Monday, 31 October 2016

What motivates you to volunteer?

This is an excerpt from a post that I first wrote and posted to Linked in. 

[This post appeared on Linkedin on 18 October 2016]

Do you volunteer your time, skills, and resources to assist others either in an informal ad hoc way or via a more formalised group or association? Have you stopped to think what motivates you to do so?

According to an article, written over 38 years ago, people volunteer for a psychological pay off. The person expects to receive something in return for contributing as a volunteer (Anderson and Moore, 1978). They may for example expect to develop skills, meet new people, obtain a career advantage, or to feel a sense of self-worth as they have done something to help others.  
Cary and Snyder (1999) found six main functions served by volunteering which equate with the findings of Anderson and Moore (1978). The six functions were listed as values, understanding, enhancement, career, social and protective. A person may volunteer because they feel it is important to help others or to participate in their community. Some volunteers may be motivated to understand more about their community or learn through hands-on experience. Others may volunteer as they feel the work will develop or enhance them as a person and help them to feel better about themselves.  Some people may volunteer as it they feel it will assist them to gain the career or promotion they desire. People may volunteer for social reasons, they may wish to network with people who share common goals or gain new friends. Lastly people may volunteer to help protect themselves by reducing their own negative feelings or to have temporary escape from their own problems (Cary and Snyder, 1999).
More recent research groups these motivations into two main areas, whereby people volunteer because of a symbolic sociological reason and/or a functional psychological reason (Wilson, 2000). A sociologic motivation may inspire people with strong values and beliefs to give their time and resources free to assist others, whereas a functional psychological motivation relates to a person’s psychological needs being met by volunteering.
A study by Thoits and Hewitt (2001) found that volunteering contributes to improved well-being including better self-esteem, psychological health, and happiness. Given the assertions of Anderson and Moore (1978) that people volunteer for a psychological pay off are these factors discussed by Thoits and Hewitt (2001) also motivators to volunteer or are they serendipitous byproducts of volunteering and not part of the initiating motivators?
Do your motivations for volunteering equate to any or all of these? Do you have different views on what motivates you to volunteer? What are your experiences with volunteering?
Anderson, J. C., & Moore, L. F. (1978). The motivation to volunteer.Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly7(3), 120-129.
Clary, E. G., & Snyder, M. (1999). The motivations to volunteer theoretical and practical considerations. Current directions in psychological science,8(5), 156-159.
Thoits, P. A., & Hewitt, L. N. (2001). Volunteer work and well-being. Journal of health and social behavior, 115-131.
Wilson, J. (2000). Volunteering. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 215-40.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

DIY Soothing skin balm

This post first appeared on my Herbalist blog 

I created this balm for my Mother, she has irritated skin in the winter and has used this balm successfully over the last three years and finds it soothes the inflammation and irritation and heals the skin.

Caution: this contains Comfrey so must not be used on open wounds or broken skin

the following pre-infused and strained herb oils: 
(how to do this is outlined in a previous post you can read it here)

Arnica - 100ml
Comfrey - 50 ml
Calendula - 50 ml
Chamomile - 50 ml

Vitamin E oil - 5 ml
Beeswax - 25 grams


  • 1. with a saucepan on a LOW heat add the infused oils (to make 250 ml of combined oil)
  • 2. add 25 grams of beeswax
  • 3. melt the beeswax stirring it through
  • 4. turn the heat off and add the contents of the Vitamin E capsule, stir through
  • 4. then pour the mixture into sterilised containers
  • 5. leave to cool before you put the lids on!
  • 6. label the containers with what it is what it is used for, when it was made, any cautions it needs, (e.g. do not use near eyes or open wounds), the best before date and the creation date.

  • Note that the vitamin E will preserve the ointment so it will last up to twelve months if stored in a cool dark place


 NOTE: The information in this blog does not constitute the practice of medicine, and does not replace the advice of your health care provider.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Review: Typo brand Drawing Journal

I do a lot of creative projects including  'serious art' using water colours,pencils or oil paints in the more conservative manner. However I love the freedom of art journalling, where the rules of art, what is good what isn't, how mediums are supposed to be used, and perfection are ignored. The process of creating the art is as, or even more, important than the finished product. I can freely experiment with mixed media and ideas without feeling constrained about the finished product or how I am using the materials. I have many sketch books and doodle pads to use for art journalling but I am always on the look out for a book that really works for me. I want one that is bound like a traditional old style book, has good quality paper that can take all manner of materials, is hard cover to protect the contents, and light enough to take with me wherever I go.

We were in DFO Brisbane a while ago, at the Typo store, and I saw a selection of journals there for $19.99 (AUD) each, from their Activity Journal range. I kept going back to the shelf, opening the 'demo' books, feeling the paper and flicking through the pages. There were several different types there, but the one I really liked was the one that had 'Drawing Journal' on it in gold metallic embossing and featured water colour style decoration on the cover. The pages inside are thick, have a matte texture, and include an area for title and date. The pages have different decoration from grids, to cream coloured to pages with decorative corners.

I like the concept of an art journal that comes with different designs on its pages.  There is a well known phenomenon of blank page syndrome that afflicts artists and writers alike, and having an art journal with some colour already on the page helps to alleviate that issue!

