Tag Archives: disability

Links, info for Friday December 14 on #Assange #Psychiatry #BigPharma #Disability #NDIS #Australia #Auspol

Disclosure: I am a long time supporter of Wikileaks and the work of Julian Assange and all the others who risk everything to shed light on the ugly truth.

I was a mainstream journalist/radio host for 30 years, but no longer work in a newsroom ( apart from the odd fill-in to help out at 6PR & 96fm ) My work now is not objective, but I do strive for balance and welcome polite opposition.

Audio of Interview with Christine Assange as Mainstream Media focusses again on Julian Assange’s bid for the Senate.

 click here for audio of Christine Assange with Tony Serve Perth’s 6PR Dec. 14 2012 

***Edited audio segments here, grabs of 1-3 minutes on everything from Govt lies to Mainstream Media #FAIL – more to follow

CA on our tweets making us terrorists, and liable to arrest

CA ON Gillard Roxon lies over draconian new laws

CA on MSM not pursuing Govt lies

CA on MSM & citizen journalism

Wikileaks site is here http://wikileaks.org ( including the store  ) and needs/deserves your support , see also http://justice4assange.com

Follow @wikileaks for news, infoz from WL and occasional tweets from JA.

Follow & support Christine Assange on twitter @AssangeC  – cowards and trolls often hassle her so don’t be shy with support

(1) Legal brief to parl-#Assange Extradition by Jen Robinson: http://wlcentral.org/node/1418

Justice4Assange website: http://justice4assange.com

Campaign Site for #Wikileaks &#Assange supporters.. http://bit.ly/UroYTG

Poll suggesting at least 7 in 10 Aussies would vote for Julian. http://www.theage.com.au/polls/assange-for-senate-20121212-2b9rp.html

English: Demonstration in front of Sydney Town...
English: Demonstration in front of Sydney Town Hall in support of Julian Assange, 2010, December 10 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What the Australian Govt can do to end the “Assange stalemate” by Professor Donald Rothwell ANU College Law  http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4408852.html#

Pollbludger’s William Bowe on Assange for the Senate http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/12/14/poll-bludger-win-or-lose-assanges-senate-tilt-will-cause-a-stir/

and his article from March 19 2012 http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/03/19/poll-bludger-assange-for-canberra-a-new-can-of-worms/?wpmp_tp=1

abc election maestro Antony Green doesn’t rate Julian a chance http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-13/green-what-chance-does-assange-have-for-senate-seat/4425990








Long standing Mental Health advocate & former MP Martin Whitely is running for Senate pre-selection in the Australian 2013 Federal Election. See more at MartinWhitely.com

Article on disastrous new diagnosis “guidelines” that will be gospel for Psychiatrists in most of the western world  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dsm5-in-distress/201212/dsm-5-is-guide-not-bible-ignore-its-ten-worst-changes

Article on Martin Whitely’s highly recommended site. http://speedupsitstill.com/american-psychiatric-association-approval-dsm-5-sad-day-psychiatry

Click here for audio of Martin Whitely A 2012-12-14 at 16.04

Dexamphetamine Sulphate 5 mg tablets (photograph)
Dexamphetamine Sulphate 5 mg tablets (photograph) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friend and colleague Zel Iscel from EDAC.org.au joined me to chat about the effect of the much vaunted NDIS plans for people with #Disability

click here to hear Zel on the actual impact of the NDIS 

Zel on the right on air for Ethnic Ability Mondays 7.30pm
Zel on the right on air for Ethnic Ability Mondays 7.30pm

link for Zel’s radio show -> http://www.mrtawa.org.au/1/ethnicability.php

click here for the Govt NDIS website 







I recommend you follow my colleague  Maath Musleh (MaathMusleh) on Twitter @MaathMusleh. Lecturer at Al-Quds-Bard College. Journalist. MA in Political Journalism from City University in LondonJerusalem, Palestine

English: Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Gethseman...
English: Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Gethsemane, Church of all nations Deutsch: Jerusalem, Ölberg, Kirche aller Nationen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perth rally for #disability services 11.40 Hay St Mall

From my friend and collegue Zel Iscel advocate at EDAC.org.au

National Disability insurance Scheme )NDIS( –

show your support to make it real. Join the rally in your city which is happening today.

Fighting for an NDIS can ensure that
you or someone dear to you will have the right supports and services required to live a rich and fulfilling life, should you or someone you love acquire a disability.

To find out more about the NDIS rally today, visit http://www.everyaustraliancounts.org.au.

A collection of pictograms. Three of them used...
A collection of pictograms. Three of them used by the United States National Park Service. A package containing those three and all NPS symbols is available at the Open Icon Library (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Tony Abbott reportedly apologises for heartless, dismissive jibe against people with disability

Below is a Media Release from Blind Citizens Australia.

Crop of original picture of Tony Abbott in 2010.

The thoughts are echoed by the people I work with at the Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre here in Perth and the national advocacy group NEDA.

Mainstream media have largely ignored the comment ( available in transcript here ) and I’ve seen at least one reporter actually play it down in a comment on twitter.

Meanwhile Respected Canberra Journo Michelle GRATTAN has tweeted to the effect that he’s been let off the hook by media.

What do you think?

Can we believe his promises on Mental Health now we know what he really thinks about disability.

I wonder if he even knows that mental illness is a form of disability.

This is the internationally recognized symbol ...
Image via Wikipedia


People who are blind have expressed outrage at Tony Abbott’s recent comments diminishing the importance of accessible cinemas for Australians who have a sensory disability.

The comments, made on Sunday to political commentator Laurie Oakes, implied that cinema access for people with sensory impairments was of a low priority.

Condemning Abbott’s comments was Ms Robyn Gaile, Blind Citizens Australia’s Executive Officer who said, “We are frustrated that Tony Abbott is diminishing the inherent dignity of people who are blind or vision impaired and deaf or hearing impaired with regard to one of the most taken for granted recreational pursuits enjoyed by citizens of Australia.

“We have had a long and hard fight for the basic right to enjoy cinema entertainment, just like anybody else. Minister Abbott is not restricted in the choices of entertainment he is able to enjoy and yet makes a disparaging off the cuff comment which could impact the ability of everyday Australians with a disability to enjoy the same freedom.

“We would expect that our leaders would respect the value of such a landmark decision to provide audio description in mainstream cinemas which advances the social inclusion of people who are blind. These comments are extraordinarily disappointing.”

Abbott’s comments referred to the recently reached agreement between disability peak bodies, including Blind Citizens Australia, lobby groups from the blind and deaf sectors, the four major cinema chains and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten giving patrons with a sensory disability access to audio description and captioned content at 132 cinema complexes around Australia. Currently, only 0.3% of screenings are accessible to patrons who are blind or deaf. Audio description is a way to describe what can be seen on screen in a clear and private manner.

According to Screen Australia, Australian cinemas saw 85 million cinema admissions in 2007, with 67,000 people over the age of 14 enjoying a movie at least once in 2007. People with sensory disabilities have been largely left out of this market.

Cinema access is cited in Article 30 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which states that individuals with a disability should have the same rights to participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport. Australia is a signatory to this Convention and to its Optional Protocol.

Greg Madson, who is blind, is looking forward to the introduction of audio description in cinemas irrespective of Abbott’s comments. “I live in WA and can’t wait to get access to audio description. It is the difference of going to the movies with friends who are sighted and being able to watch and fully understand what is happening on the screen in front of me. This is a basic right as part of the UN Convention, but it’s also about me being able to independently enjoy a movie just like other cinemagoers.”

Blind Citizens Australia is the peak consumer representative organisation for Australians who are blind or vision impaired.

Media Contact: Jody Holdback 0407 808 269

Kind regards,

Jessica Zammit
National Policy Officer
Blind Citizens Australia
Ross House, Level 3, 247-251 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000

Web: www.bca.org.au

A map of signatories to the Optional Protocol ...
Image via Wikipedia
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Mental Health isn’t a prority for Kevin Rudd…is he nuts! Mendoza resignation disappointing but not surprising: Greens

The logo of the Australian Greens political party.
Image via Wikipedia

Mendoza resignation disappointing but not surprising: Greens

en:Rachel Siewert, 22 August 2007 Author: Jame...
Image via Wikipedia

The Australian Greens say John Mendoza’s resignation as the Prime Minister’s main mental health advisor is disappointing but not surprising given the Government’s ongoing failure to adequately invest in mental health services.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health understands John Mendoza’s frustration with the Government.

“It is an indictment on the Federal Government that John Mendoza’s expertise has been lost. I share his deep concern about the Government’s continued lack of investment in the area of mental health,” Senator Siewert said today.

