Author: Bec Dent

Look After your Mental Health Australia

This October 10 is World Mental Health Day. An opportunity to remind us that our mind’s wellbeing is as important as our physical wellbeing. This year’s campaign encourages us to take a more positive view of mental illness and to challenge negative perceptions surrounding it.

Did you know?

Almost half the total Australian population will experience a mental disorder at some time in their lives (data from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing).

“It’s important to remember that mental illness ‘is NOT a character fault, weakness or something inherently ‘wrong’ with a person. It is an illness like any other”- Mental Health Australia.

“Remember to eat well, sleep well and exercise. And try creative ways to engage socially. Oh, and don’t forget to be kind to yourself, and to others” – 

Need Help or Support?

If your life is in danger, always call 000.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance you can contact the following Crisis Counselling Services:

Need More Information / Resources? Try these: 

Read more health blogs HERE. 





STEAM Careers for the 21st Century

Think about how far technology has come since you were a child, and now consider where it’s going. There’s no way to 100 per cent know the kinds of careers that will exist when our kids are grown based on the rate of change we are experiencing. In fact, the World Economic Forum has estimated that 65 per cent of children entering school will work in a job that doesn’t even exist today! With technology at the forefront of these advancements, STEAM Careers are the careers of the future. But STEAM processes themselves help prepare children for this unknown future by providing the skills they’ll need to adapt and thrive in an age of new employment possibilities.

The future job market will require employees who are flexible, innovative, creative thinkers and collaborators who communicate effectively. Skills that are the foundation for a STEAM Education. One way to prepare students for future 21st Century STEAM careers is to explore current opportunities, because they are the base for what will come as they emerge and evolve.

Some of These Careers Include:

Mechanical & Civil Engineer, Architect, Website or App Designer, Urban Planner, Biomedical Engineer, Product Designer, Animator, Forensic Psychologist, Sound Engineer, Video Game Designer, Astrophysicist, Graphic Designer, Broadcast Technicians, Fashion Designer, Photographer, Pilot, Astronaut and Archaeologist.

Whilst the future is unknown, here are a few ‘future STEAM careers’ that are being predicted based on current trends:

Green Power Creators – discovering new ways to harness sustainable and renewable energy sources.

Drone Technicians – the drone industry is still young, but has so much potential. This includes using them to repair telecommunication lines and deliver items to your home. The drones will need people to maintain, design and pilot them.

3D Printing Engineers 3D Printing has already impacted the fabrication, medical, food and construction industries. There is still so much growth in its application possible.

Data Managers – With so much data already stored on our virtual clouds, and people needing to store more day by day, the need to manage and keep that information safe is paramount.

Speaking of safety, there will be a greater need for Digital Law Enforcement to monitor for fraud and cyber-crimes.

Streamcasters – We’re already experiencing new ways to consume media with all the streaming services available. This will only continue to evolve and more digital personalities will be born. They’ll be producing and creating content for their unique audience.

Thanks to the Jetsons we all imagined we’d be driving around in flying cars when we were younger. But who says this isn’t still on the horizon? Not only will we need people to design these cars, but we also need to think about air and road traffic management that they will alter as a result.

Smart Homes Designers – Smart homes are being built right now, but it is a very new concept. People predict that in the future they will become the ‘new normal’. We will need people to create homes that are environmentally friendly and built with the latest integrated technologies.

Do any of these future careers appeal to you? There’s plenty of others predicted too. If you go online and search for ‘future careers’,  what pops up will surprise you, as well as what our future could potentially hold for us and our children.


Marbotic Deluxe Learning Kit – $129.95 – Maria Montessori made a remarkable scientific discovery: using the body while learning improves concentration and memory capacity. At Marbotic, they’ve combined traditional wooden toys with touchscreen technology meaning kids learn as they play. The Deluxe Learning Kit contains 26 interactive wooden lowercase letters, 10 wooden numbers and 7 educational apps. For kids between the ages of 3 and 8. Only compatible with the iPad. Tablet not included. 

