Home » Podcast » Increasing community acceptance of Anxiety Disorders and other mental illnesses, with Jules Haddock

Increasing community acceptance of Anxiety Disorders and other mental illnesses, with Jules Haddock


In this week’s episode, Geoff is talking to Jules Haddock who was a Finalist in the 2020 Victorian Regional Achievement & Community Awards.

Jules Haddock has worked in the community sector for over 30 years and is a Principal Master Mental Health Instructor. In 2015, she established The Anxious Bird, after supporting her son with Autism through his school years. She provides specific education to teachers, parents, businesses, and the general community in supporting children. In 2019, she supported a young illustrator with intellectual disability and Schizophrenia to create her first children’s book, Chirpee The Anxious Bird. With a concept of running a festival for National Mental Health Week, she formed Art of the Minds, a non-profit voluntary charity that umbrella 33 events in the Surf Coast Shire in 2020.
Author artist, and a person with lived experience of mental illness, she makes it real. She approaches life with gaiety and enjoys a humorous outlook in teaching us the basic fact of mental illness- How can you recover if you don’t know what you are recovering form?


In this episode:

  • We find out what a Master Mental First Aider is
  • Jules talks about funding, calling it the 3 “B”’s – Beg, Borrow or Busking!
  • Jules encourages you to book a table of 10 to the Art of the Minds Ball on the 2nd October, 2021 in Torquay on the Surf Coast. Go to the website link below.


Connect with Jules on LinkedIn

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Annette (00:05):

Welcome to the inspirational Australians podcast, where we chat to people, making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others. And here is your host for today, Geoff Griffin.

Geoff (00:21):

Welcome to the inspirational Australians podcast stories of inspiring achievements and community contribution. Every week we will celebrate an award program category winner or finalist. We hope you’ll be inspired and encouraged to know that Australia is in good hands. Together with our corporate partners and not for profit partners, Awards Australia showcases ordinary people from right across Australia doing extraordinary things. If you enjoy hearing the stories about inspirational Australians, please subscribe, rate us, and review us. We’d really appreciate it. She was a finalist in the 2019 Regional Development, Victoria Leadership and Innovation Award, part of the 2019 Regional Achievement Community Awards. Also, Jules was a 2020 finalist in the Community Hero Award. Jules Haddock is president of Art of the Minds and I’m excited to have Jules as my guest today. Welcome to the podcast Jules!

Jules (01:30):

Oh, thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Geoff (01:33):

Really terrific to hear the stories of inspirational people like you who see a need and go after it and just make sure it happens so well done to you! Jules, you personally have worked in the community sector for over 30 years and you’re a principal master mental health instructor. You are truly a community hero. In 2015, you established the Anxious Bird. Can you tell us a bit more about the anxious bird and how it came about?

Jules (02:02):

Sure. Well, um, the Anxious Bird is a business that I run as a, an educator in mental health and it all really began, I think with two major drivers, one being, you know, and thank you for that lovely, um, sort of acolyte about my, my past, but, but I guess like anyone I’m just a human being and being a mum, you know, my heart really went out to our youngest. He’s now 19 and he’s on the autistic spectrum. And I was thinking back to how the anxious bird started and believe it or not, I was actually in church and he was on his iPad, scribbling away and next he tabbed on my coat and said, mom, this is, this is a bird. And I looked down and he joined a bird and he pulled on me again. He said, it’s the anxious bird. And it was quite amazing that that really, you know, it gave me the go ahead then to work very closely with his primary and then secondary teachers, uh, because I, I guess back 20 years ago, you know, um, mental illness as a conversation was sort of quite limited in that sector. And from there I have my own art exhibition, uh, and the number one driver of the anxious bird is I’m a person with the lived experience. And, you know, art was very much my voice in my journey of recovery.

Geoff (03:25):

Fantastic. So our guests or sorry, our listeners won’t be able to see, but there’s a piece of artwork behind you. Is that one of yours?

Jules (03:33):

Yes, it is. That’s one of my ladies. She’s the swimming pool lady.

