Art Exhibition for Jo Morris 2014

Jo Morris & Adam James

Jo Morris & Adam James

Cup From Above is proud to be once again showcasing brand new artwork by the amazing local artist Jo Morris.  This is our second exhibition of her work.  It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since the last exhibition.

We’ll be hosting the official exhibition event on Saturday, 29th November at 6pm.  Jo will be here to talk about her paintings, her life as an artist and will be available for questions & autographs!

You can check out some more of Jo’s amazing paintings on her website.  Here’s the link

If you would like to purchase some of Jo’s art contact the cafe or Jo directly via her website.





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Ash Kong in the Chronicle

This month the Cup From Above Community has been getting behind Ash Kong and his family to get the therapy he needs to be able to communicate.  Great to have the Northside Chronicle cover the story of this brave young local.


Northside Chronicle - 20141022

Northside Chronicle - 20141022 (2)

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Peter Rowe’s Book Launch!

On the 27th September 2014 we were very honoured to host a book launch for Peter Rowe.  Peter released the 5th book in the “Josh The Robot” series.

Mr Iain Head from Ozzie Tech was very kind to film the event which you can view on youtube below.

You can purchase Peter Rowe’s books from his website here:

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Helping Ash in October for Down Syndrome Awareness

Ash2The second week of October is Down Syndrome Awareness Week and we’ve decided to support this cause locally this month.

Ash is five years old and he loves to dance. Next year he will be starting Prep at Aspley East State School. Ash was born with Down Syndrome, which makes going to school complicated. He also has a hearing impairment, which makes talking really hard. Ash has learnt to use sign language but what he needs most is Speech Therapy, at least once a week.

This month we are raising funds to help provide these much needed speech therapy lessons for Ash. Sessions are $40 each (after a Medibank subsidy). We are aiming to raise enough for a minimum of 12 sessions ($480) but it would be so great to smash this target!

As always, we’ll be collecting donations in the cafe throughout the month and at our monthly community concert on Saturday 25 October.

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Stolen Wheelchair Ramp


wills ramp

Here’s a photo of my mate Will from the Sunshine Coast.  That’s me and him on his birthday at the pub a few years ago and that’s a photo of his wheelchair ramp that was stolen from Cup From Above.

I had another friend in a wheelchair who wanted to visit Cup From Above but couldn’t because we didn’t have wheelchair access.  I was hanging out with Will and he said he would lend us his ramp because he wasn’t using it.  I was really grateful and a few people in wheelchairs were able to come in and enjoy a great cup of coffee thanks to the ramp.  Until it was stolen.

Will now needs a ramp.  If anyone knows anything about the stolen ramp please let us know and share with your friends in Aspley incase they know something.  It’s most likely been taken by someone near the cafe who didn’t know what it was for.  If you stole it and you’re reading this please bring it back and just say sorry.  You’ll be forgiven & we won’t charge you.  If someone has a ramp that they’d be willing to give to Will to replace the one that was stolen that would be really great too.   

We really appreciate your assistance with this!

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Star Newspaper Article on CFA Community helping Boost For Benny

Here’s an article by Renee Subacius from the Star Newspaper about the people of Aspley raising money through Cup From Above for “Boost For Benny”.

It’s an honour for Cup From Above to play our part in facilitating generosity in the community.

Star Newspaper Article 27th November 2013

Star Newspaper Article, 27th November 2013.






























Find out more about Boost For Benny here…

or on facebook…

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The Queensland Plan Disability Forum at Cup From Above

The Queensland Plan Disability Forum

Last Friday we were very honoured to host a forum from the disability community at Cup From Above for the QLD plan.  The forum was put together to hear directly from people with disabilities about their thoughts, ideas and dreams for the future of the great StateCFA Disability Forum of Queensland.

We were very honoured to have the State Minister for Disabilities & Communities and Member for Aspley Tracy Davis MP at the forum.  We sat and discussed and debated the six questions of the Queensland Plan.  Everyone contributed to create some fantastic solutions for the future of Queensland and what that looks like for someone with a disability.

Our hope is to inspire you to fill out the Queensland Plan Questionnaire which you’ll find here.  It took me 39 minutes and 23 seconds to fill it out.  However I knew all about the questions beforehand so put aside a good hour.  Why should you do it?  We live in a great state in a great country with a great future.  To have the best possible plan for the future it’s gonna take as many Queenslanders opinions, solutions, strategies & dreams as we can muster to work together and make it as great as possible.  I believe it’s important for all Queenslanders to have a say so that we get a strong, balanced & accurate vision for the future.  Please encourage your friends and family in Queensland to also fill it out. If you are connected to the disability community somehow (e.g. you have a disability or a family member with one) please please please forward this post on to everyone you know that has a disability in Queensland and make sure you fill out the questionnaire. And if you can comment your individual ideas, thoughts and dreams on this post or on facebook that would be hugely appreciated. We’ll take your suggestions, plans, ideas, strategies and dreams directly to the Minister if you comment below but they will only be included in the official plan if you complete the questionnaire!

