchwork shop many moons ago) that were the base of our smashbook pages.

On the initially very clean and tidy table were trays. One had some ink pads, one had some printed duct tape (a recent find), one had rulers, pencils and other tools. There was a sewing machine set up and several cutting boards. We were given a jar with some PVA glue in it and a brush with a recycled Jenny Craig food tray with a bit cut out for a brush rest…we had almost all we needed for our very first smashbooks!!! The final touch was baby wipes. Top tip of the day – these are great for wiping PVA glue off your hands!

So off I went deciding to do bigger pages. It was to be about red hat and turning 50 all at once. I knew I would need big pockets for my favourite cards. After showing us examples and illustrating possibilities and the ease with which we could throw together a little note book, make a funky tag, recycle something we never thought of recycling before, and being innovative with design and free to embellish as we pleased Sandra let us loose.

Creativity is messy

Creativity is messy

The room smelled deliciously of PVA glue, fresh apple cinnamon cake, and coffee. There was the sound of happy chatter, the sewing machine and a constant input of tips and ideas from Sandra. We were like little kids on craft day at school! The table became an unwieldy mess of junk as pieces of art were made. And after those few hours quickly went by I HAD to pull mine out when I got home and add  my from my own scrap stash Рmy red hat stickers, my bling (all good Queens need bling) my cards, and I was even tempted to break out the paint brushes! I had all these creative juices going I did not want to stop.

Clearly I have stopped now – my journal is all done bar the finishing touches. I would like to finish off some edges and for that I will need to go do a little shopping. Or I can just wait till my Washi Tape arrives in my kit! Then I need to put one final binding on it to hold it all together and it will be done.

There has never been a better time...

There has never been a better time…

Age doesn't matter; Be rewarded

Age doesn’t matter; Be rewarded

Mini Journal

Mini Journal

So…I have smashed today and had a ball. And yes I have journalled in it. There is some sentiment and record in it but not as much as I would like to do. For now it is big enough and I am pleased with my first efforts at this artform. All I need to do is open up an inserted notebook and do some more journalling for it to be just right and worthy of reading.

When my My Crush Book by CTMH arrives ¬†(a premade, predesigned journal by Close To My Heart) ¬†I am more likely to have less lumps and bumps and more artwork in the form of stamps, drawing and I may even dabble in some watercolour pieces to put into it. I can’t wait to see if it is all I imagine it will be! I am so excited to be moving beyond the scrapbook page and into other areas of creativity! Lot’s of people say they are not creative – I have news for you…You are! If you don’t have time that is different, but I believe it is important to let your inner child go get creative at least once a month to keep that bit of your brain nourished ūüôā

If I leave my stuff right where it is right now all around my workspace I may just start another one! Tomorrow is Sunday…I think I will!

More decoration in the mini journal

More decoration in the mini journal

The Happiness graph

The Happiness graph

Be rewarded reflection

Be rewarded reflection

What happened to good old letters?

What happened to good old letters?

Play in the leaves

Play in the leaves

Bling it up

Bling it up

It is about Hattitude

It is about Hattitude

Birthday pockets

Birthday pockets

It's Fat!

It’s Fat!

PS I will learn how to get these photos better grouped one day!

A new year, a new beginning!

What an exciting day! The beginning of the financial year has never been an exciting time for me but today is different! Today I officially joined Close To My Heart as an independent consultant AND I got new old wheels which are not as old as the adventure bus!

The Bus!

The Bus!

Let me explain!

Around the same time as Freaky Friday when we lost CM, I also had to give up my car. Since then I have been in ‘Keep Calm and Scrap on’ mode and “”Yep you can borrow the bus until you buy more wheels” mode to get around. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved the ”Adventure before Dementia” bus that belongs to my dad but it did make nicking down to the supermarket for two litres of milk a chore after a while. With my arthritic right knee, clambering up into the driver’s seat became more than a bit of a chore!

Adventuring in the bus between cars

Adventuring in the bus between cars

However, the BUS, as I now fondly call it, got me around, took me safely to Adelaide and back and for a few nights even became my home away from home. After all, it is built for camping in right? Maggie and Macey didn’t like it much – I ended up putting the leads on them to coach them up into the bus rather than chase them and pick them up!!! It was cosy enough to sleep in and while I didn’t use the shower, the porta loo was handy.

Well today, July 1, the beginning of the financial year in Austalia, I thankfully was able to bid the bus goodbye – for now. I am sure to holiday in it sometime . That will be fun. I have gladly embraced my new regular vehicle to get around in! I am not sure how well I will fit my new CTMH goodies into it but that problem is for another day.

A New Year, a new beginning.

A New Year, a new beginning.

The other piece of magic that happened today was an end to the waiting for Plan B, the Wigwam. I signed as a consultant with Close To My Heart and as in previous posts clearly I am excited to begin the financial year with a new business along with hundreds of other ex CMC’s who have been waiting with me while the super leadership team went to work. Now there will be another long wait…for my Kit! But I am ok about that. I ¬†have a lot to do to get my customers connected and my team organised. I have workshop dates, bookings to check on, flights to make sure are ok and and and….I need a list!

