Inclusive Training & Person Centred Practice with Include Us

November 30, 2014Matt No Comments »

Include Us is a client I’ve been working with recently at TerraMedia. Run by Liz Gehring, they offer inclusive, organisational training on person centred practice, that is, organisational policy and operations that is inclusive of all people involved, be it employees or other stakeholders with the ultimate aim of making the organisation and it’s services operate at their maximum potential. Continue Reading


Review of The Arrow Private Hotel Cherry Suite – Arrowtown New Zealand (With Photos)

October 14, 2014Matt No Comments »

On our honeymoon we spent a few days at the Arrow Private Hotel in Arrowtown, New Zealand as a relaxing breather in between a couple of days of long driving. Arrowtown is only about 15-20 minutes from Queenstown, so it’s an easy drive for any Queenstown activities or for the Frankston New World Supermarket. We really enjoyed it there and decided to stay there again for our anniversary. We spent 4 nights here and once again loved the place. Tim, your host, is extremely friendly and helpful and goes out of his way to make your stay as comfortable and pleasant as it possibly can be.

We stayed in the Cherry Suite on our honeymoon and Tim booked us into this one again this time – I think he knew we liked it! From the looks of the photos on their website, most of the rooms are fairly similar anyway, but this one is right at the front, which we felt gave us a little bit more privacy because we only had another suite on one side (granted there are only 6 suites in the entire hotel just out of the centre of a quiet town, so it’s not like any of them would have a privacy issue really). This suite is named for the beautiful cherry blossoms that are planted around it. When we were here last time, they were out in flower and were stunning, we were a bit earlier this time though and they were just budding.

When you first enter, you can turn to the left where you have bag and clothes storage as well as the air conditioner, fridge and bathroom access.

Arrow Private Hotel Entry

To the Left of The Arrow Private Hotel Cherry Suite Entry

Then off to the right is the bed, lounge, dining, kitchen and study with large windows for taking in the beautiful mountain view. The bed is a “super king” size bed. Unfortunately it is not a single mattress, so there is a join in the middle, but of all the king size beds we got to try on our honeymoon that were joined together, this was one of the most comfortable. The join was almost unnoticeable and the sheets were beautifully soft. Both times we have been here it’s been some of the best sleep I’ve gotten!

Arrow Private Hotel Bed & Lounge

Arrow Private Hotel Bed & Lounge

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Dr Ben Carson Interview with It Is Written Oceania – Taking the Right Risks

October 9, 2014Matt No Comments »

I first came across Dr Ben Carson when I was quite young. His first book, “Gifted Hands’, was published in 1990, and I must have been around 10 or 12 when I read it. It was the inspiring story of a young boy who had a lot of problems and grew up in a disadvantaged home. With the love and support of his single mother and God, he became one of the world’s most recognised neurosurgeons, specialising in paediatric neurosurgery and successfully reintroducing the hemispherectomy. He also successfully separated conjoined twins who were joined at the head. I loved his story and found it so inspiring to work to the best of my ability in whatever I put my hands or mind to.

Since Gifted Hands, Dr Carson has written a number of other books including Thing Big, The Big Picture, Take the Risk, America the Beautiful, and most recently, One Nation. I’ve not read the two newest ones yet, but like his first book, the others I’ve read have been inspiring and I have learned a lot in my own life and relationship with God from the object lesson that is Ben Carson’s life.

I recently had the opportunity to work with It Is Written Oceania when the team filmed a new interview with Dr Carson while he was in Australia for a fundraiser. Unfortunately I did not get to meet him, but in assisting to edit, review and transcribe the interview, I have learned even more. This interview with Dr Carson ties in very well with his book “Take the Risk” as this interview looks at how to decide which risks are the right ones to take and should be taken, and which ones shouldn’t. Risk is a tough topic, so I really recommend reading Dr Carson’s book and watching this episode to help you work through any risks you are struggling with.

You can watch it on the It Is Written Oceania website here: Interview with Dr Ben Carson

You can also watch a preview clip below:



Mackenzies Bar and Grill – Stonegrill Review

September 5, 2014Matt No Comments »

On our way from Christchurch to Queenstown for our holiday we went through Lake Tekapo. Our plan had been to arrive here around sunset time so we could get a few nice photos at the Church of the Good Shepherd with the sun setting in the background over the lake. Then we would go get dinner at Mackenzie’s Bar and Grill looking over the water as the sun finishes setting. Unfortunately with our flight into Christchurch delayed we weren’t in time for sunset. We definitely didn’t miss out on Mackenzies Bar and Grill for dinner though! We tried this place out on our honeymoon because they accepted Bartercard which helped keep our costs down and we absolutely loved it, so since we were going through at a meal time we didn’t want to miss out.

