Welcome to my blog! I have started my blog “Made In Sydney”, today on February the 3rd 2015 with purpose.
The Purpose Of my Blog is to create a a FREEDOM SPACE – OPEN TO EVERYONE – to interact and discuss ideas about issues that are presented in the blogs. I would love to hear from ALL readers, tell me what you think or expand on anything… CREATE – BE FREE – BE YOURSELF!
Essentially I want to use my blog space as an open forum free from the usual contraints and rigidity of academic writing.
Feel free to engage with me in my expansive Blog journey – exploring the arts, gastronomy, holistic health, mental health, philosophy, Sydney life, individual narratives, travel experiences and personal insights.
My Blogs format will consist of 9 key subject areas: Eat Me!, Art Speaks, Wanderlust, Urban Warriors, Pedestrian (People & Places; and In the Weave), Odd Socks, Vitality, and the Crux.
I studied fine arts and will express my interest in art theory via my page Art Speaks for reviews on art exhibitions, theatre, and to post blogs on my own artworks. Art Speak will cover culture, arts and entertainment. My personal interests are in visual arts, ballet, the theatre, books and films. I will cover exhibitions or critique art theory or monthly highlighted fine artists. Some posts may be simply a montage or gallery of artworks or images that inspire me
Improving the quality of life and happiness of others drives my career choice in community mental health, disability support and advocacy work. I am passionate about tackling mental health issues and would like to share my views, articles and research in the section Urban Warriors. I would love to invite people experiencing mental health issues to interact and engage with one another in this section.
Urban Warrior Education
I was studying to become a clinical psychologist and was accepted into a registration program for Psychology. People inaccurately judge my choice to undertake professional social work as an indication that i failed in psychology and opted for another career path – no. I achieved distinctions in the coursework i completed and know i had the aptitude to pass the necessary coursework to gain accreditation. The two main reasons i deviated from psychology are financial and personal.
Financially its quite obvious, in the words of LunchMoney Lewis:
‘I got Bills I gotta pay
So I’ma gonn’ work work work every day
I got mouths I gotta feed,
So I’ma gonn’ make sure everybody eats
I got Bills!’
The psychology program required course attendance on most week days with tutorials and lectures scattered across the working day like students had nothing else in their lives to do but to spend full days on campus (e.g. with gaps of 4-6 hours between lectures). When in reality most students were working in part-time unrelated positions such as customer service or waitressing at night after classes. There were many full-time and decent part-time employment opportunities that i literally forfeited for academic study. I was sometimes rejected after the interview ONLY due to the fact that i was a uni student. In a recent example after being short listed for a receptionist position (down to two applicants) with a good local practice I was rejected due to my pursuit of part-time studies via distance learning (while I am available for ongoing full-time work, being a student is actual counterproductive when trying to apply for full-time work).
In addition the process of becoming a qualified psychologist is expensive and a privilege many Australians can not afford. Comparatively, the Social Work program that i am currently undertaking is more flexible and incorporates professional practice (while still unpaid) into the qualification process – making the course more realistic or feasible.
Personally social work appealed to me as a career that is more closely aligned with my life purpose. Social work allows me to engage with people across all levels of their lives, to challenge structural inequalities while simultaneously empowering my clients to overcome their issues. A defining feature of Social Work is in its professional focus on the individual’s well-being within a social context. I felt restricted in academic psychology and found the prospect of clinical psychology as frustrating due to its restrictive focus on the individual and psychotherapeutic interventions without deeper evaluation of how social and environmental factors influence a clients psychological wellbeing. I believe mental health professionals far too often omit significant environmental and socio-cultural factors when treating or evaluating their clients mental health issues.
I am a human rights advocate and support social justice in practice. I passionately believe in challenging illegal, unethical or unjust social institutions and systemic discrimination. Mental health experiences are not always effectively treated by psychological interventions when the underlying causes are frequently systemic or social-political (e.g. poverty, & oppressive policies and attitudes within organisations).
Urban Warrior Life Training
My narrative will sometimes be explored in blogs such as ‘Sunday Musing’s’ and ‘Urban Warriors’. I will reveal my personal experience with mental illness, specifically depression and anxiety. In the blog space ‘Urban Warriors’ i encourage everyone to share their experiences and engage in this blog.
I am blessed to have experienced and overcome episodes of major clinical depression and anxiety. Through my experiences with mental illness I gained humility, empathy, tolerance, compassion and a deeper understanding of the human condition and how external factors influence or in my case become the main driving factor leading to my experience with depression and anxiety. My experience with mental illness evoked my inner warrior and i am now stronger and more resilient then i could have dreamed of becoming.
Urban Warriors are all humans struggling to cope with mental illness, disability or discrimination (from prejudice, low level social discrimination to extreme systemic discrimination – more on this as my blog progresses). I will cover areas such as: mental illness, disabilities, poverty, stigmatization, bullying, cyber trolls, oppression and social discrimination. I will balance the Urban warrior section with the inclusion of inspirational stories or short biographies of people who have overcome adversity, survived against all odds and now thrive in the community.
I am a firm believer in the power of nutrition and diet on your health and wellbeing.In the words of Hippocrates “Let Food Be Thy Medicine”, nutrition can play a key role in the prevention of disease and maintenance of psychological well-being. I will explore diet, exercise, meditation and holistic approaches to health in the blogspace Vitality.
The Crux will be a section where i occasionally blog about social-political, economical, historical, legal and environmental issues. I will occasionally feature important news posts or current ethical and legal debates on issues such as euthanasia
Pedestrian will be dedicated to everyday life here in SYDNEY – observations and people i meet, stories i hear and have permission to share can be posted here. In pedestrian i have created three sections: People & Places; and In the Weave. In People and Places i will blog about local personalities, notable locations and places to visit while in Sydney. From my work with Goldfish Swimwear Australia and general interest in fashion i will blog occasionally about Australian designers and fabrics or trends which interest me. This section will be categorised as In the Weave.
MIA – i will leave you guessing…
Function & Form
There is a method to my madness! The structure of my blog will be like an alternative magazine that allows readers and myself to move between different subject areas. My blog gives me the freedom to express whatever subject i feel like on the day rather then being constrained or restricted to only bloggging about one area such as: food, nutrition, mental health, fashion or social work.
Freedom from constraints – Free to express – Free to be
I’m Kat Jolliffe
Lifestyle Facilitator for people with Disabilities, Community Service Worker,
Disability Support Worker,
PR and Sales Representative for Goldfish Swimwear Australia,
Bachelor of Psychology Graduate,
Social Work student,
Human Rights Advocate,
Volunteer working with Refugees,
Animal lover, Buddhist,
Kat Jolliffe – the Free Spirit Xxx