“Experts say that $5 billion of new funding is needed to bring our mental health services up to scratch and yet the Government has fallen short of this investment,” said Senator Siewert.

“The Australian Greens have been consistently calling on the Government increase it’s investment in mental health and we’ve put forward a number of key initiatives which would see this occur.

“The Government missed an opportunity in its health reform package by failing to adequate address mental health. They need to go back and fix this as a matter of urgency.

“The Government can no longer ignore the growing mental health crisis in Australian,” Senator Siewert concluded.

<<Mendoza resignation disappointing but not surprising- Greens – MEDIA RELEASE 20062010.doc>>

Chris Redman

Media Officer
Senator Rachel Siewert – Australian Greens Senator for WA

P: (08) 9228 3277 | www.greensmps.org.au


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Australian Mental Health at a critical stage, you can make a difference today and tomorrow wherever you are – WA: will Premier Barnett stand up for mental health?

Mental ill health is the leading killer of Australians under 45 and the leading cause of disability for all Australians.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 21:  Australian Pri...
Premier Barnettt, PM Rudd

But with the biggest health reforms in decades up for negotiation on Monday, mental ill health may be forgottenunless we act now.

In just 48 hours, the Prime Minister and the leaders of every Australian state and territory will sit down in Canberra to negotiate a new plan for healthcare across the nation.

In their offices across Australia, our state Premiers and territory Chief Ministers are working all weekend in preparation for Monday’s meeting. They are deciding where to push hard, and where to compromise.

We’ve found the office fax number for WA Premier, Colin Barnett

We all want to see reform of our hospitals. But tackling mental health will require more than increasing the number of beds in our hospitals, or changing the source of health funding. More of the same won’t work.


There are solutions. Here’s just one example: there are 30 Government run Headspace centres across Australia. An extra $100million a year would expand capacity in these centres and build an extra 60 across the nation. This alone would double the number of young Australians receiving treatment for mental ill health.

On Monday, the PM will need every Premier on board, so here in WA, Colin Barnett will have huge influence. These decisions are being made in his office right now – let’s fill it with faxes asking him not to come home without mental health care reform:

There must be no health reform without mental health reform. Together we can make sure this silent disease, which half of us will experience in our lifetime, is on the agenda at Monday’s crucial meeting of all levels of Australian Government.

Thanks for all that you do,
TheGetUp team

PS –

We’ve joined forces with Australian of the year, mental health expert Professor Patrick McGorry to call for mental health reform.

Already, tens of thousands of GetUp members have petitioned the Prime Minister and raised $85,000 for the campaign to put our message on TV.

Now it is our state Premiers who hold the keys to reform – click here contact yours now.

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NAMI Raises Voice For Mental Health – let’s talk lobbying and effective campaigning

Well done @NAMI for your work ( see story below )

A Healthy Blog » NAMI Raises Voice For Mental Health.

Tuesday night (USA) Wednesday morning (W. Australia) we plan to talk lobbying and effective campaigning – share success stories, and adopt the Greens strategy of thinking globally and acting locally.

please follow @MHSMchat

MHSM is Mental Health Social Media and we are mostly people who’ve travelled the rocky road and hope to light the way for others.

please follow @MHSMchat

Please follow our #mhsm convenor Amy at @MHSMchat

please follow @MHSMchat

We are also planning to meet via Skype conference call in the near future and set up a global clearing house for resources on brain health, healing and recovery.

please follow @MHSMchat

Anyone who derives income from providing MH services is asked to declare that as they join, and any other potential conflicts of interest or bias need to be on the table too.

please follow @MHSMchat

Many #mhsm crew are doing amazing work already, the chat is about us sharing, not re-inventing the wheel and forging effective networks for effective change.

please follow @MHSMchat

There has never been a better time for those of us who’ve been or are ill to have our voices heard and to effect much needed change and public education.

please follow @MHSMchat

As a local colleague says ” nothing about us without us”

please follow @MHSMchat

Geeks, bloggers, journalists and sponsors are especially welcome, because right now a very few are doing a lot more than might be good for them, so please help lighten the load if you can.

please follow @MHSMchat

more tomorrow

cheers and thanks

tony ( @perthtones )

click here for more from this blog on mental health, including resources and audio

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Mental Health Minister to address noon rally, can’t say what staff cuts have & will be made – Alison Xamon MLC Media Release

Alison Xamon MLC


PHONE (08) 9275 7474 – FAX (08) 9275 7574

The W.A. Mental Health Minister has told Parliament he doesn’t know what cuts to staff and services have been made in his portfolio as those behind the cuts of at last 13%,Troy Buswell and Colin Barnett, talk shopping hours.
mp3 audio cut 3 lays out the spin and distraction being put out by the Premier & Treasurer and runs 20 secs

Greens MLC Alison Xamon last night asked the Minister what cuts to staff and resources had been made and what cuts are coming. The reply was to the effect that it would take “some time” to provide answers.
mp3 audio Alison on his reaction and runs 25 secs

Ms Xamon also moved an Urgency Motion, supported by the Opposition, calling on the Government to spell out its plans for the sector.
mp3 Audio Ms Xamon explaining that the Mental Health Minister has little Idea what his Premier and Treasurer have done and have planned – runs 23 secs

Organisers of the midday rally to overturn the dedly cuts say they’ve been approached by the Minister, asking if he can speak to them as they deliver a petition to the Lower House.
mp3 Audio Alison on people in the public and private sector being fed up with spin and lack of answers to urgent questions – runs 22 secs

It will be worthwhile sending reporters and cameras to the midday rally to see what happens, and to interview the Auditor General who’s due to issue a report on the prformance of the Mental Health Sector around 1pm.

mp3 audio  Alison lashing the rush to make cuts before the AG’s report is handed down, and the lack of consultation with stakeholders, staff, service providers and those who use mental health services – runs 13 secs

There will be people from public and private groups like, the HSU, WAAMH, MHC, COMIC, RUAH etc, as well as the Minister, Shadow Minister, Alison Xamon, Many of my dear 6PR listeners and Twitter friends will be there too because this is life or death for many west australians and the damage will be almost impossible to undo.


please call talkback radio TODAY ( 6PR 922 11 882 )   You can also email Colin Barnett at wa-government@dpc.wa.gov.au or  Treasurer Troy Buswell at Minister.Buswell@dpc.wa.gov.au or call the Premier’s office today on 9222 9475, Troy Buswell’s office is 9222 9111  ( contact details are from the public WA Government website )

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In W. Australia – Some die waiting for a meagre measure of justice after being abused in State Care – a small vigil at Parliament today- Media Alison Xamon

Alison Xamon –

MLC for East Metropolitan

News release  (Tuesday October 13 )

Alison Xamon MLC for East Metropolitan ( Greens )
Alison Xamon MLC for East Metropolitan ( Greens )

Alison Xamon has been working closely with victims of state abuse for some time and laments the dwindling number of victims able to keep a monthly vigil at State Parliament.

The MLC for East Metropolitan says the halving of a meagre ex-gratia payment, and ongoing delays in paying even that have caused hardship and heartache that add more insult to awful injury.

“At midday today  a small group of our most vulnerable people will gather as they do each month to ask the Government for a small measure of justice that has been denied for decades and then cut in half.”

They are the last few members of the Redress activists keeping a monthly vigil, those West Australians who were officially acknowledged to have been abused while in State care, and many more who were removed from families her and abroad against their will or without consent of parents.

They will gather outside state Parliament at Midday in the faint hope that the Barnett Government will re-instate the full amount of compensation awarded to them, and ensure no more victims die waiting for the mostly inadequate funds

Only a few months ago a 50 year old woman eligible for Redress, but still waiting for its meagre justice, died ( click here for the ABC story of one victim who died just 2 months ago…still waiting )The money would have helped pay for her funeral, but even that late comfort was denied to her.

The Greens MLC asks “How many more people will die waiting – waiting for the full amount of Redress funds to be re-instated – waiting again once money’s been allocated for it to actually be paid.”