The Cup From Above disability forum included:

Peter Rowe who has Down Syndrome, is an author & artist.  Dave McNair who runs a youth shelter and has a child with a disability.  Graeme Agius who has 2 sons with a disability and is involved with the Special Olympics.  Lucy Blackman who has Autism, is non verbal and communicates via Facilitated Communication, is an author and has a Masters in Literary Studies.  Fiona Anderson who is a doctor and has a son with Cerebral Palsy.

Here is an overview of what the Aspley Disability Forum came up with in response to the Queensland Plan questions, specifically from the angle of someone with a disability in Queensland.  We hope this gives you some inspiration for you to give your own answers!

Question 1:  In the context of living in the community, how do we move our focus from me to we?

-Engaging people with disabilities as an integrated community. Making connections in the community for all, especially those who are disadvantaged

-Generate a new mindset which allows for the government to facilitate the communities needs to be met

-Community focussed, for profit, businesses intentionally employing and offering customised training to people with disabilities is the transition from me to we

-Promoting conversation beyond service provision

-Government specifically promoting places like Cup From Above which not only ‘allow disabilities’ but encourage and treat those with disabilities as normal. Creating a culture where they are included.

-Peter Rowe stated:  “What’s really important for those with disabilities is for them to be able to communicate”

-Introvert and extrovert environments. Acknowledging that some people appreciate entirely different environments and this needs to be respected.

-People with Autism can have very specific and unique environmental requirements that we need to accommodate as best as possible for them to truly feel like they are part of ‘we’.

-Lucy stated – ‘For example, take a noisy air con out of disability settings, where people with autism are assisted…have autism appropriate settings’

-Different environments can make different people very uncomfortable

-Welcoming and acceptance as two different terms: Acceptance implies their difference is tolerated. Welcoming assures that the differences are appreciated.

-Some prefer not to be in a ‘welcome’ (sanguine) setting. Some people feel more welcome in a quiet & polite way.

-‘Inclusive’ defined as being respected for who you are, not how people perceive.

Possible Solutions…CFA Disability Forum

Allowing and encouraging people with disabilities into ‘mainstream’ schools (where practical and safe) which in turn integrates other students to people with disabilities.

Early opportunities
e.g. Kindergarten, where people with disabilities and those without can interact before a stigma of difference develops.

Creating meaningful jobs where there is an authentic occupation utilising and developing upon their capabilities, not just a menial task based upon the ‘lowest common denominator’ of their dis-ability.

Question 2: How do we create and foster an education culture that teaches skills and values to meet global challenges and optimise regional strengths?

-Identifying early projected global market trends and promote/teach this skill development at an early age

-Foreign language needs to be a priority to teach in schools

-Teaching foreign language is a link between generally having the gift of speech, and those without that being able to learn another language

-Lucy stated: The general public can sympathise after they realise how hard it is to speak a language that doesn’t come naturally

-Integrating with people with disabilities inherently teaches values

Question 3: How do we empower and educate individuals, communities and institutions to embrace responsibility for an active and healthy lifestyle?

-Promote lifestyle across the community

-Educational campaigns to educate Queenslanders about living a healthy lifestyle

-Graeme Agius stated: Special Olympics is promoted at Special Schools, student forums, athletics functions

-Promote dealing with things properly vs. quick fixes of drugs

-Promote happy and healthy lifestyles

-Promote individual responsibility of each person’s own health

-Taking responsibilities for one’s own health

Question 4: How do we structure our economy to ensure our children inherit a resilient future?

-Fit an economy around the skills of the people in our society. Don’t make people fit a mould that doesn’t suit their abilities.

-Shifting the culture from doing what is easy and inspiring them to work and thus, give back to the community

-More support on the students less pressure to meet school ‘achievements’ levels

-Formal education is not for everyone. Practical education methods such as apprenticeships are a time proven method and create enduring skills.

-We need to provide options for those who don’t meet the school ‘mould’.

-Encourage and educate entrepreneurs in Social Enterprise company structures.

-‘Volunteer for the dole’ so people can do something meaningful while finding employment

-Engaging volunteers providing opportunities for people to fill

Question 5: How do we strengthen our economic future and achieve sustainable landscapes?

-Keep Queensland mines owned by Australians as much as possible. Our assets need to stay our assets so our grandchildren can reap the reward of what we’re pulling out of the soil.

-Purchase local to support local (especially fresh produce)

-Legislative framework around mining so the environment is considered to ensure our agricultural land is preserved for food etc, noting that some land is scrub thus, finding balance between the two.

Question 6: How do we attract and retain the brightest minds and ideas where they are most needed and capitalise on global opportunities?

