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Lorraine Tilker creative arts by rise Volunteer

Lorraine a volunteer for life

Lorraine Tilker has been a volunteer her entire life. For the past 22 years, it’s been with Rise.

Charitable from a young age

At the aged of 17 Lorraine started volunteering. She assisted a friend care for people with a disability. This sparked a lifetime of giving to others.

I’ve always volunteered. I like the friendliness and getting to know people.

Volunteering with Rise

Lorraine has volunteered at a number of organisations over the years including Australian Red Cross, Silver Chain and Meals on Wheels.

She began volunteering at Creative Arts by Rise, formerly Creative And Therapy Activities, in 1995. The kitchen, pottery and painting rooms have all been lucky to have Lorraine’s help. She is now in the craft room twice a week. Every Monday she goes shopping and she also helps in the kitchen twice a week.

I’ll keep volunteering as long as I can. Looking at four walls and watching the idiot box all day would drive me insane.

Activities Coordinator Lesley Lee said Lorraine had made a huge difference in the lives of many guests.

Lorraine helps build social skills in the clients. She comes on outings and she also takes clients out shopping and eating. This allows them to get experience in restaurants, to read menus and order. She helps make sure they get their choices and helps build money skills.

Benefits of being a volunteer

As well as the smiling face and help she provides at Creative Arts by Rise, Lorraine has got a lot out of volunteering too.

It has boosted my confidence. I used to have panic attacks but I don’t have them anymore. I have a pin in my ankle and a plate in my leg so I am classified as disabled. Being here has also taught me to stand up for myself more.

Volunteers at Rise

Rise is fortunate to have a large base of volunteers who assist in many activities. These include:

  • arts and crafts
  • driving
  • cooking
  • administration.

For more information visit our website here.

Wahroonga craft bunnings mundaring rise

Bunnings helps Wahroonga get crafty

Guests at Wahroonga enjoyed decorating some beautiful pots last week, thanks to help from Bunnings.

Wahroonga is a social centre located in Mundaring. Guests enjoy activities including excursions, craft and more.

Community service

Hardware store Bunnings provide helpers to run craft activities with community groups.

Program Coordinator Jackie Quinn said the ladies came armed with pots, decorations and other materials. The activity was held on Tuesday 14 March.

We decorated a terracotta pot with gem stones and then planted some seedlings in the pot. You can see the concentration and enjoyment on the faces of the guests.

Jackie said the guests really enjoyed the activity, with men getting involved too.

One of the gentlemen was adamant at the beginning of the craft session that he would only sit and watch, but he joined in and had a wonderful time.

Wahroonga craft bunnings mundaring rise

Social centres

Wahroonga is one of three social centres operated by Rise. The centres in Koongamia and Mundaring adapt programs to suit guests. There is transport available to the centres. A healthy morning tea, lunch and dessert are served to guests. For more information click here.

Milperra widget the beagle Rise

Widget returns to Milperra after adventure

Widget the stuffed toy beagle has finally returned home after a lengthy adventure. Rise is trying to find his adopted family to thank them for his care and return.

Milperra Cottage in Mount Helena is an aged care respite facility. While there are chickens outside to feed and collect eggs, stuffed animals provide company inside.

Aged care coordinator Karen Wittcomb said the dog set off on his adventure in August 2016.

Widget was dropped on the verge outside Milperra Cottage. When staff went back to pick him up he’d gone. He was such a great dog, greeting everyone as they entered the cottage. In fact he was missed so much we decided to put out missing posters in the community for him.

Widget returns

Last week Widget made his way home after the loving carers saw the poster about Widget on the fence at Milperra. Karen said Rise staff and guests had never given up hope of his return.

A couple had seen Widget on the roadside and thought he was for verge collection so they had given him a home. He did have fun in his new home and became much loved by the new family. However, last week, on seeing the poster they very kindly brought him back to us. We are thrilled to have him back! He is now sitting in his favourite spot on the couch, ready to greet guests once more into respite.

Karen said in the excitement of seeing Widget once again, a support worker forgot to get the details of the family who returned Widget. Rise is searching to the family to formally thank them and show how much the dog’s return means to guest and staff.

If you have any information please contact Karen on Karen.Wittcomb@risenetwork.com.au

Aged Care Services

Rise Community Network provides numerous aged care services. This includes social centres, personal care and in-home support. For more information click here.

Justine colyer Rise CEO mergers

Rise shares experiences on mergers


Rise CEO Justine Colyer has shared her experience of mergers with the non-profit sector.

Justine was invited to be a guest speaker at a recent forum: The Future of Board Leadership Unconvention. Organised by Southcare, the event was held on Tuesday 14 March in the Perth CBD. Rise has been a long-term supporter of Southcare’s program to encourage younger people onto boards.

A number of mergers have occurred during Justine’s time as CEO at Rise. More mergers are planned to meet the organisation’s strategic goals.