Geoff (03:39):

Yeah. I can say that is a little abstract that a fantastic, uh, quite the community hero in more ways than we even knew. Jules, you had a concept of running a festival for national mental health week last year. And you’ve formed Art of the Minds, which of course is a, not for profit voluntary charity umbrella, a massive 33 events in the Surf Coast Shire last year. Can you tell us how did, uh, Art of the mids come about and how did you get all those events gone so quickly?

Jules (04:20):

Well, the inception really began when I had my own, uh, exhibition and launched my own book, the Anxious Bird about my journey of recovery. Uh, and at that exhibition, not, I thought how boring people walking around with champagne going, Ooh, lovely, lovely art. So I arranged for all my mad, crazy talented friends to appear in every 15 minutes a bell would ring and we’d have a pop-up performer. So it might’ve been a singer. Somebody reading their poetry. Uh, we had a yoga person doing yoga and champagne moves, um, which everyone had to get involved in, which was quite fun, but I really still back until, wow, this is a great concept for a festival. And I guess that’s where we, we began. Um, and over the years it’s just grown and grown and grown.

Geoff (05:11):

Fantastic. So when did the, um, did you actually get to hold a festival last year with COVID things are rampant?

Jules (05:20):

Uh, yes, we, we absolutely did. And, and it really gave us a chance to launch out a campaign and which is very much comes back to the aim, I guess, of Art of the Minds. We have a campaign called the five C’s as in the letter C and we do live by the sea, which is celebrate creative community conversations and connections in mental health wellbeing. Uh, and we have a, uh, a Seabiscuit, which is our mandala, or if you like our logo, um, which we are encouraging people every year to download them and put them on their window in the month of which is national mental health month. When we run as a way to, to really start to put the conversation of mental illness and support out there in the community.

Geoff (06:08):

Fantastic. So what are some of the other aim sof Art of the Minds? You know, what delving into some of the events, what specifically is the aim of those events? What are you trying to get out there?

Jules (06:22):

We’re very much about education focus. Um, it comes back to, you know, one of my slants in my career has always been, how can we recover from an illness or support someone recover if we don’t know what we’re recovering from? So if you like, you know, in our techniques, particularly sharing lots of lived experience stories, we give people permission to talk about the elephant in the room, which is mental illness, because in the past it’s been too sort of stigmatized. So we’re very much about if you like, you know, um, from inverted commas, I say this, but as a marketer would say, we’ve got a sexy up the brand and that’s very much what we do. Um, so we find, we have people coming to our events, not always expecting that they’re going to hear a story of lived experience, but we weave it in, in some way. Or we talk about mental illness in some way, for example, at a, uh, an Italian dinner we had last year, Matt had his event, we use that platform to talk about mental illness.

Geoff (07:29):

Fantastic. Sometimes the subtle methods are the best aren’t they? Yeah. People feeling they’re being preached to about whatever subject it is. So very clever. Tell us about the upcoming 2021 Art of the Minds festival. I know you’ve got some good things planned.

Speaker 3 (07:50):

Oh, we have what, look, we’ve got a couple of, uh, I guess if you like signature events, um, once again, we’ll hold the annual art exhibition, which we encourage artists from all regions to be involved in. It’s a great platform for people who have mental illness and, uh, artists to express themselves, but also people who may not have experienced a mental illness, but they know art is what keeps them well. So, we invite everyone to attend that. we of course on the 10th of October that’s World Mental Health Day, so we’re going to have our great launch again. Uh, but probably one of the most exciting events for this year is the, the Mind Hat Body Ball, which is actually a charity fundraiser for an alcohol and drug service called Foundation 61 and that’s going to be held at mountain need winery. So frock up tuxedo, it’s the full, you know glam night. Uh, and you know, one of the other events we’ll be having is our signature event, which is our songwriting competition. And last year we tripled the entries, um, and talent just came from everywhere. So, so I guess, you know, that’s just for the signature. And then we have our professional development and events, poetry slams, open mikes, you know, Matt had a tea party, so definitely a variety of events out there.

Geoff (09:16):

It sounds like a lot of work as well. How many people are around you helping you put all this together?

