If any of these sessions have raised issues for you, please contact Lifeline on 131 114. Lifeline provides 24- hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Week 1: An Age-Friendly Approach to Disaster Recovery
Week 2: Virtual meetings—pitfalls and challenges
Week 3: Working in a different way
Week 4: Community Wellbeing in a Post-COVID World
Week 5: Authentic disaster recovery and post-traumatic growth
Week 6: How can we ensure resilience continues to matter?
Week 7: Who’s sitting around the campfire?
Week 8: Providing health and social care during the pandemic
Week 9: How big are the holes in the World Wide Web?
Week 10: Living locally post-COVID
Week 11: Social connection and loneliness
Week 12: Healthy land, healthy communities
Week 13: Bringing about change: the role of power & leadership
Week 14: What makes a story historically significant?
Week 15: The new Local Government Act
Week 16: Becoming a different man
Week 17: Community engagement—more than tea and biscuits?
Week 18: The consolations of art
In our final session Dr Kathleen Brasher chatted with musician Pete Denahy and Liz Zito, director of partnerships at Regional Arts Victoria, about art—and the consolations it can and has provided over the last few months (Thur 27 Aug).
- Regional Arts Victoria—Liz welcomes listeners to visit the website if they would like to keep in contact or talk about funding, noting there’s funding specifically available for North East Victoria at the moment.
- de Botton, A. & Armstrong, J. (2013). Art as Therapy. Phaidon Press.
In this session, Dr Kathleen Brasher talked community engagement with Liz Hare and Jill Craig, both members of the Albury Wodonga Diabetes Support Group and active participants in providing the perspective of community as UHPCP Consumer Partners. Also joining the conversation was Tricia Hazeleger (UHPCP and Ovens Murray–Family Violence Partnership) and Jodie Farrugia (Albury-Wodonga Ethnic Communities Council). Both Tricia and Jodie are long-time enablers of communities and consumers being engaged and contributing to a range of initiatives (20 August 2020).
- Making Sense of Engagement and Participation (adapted International Association of Public Participation IAP2 Spectrum)—This diagram illustrates how the participation purpose determines the methods used to increase impact on a decision.
- Appreciative Inquiry—This adapted diagram shows how Appreciative Inquiry can be used to build relationships for change.
The incidence of family violence (FV) is of massive concern for our communities. Whilst there are female perpetrators, the majority are men. Led by Dr Kathleen Brasher, this discussion covered the work being undertaken to prevent men being violent against women, and how men can, must and do change their behaviour. Guests include Stephen Montgomery, Men’s Behavioural Change Coordinator\facilitator at Gateway Health as well as Coordinator—Family Violence Prevention for the Upper Hume Primary Care Partnership, and Rachel McKay, Training Coordinator at Women’s Health Goulburn North East (13 August 2020).
If you need someone to talk to, call:
- Police Assistance Line on 131 444—Victoria Police provides a 24-hour police assistance phone line and online reporting service (non-urgent crimes and events)
- 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 (operates 24/7)—National helpline and online chat/advice for people to speak with a trained counsellor. Supports people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse
- Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre on 1800 015 188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org—Victoria’s 24/7 FV response service for women and children. Helpline and online chat. Call to speak to a FV support worker.
- Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 (operates 24/7)—Helpline and online chat. Provides help and support for men concerned about their own behaviour or people concerned about the behaviour of the men in their lives. Referrals can be provided to local services including men’s behaviour change programs; in the event of waiting lists, men are encouraged to continue to use the referral service as a source of support.
- MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78 (operates 24/7)—Helpline, online chat and video chat. A national support, information and referral service for men across Australia, specialising in family and relationship concerns
For additional support hotline numbers, visit the AlburyCity website.
If you need to talk to someone about local services and programs, call:
- Centre Against Violence on (03) 5722 2203 (business hours) or call safe steps on 1800 015 188 (after hours). For crisis support and accommodation for clients at risk of serious harm from FV or sexual assault and for clients living in refuges and emergency accommodation. Also provides FV counselling and support. Operates in Wangaratta and Wodonga plus provides outreach to rural areas.