Engino Qboidz 8 In 1 Multimodels – $49.95 – Get 15% off this price (and storewide) with code PakMag15 – The Qboidz toy building system encourages little builders to develop cognitive, social and motor skills! Little hands tinkering with Qboidz increases dexterity, spatial skills and creativity! Recommended for Ages 2 to 6. 

Sphero littleBits Electronic Music Inventor Kit – $99.99 – Kids create their own technology with a music boost as they build their own synth guitar, air drums, or their very own unique creation! Ages 8+

Read more STEAM blogs HERE






Cairns Local Family Dining Guide 2020

Looking for a great, local place to enjoy a meal with the family? Look no further! Here are some of the best places for dining together in Cairns. 

Cazalys Cairns

Family dining at Cazalys is enjoyable, easy and entertaining. It’s the place to be for your family! Cazalys offers daily meal deals, social activities in the kids club and fun, educational activity packs for the little ones to engage in. Barassis café and restaurant is open 9 am- 10 pm, 7 days a week. Book in for their special Father’s Day breakfast September 6th. During COVID-19, Patron limits apply. It is recommended to book, to avoid disappointment.

A 344 Mulgrave Rd, Westcourt Cairns

P 4045 1464

Fb Cazalys Cairns 

Coco’s Kitchen + Bar, Pullman Cairns International

Coco’s Kitchen + Bar offers one of the best, most exciting foodie outings in Cairns, with a fresh and local menu inspired by the sea. The menu is full of variety which is bound to please even the fussiest diner, big or small. Whether you’re looking for great breakfast, lunch or dinner dining options, they have everyone’s tastebuds covered. Coco’s is also the place to go for a unique and tasty high tea experience.

A 17 Abbott St, Cairns

P 4050 2112

Fb Pullman Cairns International 

Paradise Palms

Find all your family entertainment needs in one place at Paradise Palms. Enjoy mini golf, swimming, an adventure playground and affordable family dining for a great outing. Whether you’re visiting to relax, dine or play, it’s all a possibility at Paradise Palms. Open Friday to Sunday from 10am. During September enjoy FRIDAY FREEBIES at Paradise Palms with FREE Mini Golf, FREE admission to the Adventure Playground and FREE use of the swimming pool, with any purchase from the restaurant.

A Paradise Palms Dr, Kewarra Beach

P 4059 9915

Fb Paradise Palms Cairns 

South Cairns Sports Club

The perfect place to relax, eat and be entertained on the south side. With so many options there is something for everybody. Enjoy the kids club house, coffee shop and great meal variety in the restaurant – even for diners with dietary concerns. Your next meal at Souths could win you a brand new car! Simply spend $20.00 to be entered and the winner will be drawn on Friday 9 October. T&Cs apply.

A 57 – 59 Robert Rd, Bentley Park

P 4045 2107

Fb South Cairns Sports Club 

Trinity Beach Sports Club

Trinity Beach Sports Club offers great food, friendly service and a local feel. This is the perfect place for a relaxing dining experience with the family. Enjoy tasty value meals, kids fun and live music during the week. Why not treat your dad to a special lunch at Trinity Beach Sports Club where he can choose between a Chef’s Special or Carvery along with a chocolate mud cake –for just $22.00! Dads will receive a complimentary beer as well as a special gift. Plus, all Dad’s dining will have a chance to win a wheelbarrow of goodies! The Father’s Day lunch starts at 12.00pm and ends at 3.00pm.

A 1 Nautilus St, Trinity Beach

P 4057 6478

Fb Trinity Beach Sports Club 

Colonial Club

Become a CLUB COLONIAL Member and enjoy exclusive benefits including a FREE nights accommodation, a $50 Dining Voucher on your birthday, year round use of the Cairns Colonial Club main lagoon pool and playground PLUS 20% off all food & drinks at Thirsty Flamingo!