Alison is asking media to speak to the bravehearts at parliament today and hear how the Government’s funding cut and payment dlay are affecting people in our community.
Audio –
Cut 1   The Greens Alison Xamon says some of those waiting for payment were hoping to use it to travel to the family they were taken from al those years ago, and they are tiring of waiting for justice.      AlisonXamonRedress1-17secs-click blue link for short mp3 audio

Cut 2  Alison Xamon, who’s worked fro some tim with victims to get some measure of justic says those still waiting include a host of people originally from the UK as well as Indigenous Australians.    click this link for mp3 audio

Cut 3 The MLC for east metropolitan Alison Xamon says these people have been through enough, and the heartless State Government must overturn the funding cuts and remove ongoing delays to payments.    Click for mp3 audio AlisonXamonRedress3-17secs

Perth Mental Health Rally midday Wednesday 14th Oct at State Parliament, please copy and sign petition below – hear Greens MH spokesperson Alison Xamon on a tragic MH Week in WA

Email from Ingrid Bentsen Background to the issue

The State Government is proposing budget to Mental Health of between 10-15%

Where people can find a petition to sign

Copy of petition attached, When completed, they need to be returned to PO box  3167 Carlisle South WA 6101on or before 12th October OR BRING THEM TO THE RALLY

3. And about the Parliament house action

ALL interested parties Consumers carers providers encouraged to attend the official hand over of the petition at

Parliament house MIDDAY 14th October.

No permits for a march have been applied for however the gathering of a large number of people at Parliament house along with media coverage should send the message loud and clear.

The intention is to show the state government we are not invisible we will not be treated like the poor cousin regarding adequate funding and we will be a strong voice for those who have none!

The media will be there and some placards available hopefully making it easier to get our message out:



Click blue link for mp3 audio of Greens MLC Alison Xamon on a tragic Mental Health week in Perth



We, the undersigned, are concerned about the effect that any proposed funding cuts will have on consumers of the mental health services, their carers, families, members of the community, as well as the providers of mental health services in Western Australia

Of major concern are any cuts in relation to the much needed recovery programs, which are known to prevent re hospitalisation.

We are also concerned of the affect any proposed cuts would have on service providers, many of whom are already under funded and understaffed

We urge the State Government to oppose any such proposal and ensure that those involved in mental health will not have their health and lifestyles compromised

Secondly, we strongly urge the Legislative Assembly propose an increase in funding to raise staffing levels to a safe and effective standard

We now ask that the Legislative Assembly take every appropriate action to ensure the above.




Please clearly mark envelope petition and return to Sound Psychiatric Information Network C/O

P/O Box 3167 Carlisle SOUTH WA 6101

West Australian Government “celebrates” Mental Health week with demands for spending cuts totalling 13%

Mental Health services told to cut budgets by a total of 13 %

Media Release Tuesday October 6th – Day 2 of Mental Health Week

The Barnett Government calls on Mental Health Services to cut spending by 13 per cent.

Mental Health Week

Greens Mental Health Spokesperson Alison Xamon ( MLC for East Metro http://alisonxamon.org.au ) has exposed a tragic travesty on day two of “Mental Health Week” in W.A. where Treasurer Troy Buswell is not just applying the 3% spending cut imposed across all sectors, but cutting even more deeply into MH services.

Mental Health Week

Private and public service providers as well as NGOs and consumer groups say the extra 10 per cent is due to an overspend by the “General” Health Department.

Mental Health Week

They are reluctant to speak to the media because history shows time and again that Government employees who blow the whistle are punished ,while overstretched community groups stand to lose the meagre funding they receive while delivering life and death, front-line services.

Mental Health Week

It appears the Mental Health sector is being punished for the alleged “sins” of General Health, but so far there’s no word from Colin Barnett’s Government explaining why the demandss are being made and why it’s being done without the community being informed.

Mental Health Week WEAK

One of WA’s leading advocates, Margaret Cook had this to say about the shameful revelations;

” This is a travesty!!! We have for too long put up with this kind of cut backs and treatment of the mental health services while the community has no idea what is really happening.

Mental Health Week WEAK

Due to people with mental illness remaining the shameful silent voices. It is time we remain silent no more it is not only we who are experiencing these cutbacks but the whole community.

Mental Health Week WEAK

Staff also they have jobs and family to support also and love their jobs some whom have been in them many years and dedicated their lives to them.

There are many others our children services mental health services have had drastic cuts, and don’t believe that will not impact future generations it will.

Mental Health Week WEAK

We see this daily our children being exposed to troubled parents who are traumatised by serving overseas in wars created by Zealots who our governments think they can end  century old persuasion.

Mental Health Week WEAK

This is but just one example of a government policy that ends up as a useless costly long term problem that Governments on both sides of politics have created.

Cheers Margaret Margaret Cook Mental Health Consumer Advocate/Educator

To Know The Road Ahead Ask Those Coming Back

COMIC WA Convenor Children of Mentally Ill Consumers   ”

Listen to some of the news grabs from Greens MLC Alison XAMON

Alison Xamon MH frontline services mp3

Alison Xamon MH reconsider mp3

Alison Xamon MH kicking the needymp3

Alison Xamon MH no fat to cutmp3

Alison Xamon MH critical servicemp3

Alison Xamon MH call to actionmp3

Perth Workshop for families with 1 or more people living with mental llness, you are not alone :

Registration form and more detail – click here

Click the pic to visit  COMIC WA - There is great support for families available.

Click the pic to visit COMIC WA – There is great support for families available.

Mental Health Forum in Perth Tuesday September 29 on plans for the coming decade – be part of the change in Western Australia September

Thank you to all the West Australians who took part in recent workshops hosted by Price Waterhouse Cooper to inform the powers that be about the urgent need for change in practice and process.

Out of Darkness

Join those steering the information process on Tuesday September 29 to hear about what happens from here. Please see the brochure below this post for details of the forum and share with your contacts.

The recent confirmation of Australia‘s suicide rate as not falling in ten years clearly shows that Governments and Service Providers have failed tragically.

Out of Darkness

No group has been failed more miserably than the First Australians, city or regional, who are suffering and dying at rates that higher than many third world countries ( don’t get me started on how little impact the Government and resource industry’s meagre efforts have had on their welfare despite making Billions from sacred land )

The deadly toll of stigma, misdiagnosis, over-drugging, ignorance,vested interests and plain inertia can’t even be measured because of the failed unwritten media rule of not reporting on suicide ( except if it’s a ratings boosting celebrity suicide )

The silence is deadly, and even offensive, as the media still gives oxygen to suicide kits and tragically wrong advice from the man known as Dr Death – under the guise of “covering” the Euthenasia debate.

Out of Darkness

A Perth woman with mental illness died horribly in Mexico after following his advice on “dignified death”, leaving her young children orphaned and a hole in the hearts of her family and community, including her since departed sister who was a dear friend of mine and the 6PR Perth radio talkback family.

Click Pic for Perthnow.com.au story

*Vale Carina Berg from the Overnight family

Click Pic for Perthnow.com.au story

Further on media, in a bitter irony a few years ago, when Dr Geoff Gallop was Premier we held a rally on the steps of Parliament to raise awareness of suicide in W.A. and lobby for funding for the life saving Lifeline counseling service.

Geoffrey Gallop Premier of Western Australia (...
Dr Geoff Gallop

About 20 MP’s joined Lifeline crew, broken hearted mothers and grieving, confused familes and advocates in a far too small gathering…there was no sign of mainstream media despite the alerts.

Then as if the clouds had parted to reveal the warming sun, the TV crews pulled in, one after the other in front of us…

The first and then the second “dismounted” with all their cammos and makeup… and walked straight past us!

I walked up to the next broadcast sationwagon to arrive and asked a young reporter I had mentored for a while years back where they were going.

He told me the then captain of Fremantle Dockers had made some politicially sensitive sports comment earlier in the day and they were there to catch Peter Bell after his confab with Premier Geoff Gallop, whose retirement due to Clinical Depression was a long way off.

Out of Darkness

Dr Gallop came to visit me at my home after his resignation and we spoke about our experiences and what had worked for one or the other – I never had the heart to tell him what happened that day – he didn’t need to know, not then. I doubt his minders even gave the notices of the Rally a second look, let alone put them in front of their embattled boss.I’ve lost too many friends and colleagues to mental illness to just hope for change, three haunt me still, but I’ll tell you about them another time.

Out of Darkness

For now, please speak up to whomever might listen about the tragic and AVOIDABLE toll of death and suffering from mental illness.

Effective and meaningful change will not come without major campaigns of public and professional education, guided by those of us the system calls “mental health consumers” and a policy enunciated by my heroes Margaret Cook, her sister Pauline and Lyn Mahboub – nothing about us without us.

Out of Darkness

There is much we can do to bring the taboo issue of suicide to the wider community in a way that won’t freak them out.

An example is the “Out of Darkness” overnight walks to fight suicide in the US. I’ve been privileged to work with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on the Chicago walk, where my dear friend and fellow traveller Amy Kiel lit the way down the rocky path for those who follow. Amy is now working on the coming Walk in her home town of Kansas City and you can follow her on twitter @abeeliever to find out more.