-Provide a community where people want to live and make a lifeCFA Disability Forum

-Value and appreciate minds

-Provide opportunities for people to feel a sense of ownership

-Offer first class education

If you have any comments, thoughts, ideas, anecdotes, dreams, aspirations, queries or concerns on any of the above we’d love to hear it!  Please comment below or on facebook.  Please remember we especially want engagement from the disability community here on this post  but if you’re proud to call Queensland home then please fill out the questionnaire here!

Thank You for being a part of the Queensland Plan!



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The Queensland Plan Disability Focus Group

We are hosting a focus group from the disability community for the Queensland Plan this Wednesday afternoon (exact times to be confirmed).  If  you are passionate about the future of people with disabilities in Queensland and would like to have your voice heard please contact us!  We are looking for 12 people to come along to the focus group on Wednesday afternoon 3rd July, 2013.  Please contact us if you would like to be a part of this group to have your voice heard.  We can only have 12 people at the meeting however we want ALL of your opinions, thoughts, ideas & dreams!  So please contact us and we will make sure your voice is heard.

The questions are:

  1. In the context of living in the community, how do we move our focus from me to we?
  2. How do we create and foster an education culture that teaches skills and values to meet global challenges and optimise regional strengths?
  3. How do we empower and educate individuals, communities and institutions to embrace responsibility for an active and healthy lifestyle?
  4. How do we structure our economy to ensure our children inherit a resilient future?
  5. How do we strengthen our economic future and achieve sustainable landscapes?
  6. How do we attract and retain the brightest minds and ideas where they are most needed and capitalise on global opportunities?

With this focus group we hope to address each of these questions from the perspective of the disability community.

To be a part of the Wednesday afternoon focus group please email us telling us a little about yourself and your situation (we hope to have a representative from different parts of the disability community).  If you would like to share your contribution in response to the questions please email or via our contact page or alternatively you can go straight to the Queensland Plan page here.


We’ve postponed the focus group to the 26th July.  If you’re interested in being a part of this please contact us.

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Cup From Above Supporting ‘Boost For Benny’

Cup From Above is helping raise money for the ‘Boost For Benny’ foundation.  Some CFA regulars, Fiona and Jarrod Lloyd, are the parents to Benny, an amazing boy who has had a rough start to life.  Benny was born with hydrocephalus, a cyst on his brain, as well as cerebral palsy and autism.  Benny has been in and out of surgery many times and has to be fed through a tube every night.  Fiona and Jarrod spend the time and money to get him to therapy, developing the skills he hasn’t yet had the ability to develop.

The Lloyd Family

The Lloyd Family. Fiona, Jimmy, Benny & Jarrod.

They receive some financial support from the government but it does not cover many of the expenses Benny needs.  Our goal is to raise as much money as possible to help the Lloyd family get Benny on his feet and racing forward in life, helping pay for therapy and look at getting him into an AEIOU school, a school which specialises in teaching children who have autism.

You are able to support Benny by making a donation at, or you can ‘like’ their FaceBook page at  This family is nothing short of an inspiration and I can’t wait to see Benny grow up and reach the skies!

If you have any questions or ideas regarding fundraising it is possible to reach Fiona or Jarrod at


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Cup From Above in Australian Parliament

On the 13th February, 2013 we were very honoured to get a mention in parliament by Federal MP Yvette D’ath.  Here is the link to her full speech.  Below is an excerpt…

“…I would also like to share with you the story of a very inspiring young man I met in October last year, a man who is most certainly following his dream. Thirty-three-year-old Glen Sheppard from the Sunshine Coast has Down’s syndrome and was diagnosed at a young age with severe autism. Glen cannot speak and instead uses facilitated communication and a Qwerty keyboard as his voice. To communicate in this way, Glen needs the support of his dedicated mum, Pam, and carers like Adam from Aspley’s Cup From Above cafe in my electorate. Glen will not let his disability stop him from achieving his goals and he is successfully studying creative writing at university. Glen has already written a collection of poetry and launched a murder mystery novel called Solved in Silence.  For Glen and his support network, life is about what he can do, not what he cannot…”

-Yvette D’ath

Adam & Glen working on the final draft of 'Solved in Silence'.

Adam & Glen working on the final draft of ‘Solved in Silence’.

Yvette correctly states that Glen lives focussed on the things he can do:  not the things he can’t.  Glen is a legit hero.  We can all learn something from him.  You can support Glen by purchasing his latest book here and follow his facebook page here   You can also purchase Glen’s books right here at Cup From Above.  100% of sales go straight back to Glen so he can write more books.

Yvette’s speech was made to show her support for the National Disability Insurance Scheme which we whole heartedly agree with.  If you want to find out more about the NDIS please visit this website

The NDIS will see more money and consequently better services get to people with disabilities to provide a better quality of life for those Australians born with or have an acquired injury.











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