Local profile-Shelley Heaney

Spring is around the corner and it’s fitting to have a truly inspirational local profile on my blog to celebrate the new season – a time of hope and renewal. It is also a very small world in that Shelley and I share things in common with our children at the same school and now, she is working with me at La Trobe! It’s been nice to broker introductions and have people in our community benefit from my network. I wish nothing but the best for Shelley as she celebrates this new season of her life.

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Name: Shelley Heaney

Occupation: Visual Communications Advisor

Lives/works: Rosanna

How long have you lived/worked here? 8 years

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Describe yourself/what you do: I have been a designer for many years. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. Time stood still. I held my breath. Living became a privilege; an acutely intense and delicate place.

In the uncertainty, I found solace in nature.

The Botanical Press was created and Moments from Nature began.

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Each Moment from Nature comes from mindfulness, changing season and moving life cycles. Each piece is unique, and a celebration of nature’s extraordinarily beautiful imperfections.

Delicately chosen words accompany each Moment from Nature as powerful affirmations to connect our daily lives to the living, and be in the certainty of stillness.

Graphic in colour and form, refined in detail and impressive in size, the natural elements become large scale prints –– a welcome part of our built environment bringing the outside in.

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Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne’s north-east: On the doorstep of magnificent green spaces and the Yarra river. Established sports grounds with great community clubs. Delicious cafes. An incredible part of Melbourne to raise a family.

For more information: Follow Instagram posts for inspirational Moments from Nature (also available as cards).

Large scale prints for inspiration in the home/workplace.




Soul Kitchen

It’s the name of the charity food service for individuals and families at risk or experiencing homelessness that’s now been launched in Preston (following Braybrook) by social enterprise 300 Blankets. I was in the city today for yum cha with my family and it’s quite heartbreaking to walk down some of our major CBD streets and see homeless people sleeping rough on the street, many of whom have now been pushed out to the suburbs. They are looking for volunteers on Sundays nights if you are interested in helping out, even if it’s occasionally not regularly. Winter is not yet over and it’s still pretty cold in Spring and if you have a roof over your head and a warm bed to sleep in, then count yourself lucky.

Image via Micky In The Van

I went for a run this afternoon and noticed all the bright yellow wattle on the trees and I am very happy to be farewelling Winter this week. I did want to do a shout out for former local fashionista Estelle Michaelides of Micky In The Van who has a new studio just off Brunswick Street in Fitzroy which will be open to the public every Saturday. She’ll also be holding fashion and floral illustration workshops there if you’re interested in the art of fashion illustration in watercolour. I still have one of her hand illustrated limited edition candle holders on my dressing table, which is a much cherished item. I’ve done a fashion illustration workshop before with some creative friends and family and can highly recommend it.

The only thing of course with Spring on our doorstep is that my nose has started running…better stock up on the hay fever medication!

Reading is my secret power

Love Your Bookshop Day was last weekend and it’s great to see some bookshops still flourishing despite others closing. Children’s books have weathered the storm of the digital age and one thing we’ve always done as parents is read to our kids since they were toddlers and passed on our love of books and reading, which apparently does make you smarter!


I attended last night’s sold out Bold Thinking Series lecture on Breaking taboos: What’s Off-Limits in Children’s Books? with children’s author and current Australian Children’s Laureate Morris Gleitzman, (pictured left of stage above) La Trobe academic Professor Jo Lampert, MC Francis Leach and Dr Juliet O’Conor, children’s research librarian at the State Library Victoria. This was one of the last events I organised before moving into the Alumni and Advancement Office early this year. I got to the State Library Theatrette just in time to take my seat at the back before the show began.

While all the panellists spoke beautifully on the trickiness of difficult subject matter in children’s books last night, Morris himself was delightful. Not all writers make great speakers but he has a voice made for radio! Lucky too in that ABC Radio National did record the event and you can catch the clever conversation once the podcast is shortly made available.

