Pay What You Can Afford Program a First For Australia

Pay What You Can Afford Program a First For Australia

I heard along the grapevine of an Australian beloved health professional offering a Pay What You Can Afford service.

Our team has never heard of such a program, and with the human race in crisis, we did a deep dive to find out what this was and how it could help people. Let’s be straight up- while many people are thinking of how they can afford to pay the rent or groceries and stay safe in a chaotic time; when you hear about a person whose very first priority is people and how to serve best – leaves us with a refreshing “Oh Wow” moment. 

Kindness in it’s purest form is a delight. Ponderers, we have featured her before, and now we touch base with her again. Faye Kendall is a beloved Geelong local, Osteopath and business owner; and these are her words. 

When I first started my osteopathic career, it never occurred that one day I would need to treat my patients without putting my hands on them.

As osteopaths, we primarily work with people’s neuro-musculoskeletal system (the muscles, bones, nerves, joints, tendons, ligaments and other tissues that help to support and control the movements of your body). I, like many other osteopaths, built my clinic off the back of getting people out of pain with an emphasis on using my ‘‘hands” to help people move better and feel better. 

Then, in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia, and everything changed. 

My first thought with the new restrictions in place was “How are we going to support our patients through this if they can’t come and see us at the clinic?” Over the next few days, our clinic started reaching out to our patients to check in with them and see if there was anything that we could help them with. The responses we got in return were heartbreaking. 

Some of our patients had already been told that they had lost their jobs, and others told to expect the same in the coming weeks. I spoke with immune-compromised patients that were too scared to leave the house and patients who have chronic health issues who are afraid of what might happen if their usual therapy choices were no longer available to them. 


How were these people going to look after their family when they had lost their income? 

How would they stay healthy if they can’t leave their house? Would their condition deteriorate if they were unable to access their therapists that they relied so heavily upon?

I felt for my patients, and I felt for our community. Even if most of us haven’t yet been exposed to the virus physically, we are already feeling the mental, emotional and financial effects to which none of us has immunity. As a healthcare professional, I knew that we needed to come up with a solution that enabled our community to continue to put their health first no matter what their situation

With that in mind, the osteopaths at Whole Body Health and Wellness made a swift decision. We decided we needed to offer online consultations to support people in their health. With people in isolation- and with the teleconferencing tools we have at our fingertips like many in the medical profession- it seems an obvious choice. 

But, financially, what could be done to support the community? The solution is our offer of ‘Pay What You Can Afford’ payment option so that everyone has access to our services regardless of their situation. 


Whilst I believe hands-on techniques are amazingly effective, they are just one of the many tools we have in our osteopathic toolkit. 

You see, what I failed to tell my patients early on in my career is that Osteopathy is more than just a set of techniques; it’s an entire comprehensive philosophy of whole-body health. 

Without our extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology and general healthcare diagnosis that we obtained during five years of University study the “hands-on” techniques we commonly use with patients would be meaningless. It’s the ability to diagnose, assess and manage conditions that form the majority of our osteopathic consultations and empower our patients to look after their health. 

With the help of technology, we are now able to offer our patients the same support, care and guidance that we would in our regular osteopathic treatments. 

In addition, implementing our ‘Pay What You Can Afford’ option throughout April 2020, we are aiming to support all of our community regardless of their financial situation. 

How does it work? Exactly as it sounds, you book an appointment and you decide what you can afford to pay. 

We are a community, and the go-to for those in the health and wellness sector is to do just that – to be of service and to help. So please, get in touch with us! Let us help at this very crucial time in our lives. 

Whole Body Health and Wellness –

Call: 03 5200 1044

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+61 0401 409 499


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Five Tips For Homeschooling

Five Tips For Homeschooling

Homeschooling has always felt like more of an alternative option.

So what does one do when school is not an option, and they are left at home wondering and perhaps freaking out about where to start… Breath, we’ve got you covered. As the Education board rolls out new updates, you may find these helpful!

What kind of teacher are you? Miss Honey from Roald Dahl’s Matilda? The all inspiring Ms Frizzle from The Magic Schoolbus?…. 

Or perhaps you might find yourself identifying more with Edna Krabappel that dates around and drinks on the job (hey no judgment here!)

The most important thing right now is to help our children feel safe, connected, happy and loved.

Across Australia, there are around 20,000 homeschooled students, and the numbers are growing.

With CO-VID19 here, and self-isolation imminent we are all in this together.

We’ve put together 5 simple tips to make homeschooling easier- you’re welcome!