The AFSP and Amy are keen to help us set up walks and programmes here in Oz, so, intersted parties please contact via the comments link below.

Out of Darkness

There are many groups and individuals doing life saving and affirming work in Western Australia, most are working with their hands tied behind their back because of a lack of Government and Community support ( there are no smiling kiddies to put in front of cameras to represent those battling brain dis-ease.

I’ll end this missive with the promise of more to come and 3 important links that shed light for us all, 2 focus some very dark places through fact or fiction, and one is a local inititiative of the dedicated team at RUAH Outreach that I was privileged to be a small part of.

1 – Please see Family to Family by RUAH -” telling it like it”   is by clicking this link

Out of Darkness

2 and 3    Click here for an extended trailer of the Documentary that showed at a Sydney Festival over the weekend an is available online , and a brilliant work of fiction where diligent research underpins a story of madness and love spanning  centuries – and an interview with the producer and author.

Out of Darkness

and to end for now -Here are most of the Mental health stories I’ve posted, including a well recieved talk with UK Dr Alun Jones and interviews with Inspirational Amy Kiel.

Out of Darkness


please share this, there appears to be no info on the Govt Health website or in media releases

please share this, there appears to be no info on the Govt Health website or in media releases

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Media ban on reporting Suicide – a deadly mistake ( see also abc story on 60 minutes being gagged )

suicide is painful
Image by Aaron Edwards via Flickr

The ongoing silence in the media about suicide is being challenged by 60 minutes and supported by website advocacy group Beyond Blue (see abc.net.au story here)

As a long time advocate for mental health and suicide prevention I support a change in the deadly silence.

The only real debate is the nature of change to reportage and education.

A now-unused machine that facilitated euthanas...
Image via Wikipedia

It is particularly galling to hear cries of ” let’s protect potential suicides by not mentioning it” even as the media continues to almost champion the activities of the Euthenasia proponent known as Dr Death with tragic consequences.

And in simple terms we can ask ” well how’s that working for ya?” as yet another school community is wracked by unwell youngsters taking their own lives. Their being “protected” from truthful reporting of the issues didn’t work out so well.

Stigma is deadly, and it thrives in a vacuum of i

Day 64: March 4, 2008- Screaming For Freedom
Image by ashley.adcox via Flickr

nformation such as we have surrounding suicide. It’s time for the so-called ” sane” people in Government, Bureacracy and Services to “get over it” and stop perpetrating a culture of deadly denial.

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Really useful info for west australians from WACOSS – WACOSS Update – 7th August

social policy | organisation development | membership | training
Please distribute through your networks

Friday 7th August 2009

News items listed in this bulletin include…

Message from Sue Ash, CEO at WACOSS

Thank you to all those who have renewed their membership of WACOSS for 2009-10. WACOSS is fundamentally a membership based organisation and we value the large number of agencies and individuals who choose to continue on as members of the organisation. If you haven’t renewed your membership, there is still time.

For information about becoming a WACOSS Member, or to renew your membership please click on the link below:

Membership of WACOSS


Media Release: Unemployment Rises in WA More than Expected

New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on 6 August show that the
unemployment rate in WA increased from 5.2% in June to 5.7% in July.

To read more details and the WACOSS media response to these figures click here


Semester Two WACOSS Training Calendar Available NOW!

WACOSS workshops are designed to strengthen the skills and knowledge of managers, staff, volunteers and committee/board members. Our workshops are all designed to be highly practical and interactive and are delivered by people who have extensive experience of the not for profit sector. Many of our workshops are also suitable for staff working in the government and business sectors.

If you would like WACOSS to post an A2 copy of Semester Two’s Calendar to your organisation please email training@wacoss.org.au or click on the link below:

Semester Two Calendar


WACOSS Pre-Budget Submission: Consultation with Regional Community Organisations

In our large and diverse state, delivering funding and services to the regions is a critical component of sustaining healthy, vibrant communities. But how do we ensure that what is delivered is what is actually needed on the ground?

Have your say on what the State Government should be funding in the 2010/11 Budget.

WACOSS will be hosting a consultation forum near you which will encompass:

– Roundtable discussion on your regional funding priorities for the next State Budget
– Your opportunity to provide input to WACOSS’ social policy priorities
– Private consultations available on request

Please note this event is dependant on adequate numbers. To ensure consultations are held in your region please confirm your place by Friday 14 August.

To register, click on the relevant link below.

Bunbury: Monday 24 August

Esperance: Tuesday 25 August

Albany: Wednesday 26 August

Port Hedland: Thursday 27 August

Kalgoorlie: Friday 28 August

Geraldton: TBC


OSH for Community Organisations, Wednesday 12th August

Do you wish that you had a system for identifying health and safety risks before they turned into accidents?

Do you believe that it is essential for your staff, managers, and board members to know what the law expects of them, and the potential fines, if they do not keep the workplace free from physical and psychological harm?

If you answered Yes! to either of these questions, then this training will benefit your organisation.

>A presentation by Worksafe on the Occupational Safety and Health legislation applying WA. This workshop is not an accredited training course for elected Occupational Health and Safety Officers as defined by the Act. But if you are wondering what all this means then you should attend!

> Responsibilities of Employees/Employers under the OSH act;
> Including what is required when electing an occupational health and safety representative
> What are your responsibilities to volunteers
> Defining areas of risk for community based not for profit groups
> What is the workplace?
> Who does the Act apply to?
> Starting the Risk Management system
> OSH committees- Who to consult and who to consult with
> Implementing a culture of safety in your workplace

Further Information
For the full details and to register CLICK HERE or visit the new WACOSS Organisation Development Services website at www.wacosstraining.org.au.

Time and Stress Management in the Workplace, Tuesday 18th August


Learn how to IMPROVE your work performance and REDUCE stress to achieve your work-life BALANCE.

– Most of us spend 3 hours each day dealing with interruptions

– 3 hours each week looking for things on our desk and

– 11 hours a week in meetings

– while managing 600% more information than we managed 20 years ago.

Time Management training is ideal for anyone who has countless tasks demanding their attention and who needs to juggle conflicting priorities.

In this Workshop you will learn to improve planning, set goals and feel more in control of your work load.

What previous participants have said…

The Time Management seminar has been very valuable and has motivated me to make changes which will benefit myself, my clients and my organisation.

Further Information
For the full details and to register CLICK HERE or visit the new WACOSS Organisation Development Services website at www.wacosstraining.org.au.

Fundraising and Submission Writing, Wednesday 26th August

Everything you wanted to know about finding grants, fundraising and community business partnerships

This workshop will cover where to look for funds and grants for community groups, essential information for grants and submissions and practical tips to writing successful applications.

Explore the various methods for working smartly and being strategic in how you raise funds in an effort to secure the financial survival of your organisation. Fundraising is a changing dynamic. With more and more services looking for support, organisations need to work smart and be strategic in how they approach their financial survival.

>Determining resources & funding needs
>Types of funding & grants available
>Developing a fundraising strategy
>Why, how and what of business community partnerships
>Negotiating sponsorship agreements

Further Information
For the full details and to register CLICK HERE or visit the new WACOSS Organisation Development Services website at www.wacosstraining.org.au.

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Fact and Fiction – Big Pharma busted again as new novel highlights the tragedy of prescription drugs

Just weeks away from the launch of Pamela Glasner’s novel “Finding Emmaus” and one of the book’s underlying themes is being echoed in reality.

The historic fantasy is also a meticulously researched commentary on the “treatment” of people deemed to be mentally ill, especially the effect on real people of efforts by Big Pharma to sell more drugs.

Enjoy this short video on “Finding Emmaus” and read below how in REALITY, Big Pharma gets busted for using Ghost writers to lobby lawmakers considering crucial health reforms in the US.

From the nytimes.com By NATASHA SINGER

Published: August 4, 2009

Newly unveiled court documents show that ghostwriters paid by a pharmaceutical company played a major role in producing 26 scientific papers backing the use of hormone replacement therapy in women, suggesting that the level of hidden industry influence on medical literature is broader than previously known.


Meanwhile, the use of anti-depressants has doubled in a decade in the USA, while the number of people seeking psychiatric treatment is falling.

A study quoted in the USA Today article below suggests that doctors with little or no up to date specialist knowledge are increasingly writing scripts for SSRI and other heavily promoted drugs.


Any specialist will tell you that even at their best the SSRI and other medications are at best only a bandaid, and far too often lead to suicidal ideation, especially in the first two weeks of use.

