Newsletter February

President’s Letter

Dear Friend,

Hello & welcome to the Liberation Larder February 2014 Newsletter. I hope this is an enjoyable & rewarding year for you & your family.

Liberation Larder was again able to open at our regular times throughout the Xmas & the January Holidays thanks to the commitment & generosity of volunteers & sponsors. We are already planning for Xmas 2014 & have decided to organize lunch on Xmas day for the many local people on their own.

Larder has started the year well with many new & talented volunteers on board, our initial First Aid Course being held next week, regular Health & Safety courses planned for the year & our trial Registration System proving very successful. Our Fletcher Street gardens have morphed into The Three Verges Project & gained support from locals & businesses. We have erected signs in each of the three verge gardens explaining the history, support for & purpose of the gardens. We are also planning to extend the distribution of our Emergency Meals to Brunswick Heads & Ocean Shores as soon as possible.

We continue to receive new & often unexpected support from the community. Over the past few months food vendors at the Falls Festival donated over a ute load of quality produce to the Larder, Jules Allen generously donated the extra produce from New Years Day breakfast on Main Beach to Larder & many people relocating or changing business formats generously donated produce to us. From all these people the message has been the same “ we are pleased not to have to waste good food”.

As we all know life brings changes ……….For Liz Swain, our Secretary & Newsletter Editor exciting travel opportunities for her & husband Roger mean she will be stepping aside from Liberation Larder. I would like to thank Liz for the many hundreds of hours she has donated to Larder. Through her efforts we have a great website, newsletter, volunteer orientation program & volunteer inservice opportunities. I would also like to thank Roger for all the pickups & deliveries he has taken on often at short notice. Plus the many hours of watering in the verge gardens. We wish you both many safe & happy adventures.

Helen Hamilton

Sunday, 2 March Liberation Larder’s Charity Day at Byron Bay Markets

This is a call to our volunteers to help with the collection from 8.00 am until 3.00pm. We need about thirty people to offer to collect money for one or more hours on that day. Please let me know (text to 0412 459 772 or email Liz at ) so that I can organise the timetable for the day. These days at the market are lots of fun and provide opportunities for people to hear about the work of Liberation Larder.

Ghaya’s Story

Ghaya has been a volunteer at Liberation Larder since its beginnings in 2009. She recently retired from volunteering, so, to honour her work and as a tribute to her, I asked Ghaya to tell me a little about her life so far ……..

This is Ghaya’s story…..

Ghaya was born and spent her early life in Singleton, NSW. Her father, an Australian born Lebanese and her Irish mother later moved their family of four from Singleton to Coonamble where her parents took over the running of a hotel. Ghaya was not happy there. When she was fourteen she had already made up her mind to become an actor and she was quite sure that their new home town of Coonamble would not be the place to pursue her passion. Her mother, suspicious of the precarious existence of actors, did not approve. She sent her daughter to boarding school at St Vincent’s College in Sydney.

During her time at that school she could indulge her passion to the max and applied for and was offered a place at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art). Her parents, however, were not to be moved and Ghaya was left bereft of all that she wanted to do in life. As a poor second she went to University in Brisbane to study to become a teacher.

Teaching did not suit her temperament and at seventeen she decided to try nursing. She entered St Vincent’s hospital to become a nurse-in-training. She soon realized that she had found her new “passion” – caring for others through nursing. At the conclusion of the three and a half year course, she graduated as registered nurse winning the prestigious award of Nurse of the Year. This qualification led her to a life of exciting and exotic work and travel – in London she worked for a “Royal beautician”; in Baden Baden (Germany) she worked night shift, learnt German during the day and travelled extensively; in Beirut she worked at the American University Hospital. After years of living this high life she returned to Australia.

At Royal North Shore hospital in Sydney she became a nurse educator. She began to think carefully about the program that she was teaching young nurses, and to consider the ethical dimensions of the profession. She began to focus on Death and Dying – a subject which was, in the seventies, an oddly taboo subject. After years of being a “jet setting” nurse she needed to find new meaning to life. Her search took her first to live with an “alternative” community in Newtown in Sydney. At the same time she was working as a generalist nurse in Community Nursing (baby health, school screening, health education, home nursing).


During this time she became pregnant with her beautiful son Darrian. Her pregnancy had a profound psychological effect on her and she knew that she had to find alternative ways of thinking about her life. So, after the birth of her son, she and baby Darrian went to India where she studied spirituality with an Indian Guru.

Again, the travel bug took her back to Europe for two more years.

When they returned to Sydney she and her partner (Darrian’s father) bought a house in the eastern suburbs. Then, her life was shattered by the tragic death of six year old Darrian. Initially, she tried to hide from her grief by repossessing her earlier strategies of escape through hectic and thoughtless living ….. she moved to the Gold Coast to renew a meditative and more meaningful life until, finally, she found her home in Byron Bay.

Ghaya has lived in the Bay for sixteen years continuing her life of service to others. Now she needs to re-discover her own life of contemplation, meditation and time to follow her other passions of self-expression through her art and craft work.

Ghaya is a huge loss to our volunteer service at Liberation Larder. We thank her for her years of devoted service and wish her a wonderful retirement.

Thank you Ghaya!

This is my final newsletter. I leave with feelings of gratitude for having had the opportunity of getting to know you and the wonderful work that you do at Liberation Larder. Thank you to Helen and the Committee for the support that you have given me.I wish you all a very happy year of volunteer work at this amazing organization.

Liz Swain