In February 2016, Rise amalgamated with a disability organisation, We Can and in July of the same year it merged with Creative And Therapy Activities, now called Creative Arts by Rise. Work is also underway to merge with Home Help Local, a larger well-respected aged care provider based in Armadale.

Insight on mergers

Sharing her insight at the event, Justine was upfront about what worked, what hadn’t and what Rise was still learning. She acknowledged there was a lot of work and costs involved in getting things right and however much you plan, things will still not always go to plan.

Fellow CEO, Chris How, from Bethanie said it wasn’t whether you dropped the ball, but how well you managed to pick it up and keep going. Justine felt the best thing was to be willing to share lessons learned. Participants at the forum thanked her for her honesty and practical tips based on her experience.

The future of Rise

Rise has a Strategic Plan 2016-2020 which outlines four key areas. These are

  • Services
  • People
  • Foundations
  • Growth

To read more click here.

Creative Arts by Rise Lesley Lee Australian of the year nomination

Rise employee nominated for Australian of the Year

Rise employee Lesley Lee is a humble woman; so much so that she didn’t want anyone to know about her 2017 Australian of the Year nomination.

But our Lesley is worth a bit of fuss. In May this year, Lesley will celebrate 10 years as an activities coordinator at Creative Arts by Rise, formerly Creative And Therapy Activities.

Arts background

With a background in arts and a degree in special needs, Creative Arts by Rise is a perfect fit for Lesley. She assists in the art room, helping guests create beautiful stitchings, crochet work and other crafts.

I work in the best place. I love coming to work. I like to push the clients’ boundaries so that they get something out of it too.


News about her 2017 Australian of the Year nomination came just weeks ago. The nomination is confidential, so Lesley doesn’t know who put her forward.

I’m humbled that someone thinks of me in that way. It is one of the highest regards that someone thought I was worthy of nomination. I have no idea who it was.

Enter Rise Client Services and Development Officer Joanne Reilly, who has a little more insight into why Lesley might be nominated.

Lesley is extremely modest and maternal. She makes people feel welcome. She is extremely inclusive and will not have anyone left out. Often people are shy and she will advocate for them. Even people who tour the craft room, if they meet Lesley they suddenly want to do craft because she s so welcoming.

Personal life

This kind lady is clearly embarrassed by the kind words from Joanne. However some experiences from her personal life shed a little more light on what makes her such a great coordinator and able to relate to the guests.

I have multiple sclerosis. Every day is a challenge. I have travelled the journey of a lot of clients here. I know what it feels like to be disabled. I know what it feels like to not have any friends. I know what it feels like to have family shun you. I know what it feels like to be frustrated as hell at not being able to get the help you need. So I can empathise. We can laugh at ourselves and have a good time.

Lesley is an incredible woman and definitely worthy of a little fuss.

Creative Arts by Rise

Creative Arts by Rise is located in Warwick. Numerous activities are held here. These include

  • Painting
  • Woodwork
  • Knitting
  • Cross stitch
  • Excursions

Creative Arts by Rise was formerly Creative And Therapy Activities (CATA). CATA merged with Rise Community Network in 2016. You can read more about the merger here.

Codeswitch Aboriginal cultural awareness training

Rise undertakes Aboriginal cultural awareness training

Rise is currently undertaking Aboriginal Cultural Awareness training to increase cultural understanding across the organisation.

Cultural awareness

Ingrid Cumming from Codeswitch is working with Rise to deliver a number of workshops. The sessions are designed to help employees learn:

  • about Aboriginal culture
  • communication skills when working with Aboriginal Elders, families and their community
  • the importance of cultural protocols when working with Aboriginal communities
  • explore the perceptions, history, beliefs and identity related to Noongar culture and identity.

Diverse workplace

The organisation has a very diverse workplace. Of this Rise CEO Justine Colyer said

The range of experiences and views contribute to a well rounded and informed organisation. That’s why increasing our understanding of different cultures and perspectives is high on our list at Rise and we roll out regular training.

Rise is planning to employ an Indigenous Employment Specialist in the near future. This will assist with meeting the needs of indigenous clients.

Rise services

Rise provides a number of services for aged care, people with disability, youth, mental health and housing. For more information click here.

Milperra fire emergencies

Milperra prepared for emergencies

As the warm weather continues in autumn, staff at Milperra Cottage remain alert for emergencies.

Milperra Cottage is an aged care respite facility in Mount Helena. Located in the Perth Hills, it is in a bush fire-prone area.

Prepared for emergencies

Bush fires are common in the Perth Hills. In January 2014, the Parkerville-Stoneville-Mt Helena Bushfire impacted thousands of local residents. Guest and staff at Milperra Cottage also had to evacuate. Thanks to being prepared, the evacuation all went smoothly.

Rise Community Network Aged Care Coordinator Karen Wittcomb said

Many of the staff live locally and are aware of the dangers during summer.