I didn’t get any photos of outside unfortunately since it was dark, but it is just here:

Ignore where Google Maps actually places it further up the highway, it’s incorrect. If you use the above location and jump on Google Streetview, you will see the “Observatory Cafe”. That is where Mackenzie’s now is located.

Mackenzies Stronegrill Chicken

Mackenzies Stonegrill Chicken

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On The Road to New Zealand – A Jetstar Flight Commentary From Sydney, Australia

September 5, 2014Matt 1 Comment »

We finally got to go on holidays at last!

We went to New Zealand’s South Island to do some of the things we did on our honeymoon that we really enjoyed, and to do some of the things we missed out on doing while we were on our honeymoon.

Sydney Airport T1 View

Sydney Airport T1 View

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Hearts at Home – Free E-Book by Pr Gary Kent

August 8, 2014Matt No Comments »
Hearts at Home by Pr Gary Kent

Hearts at Home by Pr Gary Kent

It Is Written Oceania has just released the e-book “Hearts at Home” as a free download through their Facebook page.

Hearts at Home is all about family and relationship development, the tagline actually reads “Building Solid Families in a Shaky World”.

The basic concept is that we are designed to need people, and with so many problems in the world today, we need healthy relationships more than ever. The e-book is intended to work in tandem with the 5-part “Hearts at Home” television series that deals with divorce, single parenting, communicating with teenagers and living alone.

The ultimate goal: Learn keys to building healthy relationships and effective, positive communication and understanding in the family.

You can download the e-book by going here and liking the page, and you can watch the episodes that it ties in with by going to the links below:

  1. Being Married to Me
  2. A Hole in the Family
  3. Listen to the Children
  4. I Can’t Talk to my Teenager
  5. Single and Whole

I haven’t read it myself yet to comment, but I have watched the episodes and they are quite good. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the e-book if you read it!



Skyline Drive-In Blacktown & Eagle Boys Pizza Pies

August 5, 2014Matt No Comments »
Skyline Drive-In Blacktown

Skyline Drive-In Blacktown

On Sunday night we finally went down to Blacktown to go to the Skyline Drive-In Cinema. As regulars at the Yatala Drive-In when we lived on the Gold Coast, we quite missed it, so it was great to go! It looks like the screens and cafe have been recently redone and look great!

Price wise it is currently $10 per person per movie which makes it a bit cheaper than Yatala for one movie, or more expensive for two.

It was a lot quicker and easier to get in because the queue isn’t across a main road, the entrance is at the end of a road and it loops back on itself, so you aren’t fighting with two directions of traffic. The fact that you can book your tickets online probably also helps with moving cars through a bit quicker as well. Continue Reading


Room Service at Rydges Capital Hill – Canberra

August 3, 2014Matt 2 Comments »
Lemongrass and Guava Parfait at Rydges Capital Hill Canberra

Lemongrass and Guava Parfait at Rydges Capital Hill Canberra

While we were at Rydges in Canberra, we also decided to splurge a little bit and try room service for once. We weren’t super hungry as we had a big lunch, so we decided to get an entree and dessert that had caught our attention.

We got the Lamb Noisette entree and Lemongrass and Guava Parfait dessert to share.

I have to say, I was both very impressed and a bit disappointed. There are a few reasons for both of these things!

I was very impressed because the food was amazingly delicious. I wasn’t as keen on the Lamb Noisette as Tammy, but she really loved it. The Lemongrass and Guava Parfait though was awesome! This was right up my alley. Check out the photos (I thought I’d try a slideshow for something different): Continue Reading


Rydges Capital Hill Canberra – Buffet Breakfast and the Hotel

August 2, 2014Matt 1 Comment »
Hot Food at Rydges Capital Hill Canberra Breakfast Buffet

Hot Food at Rydges Capital Hill Canberra Breakfast Buffet

I thought I’d share some more of our experience at Rydges Capital Hill Canberra last weekend. This follows on from my post last weekend about the room we were in.

Our accommodation included breakfast at the Rydges buffet each morning, and I have to say, it was one of the best breakfast buffets I’ve been to, both in terms of food and in terms of how well presented it was! There were so many choices, and it was all delicious. I would recommend going before 8 though because the second morning we went later and certain things didn’t get replaced when they ran out (eg muffins – which were amazing). Continue Reading


Jamaican Chocolate Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Shop

July 31, 2014Matt No Comments »
Jamaican Chocolate Baked Cheesecake

Jamaican Chocolate Baked Cheesecake

It’s cheesecake day, so I thought I’d share this one from last weekend (we couldn’t do another one again so soon!). We decided to buy a cheesecake for my sister’s going away party and got the Jamaican Chocolate baked cheesecake from The Cheesecake Shop and I have to say, it doesn’t necessarily look like a whole lot but it is an amazing cheesecake! Continue Reading



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