I am busy, but thankfully so. I now have a clear direction and some good wheels to help me travel the path. I am on my way in the CTMH family and I anticipate it will be a lot of fun. I am looking forward to adding stamping and crush books to my repertoire,  playing with washi tape, using a Cricut machine and meeting lots and lots of new people and rekindling connections with previous customers and new consultants. If you would like to join me on my journey please drop me a line.

The new year has begun – not with the bands and fireworks of a traditional new year but plenty of joy in my heart as I would have if there was a big party and lots of fireworks!

Closer To My Heart

The countdown is on! 5 days to go! I am overwhelmed by the skills of the people who have implored us to scrap our stash and be patient – Plan B would come. I have heard one of them speak with true passion about finding a solution for those of us who are now all ex CM consultants in Australia. To suggest we are not excited would not be true – but I cannot speak for everyone – so I will speak for myself.

close to my heart buttonI am over the moon with JOY!

I can go into places I could not go with CM. I can still scrap classic scrapbook pages, I can still create digital ones Рeven easier now that we have Studio J © to use, AND I can stamp designs and use a Cricut and teach others how to do the same!!! I have seen the palettes and packs that coordinate to help tell a story, that make creating gorgeous gifts for those we love easy so I am really looking forward to working with this product, doing the projects and encouraging others.

I have changed the name of the blog to suit since this is not just about Digital Scrapping now – I have so much more to share. July 1 can’t come quick enough!

Why is it that Close To My Heart is closer to my heart? Because I believe we can all be creative. Anyone who claims they are not creative would be more accurate if they stated they do not have the time to nurture creativity in themselves by applying their knowledge, skills, talents and ability to learn to a craft. We were all kids once right?

Were we afraid then of a look, a criticism, a scoff at our creations? No…and for most of us we were well praised for our efforts (even if the grownup could not quite make out what it was!) Somewhere between childhood and now our pure joy in playing with creating got lost. It may have been a teacher who decided our attempt was not as good as another’s in class. An unthinking adult may have even asked us ‘What is that supposed to be?’ when we felt it was patently obvious it was a car, a house, a duck…so we started to feel insecure about our own innate desire to create. A demon voice grew, trying to convince us we can’t do creative, we can’t do art, we are not talented.

If you have a voice within you....

If you have a voice within you….

I was one of those people when it came to art. My yr 7 Art teacher told me I wasn’t ”creative”! ¬†I would like him to look at my paintings, my scrapbooks, my quilts, my original designs and tell me now he was WRONG!

For many years any desire to explore art was gone. When I got married, stopped studying and started to look for something other than correction to do at home in the evening I bought myself some coloured pencils and intricate colouring pads…something in me wanted to create! ¬†Actually, I have my mother and the growth of folk art as an industry for home made craft to thank for giving creativity back to me. There are tools, there are products to understand, and there are patterns and instructions. And there are instructors like me! If you can watch a demo, and have and learn how to use the right tools and equipment you can create! Anything is possible.

You know your human brain has a section specifically for creating. Those students who learn to develop something (a piece of writing, a speech, a project) from a range of sources using a number of skills are ‘creating’ not just regurgitating and this is the main aim of our education system. So, how did adults lose faith in themselves to be able to create? That art teacher, the judgmental peer, ¬†or simply being so busy with other ‘more important’ things in daily life to have time to create would be the main perpetrators. It is time to get your creative back!

posters 3 - Page 006There are so many benefits to being creative. Take a moment to tell that little voice in your head that says you can’t do it to be quiet a minute and listen. You may not produce prize winning artwork, but you will switch on a piece of your brain that has been inactive for too long. ¬†You will be able to tune out the noise of life (and the voice of the negative knocker who suffers from tall poppy syndrome) and become absorbed in something different. That will lead to less stress rather than more. Take a moment to pause and watch a knitter (Not our ex PM but just someone you know), a spinner, a weaver, a painter, a patchworker, a tinsmith (my dad is one of those and he turn out great pieces for restored stationary engines). What do you notice about their mood? Their demeanor? Unless something is not quite going right and causing them frustration, you will find they are generally relaxed, happy and even oblivious to the woes of th world around them. It is their escape, their time out.

You can choose to do simple projects or complex ones – depending on your skills, confidence and equipment available to you. You may also need coaching or mentoring – that is my job! Enroll in a class scrapbooking or card making workshop and give it a crack. There is nothing better than the feeling of achievement that you lost somewhere in your childhood and you will be overjoyed by the compliments you get when you share creative work that also tells a story, and includes photos and messages of love. Such an experience will also bring others closer to your heart and you to theirs.

With my coaching, Close To My Heart will enable you to achieve what you thought you could not- with product, workshops, hosted gatherings or even having a go at being a consultant yourself. All you need to do first is acknowledge you have been neglecting the creative piece of your brain and letting life and daily stress take over all your thinking. Then make a commitment to give that piece of your brain a little workout. You will finish up more relaxed and refreshed – AND likely to be praised or thanked for your efforts once again,

Go on…give it a try !