Emergency backpack

Milperra Cottage has a backpack ready for emergency situations. This contains essential items such as

  • Emergency evacuation procedure manual
  • Charged mobile phone
  • Digital radio – charged and set to 720ABC for fire updates
  • Torch

Every year, Milperra Cottage carries out two mandatory fire drills. Staff know the importance of these drills and carry out extra drills.

Aged Care Coordinator Karen Wittcomb said

We often practise during staff meetings. Staff role play with one staff member leading the evacuation and others taking the part of clients at the cottage. Sometimes we just talk through what we would do. Everyone feels confident about what to do in an emergency.

This is a great example of how staff go above and beyond to ensure everyone will be as safe as possible in a bush fire.

Aged Care Services

Rise Community Network provides numerous aged care services. This includes social centres, personal care and in-home support. For more information click here.

Eathen Carruthers Community event

Eathen seeks support for community event

Rise Community Network client Eathen Carruthers is hosting a community event this month. Eathen is seeking support to make it a success.

Eathen’s story

Eathen suffered a traumatic brain injury at the age of three. The Riverton resident had to learn to walk and talk again. With the support of his family, he has overcome many struggles.

He now wants to give back to the community. He has spent many months planning and writing a book. Called Where It All Began the book is a historical book about Riverton. It also tells the heart-warming story of Eathen’s life as he overcame hardship.

In order to launch the book, he is hosting a community event.

Community event

The community event runs on 24th March 2017 from 3pm to 8pm. It will be held at Willetton Park Pavilion. The event has been planned with the help of his Rise Community Network support worker Jemma. The Gatsy-themed event will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the suburb Riverton. The event will allow people to remember the golden years and how much the suburb has changed. Eathen’s book will be for sale on the night. Activities on the evening include:

  • Bouncy castle
  • Petting zoo
  • Pony rides
  • 8mm film show
  • Fashion show in period clothing by Metro Model Academy
  • Museum memorabilia from Woodloe’s Homestead
  • Period jewelry for sale
  • Pet rock painting station
  • Buster the Bear with gifts for children

People are also encouraged to dress in 1920’s attire. Of the evening, Eathen said

It is a bit of a dream come true. I had been working on this myself before I started being supported by Jemma and I was ready to give up. I think it’s fantastic and I’m really looking forward to it.

Eathen Carruthers and support worker Jemma

The pair have been working very hard to make the event a success. Jemma supports Eathen twice a week and said he had made huge leaps since January.

He has more independence and more confidence in areas he didn’t before. I’ve also been helping him with healthy food choices.

How you can help

People can purchase tickets for the event on 24th March. Tickets are $5 for adults and free for under 18’s. They can be purchased by calling 0499 277 141. Eathen has also created a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the launch event. He also hopes to write a second book in coming months. Eathen plans to return all proceeds to his local community.

Greg Carstens Creative Arts by Rise

Greg Carstens proud of his footy artwork

Rise Community Network guest Greg Carstens has created some colourful artwork.

Greg attends Creative Arts by Rise several times a week.

He takes part in lots of activities including painting and stitching.

A stitch in time

Greg recently tried his hand at stitching in the craft room. He has created two artworks in his favourite football colours. Both the Fremantle Dockers and West Coast Eagles are his favourite teams.

The stitchings were framed for him to give to a friend as a gift.

Activity officer Lesley Lee said of Greg

He listened intently and worked very diligently. He only sought assistance when he needed such as for threading the needle. He is really happy with his work.

Next time we are going to challenge him to stitch a smaller pattern.

Creative Arts by Rise

Creative Arts by Rise is located in Warwick. Numerous activities are held here. These include

  • Painting
  • Woodwork
  • Knitting
  • Cross stitch
  • Excursions

Creative Arts by Rise was formally Creative And Therapy Activities (CATA). CATA merged with Rise Community Network in 2016. You can read more about the merger here.

Alderson Place open day Cockburn central

Alderson Place opens in Cockburn

Rise Community Network has opened a new hub to service the Cockburn region. Alderson Place officially opened on Monday 27th February.

The service hub allows Rise Community Network to expand service across the Perth metropolitan area.

Alderson Place Cockburn open Day art activities

Open Day

Rise Community Network celebrated the opening of Alderson Place with an Open Day.

Activities included information desks, face painting and a caricature artist. Creative Arts by Rise ran an art activity where people could create colourful speech bubbles.

Alderson Place Open Day Cockburn caricature artist

A presentation and ribbon cutting ceremony was held, before guests enjoyed lunch. The special guest was City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett.

Rise Community Network CEO Justine Colyer said it was a great step forward for Rise Community Network to expand into a new area. View the gallery from our Open Day event here.

Industry partners

Therapy Focus is a partner non-for-profit organisation. Therapy Focus also has services based at Alderson Place. The organisation was present at the Open Day with an information desk. They ran a sensory room to show different tools and activities to assist with sensory issues.

Alderson Place

Numerous services are based at Alderson Place in Cockburn Central. Services include

For more information call 6274 3776 or visit our website.