Jules (09:23):

Well, the committee, um, is comprised of 10 fantastic, talented people. Uh, but we do have some volunteers in the community that might just volunteer for a specific event because that’s their, their love. Um, we have also been absolutely privileged to have guest speakers that volunteer their time for our professional development events. Like for example, Janine Bailey, who’s an international speaker, ran a workshop for us last year, Chris Mackey a clinical psychologist, you know, ran a workshop for us, but we also, um, think broader. And we, uh, for the last two years have had interns from Deacon University, which gives them a fantastic opportunity to put something on their CV that helped with the communication and marketing. Uh, we have businesses, uh, one of the, the genuine training, um, sponsor one of the major education events and, and local businesses also sort of donate. So really it’s so many people coming from everywhere and not sit in the seat of madness, trying to link it all together.

Geoff (10:34):

Uh, well, there’s a lot of work. It sounds brilliant. You get a lot of obviously very clever and creative people helping you because you’ve come up with some great ideas, some great people supporting you. So hats off to you or kudos to you and your team sounds fantastic. And I love some of those creative ways to engage people together, to talk about mental health. Now why would someone, because you’re of course the principal master mental health, first aid instructor, why would someone want to become a mental health first aider? And what is that?



Jules (11:18):

Well, it’s, my title is a bit out there. Isn’t it? You know, principal master, I feel like you should join your hands together and bow, when you say master like the old Kung Fu movies, uh, what it is it’s, it’s, um, it’s very similar to, um, mental health fish oil, sorry, general first aid. So it is a, um, a course that teaches people to think about, um, our model of how can we communicate to support people, uh, and if required support them through a crisis such as suicidal ideations and plan, panic attacks, traumatic events, or, um, if we’re concerned about someone, how do we link them to professional help? Why, um, the reason being is we know that professional help isn’t always there. We know that mental illness is very prevalent. You know, one in five people every year, uh, for adults, but for youth one in four every year experienced an episode and only 35% of those people will get any help. So there’s a lot of people out in our community and our families that, you know, often don’t even, they’re not even aware, um, they have a mental illness cause they’ll use language like I’m really stressed, I’m so burnt out, not, I might be in the early stages of an anxiety disorder, that’s treatable, you know, so it’s really about building our literacy and confidence just as we do with our physical knowledge, you know, we know about COVID signs symptoms. We wouldn’t hesitate to say to a friend who fell over all, you might’ve broken or sprained your wrist. So really we’re playing catch up with our language and mental health first aid does that for people, it increases their competence in language, around mental illness to engage one another.

Geoff (13:14):

Yeah. So important. What’s the first steps for someone who’s feeling that way and sensing that, I guess there’s a problem. And they feel, as you say, stressed, and that’s certainly a common word used and they know something’s not quite right. What should they do? How do they go about taking action?

Jules (13:35):

Well, I think w you know, one of the first things to do is to reach out, but often people are a bit intimidated to reach out. So Google offers some great platforms to self-assess, you know, to think, well, if do I have a problem that beyond blue site obviously is excellent. You know, there’s some self-diagnostic, uh, shapes there for anxiety or depression, or the black dog Institute in Sydney has some great go-to resources. Um, but really the general protocol is, you know, find a GP that you really trust. And, and for me that’s mean thinking about their gender, would I rather see male or female? Am I okay to cry in front of that GP? Because I, I think if you are the right GP for you, uh, and do they work collaboratively with you on, you know, trying to unpack what’s going on for you. Um, but GP is really probably your first point of call.

Geoff (14:37):

Some of your events run for quite a period of time, don’t they like, you know, up from month, how does that work, uh, terms of that full length period? Are they experienced sessions components of the event?

Jules (14:54):

Well, last year we trialed, uh, an over 65 um, series of events that went, I think we ended up having about six workshops that were meant to be face-to-face, but we converted them to zoom. Uh, and people would just link in for 45 minutes every Friday with a cuppa, and we’d have a different topic and different guest speakers who, you know, we chat away to, most of our events tend to be single events, uh, which might all be related under the same umbrella, but, but single events. So, uh, but yeah, I think we’re getting bigger and bigger options every year of how those platforms look.