- Gateway Health on (02) 6022 8888—Various counselling and support services including Men’s Behaviour Change groups. Operates in Wangaratta and Wodonga plus provides outreach to rural areas.
To find out about additional local services near you and programs, visit:
Gender & Disaster Pod (GAD Pod) was established to promote an understanding of the role played by gender in survivor responses to natural disaster, and to embed these insights into emergency management practice. It is an initiative of Women’s Health Goulburn North East and Women’s Health In the North—in partnership with the Monash University Disaster Resilience Initiative.
- See snapshots including Women and Disaster, the Relevance of Gender in Disaster risk, The Hidden Disaster—Family Violence following Natural Disasters and Checklists to Keep Women and Children safe after Natural Disasters.
The new Local Government Act 2020 is the most ambitious reform to local government in over 30 years. The Act seeks to improve local government democracy, accountability and service delivery for all Victorians. The first principle of the new Act is Community Engagement. In this session, Dr Kathleen Brasher chatted with Cr Mary-Ann Brown, Chair of Rural Councils Victoria, and Kate McRae and Karina Bonnitcha, both from Projectura, about what this means for all of us (6 August 2020).
McRae, K. & Bonnitcha, K. (2020). Community Engagement: A guide to community engagement in rural and regional Victoria. Rural Councils Victoria.
Published in August 2020, this Community Engagement Toolkit has been developed to support rural councils as they adapt to changes initiated in the Local Government Act 2020.
In this session, Dr Kathleen Brasher talked with Ashleigh Giffney, Collections Manager from the Bourke Museum, Indigo Shire; and Trevor Matthews from the Yackandandah Historical Society (Thur 30 July). Listen in and find out more about Memory Bank, being run by State Library Victoria to archive what everyday life in Victoria is actually like now, during this time of collective isolation. Also mentioned was Significance 2.0, a guide used to determine the significance of cultural and heritage objects. And what is The Dictionary of Lost Words?
So much of our world is now online and it can be life changing for many people when they make a step forward in relation to accessing technology. However, what happens if that online environment, for a whole lot of reasons, doesn’t work well for you? Dr Kathleen Brasher explores why an increase in digital inclusion needs to be a whole-of-community effort with Jess Perrin, Head of Social Innovation and Digital Inclusion at Infoxchange, a not-for-profit social enterprise, and Amanda Aldous, Coordinator at Wangaratta Digital Hub (25 June 2020).
- An example of a hi-tech coach is that used by Tim Gentle, founder of Think Digital, who facilitated free digital marketing workshops in a 14-metre coach in Tallangatta, Corryong and Mitta Mitta in late 2018. The workshops were part of the Think-Start-Grow program in Towong Shire.
Who gets invited to sit around our campfires, and who gets left out? Whose story shapes the stories told around our campfires, and what stories are not permitted to be told? Kathleen Brasher led this discussion by quoting American author Ursula Le Guin: ‘Why are we huddling about the campfire? Why do we tell tales, or tales about tales—why do we bear witness, true or false? We may ask Aneirin, or Primo Levi, we may ask Scheherazade, or Virginia Woolf. Is it because we are so organized as to take actions that prevent our dissolution into the surroundings?’
Ms Amanda Kelly, CEO of Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE), and Mr Errol Obran, youth worker at Corryong Neighbourhood Centre, discussed with Dr Kathleen Brasher the value of collecting stories and how communities can draw on a diversity of voices to forge new paths forward (11 June 2020).
- Le Guin, Ursula K. (1981). It was a dark and stormy night; or, why are we huddling about the campfire? In On narrative. W.J.T. Mitchell, ed. pp. 187-96. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
- WHGNE is currently collecting stories about how COVID-19 has impacted people in the Goulburn Valley and North East Victoria. Women, men and gender-diverse people are invited to share their story as part of the Reflections from a Distance project—lodge your response here.
