Home' Aurora : Aurora November 2013 Contents Date: November 21 • Time: 12 noon - 2.00pm
Bookings: Phone: 4979 1124.
YOU ARE INVITED TO MEET TWO OUTSTANDING AUSTRALIANS
TIM FISCHER AND FR FRANK BRENNAN SJ
THE HUNTER BOOK LAUNCH OF
TIM FISCHER'S NEW BOOK
12 noon November 28. Victor Peters Suite
841 Hunter Street Newcastle.
Lunch: $25; Book: $30
Bookings: Phone: 4979 1124.
ASSEMBLY OF CATHOLIC PROFESSIONALS
Invites Catholic Business and Professional people to a
special luncheon to meet
FR FRANK BRENNAN SJ ("...that
meddling priest". Paul Keating)
Jesuit priest Fr Frank Brennan, was
classified as a Living National Treasure by
the National Trust at the same time that
Paul Keating labelled him as that
A fierce advocate for indigenous peoples
and for the rights of refugees, Fr Brennan
is a Professor of Law at Australian Catholic
University; adjunct professor at the
Australian National University College of Law.
What do you do when the
prime minister of the day suddenly
rings you, seven years after you have
retired from Federal Parliament?
Elizabeth Cant putting finishing touches to a painting.
BY NATALEE MULTARI
Meet a Christmas
The word 'gifted' springs to mind when
you realise every picture displayed in the
room is painted by the same artist, 'proud'
when you learn she's a Novocastrian and
'inspired' when you discover she paints with
a paintbrush in her mouth.
Elizabeth Cant of Cameron Park learned
to master the paintbrush with her mouth
after she was tragically struck by a moving
car at the age of eight. The incident in 1974
changed her life forever. She sustained
brain damage which inevitably restricted her
mobility and the use of her hands and arms.
Her life, and the lives of her parents and
three brothers, were never to be the same,
with challenges and new obstacles daily.
These tests and trials however, didn't hinder
the Cants; indeed, they were strengthened
as a family.
Elizabeth's gentle kind-heartedness is a true
reflection of her parents, Wendy and Bill,
who were responsible for discovering and
encouraging their only daughter's hidden
interest and talent in art.
Elizabeth was attending Waratah's
Orthopaedic School and instead of sport,
the students participated in Guides and
Scouts. Determined, she wanted to earn all
the badges and the next one in sight was
the artist badge.
"I heard about people putting brushes in
their mouths so we tried it and we found out
she could paint," recalls Wendy.
"She made this lovely little seascape and
I touched it up a little but apart from the
white shoe polish I added to lift it, it was all
The newly-discovered artist continued to
develop her natural talent over the years,
taking private lessons in the Hunter and
continuing to amaze those around her,
including those in her L'Arche Group.
L'Arche is an international federation of faith
communities where people with and without
an intellectual disability share life together.
One of the main objectives of L'Arche is to
recognise, make known and celebrate the
gifts of people with intellectual disabilities.
Wendy and Bill encountered L'Arche as
they were desperately seeking a suitable
place for Elizabeth to live as her physical
disabilities made it increasingly difficult for
them to be satisfied they could continue to
care for her as they aged.
They soon realised there were no L'Arche
housing options available in the Hunter,
but eventually a place became available in
Cameron Park where Elizabeth now has
24-hour care. Wendy and Bill aren't far away
in Elermore Vale.
Despite not living within a L'Arche
community, Elizabeth is a core member
of Hunter Friends of L'Arche that meets
regularly, although it's only recently that the
group learned of Elisabeth's artistic flair.
They insisted on distributing a set of greeting
cards produced from a selection of her
paintings in recognition of this special gift.
"No matter what your loved one wants, try
and make it happen," says Wendy as she
talks about her encounters with the L'Arche
Group. Needless to say, Elizabeth was more
than happy to accept the offer to have her
cherished paintings reproduced as cards.
As we move closer to Christmas, Elizabeth's
cards will be a unique, heartfelt addition
to many gifts where warm wishes and
blessings will be written and shared by loved
Coincidentally, a family friend who was
admiring Elizabeth's cards had recently
attended a conference in Canada with the
founder of L'Arche, Jean Vanier. She decided
to send a card to him in France, so by now
no doubt he's just as impressed as those
already in the local loop!
You may wish to visit www.larche.org.au.
To obtain Elizabeth's Christmas cards,
please P Ros Wetzler 0407 556 854 or E
www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
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