Geoff (15:36):

Hey, I see more people come along to your events and to your festival and so on.

Jules (15:42):

Yes. Particularly, um, with zoom, I think that really allowed, you know, a great door for us to access. You know, we even had enquiries from Canada, we had paper from Queensland and South Australia linking in. So, you know, I guess that was one of the, the great outcomes of COVID.

Geoff (16:01):

Yeah, absolutely. Certainly. Zoom is the name on everybody’s lips over the last number of months. How do you finance your events? That must be a constant worry.

Jules (16:12):

Well, I let out the internal grind or… Ah, look, it’s it’s, you know, money maxwell go around to some extent. Um, and I guess my committee has very kindly this year said, we’ve got to start trying to find you a bit of an income, because it is fairly consuming a role to play, but in the past, and currently we are still very reliant on grant recipients. So, the Geelong Community Foundation have always been extraordinarily supportive of us. Uh, we had smaller grants and places like Bendigo Bank, I’ve applied to NAB bank. So we don’t know how we’re going to go with a lot of these this year. Our Surf Coast Shire, um, supports us, but this year it’s quite exciting because for the first year we’re about to launch a patron program. So people like yourself, Geoff, for example, can, you know, buy into becoming a patron and patrons of course become quite special in that we offer, you know, some extra curriculum activity and acknowledgement. So outside of that, we’re also looking at a corporate sponsorship program because, you know, the reality is eventually grants run dry. Um, you can only often apply so many times, so we want to become self-sufficient and some of our events like the ball, we have to ticket, you know, just to cover our costs obviously for the food and venue.

Geoff (17:45):

Yeah, of course. And the more you have, uh, that you want to do often, the more funds that you need. So the more you raise the better off you are.

Jules (17:57):

Sure, and were very, very focused on paying our professional, uh, local performance in particular and acknowledging, you know, their expertise as artisans. Uh, and, you know, although often we have people generously donating their time, we’re also about supporting small business. So we try and, you know, not only market the business that supports us, but, uh, also increase the drive to their business obviously as well.

Geoff (18:27):

Yeah, that’s fantastic. And I believe you also raised some funds to engage an event manager, which, you know, obviously helps with design and creating really interesting events.

Jules (18:40):

Sure. Well, it, it’s probably more the clever, um, the cleverness of our wonderful treasurer. Who’s actually just been acknowledged as a hero in, uh, by the, I think it was the actual NAB bank, um, for his work as treasurer, um, volunteering with us. Um, but I guess I’m a marketer, um, is what’s really raised our platform because as we know a good marketer, you know, an investment in marketing is so important because people need to know what are you offering? You know, so Judith from surf coast, uh, uh, marketing is just doing a fantastic job and we’re so grateful for her presence on our committee.

Geoff (19:23):

Fantastic. Shout out to Judith – good jobs must be on the J’s, Jules, and Judith, what’s your treasures name?

Geoff (19:32):

Ken, and we don’t have a Barbie,

Geoff (19:37):

Well, we can call him Jim, just to keep him. Well heading in a slightly different direction from our main, you’ve been doing amazing work and we’re sort of gathering that certainly from our chat. I know you don’t look for accolades in what you do, but how did it feel when you were nominated for the regional achievement in community awards?

Jules (20:01):

Ah, look, I think, you know, if anyone received sort of some type of acknowledgement, it’s, it’s I guess so intrinsically rewarding. Um, for me personally, it’s not so much about the extrinsic reward. I mean, of course when we get acknowledged it reaps benefits, it gives so much more credibility to our, our voice and our cause, which we’re forever grateful for. But I guess, you know, coming from a platform of a person with lived experience, I was really excited because, you know, it’s giving voice to people with lived experience in acknowledging award, because that’s really what this journey has been about for me is to give back to other people, give back to the vulnerable voices, you know, provide platforms for vulnerable people to have a voice, you know? And so it was pretty exciting, I think has myself and our committee representing all those people behind us. Uh, and really in a way, you know, you could gather one out of five Australians and put them on a stage with this when we got that award, because that’s what we’re about, you know, the people behind us.

