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Australia Strengths Based Practice Institute, Brisbane Institute

Strengths Strategies



The Brisbane Institute

of Strengths Based


Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice


Propagates, and Supports Strengths Based Human Resource Development

Through Strengths-Based Strategies, Appreciative Inquiry,

Asset Based Community Development and Counselling Approaches




Kathmandu Conference Nepal

10-12 December


17-19 June Bali, Indonesia


Hyderabad Conference Brisbane Institute

Hyderabad Conference India


Kathmandu Conference Nepal


Sarajevo Conference 2011

Sarajevo Conference

Bosnia and Herzegovina


Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice Australia

Brisbane Conference

Queensland, Australia


Coping Resilience International Conference Dubrovnik Brisbane Institute

Dubrovnik Conference Croatia


Hyderabad Conference Brisbane Institute

Hyderabad Conference India



Professor Lesley Chenoweth

A Charles Sturt University Initiative

 Curriculum Development on Environment Sustainability

in Social Work

Professor Lesley Chenoweth

Responding to the Challenges of Contemporary and Future Human Services - Beyond Survival to Proactive Change

The Role and Direction of Social Work and Human Services in the current Economic environment

Cooking for Social Work

New Zealand Workshops

Working With Challenging Clients: Motivation, Cooperation And Assisting Behaviour Change

workshops Sarajevo, Bosnia, Vive Zene, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina Workshops


Dr Venkat Pulla

AWARDED in India


3rd Right every Wrong Conclave


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Brisbane Institute Strengths Strategies

Strengths Approach, Human Resource

Development, Social change, Transition societies, Role of youth, Entrepreneurship development, Governance and people strengthening practices, Volunteers development

Asset Based Community Development Micro credits and finance



Ignorance of Ability Brings Disability

"This is a short film I did in 2005

and it was nominated for

India-International Film Festival on disability ......"



5.4 million Australians volunteer with that figure representing approximately 35% of the population. The estimated value of volunteering is $70 billion.
The complete survey report is available on the

Volunteering Australia website.


Coping Resilience & Hope Building, Asia Pacific Regional Conference,

Brisbane 9-11 July 2010

About Conference :: Abstracts ::  PAGE 1 - PAGE 2 - PAGE 3 - PAGE 4 - PAGE 5 - PAGE 6 - PAGE 7



Meredith Nirui Sydney AustraliaThe significance of homelessness is well acknowledged in the world. Of approximately 100,000 homeless people in Australia, families comprised a total of 23,000 people, including 9,543 parents and 13,401 children. This figure rose by 17% on the census night 2006 (ABS, 2008). Although homelessness is associated with a range of health and psychosocial problems, not all homeless persons experience severe problems. The main aim of this qualitative study is to examine factors that protect health and well being of this sub population of the homeless, using Antonovsky's orientation to life hypothesis. Results of in-depth interviews and focus group discussions suggest some homeless mothers were more resilient and viewed life in a meaningful and positive way. Factors such as religion/spirituality, community network, family support, employability and past history of addiction were common denominators in those who exhibited stronger coping skills. Recommendations such as engaging and encouraging homeless mothers to take part in activities regulated and organised by the shelters, childminding facilities for mothers to attend courses to prepare for future employment, targeted programs for homeless children attending schools and provision of appropriate and accessible and affordable health programs seem to be appropriate in enhancing women's coping mechanisms.
Biodata: Meredith is a public health professional with a diverse educational background. She worked as a clinician, academic, policy analyst, health outcomes coordinator and researcher. She is currently employed as the Manager of Research, SESIPHU. Her areas of interest are disadvantaged population and child health.

Lynne Blighton B Soc Wk, Grad Cert ASWPThe Fragile Puzzle™ follows an heuristic approach in that the model actively integrates theory and practice according to the clients' need. The method assumes that: people innately seek to achieve their full potential in spiritual well-being; the pathway is often blocked by fear, false pride and ego eroding spiritual energy and resulting in loss of confidence and self-esteem; this sets up self fulfilling cycles of interaction that encourage a misuse of power resulting in a loss of love; and loss of love leads to the development of fear, false pride and egotistic thinking. The Fragile Puzzle™ provides a proforma which cuts through complex communication and builds inner strength and resilience to support the person's progress towards self-discovery and mastery over fear, false pride and ego. The process is one of maturation and skill development based on the analogy of: Strong ropes are made of weak fibres bound together- To become strong we need to recognise and accept our weaknesses and bind them in to who we are. Once we master this, all of our parts become available to us and we gain remarkable spiritual energy that we can invest into building the life we would like.
Biodata: Lynne Blighton B Soc Wk, Grad Cert ASWP has worked as a social worker in England and Australia. Her passion is to create therapeutic products to market globally. Lynne has two registered trademarks which protect her intellectual property: When families are happy their radiance reflects into society™ and The Fragile Puzzle™

