KKaplanCollage I want to share with you a work of art – inspired and thought-provoking – which will be entered into the upcoming Cancer Council Arts Awards 2013.  This year’s theme of Balance has inspired Kathy Kaplan to produce the piece shown here.  Kathy says, “With time ticking away [clock], balancing one’s “wants” [the impossibly high-heeled shoe channelling a Christian Louboutin red soled shoe fantasy] and the pressures of the “shoulds” of life [the duller fanned-out how-to book] can be a challenge. Can the self-help books covered with tea-dyed paper printed with a range of ‘balance’ quotes drawn from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim bibles, though to Sting, Ellen DeGeneres, Ronan Keating and many others, including my cousin’s wife, adequately bridge that gap?”Just as interesting as the artwork is the woman behind the art.  The proud mother of three now-adult children, Kathy was a secondary Maths/English teacher BCE (Before Children Entered), and has since spent the better part of her professional life working in the fields of educational management and fundraising.A self-professed learning-junkie, Kathy must have drunk the spirit of volunteerism with her mother’s milk. A four-time breast cancer survivor, Kathy is a passionate presenter for the Breast Cancer Network and specialises in supporting young single mums facing their breast cancer journey. She has had the sad privilege of sitting with three such women during their last hours and minutes.

A past president of Temple Beth Israel (then the largest synagogue in the Southern Hemisphere), Kathy is now an active participant in the school tour teams at TBI, the Jewish Museum of Australia and with the Jewish Christian Muslim Association.

Presented with the inaugural Audacious Women’s Award at Parliament House last year, Kathy has also been the runner up of both the Brainlink Women of Achievement and the Dame Phyllis Frost Awards in 2008.

On Australia Day 2011, Kathy was awarded an OAM with a double citation for what the Governor-General described as her pioneering work in the area of domestic violence and also for her work in the Jewish community.

Kathy is the Founder and President of IMPACT for Women Inc – a volunteer-led and driven charity that works to make a difference to Victorian women and children living in crisis accommodation due to domestic violence.

What do you think? Do you love the artwork as much as I do? What are your thoughts on the theme of Balance?

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