Geoff (21:19):

Yeah. Well, of course you made the finals, you attended the award presentations at Flemington, the events in FDRC that must’ve been a real thrill to be there with so many like-minded community champions.

Jules (21:33):

Oh, absolutely. Any, any great excuse to up Jeff. It was fantastic. And it was really nice actually. I took, um, we had a few committee people, but I also took my, my sister was there with me, which was really lovely. Um, and I think, you know, it was, it was a really, really amazing not to think you’re in a room full of people that have visions and then follow their visions and follow their passions. And, you know, the creativity that was in that room was quite amazing.

Geoff (22:07):

Yeah, it is a special time has been not, has been nominated and making the finals helped Art of the Minds and, uh, your committee and yourself in terms of your, you mentioned credibility, I’m imagining that has helped you.

Jules (22:26):

Oh, absolutely. I mean, if you go back to when you’re a child and the teacher gave you a star or an elephant stamp, you go, woo. I got to keep I’m going for the double star next time. And I think that’s, you know, um, the reality of, of passion, you know, sometimes it’s having those little acknowledgements that sort of keep driving you in say where we’re in the right direction. You know, we’ve got the elephant stamp from the Australian Awards, you know? Um, so yes, absolutely. It’s really helped in terms of, we got a little bit of press coverage as well, which I think is fantastic because, you know, I’ll be very honest sometimes, you know, the old, um, the old saying of profit, isn’t always in your own backyard, you know, everyone looks at, but I think when moments like that happen, you know, people go, wow, this is happening in our community. And we’re finding now we’re getting individuals approaching us to be a part of, Art of the Minds and that services are directed to mental health and all of that award acknowledgement has helped them tremendously.

Geoff (23:38):

Fantastic. Well, that’s exactly what we aim to do is to make a difference in the community and always incredibly inspiring and satisfying to know that, uh, that it works. We hear so many stories of people, organizations and businesses would significantly benefit. So that really gives us a lot of satisfaction to keep going. And that validation of being nominated. And as you say, the credibility that provides is really credibly welcomed by everybody it’s not looked for, but to receive a pat on the back, particularly when it’s least expected is fantastic nominations, I’ve concerned for the 2021 awards. And if anybody listening would like to nominate someone or partner with us, head to awardaustralia.com. We’d love to get your nominations or talk to you more about how you can become involved. And of course, Jules is looking for partners as well for Art of the Minds. So, if you have an interest, we’ll get Jules details shortly so that you can contact her to find out more about all the great work that Jules is doing. Jules. What’s something that we might not know about Art of the Minds or where you’d personally that, uh, our guests or listeners should know we’ll be interested to know?

Jules (25:04):

Well, I guess one of the things is the power of lived experience storytelling, and, um, I’ve actually written my own, um, quite elaborate, uh, recovery story, which if anybody wants to have a read of that, if you’re incredibly bored and want to fill it, fill a gap, um, it’s on my website thing, The Anxious Bird website, it’s an eBook now, but it is really from my, my journey that I learnt about the vulnerability. Um, but the strengths that we find in vulnerability, and I think particularly looking at the high rates of suicide in Australia, that, you know, it is the dark side of our message. Um, our family was impacted by suicide two weeks ago. And even now I’ll tear up, you know, with that, cause it hit heart, you know? Um, and I think what people don’t know is that for every one female that takes their life, four men take their life. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men aged 15 to 45. So we’re talking about a killer illness, you know, um, and I guess what is part of what we’re trying to do is to let the vulnerable book voices through our festival, have a platform to speak, have advocates or advocates, if you like speaking on behalf of, of those people, but very much about giving permission to be vulnerable because once that vulnerability is out, you’ve got something to work with, you know, and that’s often where the strength to, to grow. So, I guess, you know, every event we try where possible to have a person share a lived experience, but, um, if you don’t mind me keep going from moment, we were absolutely gob smacked last year we ran our songwriting competition, which tripled in entries. We’ve got the finalist event, we’ve got 10 performance. Three of them are chosen to sing off at the end. And as the winner was about to sing, he said, this is the first time in my life I’ve ever sung in public. So even though he’d recorded his work, he’d done it in a studio with a safe little friend. And he said, and I’m also 265 days sober. Now that was a story we didn’t expect. And, and as a result of that, he’s now volunteering his time to work at an alcohol and drug service. So it’s actually, you know, I guess that for us to amplify what we’re all about, you know, giving voice to vulnerable people that need to be heard.