*Mention this deal at hotel reception desk to purchase a Club Colonial Membership for just $149 per year. Valid until 31/12/2021. Conditions apply

A 18 – 26 Cannon St, Cairns

P 4053 8800



Find more things to do HERE. 






Raising Your Child with Faith and Values

Regardless of an individual’s or family’s religious beliefs, we all want to raise our children with a strong moral foundation. Parenting is a tough job. You can trust it’s going to be a little ‘trial and error’. There’s also a whole lot of ‘leading by example’ to help your child learn to become a responsible, caring, resilient and happy adult.

We know children are sponges and soak in everything they are exposed to; whether positive or negative. Helping children identify the difference between the positive and negative influences they encounter in the media, online, at school, from friends etc, will enable them to choose people and experiences that will benefit them and their future selves.

Developing a moral compass takes time. It’s the result of the outcome or consequences of the choices made every single day, no matter how small those decisions may seem. Each small act, is part of the larger picture and becomes part of their moral fibre. Reinforcing how important making the right decision is – is so important, because each of them, will ultimately determine the person they will become.This is where faith and values can help. 

How does teaching my child about faith and values help?

In a recent McCrindle survey, “99% of Australians believe it is important to teach values to Australian school students’”. Additionally, more than four in five (84%) believe that Christian heritage has been influential in shaping the values that we teach children. 

I was born into a religious family, so I knelt in personal prayer morning and night. We prayed at the dinner table and we went to church on Sunday. I also attended scripture study classes daily and attended conferences, camps and events with the church community I was part of. Even though I’m no longer active in the practice of my faith, I would still consider myself a spiritual person. I am very grateful for the lessons I learned, the faith and values I was raised with, and the friends and examples I had throughout my childhood and adolescence.

After being assigned numerous talks in Sunday meetings, I learned public speaking. I also learned it through reading the scriptures aloud in a group setting, becoming a Sunday school teacher and preparing lessons for my class.

There was also a camping program I participated in and could ace ‘Survivor’ with the skills I picked up. On top of this, I participated in a personal development program in my youth which centred around the values of faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works and integrity. Undertaking service projects and activities to develop these qualities in myself has shaped who I am today.

I remember one ANZAC Day, as a teenager, I was serving a returned serviceman during a diggers breakfast. He said he wanted to meet my parents, “because they must be pretty special considering how I turned out. They did a good job of raising you”. This meant the world to me. There is no better feeling than knowing ‘you are doing life right’. It was also a reminder that my actions were a reflection not just of ourselves, but our families.

What is spirituality and what are the benefits of Faith?

Regardless of whether you practice religion or not, we can all be ‘people of love’, ‘people of faith’ and ‘people of values’.  Your children may ask why their friends attend church and you don’t? Be open in your response, you could explain that ‘churches, synagogues and mosques are places where people are able to worship formally. It’s a place to do this with a community of other people who believe the same things they do. Some people feel you can find ‘God’ anywhere – in nature or even in your bedroom! That’s what prayers are for.’ But it’s also important to remind our children that every family is different. Remind them that is okay and all choices are equally valid.

Associate professor of psychology Lisa Miller states; “when it comes to spirituality, we parents are just our kids’ ambassadors. We can show them around, but we don’t need to know everything.”

In her research she found that children who develop a sense of a “loving higher power or a guiding force – whether they call it God, the creator, Allah or simply ‘universe’ – are 50 percent less likely to suffer from substance abuse as teens and 80 percent less likely to suffer major depression. Another study found that children who are ‘spiritual’, tend to be happier individuals overall.  Having a sense of something greater than themselves, enhanced their personal sense of meaning and purpose. It also reinforced their connections to other people and their community.

What is a Value?

Values are both what you hold dear and what you think it’s important to be. Family, education, democracy and equal rights are examples of things you may ‘hold dear’. Compassion, honesty, hard-working and kind are all important qualities ‘to be.’ Overall, parents are the primary source for children’s values. So, if you haven’t thought about what your values are, it may be time to identify them for yourself and also for your family.

