CONTENT PLACE

Website and Graphic Design.  Professional Writing. Information Management.​​ 

Located in the Macedon Ranges, Victoria,
contentplace@outlook.com / 0474092823.

Professional Writing

​There is no 'one size fits all' approach to writing, which is why it is best to rely on an experienced professional. I have written a wide range of material over the years, including; corporate strategy, technical and compliance manuals, post-graduate theses, articles, essays and websites.  I take care to research the type of information to be presented, the anticipated readership and appropriate tone and style for each project.  

​​My skills encompass:

  • Professional writing for websites, articles and marketing;
  • Technical writing for product specifications, manuals, business and academic documents;
  • Proofreading and editing;
  • Business case and grant applications.

My roles have included Business Information Strategy Manager within the Transport portfolio, Senior Analyst for the whole of Government Enterprise Content Management program and Information Manager for the Human Services portfolio.  For further detail on my professional experience, refer to the About page on this site.

Writing for Publications - Sample Portfolio
​​
​​Menfolk Should Throw Another Prawn on the BBQ

​​There’s good evidence these days that our menfolk are not so addicted to ‘man food’ as once thought.  But there’s always room for improvement!  The Australian Government has published research indicating a transition to seafood is highly beneficial, particularly for men. 

The term seafood includes not only finfish, but all sorts of crustaceans, molluscs and shellfish – the options for healthy and easy cooking are extensive.  Were you aware that men who eat no fish at all suffer from the highest rate of heart disease in this country?  Alternatively, those with a diet high in seafood, such as Alaskans and Eskimo’s have the world’s lowest rate[1].  

Studies show that 1-4 serves of seafood a week can reduce leading health risks, including; heart conditions, high cholesterol, prostate and bowel cancer, diabetes, dementia, arthritis, obesity and maculothopy (premature blindness).  These conditions cost Australia billions each year to treat, so why not try a palatable preventative treatment? 

A few portions of seafood a week will notably improve your risk prognosis.  This is because it contains constituents such as Omega-3 and 6 help balance “good” and “bad” (LDL and HDL) cholesterol.  These reduce plaque, stabilize the heart rate and reduce blood pressure.  Co-enzyme Q10 is another seafood constituent that reduces oxidation and stickiness of the blood.  Taurine helps cleanse the gall-bladder and improves eye health.  Sellenium is an important anti-oxidant and helps repair DNA damage; Iodine stabilizes the thyroid gland and helps reduce depression.  Seafood provides all of these benefits in a single source.

There’s even good news for those of you that have had years of poor diet.  Evidence shows that even after a major heart attack, men who swap to a seafood diet can significantly reduce their risk of subsequent attacks.  It not only aids nutrition, but leads to improved, ongoing weight control.  When used in combination with the Mediterranean diet which is also low in saturated and trans-fats, the results are optimum. 

The report does alert consumers that there are some risks associated with Mercury levels, particularly in larger fish such as Tuna, Shark and Salmon.  However, regulations in Australia surrounding Mercury content are apparently well enforced by authorities such as EPA and Fisheries Authorities.  Up to four serves a week is considered safe.

When you think seafood, remember there are many varieties and ways to cook and present.  Seafood can be steamed, baked or grilled in no time at all (no frying gentlemen!).  What’s more, because of the subtle flavor, seafood is enhanced by ingredients such as ginger, lemon-grass, garlic, turmeric and herbs of all varieties.  It is central to all national cuisines, from French to Thai.  So, go ahead ….. throw another Prawn on that BBQ.

[1] An excellent summary of current research into the benefits of seafood can be found at http://www.mfma.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Whats-so-healthy-about-seafood.pdf

A summary of Ancient Rome For Schoolbooks

Although we can’t be sure when Rome was founded, or by whom, scholarly opinion converges on the year 753 BCE.  This date was originally documented by Marcus Terentius Varro, a Roman historian of the first century CE.

Legend has it that in this year, the twins Romulus and Remus were born heirs to the throne through their mother, Rhea Silvia, daughter of King Numitor.  They were said to be abandoned on the Tiber river and later rescued and reared by a she-wolf.  As they grew, the boys fought and jealous Romulus killed Remus. He then established the city of Rome and declared himself King.

An alternative legend claims that an exile called Aeneas fled the destruction of Troy in 1184 BCE and established his kingdom in Rome.  It is sometimes said that King Numitor (grandfather of Romulus and Remus) was his direct descendent. 

