A Mentor’s Journey


When you mentor you are working towards giving someone independence to achieve his or her own dream.

You are not doing for, but inspiring someone to action.

I made the short film above, inspired by Danielle’s dream for a dance drama where she danced both parts.


She wanted to make a film called Shadow Boxer.

I just wanted to show her how far I thought we could go with the footage we had.

She inspired and challenged me by asking me to do things I had never done with film before.

‘Can we do this June?’ she asked.

She knew I was still learning too but she had faith in my ability to learn and adapt.

I learnt what I could about the editing program I had and then taught her what her could, fully expecting her to take it a step further because this was her dream and her vision.

I created layers of film that she could mix and remix.

We worked in the time frames we had, but I knew she could do a lot of the editing herself as she had some film experience.  So we invested that time in finding the parts of the program she would need to master to achieve her goals.


I wanted her to know she could finish her project by herself.  She worked and worked on the film after the time I had with her came to an end.  Then one day she sent me the link – she was happy with it!

After many months I decided to revisit the original mentoring film and have since added more elements, like falling leaves and a closing sequence to round the music out. The subtle animation seems to work well with the piano.

I didn’t like the original colour, so I warmed it up.  So you see the mentor learns from the student and the student the mentor.  It is best when it’s a two way street.


Have you ever been a mentor?  What was easy and what was a challenge for you?

Mentoring Reference



We Found Love

I love listening to music when writing.

My daughter’s a huge fan of anything Lindsey Stirling (awesome violinist and video storyteller) and introduced me to the world of Lindsey in youtube videos.

I spent a lot of this afternoon listening and sometimes watching many of Lindsey’s videos.

I love how she collaborates with people from many cultures and media. She’s a creative free spirit who embraces many styles and genres of music and many cultures.

I love her rapid fire sponsorship thankyous to the people who help her out with her videos. They are  fast, enthusiastic and sweet.

Today the above song is my favourite!

Small secret, I used to learn the violin; my grandfather played the viola.

In our school orchestra we only had three violinists. Yolanda, me and someone else whose name escapes me. It was hard to bluff it in our competition pieces as there were not enough other violins to hide amongst – so I had to do reasonably well or the audience could hear the mistakes well and truly. Embarrassing.

Violin never really was my soul match, but I love listening to others play it well and appreciate just how difficult it is to play after three years of learning it in group lessons of 30 minutes per week at school.

The instrument I loved more at that time was the guitar. I took private lessons for this and ended up doing four grades. Our family ran out of finances to pay for lessons and I discontinued.  There weren’t the number of online places to learn back then as there are now.

Maybe I should pick it up and work on it once more. I’m a bit spoiled though, as my son plays it beautifully and I just have to make requests and he usually knows how to play the piece I’m thinking of.

I don’t think I’ll ever be in his league, no matter how hard I try, but some people are just gifted and soul matched to certain instruments, just like Lindsey and the violin.  But that’s not to say I don’t pick up my guitar and use it to help me compose songs and poetry.

Strangely enough my eldest son, who plays the guitar, had a year on the cello and a few years on French horn, before finding his perfect match in the guitar.

The other aspect of this video I love is that Lindsey is just so full of joy – this comes across in pretty much everything she does.

So there you go, now you’ve found Lindsey!

Beading – Grandmother’s Lessons

Those of you reading my memoir blog will know this week I am fascinated with beading.

I’m doing research into beading around the world to deepen poems and short stories I have in progress.

How I long to travel to meet beaders the world over, but without the finances at least I can visit them on youtube.

These were two of my favourite videos in my online journey today.

I thank the makers of these videos for sharing these stories.  It makes me miss the Elders of Murray Upper I can tell you. They taught me how to make a small basket, a different handicraft, with its own intricacies.

One thing that intrigues me is that grandmothers rather than mothers pass culture on – and there may be many reasons for this, some practical and some cultural.  Another thread of thought develops from the cyberjourney.

I have never found handicraft to come easily, but immensely respect those that are good at it – my mother is one of them.

Two of the things I am intrigued by at the moment are techniques and materials.

The beading journey is sure to continue for a while on my blog.

Perhaps  I’ll write it better than I can do it.  Or  who knows I  may find myself learning it.  Perhaps I have the patience now.

(Note I am not Indigenous to the Americas, but am keen to learn from many cultures who do beading and would be very proud to be if I was.  My mother is Papua New Guinean Indigenous and I have enjoyed the friendships of people from many backgrounds in Australia.)

Reminder Notes and the Beads of Time.


