Zestfulness Workshop

Ever wondered if you are living a zestful life? Thought about how you may increase your vitality and verve for life?

The half-day Zestfulness workshop hosted by Amanda Blair  on Monday  23 October 2017  10am – 1pm heard from a range of powerful speakers covering a wide range of topics pertinent to modern ageing…including volunteering, mindfulness, sexuality, grief, loss & healing, encore careers, resilience, wellbeing, dares & challenges! Minister for Ageing, Zoe Bettison opened the workshop and encouraged the audience to grab opportunities – to be involved and find their passion and explore the opportunities our longer lives offer.

Audience participatory session –  Taoist Tai- Chi with Rhona Daws

Rhona belongs to the Taoist Tai Chi Society a not for profit, volunteer organisation. Taoist Tai Chi is a series of slow graceful movements designed to relax the body and mind and improve concentration and develop flexibility and strength.

Audience participatory session –  Laughter Yoga with David Cronin

David Cronin is a speaker, trainer and author. Raising our humour and laughter levels directly improves our health and performance.


Associate Professor, Social and Policy Studies | Head, Social Work | Chair Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee | Flinders University Associate Professor Lorna Hallahan is the Head of Social Work at Flinders University where she is also Chair of the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee.  Her research is mainly in disability politics and policy and social work. During 2015 she was appointed by the SA Government to conduct an independent review of the SA Adoption Act which was subsequently amended earlier this year. She has close to 40 years experience of working in movements for social justice and involvement in the governance of community organisations. Lorna speaks and writes regularly on contemporary issues in the disability sector and ethical issues faced by the workers of human services. She is a member of the SA Premiers Council for Women. When she is not doing these things she is hanging out with family and friends, eating, drinking, listening to music and talking – all way too much. She also shares her garden with a fine flock of bantams.
Dr Aaron Jarden is Head of Research at the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre at SAHMRI where he works full time, and a Senior Research Fellow at Flinders University. He is a wellbeing consultant, social entrepreneur, has multiple qualifications in philosophy, computing, education, and psychology, and is a prolific author and presenter. He is founder co-editor of the International Journal of Wellbeing, lead investigator for the International Wellbeing Study, co-founder of Heart of Wellbeing, and Senior Scientist for wellbeing technology companies Work on Wellbeing, Assessing Wellbeing in Education, and Plus Wellbeing.
When Rosemary was born in 1955 she was born at Wallaroo hospital and it was a time where her parents had to return to Point Pearce both on Yorke Peninsula, by laws of those day. She was born a ‘non-citizen’ and it wasn’t until the national referendum in 1967 that gave Aboriginal people the right to be included in the national census, which the Australian government now claimed Aboriginal people as citizens – she was 12 years old. Today as an educator, she shares this part of her-story not to shame or blame but as a teaching tool. Her children are the first generation to be born citizens of this country. Rosemary likes to describe herself as a phoenix, because she rose out of the ashes left behind by Australian history and her Stolen Generation ‘lived experiences’ to become the Founding CEO and sole operator of the Sacred Site Within Healing Centre in 1993 and in its strength, she set up the Australian Institute for Loss and Grief in 2005. She published author, a Griefologist and an Educator, Presenter, Facilitator, Assessor,  and Loss & Grief Counsellor. In 2017 SBS Television’s Nation Indigenous TV: Our Stories Our Way produced a documentary on her work.  Among her many awards Rosemary was a Finalist in SA Health’s Mental Health Excellence Awards (2016) and was the recipient of Gladys Elphick Award  in 2011.