1: Basic Routine

We’re not talking military precision here! However, a basic routine for homeschool is probably your best start. Creating a schedule for you and your children that caters for structured activities and (just as important) free time.

Get your kids involved in making the “school” timetable.

We follow the Australian curriculum of the literacy and numeracy block in the morning.

We have a play break then regroup to do something fun and creative, sporty or investigative.

Creating a routine is important for a number of reasons. This structure helps children feel more secure, and you’ll most likely find better behaved too! There is a feeling of safety when things are predictable, and expectations understood. The benefits extend from social-emotional to learning- if children are anxious and distressed, their brain will not be open to learning. Research shows that anxiety impacts a student’s working memory, making it difficult to learn and retain information. The anxious student works and thinks less efficiently, which significantly affects the student’s learning capability.(link)

2 Have Fun!

While playing teacher and being responsible for your child’s learning might seem daunting and perhaps something you had never considered- pause,- This can be fun! For everyone! 

The idea that you are going to be teaching your child/ren for 6-8rs a day is a myth that needs to be debunked quickly. The ratio of parent/carer to child is small, so there is more time for one-on-one focussed learning, and you will be surprised by what can be achieved. So what do you teach and how the heck do you teach it? 

A great way to include literacy is to read every morning. Independent reading if your chlid/ren is able, and also parent reading to the child. This can be storybooks, Reading eggs, flashcards etc.

A few basic ideas include:

Writing. Journals are great. Procedures- for example, cooking together and then recording the experience step by step. If your children are upper primary get them to write a persuasive letter- anything from “Why kids should have more screen time” to “Why it is a good idea to eat chocolate” there are no limits, and it’s guaranteed to bring a few laughs!

Handwriting could be practising letter formations. It doesn’t have to be limited to paper and pencil. This can be in the sand, in the fog on the shower screen, painting, in shaving foam.

Maths: Time. Money, Number. Shapes. Play card games, games with dice. Even snakes and ladders can be used for maths- counting on, number recognition! There are loads of free resources online and even some programs where kids can jump on an iPad or computer and “play maths” on screen! 

Spend quality time baking, creating, drawing, laughing, PLAYING is essential. Any images of 1950’s teaching in rows with repetition- adios! 

Research passion projects. The inquiry-based learning model. As a curriculum approach, inquiry-based learning builds from a natural process of inquiry in which students experience a ‘need to know’ that motivates and deepens learning. What a great time to connect with your child by learning about something that interests them! Bonus, your child will be much more engaged and WANT to be learning!

According to the Harvard Business Review articleCuriosity Is As Important As Intelligence“, fostering student curiosity builds their capacity for flexible thinking and the ability to handle complex problems.


3 Be Flexible

There will be days where schooling is not a priority. If you are feeling stressed or the anxiety is looming, back it off. Pause. Your child’s mental health is more important than ANYTHING. The same goes for you! 

Flexibility also extends to learning. If the kids are really enjoying an activity, if they are engaged and it’s taking longer than you originally planned- go with it! 

Work out what your child’s currency is! Consider trade-offs – x amount of reading/writing = x amount of screen time. The more positive experiences, rewards, and praise, the better.

Physical activities are a must! Chances are isolation will bring restlessness, frustration and the possibility of children climbing the walls and swinging from the rafters! 

Health experts across the globe report that exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. 


4 Opportunity for Life skills!

The bonus of not having to get kids TO school, the mad dash for breakfast, making school lunches, washing uniforms, packing bags is time. Time to slow down, breath and mindfully spend on learning other valuable tools. Yep, life skills.

Learning how to make breakfast, help prepare a meal, cleaning (parents unite! lol) 

Changing a tyre, washing the car, Planting, growing, Washing dishes/ clothes loading the dishwasher- 

Computer- hey, they might teach you! The list is endless.

All of these are important skills that sometimes get skipped or pushed aside can be given the attention they deserve. It’s all part of learning how to human in our world and nurturing independence. 


5 Be consistent.

Just like real teachers, there will be lessons or learning times that will be complete flops. There will be learning times that are fun. Either way, consistency is key. Connectedness in this crazy time is essential. We can connect with our kids through being present, learning together, participating in planned activities and sharing our time. The beauty of teaching is that you don’t need to know all of the answers. You can learn on the job! If you need help, ask! We have included a list of handy resources.

Handy resources- share

Smiling minds


Reading eggs

Adapted mind

Mathletics loads of resources including template and more info about homeschooling


The Land of “Doors must be closed, and lids must be on”. Let’s talk Triggers.