Many advocacy groups are now being heard in their pleas for balanced, consumer informed resources to be made available at all doctors rooms, everywhere.

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A big swag of useful info, news,updates,reports and media Australian Policy Online Weekly Briefing – 30 July 2009 – please let me know if you’d like the APO or others like WACOSS blogged regularly :)


New commentary

Chewing the fat

29 July, 2009 | How many of the government’s health policies have been implemented? Angela Beaton and Lesley Russell look at the record

Preventable hospitalisation: the US initiative

28 July, 2009 | Re-admissions to hospital are a costly failure in the hospital system, here and in the US, writes Lesley Russell

Indonesia’s Australian connection

27 July, 2009 | The tragic Jakarta bombings should not distract our attention from the good news coming out of Indonesia, argues Hal Hill on our partner website, INSIDE STORY

New research

Creative Economy

A fistful of festivals

Lynden Barber | Meanjin
30 July, 2009 | It sometimes appears that not only every major capital city, but every café at the end of every street of every godforsaken one-horse town has a film festival — or soon will have.

Effective corporate tax reform in the global innovation economy

Rob Atkinson | Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
26 July, 2009 | This US report examines the issue of corporate tax reform and lays out six key principles for policymakers to consider as well as specific policy recommendations for crafting an innovation-based corporate tax code.

Disability arts sector consultation report

Andi Sebastian, Jacqueline Chant | Arts SA
23 July, 2009 | In late 2008, Arts SA funded a sector-wide consultation to determine the service needs of the disability and arts sector and to identify the most appropriate model for the delivery of these services

Should copyright of academic works be abolished?

Steven Shavell | Berkman Center for Internet and Society
27 July, 2009 | The conventional rationale for copyright of written works, that copyright is needed to foster their creation, is seemingly of limited applicability to the academic domain.

The world of e-portfolios

Allison Miller | Knowledge Tree, Australian Flexible Learning Framework
30 July, 2009 | This article argues that as we move deeper into a digital age, e-portfolios will be a key method for demonstrating existing skills.

Reconceptualising ‘time’ and ‘space’ in the era of electronic media and communications

Panayiota Tsatsou | PLATFORM: Journal of Media and Communication
23 July, 2009 | This paper examines to what extent electronic media and communications have contributed to currently changing concepts of time and space and how crucial their role is in experiencing temporality, spatiality and mobility.

Use of electronic media and communications: Early childhood to teenage years

Australian Communications and Media Authority
23 July, 2009 | This report provides a comprehensive snapshot of young people’s use of electronic media from early childhood through to teenage years, and parents’ views about that media use.

The impact of the crisis on ICTs and their role in the recovery

OECD Directorate of Science, Technology and Industry | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
30 July, 2009 | A sudden upturn in global sales of information and communications technology (ICT) goods in May and June suggests the ICT industry may have reached a turning point and be on the road to recovery, according to this OECD report.

An implosion of knowledge

Humphrey McQueen | Meanjin
30 July, 2009 | This articles argues that the privileging of access to data above its application means that the debate over whether libraries are in the book business or the information business is diverting us from the thought that they should be in the knowledge business


Retail trade industry profile

Jocelyn Pech, Lucy Nelms, Kelvin Yuen, Thomas Bolton | Australian Fair Pay Commission
24 July, 2009 | This report examines the structural and workforce profile of the Retail trade industry, an industry that employs a relatively large proportion of low-skilled and low-paid employees.

Power, mobility and diaspora in the global city

Dale Leorke, Saskia Sassen | PLATFORM: Journal of Media and Communication
23 July, 2009 | While globalisation has given rise to the global financial market, cross-border activities, digital networks with global span, and international organisations such as the UN and WTO that operate independent of nation-states, these remain materially embedded at the local, national level.

Young people with poor labour force attachment

Jocelyn Pech, Anne McNevin, Lucy Nelms | Australian Fair Pay Commission
24 July, 2009 | Drawing on labour force data and previous research findings, this report charts recent trends in a number of indicators, including the population of young people not fully engaged in employment and/or education.

IT modernisation: An exercise in alignment

Dan Briody | Economist Intelligence Unit
23 July, 2009 | This report, based on interviews and a global survey of 170 senior executives, concludes that while firms recognise the importance of modernising IT systems, they do not always implement such projects effectively.


Numeracy, maths and learning difficulties

Anne Bayetto | Curriculum Leadership
25 July, 2009 | This article describes a program where postgraduate education students at Flinders University are helping to support young people who struggle with mathematics.

A new federalism in Australian education, 2009

Jack Keating | Education Foundation, Foundation for Young Australians
27 July, 2009 | This report proposes a national reform agenda for Australian schooling.

Childhood Education and Care, Australia

Australian Bureau of Statistics
30 July, 2009 | Seven out of ten young children attended a preschool or a preschool program in 2008.

Identifying and teaching children and young people with dyslexia and literacy difficulties

Jim Rose | Department for Children, Schools and Families
25 July, 2009 | This UK report focuses on the identification of dyslexia among students and the possible intervention approaches that can be made by teachers and parents.

Environment & Planning

Climate change discussions and negotiations: a calendar

Nina Markovic, Nick Fuller | Parliamentary Library
26 July, 2009 | This background note will be updated to include any new developments on the formal negotiations are taking place within the meetings and working groups that have been established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol framework.

A quiet revolution: City governments tackle global warming

Stephen Jones | Australian Review of Public Affairs
26 July, 2009 | While Australia’s federal and state leaders have been stuck discussing the introduction of the emissions trading scheme, some of our local governments have been trying to do something about the impact of human activity on global warming.


Oral health impacts among children by dental visiting treatment needs

Jason Armfield | Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
24 July, 2009 | This report provides information on the oral health impacts experienced by Australian children during the period 2004-06.

Why public hospitals are overcrowded: ten points for policymakers

Jeremy Sammut | Centre for Independent Studies
28 July, 2009 | The three-hundred page reform ‘blue print’ from the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission has endorsed a range of health reform measures that will not solve the hospital crisis in this country, argues Jeremy Sammut.


Staying strong on the outside: improving the post-release experience of Indigenous young adults

Robyn Gilbert, Anna Wilson | Indigenous justice clearinghouse
27 July, 2009 | This research brief draws on international research to identify current understandings of good practice in prisoner reentry generally as well as issues particular to Indigenous prisoner reentry.

Bridges and barriers – addressing Indigenous incarceration and health

National Indigenous Alcohol and Drug Committee | Australian National Council on Drugs
24 July, 2009 | This report argues that the strong links between substance misuse and Indigenous incarceration highlight an urgent need for government to address this disturbing problem.


Force 2030: China drives Australia toward its first strategic missile system

Ron Huisken | Nautilus Institute
24 July, 2009 | This essay argues that the strikingly different dimension of Australia’s recent Defence White Paper, stems from a disjointed, inconclusive but unmistakably alarmist assessment of China’s potential impact on order and stability in East Asia.

Middle East outlook and energy security in the Asia-Pacific region

Leanne Piggott | Australian Strategic Policy Institute
24 July, 2009 | This report explores the issue of energy security in the context of a growing dependence of the energy-hungry Asian economies on Middle Eastern supplies.

China: stumbling through the Pacific

Fergus Hanson | Lowy Institute for International Policy
26 July, 2009 | This paper suggests that China’s Pacific aid-giving is unpredictable, secretive and is mired in a vicious cycle of short-termism that is a legacy of its long-running diplomatic battle with Taiwan.

Beyond the nuclear issue: North Korea and non-traditional security challenges

Jeffrey Robertson | Parliamentary Library
26 July, 2009 | Since September 2008 North Korea has undertaken a series of measures to demonstrate the health of Kim Jong-Il, yet at the same time has demonstrated signs that succession plans may be underway.

New voices 2009: Networked

Angela Evans | Lowy Institute for International Policy
27 July, 2009 | This report is an overview of the Lowy institute’s recent conference on the ways in which network relationships, structures, and technologies affect different parts of our world.


Intimate partner abuse of women in a Central Queensland mining region

Heather Nancarrow, Stewart Lockie, Sanjay Sharma | Australian Institute of Criminology
25 July, 2009 | Perceptions about the mining industry and the rapid growth of mining communities in Australia has led to concerns that these communities are prone to higher rates of intimate partner violence than the general community.

Suspended sentences in Tasmania: key research findings

Australian Institute of Criminology
27 July, 2009 | While offenders given suspended sentences were less likely to be reconvicted, the imposition of these, rather than non-custodial sentences, on first time offenders may have serious repercussions if they are subsequently reconvicted.


