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Sandy Jeffs Sandy Jeffs i(A30848 works by) (a.k.a. Sandra Jeffs)
Born: Established: 1953 Ballarat, Ballarat area, Ballarat - Bendigo area, Victoria, ;
Gender: Female
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Sandy Jeffs grew up in Ballarat and studied at La Trobe University, graduating with an Arts Degree in 1975. Since the age of 23 she has lived with schizophrenia. She has been based in Melbourne and has performed her poetry with a group of 'sanity-challenged' poets called Loose Kangaroos. Jeffs has given talks to community groups about mental illness and this theme is also the primary concern of her writing.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Out of the Madhouse: From Asylums to Caring Community? North Melbourne : Arcadia , 2020 19530756 2020 single work non-fiction

'Larundel Psychiatric Hospital was ‘the madhouse on the edge of town’ – until the 1990s, a Melbourne cultural icon shrouded in mystery in the outer suburb of Bundoora.

'What was it really like inside this madhouse? 

'This story takes us into the heart of Larundel through the voices of former inmates and staff, exposing the best and worst aspects of the mental institutions of the times.  It shows the shifts in psychiatric treatments, the social forces at play, and changes driving mental health policy.  It explores what de-institutionalisation and ‘care in the community’ actually meant for those suffering mental illness, as well as for those treating, and caring for them.

'What did we lose with Larundel’s closure in 1999 and the move to acute psychiatric wards in general hospitals? The notion of asylum? Is the more recent notion of ‘recovery’ a hopeful signpost towards a brave new world for mental health? 

'The authors are Sandy Jeffs, a former inmate of Larundel, who became an advocate for her ‘mad’ comrades and is now a poet of distinction; and Margaret Leggatt, sociologist, occupational therapist and activist for the friends and families of mentally ill people. 

'‘A significant and lively contribution to the history of mental health services in Australia, offering vital insights for the progress we must work for.’  – Jack Heath, CEO, SANE Australia'

(Source: publisher's blurb)

2020 winner Victorian Community History Award Oral History Award
y separately published work icon Flying with Paper Wings : Reflections on Living with Madness Carlton North : The Vulgar Press , 2009 Z1653914 2009 single work autobiography

'Sandy Jeffs grew up and went to school in Ballarat. She has lived with schizophrenia and all its moods for 33 years. She has published many articles and five volumes of poetry, concerned with the disparate topics of madness, domestic violence, the trials and tribulations of playing midweek ladies' tennis and the mad world in which we live - and some of these have inspired other artists to compose music, libretto and dance. Sandy has also become a community educator who speaks to school kids, university students, community groups and clinicians about what it is like to live with a mental illness. Her home, with friends human and animal, is at Christmas Hills, in the country near Melbourne, 'where it's Christmas every day'.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2010 shortlisted Human Rights Awards Literature Non-Fiction Award
2010 shortlisted The Age Book of the Year Award Non-Fiction Prize
2010 winner SANE Book of the Year Award
y separately published work icon Poems From the Madhouse North Melbourne : Spinifex Press , 2000 Z866608 1993 selected work poetry
1994 commended Human Rights Awards Poetry Award
1993 second Anne Elder Award
Last amended 29 Jan 2020 07:52:36
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