Sue brings vast clinical and research experience to the role of Chair of Restorative Care in Ageing at Flinders University. Her position is joint funded by Aged Care and Housing Group who she works closely with to promote a healthy ageing agenda. Her research involves collaboration with local councils, health service providers, state health departments, industry and national and international colleagues. She is investigating functional decline to better understand the opportunities to identify, measure, limit and reverse early covert changes in health to support healthy ageing.
Ian Gibbins trained in zoology and pharmacology before becoming a neuroscientist for 30 years and Professor of Anatomy for 20 of them at Flinders University, South Australia. He retired in 2014. Ian was internationally recognised for his research on the microscopic organisation of the nerves communicating between the spinal cord and the internal organs. Along the way, he won awards for his research, teaching and curriculum development, and communicating science to the public. Ian is now a widely published poet, employing diverse styles and media, including electronic music, video, performance, and public installations. He has produced three collections of poetry: “Urban Biology” (2012); “The Microscope Project: How Things Work” (2014; with artists Catherine Truman and Deb Jones) and “Floribunda” (2015, with artist Judy Morris). His video and audio work has featured in several gallery exhibitions, public art commissions, performances and international festivals.
Dahlia is the manager of the Festival Volunteer Network. The network is a project of Festivals Adelaide, the first alliance of one city’s major arts/cultural festivals in the southern hemisphere. The network connects volunteers to 11 major festivals including: Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival, WOMAdelaide, DreamBig Festival, Cabaret Festival, Guitar Festival, SALA, OzAsia, Adelaide Film Festival, Feast & South Australia’s History Festival. Beginning her career as a teacher, Dahlia professional path changed course in her early 30s, when she decided to begin a career in the Arts. Over the last 8 years, Dahlia has worked in festivals and events, specialising in staff/volunteer management, training and creative collaboration. Dahlia’s connection with festivals is professional and personal. Her previous roles include:

  • Volunteer Manager – OzAsia, WOMADelaide, Adelaide Film Festival
  • Director/Co-writer – Cabaret Festival show
  • Adelaide Fringe and Feast Festival Performer
  • Adelaide Fringe Awards Judge
  • Producer – Cabaret Fringe Festival
  • & numerous volunteer roles
Kirsty Rawlings is Head of The Plug-in and Innovation with COTA SA. The Plug-in is a new social enterprise for COTA SA, which provides an opportunity for older people to have access to and stay informed about design and innovation processes, including the through the Ageing Well Living Labs. Kirsty is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Educator, and has over 20 years’ experience in health planning, policy, service delivery, education and engagement across Federal and State Government, private practice, not-for-profit and the university sectors. Kirsty is passionate about creating opportunities for older people to remain active and engaged and to explore the possibilities and opportunities of modern ageing.


Dianne Ervine is a Mental Health Social worker with over 35 years’ experience specialising in relationship and sexuality counselling. She has worked in areas of sexuality and disability and chronic illness. She was a senior counsellor at Relationships Australia for 20 years and coordinated the sexual concerns service. Dianne has had regular talk-back sessions on radio stations in Adelaide discussing sexual issues. She also taught medical students in treating sexual concerns at the Adelaide and Flinders University. The last 14 years, Dianne has been in private practice. Along with her counselling she has also conducted  women’s workshops “Awakening Sexual Desire and “The Big ‘O’ – All about Orgasms” and a couple’s sexuality workshop in. She uses a range of mindfulness techniques in her treatment of sexual concerns. She has also run professional training workshops for counsellors and health care workers. She was awarded Life Membership in SAS (Society of Australian Sexologists) in 2012.
Fiona has the privilege of working in the Service Design and Product Innovation Department at ACH Group, a non-profit organisation dedicated to creating opportunities for older people to live good lives. A previous career in the performing arts combined with qualifications in Health Science and Education, means that Fiona brings a creative bent to finding new ways of being older. At ACH Group she has led the development of ‘The Exchange’ – ACH Group’s member network for older people to reinvent, rediscover and have a voice; ‘Good Lives on Film’ – a series of films created by older people sharing their vision of a good life; and most recently the ‘10 Dares Challenge’.
After forty-five years in Adelaide current affairs radio and magazine television, Keith Conlon is well recognised as a passionate South Aussie. During his sixteen years researching and presenting Postcards on NWS9, he gained the nickname “Mr South Australia”. A recipient of an OAM for his services to the community, he was given a Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of Adelaide in 2012 and inducted into the SA Media Awards Hall of Fame in 2014. Keith is now a freelance writer, MC and presenter (very often as a volunteer), and is currently researching a Fringe show – The Horrible History of Adelaide, after an award winning production in 2017. He is an active ambassador for several community organisations, including OzHarvestSA, Cancer Council of South Australia, Friends of One and All Training Ship and the Adelaide Football Club. As a lifelong Sturt supporter, Keith happily serves on the SANFL History Committee and contributes to its History Centre. A regular cyclist, Keith leads a friendly bike ride each Wednesday in Adelaide, and also conducts on stage interviews for State Theatre Company productions and plays drums in a jazz band. He is prolific on Twitter and Instagram, posting about Adelaide and South Australia. For fear that this all suggests he is never home, Keith notes that he also enjoys gardening with his wife, Susie and 24 year old daughter, Matilda.