How do the pages hold up to use

I have tried the pages using graphite and colour pencils, water colour paint, felt pen, waterproof felt tipped pens (such as Sharpies), glue, gesso, and waterbased varnish. I am pleased to share with you that the pages can handle all of this, the slight buckling of the pages after using glue, varnish, gesso, or paint is alleviated after the pages are dried and the book is shut for a few hours. 

How does the book hold up to being carted around

Small and light enough to cart around but large enough to draw in, the book is shoved in my work bag, used on the train, dumped on my desk at home, carted in the car, it handles this well, you do not have to be overly kind to this book!

Some of the art journalling I have done in this book

gesso, paper, glue , watercolour, fetl pen,

gesso, colour pencil,watercolours, felt pen

watercolour, feltpen, colour pencil, varnish
collaged photo, watercolour, felt pen, pencil satin water based varnish

You can by the Typo activity journals online  from their website here.

If you are interested in reading another review on Typo products  please have a look at this post where I  reviewed a Typo satchel.


Thursday, 5 May 2016

Iron Maiden and Eddie! In Brisbane May 2016 - great concert

Last night my husband and I went out, on a work night (ugh)... to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, to see a band. Not just ANY band .... this was Maiden.

I have been a fan since the early 80s, when as a child in England,  I first heard them. My cousin who is much older than me had the record 'Iron Maiden' amongst his Status Quo albums. I think maybe it was Paul DiAnno who fronted the band then. My cousin was kind of appalled when his ten year old female cousin was rocking to Maiden,  but then I think I appalled him frequently ..  he also never forgave me for accidentally scratching one of his Quo albums. (Quo ... pfft)

Anyway back to Maiden.

Long term fan, but had never seen them perform live. Then in 2011 at Soundwave in Brisbane I finally got to see them live. Amazing! Bruce Dickinson with his amazing vocal dexterity, Adrian, Steve, Dave, and Janick with their guitar virtuosity, and Nicko McBrain with his lively percussion. The only thing missing was Eddie. Sadly blog readers... there was No Eddie.

Fast forward to May 2016 ... Brisbane Entertainment Centre, there we were, seeing Maiden for the second time! 

After The Raven Age finished their set (and they were polished awesomeness as well by the way) a short intermission and then... lights dimmed.... there was susurration from the crowd.. then quiet... the stage is bathed in a glowing green light, then the two side monitors display Ed Force One.. and... Eddie!! (Yay Eddie!!) .. then the lights brighten on the stage... and the crowd starts to roar .... and the opening of If Eternity Should Fall quells the audience's roar....

What an amazing show... stage sets, lighting, everything ... and Mr Dickinson's voice is still that amazingly brilliant multi-octave delight it has always been. (Glad you are well again too Sir after your illness of last year). Watching Janick and Steve bounce around the stage and Dave's fingers fly over the frets, and Adrian and his brilliant solos.. and Nicko with his Energiser Bunny super energetic, amazing drumming... .. could this concert get any better???

Then.. yes! EDDIE!!! yayayaayayayayayay.

Eddie struts onto the stage.. and Bruce rips his heart out Aztec style... theatrics are always a great part of Maiden's  performances.. not that they need them, their music is entertaining enough.

Then... later.. Eddie as a massive huge, did i mention massive, creature towering over the stage appears!!! 

Yay.. not only did we get to see Maiden perform ... we saw Eddie!!! Twice!!!!

That reminds me, Iron Maiden is bringing out an Eddie mobile platform game mid year... make sure you get in on that! The link to get to the info.. ooh and buy some game merch is

I am a fan, a long-term fan of Maiden, a long long ..I am old.. ok.. OLD... been a fan ..for a long time.. a long long... anyway you get the idea......
so I am biased... but to me that was the best concert I had ever been to.

... Until the next Maiden concert anyway! ;)

The play list last night was: (I think I got all of them here... I was immersed in the concert so I may have missed one .. if I have please let me know!) 
  • If Eternity Should Fail
  • Speed of Light
  • Children of the Damned
  • Tears of a Clown
  • The Red and the Black
  • The Trooper
  • Powerslave
  • Death or Glory
  • The Book of Souls
  • Hallowed Be Thy Name
  • Fear of the Dark
  • Iron Maiden
  • The Number of the Beast
  • Blood Brothers
  • Wasted Years

Iron Maiden - The Book Of Souls World Tour 2016 at Brisbane Entertainment Centre 4th May 2016

I took this photo of Bruce Dickinson at the Iron Maiden concert in Brisbane

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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Happy 2016 everyone.. and yes i know we are half way through the year

I don't know about all of you, but I am so busy, tired, stressed, and in need of more hours in a day, that I barely have time to enjoy a cup of coffee! That is why your welcome to 2016 post is happening in May!

As well as working fulltime, and studying fulltime, I am a volunteer with AISA  which is the Australian Information Security Association. In March this year we held a Brisbane based information security day, BrisSEC16 which I organised for the Brisbane branch, it was a lot of work, but the lovely people who work for AISA, in particular Tory and the CEO Arno, did a lot to support the day.

Speaking of Information security conferences, my friends at AusCERT ( *Hi Mike* )  are busy getting their 2016 conference ready. AusCERT 2106  looks to be one of the best yet, and I hope they get a lot of support for it.

What are you up to in 2016? feel free to comment!