Reflections on 2016

2016 was the first year that EPICC Maleny operated. The program was different to anything else offered for people with disabilities. It had an educational and creative focus. The program was formed in response to participants’ desires, interests and needs. Friendships developed as creative writing and music making competencies were inspired and built. Dramatic pursuits were pursued. Instruments were bought and played. Dancing to music and song writing were explored. Preferences were identified.

Creative writing began with everyone exploring their senses and how authors use senses in their writing. How to write great first lines was identified as an issue so we investigated how to write sizzling starts that would hook readers. Our experimentations in this area resulted in much more interesting narratives being produced. We learnt about the use of rhyming patterns in poetry. We wrote free form and rhyming poems. Memoirs were created with each person using their own framing of their life experiences. Short story writing was a popular choice later in the year. Examining how authors plan and structure their short stories was useful in guiding us in producing some great written works. Selected samples of our creative writing were compiled into a book which is available for purchase from http://au.blurb.com/b/7612801-epicc-maleny-2016. The book is available in soft cover and e-book formats.

Alice Owen came and worked with us on a movement-dance program. Spatial exploration and the use of various props got everyone in the mood for investigating dance further. Erin was particularly in enamoured with ballet, while Sammy liked to do line dances. Laurie became Erin’s regular partner in ballet performances. Ballet videos were watched and the use of feet and hands and body positions were noted and practised. Lori and Erin joined Sammy in line dancing. Jackie and Tyler got involved in dancing too. Jackie loved Erin’s ballet shoes and got some of her own.

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Tyler dancing with Barb

An interest in play writing and performing was expressed early in the year. Writing short stories and acting them out in full costume became part of the program. Sound effects and music were added to support the dramatic experiences.

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Music time also involved experimenting with a range of musical instruments which were able to purchase because we received a gambling fund grant. Sammy found she had a natural propensity for playing drums. She also liked to try out other instruments. Erin preferred to watch others playing instruments, but was open to challenges. Her greatest achievement was playing seven drums during a song. Jackie loved playing the piano. Tyler tried out different instruments. The rain stick is one of her favourites. She also likes playing the drums and trying to play the piano. Michael creates the most amazing songs on the piano and experimented with playing the guitar.

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Erin and Sammy participated in the ‘Say Yes to Family Peace’ art project. They enjoyed looking at other people’s contributions each week and doing some painting themselves. Erin also found mixing paint colours and interesting experience.

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Many thanks go to Apex Maleny, Rotary Maleny and Quota for their generous sponsorship donations. These monies made it possible to keep the costs at a reasonable level and for EPICC Maleny to operate for the full year.