Dr Kathleen Brasher once again spoke with Ms Sarah Crosthwaite (Community Resilience Co-ordinator, UHPCP), along with Mr Paul Ryan (Australian Resilience Centre), who has recently presented a Resilience webinar series for community members on behalf of the Goulburn Broken CMA. This session, held on 4 June 2020, extended some of the themes commenced in last week’s session, building on the comment made by Michelle Dunscombe (Fire Foxes Australia, Kinglake)—‘I’m over resilience’.
- Penny’s book reference: Gelfand, Michele J. (2018). Rule Makers, Rule Breakers—How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World. Scribner
- Penny’s radio reference: Sana Qadar. (9 June 2019). ‘The power of social norms—rules to make or break?’ In D. Dean (Producer), All In The Mind. Australia: ABC Radio National.
Dr Kathleen Brasher discussed ‘Authentic disaster recovery and post-traumatic growth’ with Michelle Dunscombe (the Fire Foxes, Kinglake) and Sarah Crosthwaite (Community Resilience Co-ordinator, UHPCP) (28 May 2020).
- Michelle’s Ted Talk reference: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! (16 minutes): ‘When most well-intentioned aid workers hear of a problem they think they can fix, they go to work. This, Ernesto Sirolli suggests, is naïve. He proposes that the first step is to listen to the people you’re trying to help, and tap into their own entrepreneurial spirit.’
- A short video on empathy from RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce): Brené Brown on Empathy (3 minutes)
Dr Kathleen Brasher discussed ‘Community Wellbeing in a Post-COVID World’ with Dr Rachel Winterton, Senior Research Fellow at the John Richards Centre for Rural Ageing, La Trobe University, and Dr Geoffrey Woolcock, Research Fellow (Regional Community Development) at the University of Southern Queensland (21 May 2020).
- Dr Rob Gordon webinar: Bushfire Recovery during COVID-19: Looking after yourself, family, friends and community
- Rural City of Wangaratta: Grit & Resilience Strategy and Hello Chat
- Moira Shire Council: Survey with their community around COVID-19 impact—both challenges and positives
- Women’s Health Goulburn North East: collecting stories about how COVID-19 has impacted people—Reflections from a Distance project
- Department of Education and Training Victoria: Gathering and evaluating the experiences in education throughout COVID
- Greater Bendigo Relief and Recovery—Survey
- Regional Sport Assemblies: Collating COVID-19 impact of sport and active recreation organisations.
- Strathbogie Shire: Looking at ways to acknowledge and celebrate exactly what the community has done, their resilience and their strength
- McQuire, A. (25 April–1 May 2020). Aboriginal community health’s success with Covid-19. The Saturday Paper.
Dr Alana Hulme (Department of Health and Human Services) joined Ms Brydie Donnelly (UHPCP) and Dr Kathleen Brasher to discuss ‘Working in a different way’ (14 May 2020).
- Henley, J & Roy, E. A. (25 April 2020). Are female leaders more successful at managing the coronavirus crisis? The Guardian.
- Hurst, D. (26 April 2020). Never seen such need: MPs swamped as Australians adjust to life in a pandemic. The Guardian.
- Murphy, C. (Host). (2020, April 27). Is Working From Home… Actually Working? The Quicky [Audio podcast]. MamaMia.
Dr Kathleen Brasher hosted a discussion of virtual meetings—and their pitfalls and challenges—with staff from Charles Sturt University, leaders in this space for some time (7 May 2020).
Prof. Katharine Hayhoe’s advice on giving virtual presentations—via Twitter thread
At our very first ‘A Conversation hour’, on 30 April 2020, Dr Kathleen Brasher and Ms Loretta Carroll discussed ‘An Age-Friendly Approach to Disaster Recovery’. Launched in April 2020 by Helen Haines MP, this report was prepared by the collaborative partnership of Age-Friendly Northeast Victoria and Dr Kathleen Brasher.
Brasher, K. (2020). An Age-Friendly Approach to Disaster Recovery. Central Hume Primary Care Partnership.