On Planet Spectrum when we refer to a trigger, we are referring to something that creates a behavioural response. It is 'triggered' by something.There are triggers that need to be managed because they are an everyday part of life, and then there are triggers that can...

Special Interests- They’re Important!

Who knew threading beads and a trip to the laundromat could mean your kid would eat casserole? It is common for those on Planet Spectrum to be passionate about a particular subject or object..

Five Tips For Homeschooling

Homeschooling has always felt like more of an alternative option.
So what does one do when school is not an option, and they are left at home wondering and perhaps freaking out about where to start… Breath, we’ve got you covered!

Five Tips for Helping Families with Autism

Families with Children on the Autism Spectrum are a part of our community. If you are lucky enough to have a friend or family member with Autism, you may find yourself wondering how you can best help. In one of the largest studies of its kind, Ruth L. Fischbach PhD...

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Sorry I Am Too Tired To Friend

Sorry I Am Too Tired To Friend

Sorry I Am Too Tired To Friend

by Kate O’Donnell

Dear Friend,

I would love to see you, but here’s the thing- I’m exhausted. 

I reminisce about our 20’s, the days of grabbing our sunglasses and wallets and following the music, complaining about uni assignments or how insanely busy work was- ha! We thought we were crazy busy back then… HILARIOUS! 

Now faced with the grown-up responsibilities of raising a family, paying bills, a mortgage, working and raising little humans and sleep deprivation. There has been a shift.

There are days when simple pleasures of an empty laundry basket, tidy house and wee free bathroom leave me feeling like the high achiever that just won big on the stock exchange- fist-pumping and confidently cheering whoop-whoop! Only to be brought swiftly back to reality when the dog vomits, I’ve lost the school notice (again) and have forgotten or missed the memo that it is most definitely NOT a cheese day, and for crying out loud why on earth did you cut the sandwich THAT way instead of THAT way… And this, my friend, is the visual definition of parental bliss. 

Yep, you read that correctly, through the tears, tantrums, snotty kisses, skun knees, chaotic madness, book week costumes, kid parties and blanket forts. There is nothing more fulfilling than blowing raspberries on bellies with wild cackling or snuggling up on the couch for stories. It’s the most exceptional job I’ve ever had, and if I’m honest- the hardest. 

According to Norsberg, the increased pressure on parents, combined with a lack of time due to the drastic decrease in stay-at-home mothers has made parenting increasingly challenging. 

In the 2000’s Parental burnout became a scientifically researched syndrome all on its own.

The family structure has become more diverse, the to-do list has grown, and it appears we are not alone. The number one complaint of parents? Yep. Exhaustion. 

We laughingly joke about scheduling in coffee catch-ups for September 2024… but at times it really doesn’t seem that far off or even that ridiculous! 

Parenting and my 30’s have bought joy, precious memories and the beginnings of a weird chin hair.

It’s also brought shrinking of the squad. Our friends are on their own journeys, many live interstates and some abroad. Ideas of raising our children in a commune, attending the same school and getting together for weekly pasta night and community garden remain one-day dreams. 

The term “one-man wolf pack” has never felt so relevant. Although to be fair, when the kids are at school, my squad now consists of 2 gorgeous Labradors, a parrot and yappy Jack Russell.

I am still here. I won’t be absent forever. This too shall pass… and I will be there, teacup raised and ready to dance, or nap. Coz you know, naps are awesome! 

So, Ponderers, why is life so busy that we can’t support each other? 

Why has our parenting become so singular? 

Is it because our priorities have changed? 

Is it because we feel under pressure to be a certain way? 

Has parenting become a goal to achieve certain milestones with or is it simply because the world has become so hectic? 

We would love to hear your thoughts.


Five More Minutes

Five More Minutes

Five More Minutes

Words by Julia Lorent

My mother was amazing.

When you look upon her life and what she was able to achieve it truly highlights something many people forget; adversity doesn’t have to define you. 

She was strong but didn’t really know it. With six children, including a daughter who was intellectually challenged, she needed to be. Mum was a lot of fun and enjoyed a good laugh. Life was hard in our house, but because it was filled with so much love and laughter; these became sacred bonds- unbreakable. 

This family of mine is etched in humour and support; we are there for each other, we argue like hell, but we love each other very much. Interestingly, all of us have careers focussed on helping others. I believe this is a legacy my Mum would be very proud of. 

Not many people I know have the relationship that we have; it often draws comment from those we know.