Teaching Children Values

Every day presents opportunities to teach children about values. When you notice a desirable value in action – point it out. Do this whether your child is the person doing it, or someone you are observing. The funny thing about having a quality is – you also learn how to recognise it in others. Helping children discern the kinds of people they want to have in their lives. The most important lesson though is being the kind of person that you would want to spend time with.

Start young

Values are present in even the fairy tales/ stories you read with your children. Ask your child what they ‘learned’ in the book. It could be that the good guy won, but only after a few hardships or failures. Or the principle of ‘reaping what you sow’- or in other words, ‘getting what you give.’ Another valuable lesson and running theme is that of the need for love in a person’s life (giving and receiving.)

Psychologist, Sherrie Campbell identified seven values to raising exceptional children. You may like to take these on as your values, or add a few of your own. Her list included teamwork, self-care, seeing possibilities where others see problems, motivation, time management, accepting responsibility and kindness.

Helping children believe in something ‘bigger than themselves’, and live up to – helps them ‘think big’ for themselves and become the best version of who they are.

It also helps them believe there is something ‘very powerful’ in their corner. This in turn gives them greater faith in their own abilities, and power when they feel vulnerable. Leaning into that in times of crisis has indeed, helped many people overcome great hardships, myself included. Yes. our values and beliefs may change throughout our lives, but the foundation for who we will become starts when we are born, and with you.

Story By Bec Dent 

Read more parenting blogs here. 





Give Your Hands a Little Help

Has hand washing and sanitising during the pandemic done a number on your hands too? Are your hands dry, irritated or cracking?

We’ve been trying to keep COVID-19 at bay with thorough handwashing and sanitising, but our hands are needing some extra TLC to cope with the effects. As much as sanitising is a necessary action, I’m feeling lizard-like with dry, suffering hands as all the good stuff is stripped away with the bad (germs) – and I know I am not alone. I moisturise, but it just isn’t enough to put back in- what I’ve scrubbed out. So, what can we do?

As we’ve upped our use of hand sanitisers…we need to up our moisturising game.

Our delicate skin barrier is so important. But, did you know over-using harsh soaps & alcohol sanitisers can cause damage to this barrier, making it even more vulnerable to bacteria? So, we need to make sure we are moisturising effectively too. A step… I often forget #mybad. This practice is a good one to adopt, not just for now (during the pandemic), but for always.

I’ve stumbled across a great Aussie Made Product called ‘Herbs + Heart’ – After Sanitiser Overnight Hand Mask which I have absolutely fallen in love with. Not just because of the magic performed on my hands, but because they use 100% Australian grown, natural ingredients… so you can feel even better about how good your hands feel after using it.

How does it work?

Massage a pea sized amount onto clean hands before sleeping, For deeper moisturising effects pop on a pair of their pure cotton gloves. While you’re sleeping, it will nourish, restore and hydrate your skin with its rich formula of soothing butters and powerful skin repairing plant oils. Think of it as your ‘Sanitiser Ally’… the two literally go ‘hand in hand’ to help you stay safe and germ-free, but Herbs +  Heart will keep your skin soft, hydrated and healthy too.  In the morning simply take off the gloves and rinse your hands in warm water and voila! Just like that you have reversed the damage you did the day before.

According to the Herbs + Heart website,  it’s 10 times richer than any hand lotion. And after one use, I was a believer. My hands felt 10 times more hydrated. Don’t just take my word for it… check out these before and after photos (with no filter), taken on my mobile.

The only difference between these picture is the lighting (natural, just at different times of the day).

There are more benefits than just providing moisture too. I don’t want to freak you out, but hands give away your age more than any other body part. I don’t even want to ask you how old you thought I was just from my hands in the ‘before photos’.  Experts recommend keeping your hands moisturised with thick creams – particularly overnight. And you are never too young/ too old to start. Most people don’t take action on aging until the visible signs appear. Except damage has already happened. I’m not going to tell you what to do with your life, but starting the healthy routine of moisturising daily to help your hands stay younger and healthier can only work in your favour right?  