Some of the work over at my Memoir Space.  I’m exploring the metaphor of beading.  You’ll need to click over THERE to read the draft passage that begins this journey into a short story and some poems.

Originally posted on Following the Crow Song:

PIC09512.JPG Sophie’s Beads – These are my friend’s Beads .. they are very precious to her. This image makes me think of her, proud Kalkadoon woman.

Forever making notes; writing down lists of things to do, remembering the phrase ‘the inbox is never empty.’ So much to learn; so much to do; so much to remember. What to do but begin?

Today I think of the first time I did a self portrait. I was in an art studio with my classmates and must have been eight or nine. I stood in front of a mirror with my multicoloured jumper that might have come from my grandmother. She was a grandmother I didn’t know very well.

She was later to surprise me, and she and grandfather, gave me a red typewriter.

The multicolour jumper became my focus. I wasn’t so interested in my face, and my curly hair but I did…

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Launching Bahá’í Chronicles


Three years ago, Neda  Najibi started a series on her Facebook page titled ‘Did You Know?’ portraying stories about Bahá’í Heroes and Heroines. She  did this because she noticed there wasn’t a single online location systematically attempting to capture the heroism, struggles, victories, sacrifices, and  the dedication of  past and present Bahá’ís.

The death of Neda’s father (Nassir Najibi 1925-2013) gave her the impetus to launch Bahá’í Chronicles, to honour the many heroes and heroines, past and present, of the Bahá’í Faith.

She undertook the project to honour the memory of her father and feels he has been her guiding light for the past two years of putting this site together. 

The team that have created the site are: Neda Nassir Najibi, Co-Founder and Editor; Vanda Marie Khadem, Co-Founder. Bahá’í Chronicles intentionally does not make mention of the creators’ collegiate years, career environment or achievements but rather seeks to share the collective Bahá’í goals which resulted in this website. 

What follows is a  short promo video and then a discussion of the project.

June: Neda can you tell us why you decided to create the Bahá’í chronicles web site?

Neda: The website was a culmination of a few things: Firstly for the past 3 years I’ve been posting ‘Did You Know about the Bahá’í faith?’ on my Facebook page and realized there wasn’t one site that had all the stories. Secondly my father died in 2013. He’d always encourage me to promote the Faith, and still is my guiding light, my hero, so this site is in honor of him.

June: What have been the most inspiring aspects of putting together Bahá’í Chronicles?

Neda: It’s been a true journey where each word, each story becomes relived and it’s a great feeling of nourishing memories and sharing such history with the world.

The website is a journey of discovery and inspiration empowering us to realize our rich global legacy through stories of Bahá’í from around the world.

We’re hoping for more contributors. Currently we have Sue Chehrenegar, Ceylan Isgor-Locke, Tara Jabbari, yourself, Joy Goldblatt, Brent Poirer. Also Jonah Winters, Don Calkins, Mary Firdawsi, Candace Hill and Richard Doering have been amazing contributors, doing lots of research and providing material for the site.

June: What have been some of the challenges? For instance how easy has it been to find video and audio?

Neda: This is a continuous project where as soon as videos and audios are found they will be placed on the site.

June: So if anyone out there has more footage they should send it to you?

Neda: Yes if they have the rights to do so we would love to include them.

June: Will the site be an ongoing project?

Neda: Absolutely ! The few hundred stories that will  be on the site hopefully will grow as more people are aware of its existence. We would welcome more contributors and stories from all around the world.

June: Thanks so much for your time and I wish you all the best for the launch this week and for the future of the site.

Anyone wishing to contribute a story of a Bahá’í Hero or Heroine, to Bahá’í Chronicles should contact Neda at  editor@bahaichronicles.org

Bahai chronicles logo
Articles should be between 500-1000 words, well referenced, with photographs and interesting hyperlinks.  If you have any audio or film to accompany that would be greatly appreciated.  Neda will send you full guidelines if you have a story for consideration for the site. 
Email HERE  Facebook page HERE
Image at the top features (all of whom are on the site)
Top Row L-R: Mr. Abul Qasim Faizi, Queen Marie of Romania, Mona Mahmudinezhad, King of Western Samoa – Malietoa Tanumafili II, Louis Gregory, Ruhiyyih Khanum, Martha Root
Bottom Row L-R: Mary Maxwell (aka Ruhiyyih Khanum), Mr. Zikrullah Khadem, Robert Turner, Shoghi Effendi, Patricia Locke, Abdul’-Baha in Paris.