Graham Clements

A portrait photo of Graham Clements
Graham Clements

I have fought bushfires racing up the hills around Heyfield. I have scheduled television commercials in freezing Ballarat. I have even tossed bean sprouts in a shed in Sydney. I now live in rural Victoria where I write science fiction. Literature, science, technology, the environment and gardening are some of my many interests.


Graham Clements's articles

The book cover of "Me and her".

"Me and her"

Me & Her is a book Karen Tyrrell wrote about her mental illness. She was a happy teacher, wife and mother. But the parents of one of her students began harassing her. She became very stressed and could not sleep. She ran away from her job and family. Karen was found and taken to a hospital. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In her book, Karen tells of her search for reasons and remedies for her illness. The book is simply written and interesting. It is for anyone interested in how people live with mental illnesses.
3 comments - last comment on 24/08/2012
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A thick opened book on a table with a few books behind it .

There are many definitions of disability.

About a million Victorians have a disability. Disabilities can result from accidents, illness, genetics, or aging. A disability can be physical, sensory, intellectual, psychiatric or neurological. Disabilities limit a person's ability to carry out day-to-day activities. Organisations and governments use different ways to define disability. The DiVine website uses a general list of disabilities. Centrelink that provides the disability support pension lists many disabilities. The mobility allowance by the Federal Government has a much shorter list of disabilities. The Department of Education includes behaviour and language disorders. Other organisations like VicRoads concentrate on disabilities that affect access to their services.
2 comments - last comment on 20/07/2012
A woman sitting upright giving blood with a nurse by her side.
blood donation

You might be able to give blood.

I wanted to donate blood but thought I couldn't because of my illnesses. I checked the Red Cross Blood Service's website and still was not sure. I rang the Blood Service and was told I needed a letter from my doctor before I could give blood. The Blood Service helps people with disabilities to give blood. Australian Sign Language interpreters can be available. Guide dogs are welcome. People who use wheelchairs can donate if they can safely transfer to a couch. Some people cannot donate because it might be dangerous for their health. The Blood Service recommends people book a time to donate.
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Capturing the moments
Capturing the moments

An increase in floods is expected.

Climate change is predicted to have many health effects in Australia. The Climate Commission and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have reported some of these health effects. They say the poor, elderly, Indigenous people and the sick are most likely to be affected by climate change. More people are expected to die from extreme heat. But less people are expected to die from the cold. Warmer temperatures are expected to increase diseases and infections. Climate change is expected to cause more floods, storms and bushfires. Australia needs to prepare for the health effects of climate change.
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A highway with a few cars in the distance.

I could relax in a car after my surgery.

Travel to medical appointments can be difficult and costly for country people. Last year I had to travel to Melbourne for surgery. I had to pay for a train to the appointment. But I then used a free Red Cross car to return home. I relaxed in the car. It was better than a long train trip home. Red Cross cars are available throughout Victoria. Some regional councils and health groups offer a similar car service. Recently I read about the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme. It could have paid for my train trip to the surgery.
4 comments - last comment on 08/05/2013
The sun is setting over a beach and a man is sitting on a bench looking downwards.
Sea of Sadness

I hid my illness.

I was sick for many years. But I didn't tell anyone. I hid the symptoms from my family and friends. I tried to eat all the right foods. But I would still have to run to the toilet. I didn't know why I was sick. I visited many doctors. Eventually I went to a hospital to have a colonoscopy. The doctor said I had ulcerative colitis. There is no cure. I finally told my family about the illness. But I continue to hide the illness from most other people. I do not want their pity.
4 comments - last comment on 20/01/2012
A young girl reading a book
young girl - reading

The Victorian Government wants to hear about school experiences

The Victorian Government wants to hear about the experiences of school students with a disability. The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is conducting the research. Complaints about students being treated unfairly have been increasing. Students, parents, educators and community organisations can all have a say. You can complete a survey. There will also be special information sessions in regional Victoria in February 2012. Community organisations can also submit written responses.
1 comment - on 08/12/2011
A metal hammer with a wooden handle lying on a wooden bench

Visitors can build something, help someone, or just play pool.

The Wangaratta Men's Shed has many activities for men. Shed members are aware that many local men have depression. The shed is a place where men can talk and keep busy. Teenagers also go there. Some are working on bicycles. The shed only started recently. Work on the shed has not finished. Members can build something, help someone, or just play a game. Funds for the shed come from many sources. Men with disabilities are welcome.
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A close up of the Star Trek character Geordi La Forge wearing an usual metal visor over his eyes.

Geordi La Forge from Star Trek

Characters with disabilities might seem rare in science fiction. But some science fiction has worlds full of people with disabilities. Vision impaired characters in science fiction are particularly popular. Characters using wheelchairs are also common. Some characters also have limbs replaced by new technology. Many science fiction stories have technology fixing disabilities. Others have technology creating an environment that is more accessible. I hope we will see even more characters with disabilities in future. You can share your favourite characters in the comments section.
4 comments - last comment on 17/01/2015
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A large yellow bulldozer lifting a pellet of rubbish at a tip

Too many unwanted televisions end up at the local council landfill

Many people are currently replacing their televisions. Some old televisions are donated to charity. Others are thrown out. This is bad because there can be harmful things inside old televisions. Most things inside a television can be recycled. Many Victorian councils recycle televisions. Free recycling is currently available at locations throughout regional Victoria. A national recycling scheme will also soon be in place. Television makers will recycle old units. But that scheme is a bit late for the many Victorians who have recently bought a new television. Hopefully it will be running before the analog television signal is shut off in Melbourne.
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