State of denial

Richard Denniss | The Australia Institute
27 July, 2009 | While the Commonwealth will receive a windfall of more than $10 billion per year in revenue from auctioning pollution permits, state and local governments will transfer more than $2 billion a year to the Commonwealth Government.

A fair-weather friend: Australia’s relationship with a climate-changed Pacific

Louise Collett | The Australia Institute
27 July, 2009 | Climate change will bring significant challenges to the island nations of the Pacific. This paper examines Australia’s attitudes to climate change in the region under the two most recent federal governments.

Putting the politics back into Politics: Young people and democracy in Australia

James Arvanitakis, Siobhan Marren | The Whitlam Institute
27 July, 2009 | Young people are changing the way they engage with politics and Politics is going to have to change as a consequence.

Social Policy

Just scraping by? Conversations with Tasmanians living on low incomes

Social Policy and Research Team | Tasmanian Council of Social Service
24 July, 2009 | The voices of low income Tasmanians are reproduced in this report talking in their own words about the daily struggle to make ends meet on inadequate incomes and with limited access to health care and other services.

Managing in a downturn

Centre for Social Impact
24 July, 2009 | This report is the first comprehensive research to assess the effect of the economic downturn on Australian charities and nonprofit organisations.

Compendium of social inclusion indicators

Australian Social Inclusion Board
28 July, 2009 | Developed by the Board to generate discussion and debate on the question of how to measure disadvantage and social exclusion, these indicators are first steps towards comprehensive performance measurement and evaluation of social inclusion in Australia.

A healthier future for all Australians – final report

National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission | National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission
27 July, 2009 | The Federal Government’s health review has called for a major shake-up of the national health system, with the Commonwealth taking over the funding of most services.

New audio

Who stopped the music?

25 July, 2009 | The parlous state of music in public schools means not only are our children missing an important dimension in life, but they miss out on something that promotes brain function and social skills.

Video killed the video star

27 July, 2009 | If everyone is a producer, what role will video play in our lives in the future?

New video

2 live 2 deadly

23 July, 2009 | This video documents the historical struggle of Indigenous radio in Sydney.

Libraries of the future

30 July, 2009 | This UK documentary showcases interviews with leaders from JISC, Oxford University and LSE as well as students and academics who discuss what the library of the future will look like.

New jobs

Lecturer in Asian Studies

The Australian National University 26 July, 2009 | The Faculty of Asian Studies, College of Asia and the Pacific, wishes to appoint an outstanding scholar to lead in the coordination and teaching of its undergraduate and graduate foundational Asian Studies courses.

PhD Scholarship – MARCS Auditory Laboratories

University of Western Sydney 26 July, 2009 | MARCS Auditory Laboratories is undertaking a wide range of projects as part of a prestigious $3.4M ARC/NHMRC “Thinking Systems” grant to develop a ‘thinking head’. This is a breakthrough system that can learn from humans and will lead to advances in everything from hearing aids to mobile phones and video games. UWS is leading a consortium of Australian universities to develop the groundbreaking project including RMIT, Macquarie, Flinders and University of Canberra, with international input from the Technical University of Denmark,

Postgraduate scholarship in Chinese film and media studies

University of Sydney, School of Media and Communications 26 July, 2009 |

An ARC funded scholarship is available for a full-time Masters candidate who is undertaking research in a topic pertaining to Chinese Film and Media Studies (with a special focus on posters of the Cultural Revolution and /or film representations of contemporary Chinese history/memory)

Analyst, Credit team, Stakeholder Group

Australian Securities and Investments Commission 24 July, 2009 | The Credit team is building from the ground up.

Manager, Government Relations

NRMA Insurance 23 July, 2009 | A new position is now available for a strategic, Corporate Affairs professional to influence government policy in areas that impact on the business profitability, sustainability and reputation of NRMA Insurance.

New submissions

Collaborative and challenge-led innovation

01 March, 2010 |

New events

five: fashion musing & Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice launch

LOCATION: The Glasshouse QUT, Creative Industries Precinct, Z2, Level 4, Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove
ORGANISED BY: CCI – ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation

20 August, 2009 | Please join us for the joint launch of two new titles. five: fashion musing and Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice a special edition on Innovation in the Creative Industries.

Official Launch of the Indigenous Policy and Dialogue Research Unit and ‘So, what?’ Lecture with Professor Patrick Dodson


20 August, 2009 | You are warmly invited to the Official Launch of The Indigenous Policy and Dialogue Research Unit in conjunction with the So, what? public lecture with Professor Patrick Dodson

Green Building and Design Conference 2009 – Green Materials

LOCATION: Melbourne Convention Centre
ORGANISED BY: Centre for Design, RMIT University

09 September, 2009 | Attendance in-person or online

Learning Technologies Conference

LOCATION: Mooloolaba Campus of Sunshine Coast TAFE, 34 Lady Musgrave Drive, Mountain Creek Qld

19 November, 2009 | The objective of the two day 2009 Learning Technologies conference is to challenge and extend your thinking about the ways educators can use learning technologies to challenge, inspire, motivate, and encourage learners.

New books

After the crunch

30 July, 2009 | In this 100-page book, 42 artists, entrepreneurs, commentators, analysts, policy-makers, policy-sceptics, academics, financiers – and citizens – set out their hopes and fears for the future.

Beethoven or Britney : The great divide in music education

25 July, 2009 | Most children have little or no access to quality music teaching. And nothing is being done about it.

Innovation policy in the creative industries

30 July, 2009 | This special issue of Innovation: Management, Practice and Policy will explore some empirical and analytic connections between creative industries and innovation policy. Seven papers are presented. The first four are empirical, providing analysis of large and/or detailed data sets on creative industries businesses and occupations to discern their contribution to innovation. The next three papers focus on comparative and historical policy analysis, connecting creative industries policy (broadly considered, including media, arts and cultural policy) and innovation policy.

five: fashion musing

30 July, 2009 | Visually beautiful, the book explores fashion theory, practice and pedagogy through five key themes – mind, heart,hand, eyes and body.

New guide

Children and privacy complaints – a guide for parents and guardians

26 July, 2009 | This Privacy Victoria information sheet outlines the privacy rights of children under Victorian law.

New websites

Open video conference

27 July, 2009 | As internet video matures, we face a crossroads: will technology and public policy support a more participatory culture or will online video become a glorified TV-on-demand service?

SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to APO emails at http://apo.org.au/user/register | To unsubscribe: http://apo.org.au/subscriptions/unsubscribe | Please feel free to share this email and any of its contents with anyone who might be interested.

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Great info for Western Australia on Social Services – WACOSS Update – 24th July

social policy | organisation development | membership | training
Please distribute through your networks

Friday 24th July 2009

News items listed in this bulletin include…

WACOSS Membership Survey – Last Chance to WIN!

WACOSS Membership Survey

You have only one day remaining for your opportunity to win $500 worth of WACOSS Training, or $500 cash!

Complete the WACOSS Membership survey before close of business Friday 24th July to be in the draw!


WACOSS Social Service Organisation or Individual Member: Important Reminder!

In order to secure your right to vote on

important WACOSS decisions which can significantly


the community services sector….

Please ensure your Membership is renewed before 1 August!

The changes to WACOSS Membership for the 2009/10 financial year can be viewed here:

WACOSS Membership Fees

As you will have noted Associate Members will have a completely separate fee schedule from 2009-10 onwards.

For further information on fees for 2009-10 please check: the WACOSS Website

If your Membership is not renewed before August 1st you will not be eligible to vote in 2009/10!


Power Assist Scheme – 2009/10

WACOSS is pleased to announce Synergy’s annual contribution of $75,000 towards the Power Assist Scheme and Horizon’s $27,500 annual contribution. Horizon’s contribution is particularly pleasing as it is a 10% increase on last year’s funding. Horizon has also committed to a further two year’s funding with a 10% increase each year.

As a result of these contributions the Power Assist Scheme will continue to operate during 2009/10 under the present guidelines and procedures. The funding contributions from both Utilities is in addition to the Hardship Utilities Grant Scheme and Hardship Efficiency Program presently operating throughout the WA.

To find out more and download forms and guidelines please click on the link below:

Utility Assistance Schemes


Launch of the Emergency Relief Agencies Directory 2009

Emergency Relief Agencies Directory 2009

The long awaited Emergency Relief Directory 09 is now out. An official launch will be held at the regular ER Forum to be held on the 5th August. We invite you to come along to the official launch.