You can purchase Herbs + Heart AFTER-SANITISER OVERNIGHT HAND MASK here. It retails for $24.00. The gloves are just $5.00.

Use code PAKMAG15 at checkout to receive 15% off and give the Overnight Hand Mask a go – offer valid till the end of August. 

That healthy hand feeling… totally worth it. Oh and don’t forget to moisturise with a hand cream during the day too. The more moisture- the merrier!

During this difficult time, don’t forget to take care of you and your hands 😊




The Thing Is…COVID-19! – With Bree James

I’ve never really been one to fit in or have many friends. As a result, COVID-19 life for me didn’t change my social (well anti-social) life much. I enjoyed having a simpler life for those few weeks. I finally had a rock-solid excuse for not having to get out of my pajamas and leave the house. The thing is, it’s been quite interesting living this ‘new norm’ as they call it. And I am finding myself having a laugh at what life was and is like thanks to this pandemic.

I have noticed a few things like my children’s banter about germs. Everything is “I don’t want to catch Covid, so I can’t… (insert task they don’t want to do)”. My child forgot his toothbrush for an overnight trip and he told me he couldn’t brush his teeth with his finger in case he caught Covid-19. Literally everything they can link with Covid-19… they do. They come up with more theories than any conspiracist on social media that I have seen. Our children are not only little greenies these days; reminding us which bin to put things in, they’ve started a war or germs and we finally don’t have to argue with them to wash their hands. Covid-19 has become the “dog ate my homework” excuse for the 21st century.

The next thing I found hilarious, or sad, whichever way you look at it, is; twenty years ago I was lining up for nightclubs. Now I am lining up to go into Bunnings, Bra’s and Things, and the pharmacy with the same sort of anticipation. Instead of getting excited it’s ‘happy hour,’ I got excited if I found seeds to grow my own food. Or some hand santiser and toilet paper!.

What the heck has happened to my life?

Then, I realised that I used to do anything to avoid taking the bin out. In ISO I was volunteering. This was just so I could get out of the house for an excursion and smell something better than my own family. Being in a house of boys is smelly business at the best of times. This is especially true when they’re eating our camping kit of baked beans because you’ve been avoiding going to the store.

Many of us thought we’d turn into farmers. I started gardening just in case food shortages got worse. All I can say about this phase is that if my family relied on my food growing ability, we’d be eating weeds as these are the only things I can’t seem to kill.

One thing I was great at though – was cooking.

ISO was a time where ingredients were low, and we had to become the MacGyver’s of our kitchen. Finding recipes to create without the key ingredients of rice, eggs, pasta, and flour saw me create some pretty cool dishes. I don’t know about you, but some of us have eaten waaayyyy too much and have become a little ‘cuddlier’ – as I like to call it. It didn’t really matter then as we didn’t see anyone, but now it’s like ‘ok…someone pull me out of these jeans.’

Due to this, many of us thought it was a good time to take up an old hobby. Of course, it involved exertion to try and burn some of those extra kilo’s from all of that cooking, eating and drinking. But we forgot that we are older, heavier and way less fit than we used to be. Medical professionals coined a new term “Covid Casualties” to deal with people who took up new sports like Mountain Bike riding and left with two broken arms not being able to wipe their own butts after their first attempt. I thankfully didn’t injure myself doing some of my old hobbies. I do think however that something like knitting is on the horizon for the future as I have said to myself many times these past few months; “I am too old for this stuff” with very sore muscles and bones.

My favorite thing is watching two people interact; trying to work out if they should shake hands, hug, fist bump or just awkwardly flap around each other like startled chickens, realising mid movement that they were about to touch and they shouldn’t.

Who would have thought life would ever be like this?

In the end, this pandemic has taught us a lot more than we could ever have realized. This includes a lot about ourselves and our resilience. Most importantly – we have learned what we value most and what is really important. Something I hope we remember as life starts resembling pre-covid normality. 


Read more of Bree’s ‘The Thing Is’ articles here