Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 4, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 10 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2017
By Anne Tindall
WHETHER it’s your own approach-
ing death or the death of someone close
to you, there are things that need to be
“Some people want to go out in a
blaze of glory and others want a nice
quiet exit,” explains Doreen Akkerman.
Doreen was the director of Cancer
Council Victoria for more than 20 years
and she knows about people facing
death. “We have over 65,000 calls a
year,” she said.
Doreen made sure that trained oncol-
ogy nurses took the calls and the Victo-
rian model was then used in the rest of
Australia, in Canada and in Singapore.
“Westerners often have great difficul-
ty facing death. They fight everything.
Asian people seem to have a much bet-
ter attitude,” she said.
“Often people have lost touch with a
brother, father or mother and most of-
ten their siblings.
“When someone is dying they have a
real need to talk to family members they
have fallen out with. Things that seemed
so important are no longer so and a
spat from years ago seems not worth
the effort of hanging on to.”
Doreen strongly urges men to make
peace with their sons in particular.
To take them out for a beer or a walk
in the garden and tell them that they love
them and are proud of them no matter
what they are doing with their lives.
She says that writing letters for your
children and grandchildren to read af-
ter you have died is a great thing to do
And for those who are with someone
who is facing death, she encourages
them to sit by the bed and really listen.
Often people have travelled the world
and had amazing lives.
“Just because they have lived at the
arse end of the world doesn’t mean they
didn’t like to get up off it every now and
again,” says Doreen. “Review what is
important to the person who is dying.
What music do they want played at their
funeral. I want the song ‘Is that all there
is’ played at mine,” she adds. “I’ll keep
Then there are all the practical things
Get your paperwork in order: bank
account information, birth and other
certificates and documents should be
easy to locate. Getting a Will done is es-
It is amazing how many people die
without a Will. It makes it more difficult
for those left behind.
There is just so much to think about
and plan for. Things like organ dona-
tion, whether you want to be buried or
cremated or whether you need someone
to handle your financial and legal deci-
“There is a comprehensive list of help-
ful information about End of Life con-
siderations on the Cancer Council Vic-
toria website www.cancervic.org.au
“You can also call their helpline on
131120,” said Doreen.
Doreen Akkerman AM
on preparing for death
Doreen Akkerman AO, ex-direc-
tor of Cancer Council Victoria for
over 20 years.
THERE are none of the original soldier settlers left out at
Yanakie but their spirit lives on.
And one of the traditions is to fly the flag outside the hall at
half-mast when community members or former residents pass
And that was the case this week after the passing of Gayle
Arnett, who died aged 67 on December 26. Her funeral is this
The flag flies at half-mast outside the Yanakie Hall after
the passing of Gayle Arnett. m330117
Flag at half-mast
for settlers’ family
THE Karmai Community Children’s Centre
(KCCC) was presented with a $10,000 cheque
by the Robyn Holmes Foundation on Monday,
to help fund the recent construction of the cen-
tre’s playground area.
The funds specifically supported the con-
struction of a fort with a slide, which is part of
a unique and natural space for the children to
enjoy at the new centre.
KCCC board member Rachel Carruthers
thanked the foundation which was started by
the Rotary Club of Korumburra.
She also thanked the South Gippsland Shire
Council for its financial assistance, along with
fundraising by the centre’s volunteers.
“As far as we’re aware this is the only play-
ground like this in Victoria,” she said.
“It’s made out of all natural materials and it’s
custom designed as opposed to being out of the
box so we’ve thought about children’s develop-
“We want it to be a natural environment that
encourages exploration, changes with the sea-
sons and is sensory as well.
“There are dry river beds placed in the baby
areas and the older children’s area, while still
encouraging the development of gross motor
skills and all of those important things that
“We’ve got lots of opportunities for climbing
and jumping and swinging, and pretend play –
there are little hidey holes and tipis.”
The fort features a plaque in Robyn Holmes’
honour, who worked at Birralee for more than
Robyn Holmes Foundation chairperson Peter
Biggins said Robyn was a much loved person
“She had a lot to do with many generations of
children. If Robyn were here she’d be very, very
proud of this wonderful new $6 million facility
that’s been put here in Korumburra,” he said.
“It’s taken a lot of hard work trying to get the
funding and eventually it’s all come through
and there’s this wonderful facility that will of-
ficially start next Monday.
“As a Rotary Club we started the Robyn
Holmes Foundation about two years ago, and
we’ve been able to hand out about $35,000 in
“KCCC is such a huge thing for the town so
we wanted to make a substantial donation in
Robyn’s name because up to 300 children will
come through this complex every week.”
There are still some finishing touches to
be made to the centre, and it will be officially
opened by dignitaries in March.
Foundation’s fitting gift for new centre
At the presentation of a $10,000 cheque to the Karmai Community Children’s Centre (KCCC) from the Robyn Holmes Foundation on
Monday were Bev Hall and Julie Watt (Robyn Holmes Foundation committee members), Rachel Curruthers (KCCC board member) with
son Daniel, Bronwyn Beach (KCCC president), Peter Biggins (Robyn Holmes Foundation chairperson), Rebecca Marriott (KCCC vice
president), Rani Marriott, Regan Marriott and Mark Holmes. Rg010117
Testing out the newly constructed fort play-
ground with slide at the Karmai Community Chil-
dren’s Centre was Daniel Carruthers. Rg020117
Hannah Carruthers enjoys the hands on expe-
rience at the Karmai Community Children’s Cen-
tre’s playground area.
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