Date: Wednesday 5th August
Time: 10.30 am
Location: Lotteries House, 2 Delhi Street in West Perth

Lotterywest has provided funding for the production of the Directory and Jan Stewart, the CEO of Lotteywest, will be presenting a cheque to WACOSS as part of the official launch.

Please RSVP to bernie@wacoss.org.au or phone 9420 7222 by 31st July.

The purpose of this Directory is to assist emergency relief agencies, community service organisations, Government departments, hospitals, businesses and members of the community in making appropriate and timely referrals when coming into contact with those needing material or financial assistance.

All Emergency Relief organisations are listed by name in alphabetical order, along with their contact details, mailing and business addresses, operating hours and services provided. Agencies are also indexed by town/suburb.

Every agency listed in the Directory has been sent a free copy. Further copies are available from WACOSS at $5.00 for community service organizations and $10.00 for Government Departments.

To order copies of the ER Directory please:

A) Call WACOSS on 9420 9222 OR B) Download the order form HERE and fax it to WACOSS on 9486 7966.


Western Australian Council on Homelessness call for Nominations

A new Western Australian Council on Homelessness is currently being established to provide the Minister for Child Protection, the Hon Robin McSweeney MLC, with information and advice on homelessness related areas.

Nominations for community representatives are currently being sought from across the homelessness sector, including;

CEO’s/Senior Executives of homelessness service providers; and

CEO’s/Senior Executives of non government community service agencies, especially housing, mental health, drug and alcohol, corrections and employment, that interact with homelessness service providers.

The below documents provide more detailed information and the nomination form:

Information Sheet

Call for Nominations

Nomination Form


$135million Plan to Combat Homelessness Announced Today

The Federal and Western Australian governments today announced a four-year, $135.1million plan to help combat and prevent homelessness in Western Australia. To read the Media Statement please click HERE.

The Fact Sheet can be read HERE


The National Dental Foundation Dental Rescue Day

The National Dental Foundation Dental Rescue Day is scheduled for
Saturday August 15th and will be held at a clinic in Cottesloe.

This is free, one-off dental treatment. Appointments must be made prior to 1st August.

Click on the link below for the types of treatments that are possible and not possible on this day:

Prioritising Clients for National Dental Foundation Treatment

To make an appointment email admin@ndfwa.org.au


Free Job ads for WACOSS Members at EthicalJobs.com.au

EthicalJobs.com.au is a new website which promotes “work for a better world” – we connect people looking for an ethical job or career with employers who see their organisations as contributing to a more equitable, more just or more sustainable world.

If you’re looking for a great you job, please visit us at www.EthicalJobs.com.au and subscribe to our free weekly e-newsletter, access a how-to guide for finding an ethical job, and check out our Ethical Jobs Blog.

We’re also really keen to work with community organisations around Australia to help them find employees who are truly committed to their values and organisations.

So as a special offer to WACOSS member organisations, we’re offering to post any and all of your job ads free until August 1st!

Please call us on (03) 9419 7322 or email us at info@ethicaljobs.com.au if you’d like to to post some job ads for you.


Risk Management: The ABC of IAC, Wednesday 29th July

Control risks within community sector organisations

TRAINER: Dee Roche

Identify, assess and develop strategies to control risks within community sector organisations.

Identifying, assessing and managing risk within day-to-day and strategic operations is the responsibility of all levels of staff, management and Board membership. This workshop will examine the linkage between governance, risk management and control.

Participants of this workshop will come away with the skills and knowledge to improve structures, procedures, systems and feedback within their own organisations.

What previous participants have said…

Want to bottle this course and take it back to the board. Very practical.” Anonymous participant.

Further Information
For the full details and to register CLICK HERE or visit the new WACOSS Organisation Development Services website at www.wacosstraining.org.au.

OSH for Community Organisations, Wednesday 12th August

Do you wish that you had a system for identifying health and safety risks before they turned into accidents?

Do you believe that it is essential for your staff, managers, and board members to know what the law expects of them, and the potential fines, if they do not keep the workplace free from physical and psychological harm?

If you answered Yes! to either of these questions, then this training will benefit your organisation.

>A presentation by Worksafe on the Occupational Safety and Health legislation applying WA. This workshop is not an accredited training course for elected Occupational Health and Safety Officers as defined by the Act. But if you are wondering what all this means then you should attend!

> Responsibilities of Employees/Employers under the OSH act;
> Including what is required when electing an occupational health and safety representative
> What are your responsibilities to volunteers
> Defining areas of risk for community based not for profit groups
> What is the workplace?
> Who does the Act apply to?
> Starting the Risk Management system
> OSH committees- Who to consult and who to consult with
> Implementing a culture of safety in your workplace

Further Information
For the full details and to register CLICK HERE or visit the new WACOSS Organisation Development Services website at www.wacosstraining.org.au.

Time and Stress Management in the Workplace, Tuesday 18th August


Learn how to IMPROVE your work performance and REDUCE stress to achieve your work-life BALANCE.

– Most of us spend 3 hours each day dealing with interruptions

– 3 hours each week looking for things on our desk and

– 11 hours a week in meetings

– while managing 600% more information than we managed 20 years ago.

Time Management training is ideal for anyone who has countless tasks demanding their attention and who needs to juggle conflicting priorities.

In this Workshop you will learn to improve planning, set goals and feel more in control of your work load.

What previous participants have said…

The Time Management seminar has been very valuable and has motivated me to make changes which will benefit myself, my clients and my organisation.

Further Information
For the full details and to register CLICK HERE or visit the new WACOSS Organisation Development Services website at www.wacosstraining.org.au.


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West Australian Mental Health Review – vital meetings July 20, 21 for families and those from diverse backgrounds


Mental Health Consumer advocacy group for Western Australia to be more effective because of YOUR involvement

Mental Health Consumer advocacy group for Western Australia to be more effective because of YOUR involvement

please share, DIGG and circulate this info

click here to download the info as a PDF to share     –  CoMHWA Information

CoMHWA Information
CoMHWA Information
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Nearly 9 in 10 Aussies stressed out: Lifeline ABC News Article link.

It’s time we spoke up about mental health as  a PRIORITY.

The old idea that depression affects 1 in 5 is CLEARLY under-estimating the epidemic of mental illness.

We in the media are banned from covering  suicides despite the toll being greater than road trauma, and air-time being given to dangerous quacks like “DR Death” Nietschke.

see the ABC item below for a WAKE UP call

Nearly 9 in 10 Aussies stressed out: Lifeline

Monday, July 13, 2009

Almost nine in 10 Australians are stressed and many say work is to blame, according to a national poll commissioned by Lifeline Australia.

The annual survey released today reveals 41 per cent of Australians are experiencing unhealthy levels of stress, and a whopping 87 per cent of the nation is experiencing some degree of stress.

To view on a PC/Mac please use this link


To view on a mobile please use this link

from @perthtones’ iPhone

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PWC Mental Health Survey

The two further workshops are as follows.
CAMHS Consumers and Carers on Monday 20/7/09 Citywest Lotteries House, 2 Delhi St West Perth. 10-12.00
CALD Consumers and Carers Tuesday 21/7/09 Same address. 13.00-15.00

Register at mentalhealthsurvey@au.pwc.com or call 9238 3126.

Ken Steele

for Amy, Nora and all who’ll be in Chicago this weekend in the Overnight Walk for suicide prevention – see theovernight.org and support these people please

for Amy, Nora and all who’ll be in Chicago this weekend in the Overnight Walk for suicide prevention – see theovernight.org and support these people please.


Gerry & The Pacemakers – You’ll Never Walk Alone

click here for an interview with Amy Kiel on surviving clinical depression and living with chronic pain – Amy is amazing.

Please follow Amy on twitter @abeeliever and fellow walker Nora @noralmt as they walk to remember those who died and reduce the death toll from PREVENTABLE/TREATABLE mental illness.

Amy Kiel    @Abeeliever
Amy Kiel @Abeeliever

A major way we can all help is to reduce the deadly stigma surrounding mental illness – you can do that by supporting brave people like Amy who take huge risks to speak up about their experence.

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Amy & Tony talking about thriving after surviving major clinical depression

Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Here’s two people talking.

Amy Kiel    @Abeeliever
Amy Kiel @Abeeliever

Amy and Tony

22 min 22 sec  download,share,digg us,

we’re you yours !    =D

I’ll post details and links soon, including info on how anyone can record & produce quality interviews with anyone anywhere on things close to their heart.

If anyone has input on providing some visuals, slideshow,etc…we’ll youtube it.

We spoke live, Skype to phone, and the only editing I did was cutting a few seconds where we lost the link and adding a few little things for you.