Jules (27:54):

Fantastic. What a wonderful story. And we’re so sorry for your loss. It is tragic anybody that takes their lives. It’s not just that person too. It’s the community, the loved ones around them. So it’s a terribly, terribly tragic. And as I say, we feel for you in personal condolences on behalf of everybody listening, it must be times when it all gets a little too much, or you are feeling a bit low having help reset with, you know, in a space that you work in. How do you bounce back and recharge yourself?

Jules (28:30):

Well, personally, um, I guess I can speak personally. And I think it’s, it’s over the years, I’ve learned to be very open and frank about emotions and to, if I can’t talk to people about it, I express emotions through painting writing. And I guess I encourage the committee to do that more about we, we share with each other if we’re struggling. But one of the biggest things is that as a committee, um, we very much know we have to not be the problem solvers when one of us, you know, needs a bit of support. And I think that’s a challenge to everyone out in the community. Uh, cause we often stop listening to a person when we try and fix their problems, you know, and sometimes people just need to be heard that’s enough for them to just express their pain and for us to validate their pain. But I guess, you know, in leading a group of people that they all know if they’ve got something going on, you know, I give them permission to step back, you know, and because life can get pretty busy and be a bit crazy. And outside of that practice, what we preach, um, I’ve trained up the committee as mental health first aiders, a few new people that are going to be doing that. So we’re, we’re, we’re pretty much living what we speak about I guess. And if all else fails, we’ll have a glass of red wine at the end of the day.

Geoff (30:00):

Now it sounds like you’re doing great job. And for anybody to come to you, looking for support to know that you and your team are trained is really important. And I think it all starts with us as you rightly say so beautifully say to listen, sometimes it’s just what people need. And I’m conscious, always are smiling and saying hello to people. And sometimes that can be just the spark that helps someone. We don’t know where people are at in their lives. And it’s so important just to be engaging, to smile and be nice. It cost nothing, but it could do the world for someone could just start them on the right path again. So, I heard a saying which I absolutely love and it says, listen to hear not to respond.


Jules (30:51):

That’s fantastic. Yeah.


Geoff (30:53):

That’s really what you were saying. So I certainly think that’s a great quote for anybody. We do get caught up in trying to listen to what someone’s saying so that we can have our answer or, you know, tell them why we know better or whatever it is. Jules, you have your own story too, because you’ve been there done that. So you really do come from a place where you understand anybody who is feeling mental stress or this mental illness and pressure. How did you get back from maybe your that place? And I don’t personally know what that was and I don’t, I’m not asking you to tell us if it’s uncomfortable, but what’s your words of inspiration for others?

Jules (31:45):

Look, I just, uh, I guess Geoff and I decided to be very transparent, um, obviously to a point with my story, um, which is like I said, detailed in my book, but, uh, I was a person that experienced some childhood trauma. I hid that for many years. Uh, and I slipped in and out of different types of mental illnesses, you know, eating disorder at one stage postnatal depression, but I was eventually diagnosed as carrying the big backpack on my back, if you like called post-traumatic stress disorder. Um, my, I guess my advice is, um, to really give yourself permission to be vulnerable, but I know in myself be prepared to fall over and scratch your knees a couple of times. And that’s okay. You’ll learn from that. You know, often you’ve got to get up and go or what did I do? And this is where professionals are great in helping us understand our mind, you know, understand why, you know, what’s missing.  Um, for me, it was very much about understanding the recovery model and the center of recovery is hope. And basically people take their life because they give up hope that the pain is going to stop. You know, I found my hope in my faith as a Christian. That’s how the model works for me, but there’s definitely a model of other things that are important, like exercise, practicing mindfulness, uh, hanging with people that, that brings some positivity into my life. Knowing when to say no, you know, there’s so many other bits to it all I guess. But I would say probably one of the most important things I’m still working on. And even with the Art of the Minds festival is although we have our dreams and our goals, and we’re focused on that door ahead. Don’t take your eye off the doors that are next to you that are opening that you might miss, you know, and I think that’s helping me grow all the time, you know, knowing that there’s other opportunities, other people, other ways that I can learn about myself and, and build our festival as well.

