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Member since
Jan 2019

Matter of Life

Contact Name Francis Icasiano
Mobile 0419900350

Discover and share the gift of your life story.

Full Writing & Memoir Support|Book Design & Production|Mentoring & Editing.

Experience|Empathy|Discretion|Attention to Detail|Competitively Priced.

Matter of Life

Empowerment through story is my passion.

Since training as a biographer for palliative care in 2006 I have been honoured to walk alongside people during the final chapters in their life. I am the Founder of the charity Beyond Words, biographers for aged care. Having trained and supervised teams of biographers I am:

  • Empathetic and emotionally intelligent

  • A reflective listener

  • Able to use good judgment and discretion

  • Non-judgmental

  • Professional, warm, reliable and with good humour

  • Attentive to detail in lovingly crafting narratives

  • An excellent writer and book designer

It has been a privilege to work in partnership with men, women, carers, and families from diverse backgrounds. I have helped tell the stories of triumph in the midst of living with cancer, early-stage Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, memories of war service, travel, migration and cultural assimilation. And amongst it all have been the ordinary but no less important personal and family stories and the hopes, dreams and cultural meanings that these carry.


Empowerment through story


The Vision of Matter of Life is to create a world where we have a deep knowing of our place and time, and belonging to a much bigger, richer and interconnected story. A world built on the wisdom and instinct born of real lived experience of elders, enabling ourselves to better relate to one another with empathy and compassion.

This is a world where we have an intimate awareness of our relationship with ourselves and our ancestors. Opportunities are created to transcend generational patterns, drawing inspiration and learning from the past.

“A story about the past is told in the present, and carries our hopes and dreams for the future.”

The intention of Matter of Life is to help us to better connect deeply, heartfully, and joyfully with ourselves and others; creating links over the past, present and future.


The Matter of Life Mission is to enable storytelling for older persons, independent retirees, and those with serious illness. This includes facilitating for our clients a process of telling, writing and publishing the story of their life.


Deep Listening

As we attend to our own inner world, we are better placed in authentically meeting others with empathy. We are able to listen without any need to fix. With compassionate openness, receptivity and curiosity, we can be enriched by the possibilities of what may be learnt together.

“Empathy is the skill or ability to tap into our own experiences in order to connect with an experience someone is relating to us. Compassion is the willingness to be open to the process.”~Brene Brown

“To truly listen is to risk being changed forever.”~Elder Sa’k’ej Henderson


There is richness in our different cultures and life experiences. The greatest gift you have is the gift of who you are, in all your imperfections. Matter of Life strives to capture the essence of our clients, those characteristics that challenge and extend beyond active roles and group membership – discovering more the core of what is universally shared by all humans.

“It’s not differences that divide us. It’s our judgments about each other that do.”~Margaret Wheatley

Innovation & Partnership

Social problems can be addressed creatively (and often indirectly). Many of these innovations are found in basic human rituals, partnership and community, not technology.

“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?”~Gabrielle Roth

“Whatever the problem, community is the answer.”~The Berkana Institute


Often we tell our story for ourselves to hear first and foremost, our own personal meaning enriched in the reflective process. Significant life changes such as serious illness can often overwhelm us. The reflective process in telling and reading our own story can yield a whole of life perspective. This can often lead to new understanding, priorities, or acceptance of the changes that life brings.

“It is when we are pushed to the edge of life that we see life most clearly.~David Kessler


In the process of storytelling and review of drafts, Matter of Life clients enjoy journeying back through their life. The process of being heard and acknowledged can often bring healing.

“Healthy processes create better relationships among us, more clarity about who we are, and more information about what is going on around us. With these new connections, we grow healthier. We develop  greater capacity to know what to do.”~Margaret Wheatley

Beautifully crafted products with soul

Matter of Life creates books with soul. Life stories capture the unique voice of our clients, and storybooks are lovingly crafted to reflect their unique personalities and lives.

We all have physical items such as photos, a heartfelt diary, a letter, artwork, recipe or keepsake that carries personal meaning. In small but significant ways we can honour these everyday sacred items,  bringing reverence to the memories and stories they carry.

“Matter of Life creates books with soul – a metaphorical container box for your precious memories.”


Matter of Life values celebration, marking and honouring important life experiences, milestones and achievements.

“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.”~Pema Chodren

My small business is called Matter of Life and I provide:

  1. 'Full Life' Story Support - personal life reminiscence as we develop your memoir in your words. Suitable if you live with a serious illness or require 'assisted living' eg. aged care.

  2. Memorial Books – support for bereaved families and friends to create a written collection of memories of their deceased loved one.

  3. Book Design & Production - professional publication of books to share with family or more widely.

  4. Mentoring & Editing Support - for people wanting to write the bulk of their life story themselves.

  5. Workshops - learn to write your own memoir in a supportive group.

Available for work across Australia, or online Skype sessions.

Qualification Details

Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Hons.)

Fellow for The School for Social Entrepreneurs

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