To life…and the cool fools in the twitterverse =D @perthtones

My Twitter is @perthtones follow me for links to amazing folk and info
My Twitter is @perthtones follow me for links to amazing folk and info

© 2009 Amy Kiel & Tony Serve    This audio is free to copy and share as long as it’s not for commercial advantage.

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Stigma and shame leads to tragedy for mentally ill people “sane” people need to “get over it” :*)

An important event in Perth W.A. to discuss ways to reduce shame & stigma

shame can kill - help us reduce stigma
shame kills - help reduce stigma & visit http://www.comicwa.org/

I interviewed Dr Alun Jones using Skype & Call Recorder on  a MacBook.   ( see above for related local forum info)

You are welcome to listen to, download, or better still, link to the audio below. ( click the blue link and the blue link it goes to )

Dr Alun Jones speaks to Tony Serve on the stigma of Mental Illness          *Recorded March 24 2009 for COMIC.org    23 mins 44 secs

Comments, feedback and guest posts on mental health are very welcome –

{ especially you ” Abeeliever” 😉  and all the twitter folk }

Phone or Skype calls are welcome to my auto-recorder which has up to 10 minutes time for your comments, stories, questions.

Skype perthtones or phone +61 8 94672264

Meanwhile…think of the Children

It’s common sense that an ill parent will have an affect on the entire family, but all too often around the world, the children of people being treated are left out in several ways.

There are further complications because it is often the case that genes determining aspects of mental health are shared by some family members

Follow this link to coverage of new research on affected families and suggestions for professionals on more effective, holistic treatments.

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Brain Training, Plasticity and You – how have you changed your life by changing the way your brain works

In the last 8 years I’ve recovered from PTSD ( Clinical Depression and Anxiety ) to the stage where my health is actually better than before I became ill.

we CAN change the way we think  

The three main areas that have kept me alive and then allowed me to thrive again are based on Brain Plasticity, the ability to “rewire” your own  brain. ( see the website for Norman Doidge’s inspiring book on the subject in the right sidebar of this blog )

Prescribed drugs may help some, but without proper diagnosis using fMRI it’s guesswork, and my Doctor guessed wrong – the SSRI’s made me suicidal.

The therapies/treatments that have allowed me to build new ways of thinking are neurofeedback, cognitive behaviour therapy and meditation/hypnotherapy.( see my guided imagery page – also in the right sidebar )

Since going public with my illness 8 years ago and on  talkback radio here in Perth recently I have been swamped by people struggling with depression, panic and many other challenges. Almost without exception they have received little help and only grief from the “system” of health professionals who often just hand out potentially deadly pills, even giving SSRI’s to infants!  Just last week a mate who was close to the end of his tether was told by his family doctor to “get over it” – I wonder if someone with a broken leg is told to “run away”

When I return to fill in at 6PR there are always calls from my fellow travellers battling the “black dog” and the common theme is that very few doctors, hospitals or health systems have any idea what to do in the short medium, or long term.

Anyway it’s become clear that the most reliable and effective help available comes through fellow sufferers or their devoted families and carers.

So let’s do something about that.

I am keen to work with anyone who has stories and info on recovery and resilience. I will post text audio and video here and you can make a big difference if you are able to pass on details of your journey and links to any useful sources of help or inspiration.

Clinical work on brain plasticity ( the ability to forge new neuronal pathways in the brain ) by amazing people all over the world has provided us with the means to share effective treatments for illnesses and genetic disorders such as;

depression, panic, anxiety, schizophrenia, epilepsy, autism, tourettes, closed head injury, head trauma, genetically related disability, stroke, paralysis, alzheimers, dementure, addiction, OCD, bipolar, bulemia, anorexia, fibromyalgia, body dysmorphia and more.

So please join in and contribute, especially if your story or info can help sufferers and reduce the deadly stigma that comes with brain related illness.

Please comment by clicking the button below, and you’re welcome to submit text pics, audio or video.

You’re welcome to send comments or materials by email to serve.tony@gmail.com

You can also call and leave your spoken thoughts or info on my recording service +61 8  9467 2264 – you have several minutes to speak and I’ll post the audio here for you.

Anyone can contribute, so don’t feel your input isn’t valuable because you’re ill or feel small inside, we need to hear from you and welcome questions or solutions equally.

I hope to hear from you soon… and you’re welcome to join me on my last 4 nights at 6PR midnight to dawn – that’s 882 6PR in Perth, globally at 6pr.com.au    

local time is daylight saving and it’s midnight to 0600 sat & sun, then midnight til 0500 mon & tue.

 Perth time is GMT/UTC PLUS 9 hours

Early Sunday morning I’ll have 2 teenage guests in the studio who have worked out effective ways to overcome eating disorders and depression. Join me, Travis and Alicia and about 30 thousand listeners and see if we can make a difference.

John Lennon asks us to join One Laptop Per Child – well sorta, and it’s OK with Yoko ONO

The One Laptop Per Child group has produced a new ad  ( click here to view it on Youtube ) featuring a remixed voice and video package that at least gives the feeling that the Beatle was supporting it.

It’s not exactly slick, but if it continues to focus on the needs of children it’s okay with me too Yoko.

By the way, here in Australia John Lennon’s “Double Fantasy” Album was number one on this day back in 1980, the year I started as a radio journalist.

Click here for the website of One Laptop, and see the mission statement below.

To create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. When children have access to this type of tool they get engaged in their own education. They learn, share, create, and collaborate. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future.


We all know that the biggest challenges for children in our world are war, disease, famine, drought and neglect.

We desperately need energy money and resources there, but this campaign looks worthwhile for some fairly obvious reasons.

Please let me know if you support or see other advocacy and advocate stuff that might be worth republishing here.


BlogBack talkback to this blog – you are most welcome to;

email submissions   serve.tony@gmail.com ,

post new material in comments,

share websites or media,

leave a voice comment  – phone +61 8 9467 2264

contribute in any way.

I’m particularly keen to hear from people who are working in area of mental health with stories or help finding useful treatments based on brain plasticity.

Everything from meditation to; neurofeedback, analysis, CBT and guided imagery works on “rewiring” the neuron circuits of the brain after damage, disease or deterioration.

Exciting and hopeful clinical work being done in many areas, such as stroke and HI recovery and many  “disabilities” are turning out to be treatable conditions.

It’s been exciting to see mainstream media at least begin to pick up on the great work being done, and the ongoing success of Norman Doidge’s book ( and PBS special ) has been an important starting point or focus for those unaware of the new treatments that continue to evolve.

That  “brain training” software and games we see being advertised are just a small part of the real and repeatable effects of “rewiring” the brain.  They are becoming more and more widely used as theraputic devices in private homes, business, hospitals and nursing homes.

The possibilities, even in the short term, for better treatment and some cures are inspiring, but there will soon be debate about some key elements of life and law.

It’s become clear that all crime and substance abuse are related to mental health.

It is self evident that no-one in their right mind kills, rapes, tortures or neglects. No-one in their right mind uses substances that make them ill, violent, impulsive or an addict.

It stands to reason that Governments as providors of health care could ( and I say should) be held accountable for not

providing mental health care when someone comes to grief.

Maybe that will be a good thing in the this risk averse corporate world.

Perhaps if lawyers and activisits around the world began a concerted series of claims for individuals and groups based on their known mental health issues not being addressed we may see less seriosuly ill people released from jail or hospitals and into a new tragedy.

Once again it comes down to whether we care enough about our safety, health and the future to spend money and energy on better diagnosis and treatment for brain related illnesses.

We have the knowledge, but the will is yet to come and there are  also the hurdles of  stigma and cost. Change will come though, we’re evolving. 

Anyhow, I’m just a madman with a will to make a difference, it’s what YOU think and do that will make a difference.

Computer That Reacts To Thought A Lifeline For Brain Injured

ScienceDaily (2008-11-06) — People who have suffered traumatic brain injuries and who are unable to speak or move are being given the first chance to communicate using just the power of thought — and a laptop loaded with sophisticated algorithms.


Please share this with any and all advocacy groups and philanthropists you know, a little money for this project would go a long way to giving some dear people a better chance at fulfilling their potential.

By the way, local clinical work/research here in Perth by Dr Neil Beck suggests Neurofeedback techniques can play a major role in recovery for people with head injuries.

It works with the brain’s natural  “plasticity” to develop new neural pathways.

I’ve also found Neurofeedback helpful for PTSD and Panic – a lot more efficacious than those damned SSRI’s

btw… I’ve often been called a “bleeding heart”   – well, if a heart’s not bleeding, it’s dead, and that’s OFFAL!!!