The Kingdom of Rome

Despite its uncertain origins, Rome was a prosperous and multi-cultural merchant town.  The population grew wealthy through trade with Etruscan’s to the north and Greek’s to the south, allowing them to absorb new products, skills and languages.  The Roman’s became a strong force in Europe due to their advantageous trading.

The Roman Republic

​As the Kingdom evolved, the ruling elite, who presided over a population that had grown to an estimated 1,000,000 citizens, were accused of excessive greed and abuse of power.  As popular dissent grew, citizens demanded political reform.  This resulted in the last King, Tarquin the Proud, being deposed in 509 BCE.  The Roman Republic was then founded with a system of representation for both nobles (patricians or optimates) and the commoners (plebians or the populares).  These became known as the Senate and General Counsel.

The Republic thrived and established dominance over much of Europe as its boundaries grew with expansionist campaigns.  As the population accumulated more wealth and became increasingly literate they developed a sophisticated and diverse urban culture.  Roman’s typically spoke Latin, but the acquisition of many foreign lands led to a multitude of languages being spoken particularly in the city of Rome.  By necessity, the culture was tolerant of different religions and cultures and its success was often attributed to this openess to new influences.

​The Roman Empire


Sadly, as it evolved, the Republic became exposed to corruption.  This once more lead to popular unrest over the method of governance.  In the years 53-49 BCE, clashes between the leading political figures; Marcus Licinius Crassus, Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar, led to sweeping change.  The great war General - Julius Caesar - who had been in the camp of the populares, declared himself an absolute dictator with powers to overrule both the senate and general counsel. 

It took but another turn of events for Caeser himself to be assassinated in the Senate on the 15th of March, 44 BCE. In the year 27 BCE, the Republic was again challenged by the figure of Marcus Antonius, who declared himself Emperor.  This transition is illustrative of how opposing ideologies - egalitarianism and totalitarianism – have defined European history right to the modern era. 

Are You Navigating Aged Care?​​

One is not born with the knowledge of how to assist people age gracefully and an aged person cannot administer their own demise.  So, who takes care of matters and how do you learn what the job entails?

I could dwell for hours about family dysfunction and how it rears at the most inopportune time, but it is important to keep focussed on the task at hand; which is navigating the bureaucracy and medical matters.  The system is often confusing and complicated with government frequently reinventing its service delivery models.

Aged Care is now being delivered through a federal service available at myagedcare.gov.au.  This function is new and involves some frustrating bureaucratic hurdles.  One such is generating an account on behalf of an Alzheimer’s patient.  Because the disease is progressive it is difficult to establish a clear cut off point where they lose the ability to manage their own affairs.  It may be that they still drive or lead an active life, but can't recall how to log on to the site!  Pulling together legal power of attorney documents and medical certificates to allow a third party to manage the account can be difficult when all one might require is someone to assist with vacuuming (or suchlike).

But before any of this, you require an assessment from your regional ACAS team (Aged Care Assessment Service).  Their report determines if you qualify for residential services, respite care or services to the home.  Additional documentation from doctors and specialists is required to support this.  Once done, you might be elligible for a “Service Package” from Government approved providers.  A list of these, linked to your location, can be downloaded from the myagedcare site. 

The various suppliers offer services such as respite in the home, medication, shopping, outings, house cleaning, gardening, showering and case management.  Home based care is co-funded by the Government and the individual based on means testing.  If a move to a Nursing Home is preferable, then there are a raft of providers (both private sector and Government operated) that offer packages with varying services and costs. 

The myagedcare site provides calculators for the various options, but the amounts are indicative only.  Fees are means tested, complex and adjusted to the individual situation.  For example, there are ways for families with pensioners to loan money or offset fees.  There are also caps on certain services and escalations on others.  It is highly recommended to source an independent financial analyst with expertise in this field.

It’s vital to have a good GP – one who knows how to eliminate diagnostic red herrings and hone the referral process. The various care providers offer case management services to help families coordinate this. The elusive part in all this is self-care if you are a family member in the midst of navigating the various service elements.  I’ve felt it to be like entering a tunnel with no expectation of returning to ‘normal’ at the end of the line.  That’s because the ‘end’ is the loss of a loved one and all the grief that entails.  But the journey has its upside, there are many outings to be had, train-rides, lunches and fun times.  Even if they are quickly forgotten, you can do it all over again the next day.