Some other related events include the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week that starts tomorrow and the Melbourne Writer’s Festival, which starts on 30 August and whose theme this year is ‘When we talk about love’.

Meanwhile locally, the Banyule Award for Works on Paper finalists’ exhibition opens on the 28 August and I remember meeting the very interesting self-proclaimed book sculptor Nicholas Jones a number of years ago at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe and coveting one of his beautiful pieces. Given the awful weather outside, a bit of reading indoors might be the go this weekend.



Photographer Bill Henson and the Australian Chamber have once again collaborated for this multi-sensory concert experience that is being held at Hamer Hall at the Arts Centre on Sunday and Monday. The name has captured my imagination as well as the beauty of Henson’s work which I first saw at Tolarno Galleries with Mr Rosanna while we were dating many years ago.


The sun, the moon, the stars and the sky have long fascinated many people, not just me, and there is an out of town exhibition The Moon currently showing at Geelong Gallery which also celebrates the 50 year anniversary of the first moon landing by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. If you’ve seen the delightful children’s movie Hugo, you’ll also recognise the above image (via Geelong Gallery). My ruling planet is the moon, if you are into astrology, and I have always been a creature of the night more than the daytime although having children has definitely put a stymie on things.

Image via White Night Melbourne

While we’re currently in the depths of winter (I’m feeling it particularly today!), there is a White Night Feast being held on 22 August at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton as part of White Night Melbourne Reimagined 2019. I had a Christmas in July three course-meal of pumpkin soup, roast pork and Christmas pudding at The Old England Hotel in Heidelberg the other week and while it wasn’t as fancy, it sure did cheer me up so I’m sure roasted chestnuts, hot fondue and spiced wine will cure all sorts of winter sadness.

Speaking of non-fancy food, I’m looking forward to checking out the Heidelburger Bar in Heidelberg sometime soon – the writer in my loves the cute name and the foodie in me loves…well…eating hamburgers.

All kinds of clever

Universities are dynamic places and the campus has been buzzing this week with the start of semester 2. While I studied briefly at the University of Melbourne and then RMIT, I’ve now spent more time working at La Trobe University. It’s been an interesting place to work – incredibly diverse and progressive with exciting plans ahead to create a University City of the Future with La Trobe as a place to live, learn, work, socialise and stay healthy. Before coming here, I didn’t realise how strong La Trobe’s research credentials were with many of our best and brightest academics involved in solving the greatest challenges of our time. It is inspiring as well as being a great privilege to be in this environment on a daily basis and needless to say my brain still hurts most days given I’m generally not the smartest person in the room.

Image via La Trobe University

It’s Open Day tomorrow at the Bundoora campus and if you live in the north, La Trobe should be an option whether you’re looking to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level. It’s events month at the University with Open Days at our regional campuses too as well as a special event next Friday – the conferral of an honorary degree to Bollywood film star and philanthropist Shah Rukh Khan. Who? I hear you say but apparently, he’s a bigger star than Tom Cruise in the Indian film world and thousands of people are expected to visit La Trobe’s Live Site on our academic lawn just to catch a glimpse of him while he’s at La Trobe next Friday. It will be all hands on deck facilitating the crowd internally and externally as much as the weather outlook is looking pretty dismal at the moment.

Shah Rukh Khan image via La Trobe University

It’s been a big start to the school term for our family and I’m glad there’s only 4 weeks of winter to go. I went for a walk today and was happy to see the wattle and blossom beginning to appear on the trees knowing that Spring is on its way despite the cold. Winter is an introspective time and while I’m no fan of the darker months, it has given me pause for thought to reflect on the past 6 months and look ahead to the second half of this year. I will continue to be busy professionally and working closely on employability initiatives has made me realise just how important work (voluntary or paid), and having a job, is for all people for all sorts of reasons. Personally, the second half of this year is a blank canvas for us and already starting to seem very interesting. Curiouser and curiouser in the words of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland! Exciting times…