Geoff (34:05):

Yeah. Now that’s so true. And I think we can get caught up in our own fragility and be a fried and stay withdrawn rather than looking for opportunities, but being aware of what our weaknesses are, but really a head towards a lot of our strengths. And for all of us, we need to be aware of being, understanding, loving, caring, and empathizing with people in their ways and not necessarily allies, but at the same time, they’re their own person. And they’re entitled to think differently. And that’s where we go wrong often. I think we all feel that people have to think same way as I do

Jules (34:49):

Exactly. And I think he, um, I know every Sunday I do an Instagram post and I always end up with three hashtags and you actually mentioned one of the words, but the one I end with is the most powerful and it’s faith hope and love, you know, and love goes a long way in this world, you know, but part of that is learning to love yourself for many people before loving everybody else.

Geoff (35:14):

Yeah. When you can’t love others, if you don’t love yourself and as a nation, we’re not good at that and not good at understanding that we’re worthy, which is so sad because it is a difficult thing to do, you know, to believe in yourself, to love yourself and know that you’re a good person. No, one’s perfect. Of course. Um, same time. We need to believe that. And that’s such a huge head start. It’s the people have absolute confidence in themselves and their self-belief is so strong that they clearly love themselves or can at least feel that they are worthy and they are good enough in whatever it is they’re doing. And that’s so important. I think for mental health it’s because people in my humble opinion have mental health teaching because that, I believe that they’re not worthy for whatever reason that might’ve been, uh, to start with in a compounds. So, um, Jules what’s next for you and Art of the Minds?

Jules (36:19):

Well, I guess, uh, I haven’t really stopped since October. I mean, for writing reports and then suddenly all the grants come out and it’s like, ah, I think I’ve developed the, I’m going to call it the three B’s, you know, big borrow or busk, but I’m not very good at busking to try and get money. So, at the moment, I mean the reality is that we require money, you know, to stay sustainable. I mean, that’s, we’ve got marketers that we have to pay, but also signage, et cetera, et cetera. But, um, I’m busy now. I book venues, we’ve got some events already lined up happening. So, I guess it’s really, uh, trying to encourage people to understand that although the events are held in the Surf Coast in Torquay, which is a fantastic, can I say, get away so you can come down to Torquay. Oh, that just happens to be a ball on why don’t you go to the Art of the Minds ball? Uh, so I guess it’s trying to encourage, you know, people in particularly zoom will allow us to do this, to increase our outreach to people as well.

Geoff (37:28):

Is when is the, uh, what’s that date again for Art of the Minds ball?

Jules (37:32):

Well, the ball is the 2nd of October. So all of our events run on, uh, during October, which is actually National Mental Health Month. Um, but the ball is the 2nd of October. We have women’s a women’s event, but the ball’s the big one this year that we’re really, um, out to try. And, um, Foundation 61 is an alcohol and drug rehab, they get no government funding. They work on a shoestring budget of half pay, half volunteer. Um, we’re about to build the women’s center, which is going to be fabulous, um, which will be an eight bedroom. So, the men are 15 bedroom and established the women are 8 bedrooms with two rooms that will allow young mothers to bring their babies and young children in because that’s often seen as a barrier to recovery with drugs and alcohol, but by rising money at the bowl, we actually house people in, you know, these rehabilitation centers. So I guess the twist is we are the charity raising for the charity, uh, on that evening. And I can tell you, the setting at the Mount Duneed winery is absolutely 100% stunning. And we have a, I have a big thing install that will be on the dance floor once again, which is a secret.

