Seeking change

IMG_0378Next Sunday I will be heading to Sydney to meet up with Gill Phillips, the creator and owner of Whose Shoes. Not so long ago, she was one of my axe murdering Imaginary friends!! We are working together in three states, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide towards creating change in practice, in particular in the area of dementia and health care, and also about the power and value of social media and blogging.

Gill’s website says;

“It is all about health and social care reforms, ensuring we all work together for excellence with the person… in the centre.

Are you keen to

  • Engage people in delivering public services in more creative ways?
  • Promote person-centred practice, independence and choice?
  • Get people to ‘think outside the box’ and work across boundaries?
  • Challenge attitudes and assumptions?
  • Explore ways to improve quality of life AND save money?
  • Continually improve your practice?

If the answer to any of these is ‘yes’, Whose Shoes?® will move you forward.”

Our work in Sydney is with individuals and small groups. Beyond this we have workshops in Melbourne, with this one being available to the public:

5 December, 1.30 pm – Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria, Level 1 Seminar Room, 155 Oak Street, Parkville Vic , email or call 03 9816 5708

Registration details for the three workshops in South Australia:

10 December, 10am – Salisbury

10 December, 2pm – Adelaide, hosted by The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI)

11 December, 10am – Murray Mallee Aged Care Group training room 2 a, Myall Ave Murray Bridge, Registrations via Gary Sawyer or 08 85391156, 0409 695239

Gill and I are very synchronised, both in our dream to improve social and health care, and in our approach to life and humour. For two people who have really only met in real life once, it is remarkable, but I believe if we sit back enough and allow it to happen, the universe will support and provide us with what we need, friends, colleagues, experiences and even love.

During these workshops, we will also be talking about blogging and social media, and will be sure to include this advice Conference hashtags: don’t forget the people in the room. Gill recently sent in an Abstract on our behalf to present about social media at conferences for the Alzheimer’s Disease International conference in Puerto Rico next year, so for two old middle aged chooks, we’re on top of it! Gill in particular is a bit of a social media Queen, and has us all rushing to tweet more often just to keep up.

We are both getting very excited about spending time together, as well as working together, and I look forward to reporting on our joint venture. Please register if you can, and have not already, or pass onto your networks.

Follow us on twitter @KateSwaffer and @WhoseShoes We are both very excited and determined to make a real difference.

What we can’t do alone, we CAN do together.

13 thoughts on “Seeking change

  1. Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest
    authoring on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you share some
    stories/information. I know my subscribers would appreciate your
    work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.


    • I’d be happy to write a guest blog for you, and will send an email in a few days as travelling again this week. Also, I’m in the process of writing a book, which is to be published later this year, which will also be an e-book. Chat soon…


  2. This is the reality. Carers are the single focus and conduit for services, support and information provision. People living alone, without an available carer, remain Outsiders, excluded and neglected. Is anybody really listening? The trouble is they have no voice. They are not even in the picture, let alone at the centre. This is the reality for about one third of people with dementia. The key planning document “Dementia in Australia” (Institute of Health and Welfare 2012) excludes them from the text and so excludes them from the planning of services to support them.

    Kate ,it would be nice if you and your network could advocate on their behalf, specifically, to break a deafening silence. How must it be for a single mum or dad with Younger Onset Dementia with dependent children. Their special need did not receive any attention in the key planning documents to launch the Key Worker Program. While Carers remain at the centre, those without a Carer will remain uninformed, excluded, neglected and locked up prematurely, at significant cost to society.


    • Hi Judy, thank you for your comments. I will see if we are able to weave that very important point into our workshops. Perhaps you could send me a couple of short quotes (no more than 180 characters each), and I can put them into the tool if it is not too late from the techno’s ability to do it.


  3. Reblogged this on Whose Shoes? and commented:
    As I leave today to start my Aussie adventure, bringing the Whose Shoes? experience to Australia, I am delighted that Kate Swaffer has written up some of our plans. We are doing an intensive tour together including a number of public workshops. We hope to see a good mix of health professionals, policy makers, carers and people living with dementia who are keen to engage in some crucial conversations for positive change.

    Follow us on Twitter @KateSwaffer and @WhoseShoes – our tour starts in Sydney on 2 December and moves on to Melbourne and Adelaide. We are both very excited and determined to make a real difference.

    Read more in Kate’s blog here…


  4. Thanks Kate – I can’t wait! I should be asleep now but think I have already switched to your time zone! Agree with every word you say – it is quite extraordinary how we have come together and become good friends through shared passion, determination to bring positive change … and a rather wacky sense of humour 😉 Perhaps add a link to my ‘imaginary friends’ blog to put the ‘axe murdering’ bit in context? – otherwise people might get the wrong idea and give our Aussie workshops a very wide berth 😉 xx


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