I am closer to my creative center when I am teaching people to connect with theirs. The journey I am about to embark on is closer to my heart when I see people producing artwork from their heart. Now I have the opportunity to move well beyond the scrapbook page so my creative buttons are all ready to go and I cannot wait to share the journey with you!

It all starts July 1!

For inquiries about hosting gatherings or business opportunities please drop me a line!


Jen Р Creative Classroom Coach with CTMH


At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, We shall remember them.

In the morning, we shall remember them

This morning I wake to the vivid sounds from memories of the haunting The last Post played on a Lone Bugle at the funerals of my grandfather and great Uncle, and at ceremonies every school year. ANZAC day services have taken place all around the country and in schools this week. It brings to mind all that have been lost in war, not just those tragically lost at ANZAC cove.

I live in the ‘lucky country’. But we have not been so lucky that we have not been affected by the impact of War and the need for soldiers to defend our country. In fact anyone who argues¬†Australia¬†is lucky because it has never been subject to war is clearly forgetting the fact that Darwin was in fact Bombed by the Japanese during World War II

Bombing of Darwin

as the Japanese Emperor attempted to build his own empire throughout Asia and the Pacific; and the fact many Australian men and women have given their lives to war in support of our allies, ultimately protecting our own country. They also forget the many bloody massacres and battles that have been hidden from us now being told as we acknowledge Indigenous people in our History books (at last).

Sometimes it is difficult the remember we have bee to and at war. The bombing of Darwin is as close as this country has ever been suffering the bloody chaos of a long drawn out war. The Japanese break through and take over our shores. I sometimes wonder what would our life be like if they had. (If you child has read Tomorrow when the War Began they will see how author John Marsden has answered this question)

If you have not been to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra,

Australain War Memorial, Canberra

you should, and be sure to take your children along with you. If not, jump online and do some research right here. Try to teach them about the ANZACS and what happened at Gallipoli. Teach them about the tenacity of the Australian Soldier. Educate them about ANZAC cove, about POW camps, about the Burma Railway, about Edward Weary Dunlop, about The Somme and the trenches of  World War One. Teach your children about conscription, and the white feather, the subbing or returned soldiers from Vietnam, and why we currently have had debate about our soldiers in Afghanistan.


Be sure your scrapbooks include the history of your family in times of war.  I have included those of my family who have been engaged in war in my scrapbooks Рthey are fondly remembered.

My Great Uncles in Uniform during World War II

My Great Uncles in Uniform during World War II

Australian children need to understand why this country needs its allies, why we engage in war that is not of our doing, and invite them to see that Australian soldiers, and supporting nurses and their reputations are part of the folklore of this land. They are the ultimate representatives of tenacity, of mateship, of being ‘Aussie’.

There is nothing nice about blood, guts, mud, sweat, death, killing enemy soldiers and dying in the process. There is plenty that is heroic about a man or woman called to serve doing their duty, following orders, attempting to save themselves, his or her fellow soldier, and from afar protect Australia from invasion by another country.

There are many films, novels and biographies about war and the more of these that our children become familiar with the more they will be able to discover and discuss man’s inhumanity to man, the causes of war, the impact or war, the way in which war today is so different from what it was on this day at ANZAC cove and question what the act of war achieves. They may well struggle with the moral question of how we justify war, why some returned soldiers have been treated as¬†heroes¬†and others have not, and why the role of women has in the past been neglected by the history books.

Above all, do not let them grow up thinking this country is lucky to have not experienced war. This is factually inaccurate. It has. ¬†Australia has been at war numerous times because of our alliances which are essential given the size of this land and the coastline we need to protect from invaders. In our history we have been close to being invaded as submarines ¬†got close to Sydney Harbour, and Darwin was bombed. It can happen again. And it will not be the so called ‘boat people’ we are warring with.

In teaching texts as an English teacher I have sadly often had to include the history of the war experience covered in the text. It saddens me that Australian pupils do not have a general knowledge about their own country history that includes our engagement in Wars that ultimately protect the ‘lucky country’ from invasion and persecution. I urge all¬†Australians¬†to watch or read suggested texts to educate the young about the Australian war heroes who we remember both today and on¬†Remembrance¬†day.

To participate in stopping the advance of an army representing a country hungry for power is heroic. Today we especially remember those who lost their lives fighting at ANZAC Cove, arguably the bloodiest of battles Australians have endured.

ANZAC Trenches

Lest We Forget.

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

War films and books you can watch, read and share with your children to raise their awareness of Australian War experiences:

The best films according to the Australian War Memorial

Some Texts that come to mind for consideration:

      • Gallipoli
      • Braker morant
      • The Rats of Tobruk
      • The Odd Angry Shot
      • Blood Oath
      • Changi
      • Kokoda
      • My Brother Jack
      • Beneath Hill 60
      • Paradise Road ( A must for any consideration of Women in war)

There are so many books, I will not list any, but the better ones are the biographical Рthe life stories of individuals, collections of letters and journals by veterans themselves.

One last thing…have a world map handy for the student…it does help them visualise thw where along with the what, when, how and why ūüôā

‘Ave a Great Day