Geoff (38:57):

Oh, we all have secrets. So, I think Torquay is beautiful on the 2nd of October to head up to Torquay for a weekend away or in Victoria or anywhere. In fact, that sounds like a perfect outing or evening events for the ball, Art of the Minds ball. So, any of our listeners keep something to do around that time, hit up to Torquay. In fact, little story, we were packed, we headed to Torquay, we arrived around 1:00 PM on the dark horrible Friday that was out locked down in Victoria a few weeks ago to learn that there was a lockdown happening from midnight that day, as you will know Jules. So we spent a lovely afternoon, uh, having lunch and wandering around Torquay and then 5:30 we headed back to Melbourne without our weekend away and looking forward to, we would be allowed to drive back, getting a fine, so we did have a nice afternoon.

Jules (40:08):

That’s great.

Geoff (40:09):

We’ll be going back to Torquay again.

Jules (40:12):

All fantastic. Well, people can subscribe to our events, which is probably the best way to know what’s on. Um, uh, is that okay if I give our website out now?

Geoff (40:23):

How do we connect?

Jules (40:25):

So, it’s Art on the Minds with an S on the end .org dot AU. And at the bottom of the page, if you subscribe, we won’t be, uh, harassing you and until about two months out of October, that’s the reminder to say, look, if there are ticketed events, now’s the time to, to book in and the ball is tables of 10. So if you’ve got a group of 10 doing a getaway, otherwise you’ll see these people make new friends, which is even better. Um, but if people subscribe, there’s also, you can contact me directly by email from the website. So it’s artoftheminds.org.au.

Geoff (41:06):

Yeah. Beautiful. And of course, anytime during that month of October, there’ll be things going on for Art of the Minds and that ball is on the second. So all those make sure you get onto artoftheminds.org.au, subscribe, get all the information and they keep her in contact with Jules and what’s going on with other mines. Are you on LinkedIn Jules?

Jules (41:33):

I’m on LinkedIn for both the Anxious Bird and, um, Art of the Minds as well. So people can contact me that way. But if you feel in some way, there’s some other way you’d like to support us, please don’t hesitate to do that. Our arms are open waiting.

Geoff (41:49):

Yeah. I’m sure they are. And people can find out more about how they can support or become involved by your website. Jules, it’s been an absolute pleasure to have you on the podcast today, really appreciate your time. Thanks so much for the good work you do. And, uh, that of Anxious Bird, Art of the Minds and your committee, we really are inspired by your story and that everything that you’re doing as a collective. I hope everybody listening has enjoyed hearing from Jules and Art of the Minds today. Thank you so much, Jules.

Jules (42:26):

Thank you Geoff it’s has been my absolute pleasure and thank you to awards Australia as well for the many opportunities you’re giving us as a committee.

Geoff (42:36):

Absolute pleasure and shout out to Regional Development Victoria, and the Minister for Regional Development for making your award, of course in 2019 and every year possible for the people of regional Victoria. Well, everybody until next week, remember, please be kind and together, we make a difference.

I hope you enjoyed today’s interview as much as I have. We would love you to subscribe to our podcast so that you won’t miss an episode. Join us each week, as we talk with ordinary Australians achieving extraordinary things. Did you know that Awards Australia is a family-owned business that proudly makes a difference in the lives of those that make a difference for others? And we thank our corporate and not for profit partners for making our awards programs possible. Do you know someone that’s making a difference or maybe your business might like to sponsor an award, contact us through our Instagram page, Inspirational.Australians or head to our website awardsaustralia.com. It would be great if you could share this episode with your network because who doesn’t like a good news story and please rate and review us. We would really love to hear your thoughts until next week, stay safe and remember, together we make a difference.

Annette (44:04):

Thanks for joining us today on the inspirational Australians podcast, we hope you enjoyed listening and have been inspired by ordinary Australians, achieving extraordinary things. So, it’s goodbye for another week. Remember, together we make a difference.