It is 100% because of our parent’s influence. A football team of kids would be carted from sport to sport in the car, and if anyone was in need, my parents were the ones to help people out. Material possessions were of no importance. 

Tragedy smashed through our door uninvited at age 46 for my mother and our family when the love of her life (my dad) died. With six children, no income, no life insurance and a broken heart; times were beyond tough. My mother was a strikingly beautiful lady; very Nigella-esque but without the sexy mannerisms. The next tragedy was the disconnection with her married friends. Husbands were hitting on her, and she became a perceived threat, she was often blamed. The womanhood did not support her. 

These were all tragic events that saw her trying to be very strong and support six grieving children who lost their dad.

It must have felt incredibly unfair. We all had our individual and collective issues about the sudden and unexpected loss of our father; totally overwhelming and insurmountable. She also had an intellectually challenged daughter who had bouts of intense violence and a system that echoed back with no help or answers whatsoever. There was just no help. Here was a woman trying to make sense of her own life, grief and heartache then depression while wondering the whole time what the hell she did to deserve it.

But somehow we got through it, not unscathed, but through. Even when we were at our lowest, our mother’s love and support kept us together.

Her one true friend and companion were cigarettes; she thought they got her through; it was her time out, her thing. While she always had intentions of QUITTING, they too turned on her. She was diagnosed with advanced Lung Cancer. She QUIT instantly, but it was too late. I try not to overthink about it because it fills me with sadness that when her friends should have been there for her, the only friend she could trust was her cigarettes.

It is very sad and breaks my heart to this day. We loved her deeply. 

We all ended up with a very strange sense of joint humour, which often bubbles up when tragedy strikes. It is what get’s us through, and we have our parents to thank for this. Dark humour can be an excellent tool. I wish we recognized it at the time. I wish we told her more how damn strong she was, acknowledged her more and just had five more minutes.

Only 5, how good would that be?


My partner Colin was definitely the love of my life.

Rather good looking, Colin worked hard, fun and very kind, he wanted to travel and work overseas, he, we, had big plans. He loved my mum, and she adored him, my whole family did. 

Colin came from a home with an abusive alcoholic father who used to bash his mother frequently until Colin was old enough to threaten that if he did it again, there would be consequences. Brave. 

Colin loved a drink and a smoke, and by all accounts, he was a normal healthy 25-year-old young man. Until that day, 26 November, when he passed away from a blood clot to the brain due to damaged blood vessels caused by smoking.  

There were no goodbyes, it was sudden, totally unexpected and such a waste of a life.

It is just wrong, he was 25 years old. I still feel so cheated. I never got to thank him for saving me so many times after my dad died or another family tragedy. I was so angry, angry with him for smoking – angry at the cigarette companies – angry at the world. He was always going to quit before he turned 30. That day never came.   

We had this incredible once in a lifetime connection.

He felt like home and was safe and my dearest, most absolute best friend. I miss him every day. If I only had five more minutes to chat with him about life, about what happened today or ask him how his day was…

Little did I know that this would not be the only time I would be what I call the – Hidden Victims of Cigarettes.

Anyone that has experienced the crippling anguish from losing a loved one knows how close it can come to derail your life. Instead of letting my grief beat me, I decided to channel it into helping others fight their own demons. For the next two decades, I would leave no stone unturned to find answers in helping people with addiction and practices, with no judgement. For the judgement of others is too harsh a force to be reckoned with. The result has been a career forged in helping others, and it has been successful. I think people understand I don’t judge and I have the skills to help them navigate a better life. 

I am the founder and principal practitioner for Melbourne Quit Smoking Clinic, Melbourne Clinic of Hypnotherapy, and The Savvy Changemaker.

Neuroplasticity, CBT and Hypnotherapy combined with a full range of therapies have formed the spine of a full offering to help people and seeing people step through their tragedies, their ideologies to form new confidence and health. 

When I see people flourish and live a beautiful life, full of authenticity and richness because of the work we have achieved together; it is the biggest reward I could ever ask for. 

The lives of those who love you are worth saving, not just your own.


Addictions steal our loved ones away, leaving them craving five minutes in a lifetime of longing. Torture of the heart is tragic. We never think we are hurting those we love by relying on outside substances to cope. This can be behaviours, cigarettes, drugs and food. We have within us the ability to change, and no one needs to be alone. 

2020 is the year you give back five minutes, if not for yourself, then for those you love and who love you. 

To get in touch with Julia, contact her on + 61 412 810 078 or email

Visit her site for more information about her services.

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