Dr Beverley Killian, Clinical Psychologist, Head of Child and Family Centre, University KwaZulu Natal In a survey of development facilitators working primarily with children affected by HIV and AIDS, conflict, poverty and displacement in Africa, it was found that their lack of formal qualifications, combined with the lack of recognition of their efforts, was a primary source of stress. The survey also identified that many development facilitators live in extremely adverse circumstances and were direly in need of psychosocial support. So, as a step towards alleviating the stress of development facilitators and giving them hope about themselves and others, a certificate programme with the basic rationale was that if the development facilitators were to become more resilient and hopeful, this would be in turn cascade to the children, families, and communities with whom they work. The theoretical orientation programme is grounded in strengths-based practice. In the pilot phase, the programme reached nearly 500 students in seven sub-Saharan African countries. Using distance learning and group participation methodologies, the students progressed through six modules: self-development and reflective practice; human rights and child protection; child and youth development; child, family and community support; community development; and finally, a service-learning module. The programme evaluation was strongly positive both in terms of the relevance of the certificate course content, and in terms of its relevance to the different forms of adversity.
Biodata: Dr Beverley Killian, a Clinical Psychologist and Head of Child and Family Centre at the University of KwaZulu Natal was one of the initiators and academic coordinators of this programme. She has worked for many years with children exposed to risk and has developed various group programmes to enhance resilience.


Ruth Knight, founder, Chairperson, Lifehouse Project Inc.Girls With A Purpose has been developed to provide a relevant life skills program for young women. The program aims to address esteem needs of young women by providing with an opportunity to develop their knowledge, resilience and self worth. Central to the program's frame of reference is the Strengths-Based
philosophy. Using the strengths approach, the Girls With A Purpose program aims to facilitate healthy discussions and experiential learning. It provides support, guidance, and boundaries for healthy development and mental health. A recent evaluation of a program run in a Queensland State High School showed that the Girls With A Purpose program increased the confidence and
life skills of the girls that completed the program. All of the girls felt that they more positive about their future and that the program had made a difference to their life.
The program outcomes were achieved through a strengths-based approach
that utilised positive reinforcement, supportive adult relationships, discussions
and activities that focussed on developing social and cognitive competencies.
Biodata: Ruth is founder and Chairperson of Lifehouse Project Inc. Ruth has been awarded a Centenary Medal for her services to the homeless and is a recipient of the Outstanding Inspirational Role Model Award 2010 presented by the Women At Work Leadership Awards. Ruth is undertaking Doctor al studies in non-profits culture and change management.


Michelle Bihary, CONTEMPORARY WORKPLACEThe strong commitment of professionals to their workplace roles can take a toll on resilience and wellbeing, and lead to burnout and stress related illness. The complexity of the 21st century workplace demands that professionals are resilient, possessing the ability to support personal sustainability, interpersonal and emotional intelligence and the capacity to participate constructively in organisational life. Professional Resilience ensures that professionals stay energised and optimistic in the presence of workplace challenges or whilst experiencing personal stress. Increasingly workplaces are looking for ways to strengthen the resilience of their workforce, as they recognise that ignoring the sustainability of their workforce ultimately undermines the viability of the organisation.
Using a strength-based focus, this workshop provides a framework for the development of professional resilience based on current research in the areas of emotional intelligence, positive psychology, happiness and wellbeing. Contemporary wisdom drawn from the corporate fields in leadership and energy management, eastern and spiritual philosophies and mindfulness provides further evidence based and innovative ways to support professional resilience and wellbeing in the workplace. This entertaining and authentic workshop inspires participants to make a renewed commitment to their resilience and wellbeing.
Biodata: Michelle Bihary is a clinician, supervisor, trainer and consultant drawing on extensive training and 28 years experience as a Mental Health Occupational Therapist, Psychotherapist and Family Therapist. Michelle is sought after throughout Australia for her innovative programs. She is the Founder and Managing Director of The Delta Centre.

Maggie Dent, parenting, resilience educator, inspirational presenter. Esteem PlusChildren need many essential experiences to build the competencies that will help them manage life the good, the bad and the ugly. This common sense, practical model will reassure those who work with children that what they have always known to be important in the early years of a child's education are still important! The 10 building blocks model that Maggie created in response to a state government initiative in WA to promote the understanding of how to build resilience in children has been embraced as a model of understanding what every child needs to develop resilience. The model is a strengths based model that explores the essential needs of children and shows how parents can keep strengthening their children's capacity to manage their lives and be capable regardless of culture and socio economic status. This model has been adopted by many maternal health and parenting educators because of it's simplicity and Maggie has become a huge early years advocate as a result of this model. This focuses on children from birth to 12. Based on Maggie's book Real Kids in an Unreal World: Building Resilience and Self Esteem
Biodata: Maggie Dent is an author, parenting and resilience educator and inspirational presenter. Maggie currently runs “Esteem Plus” that promotes the value of building personal and professional resilience especially in homes, schools and communities. Her common sense, practical approach to life and all that it brings particularly about the healthy raising of children has made her a regular on the Today Program on Channel 9.


John Dommett, Connecting Home, the stolen generation, Victoria Australia, CEOJohn Dommett tells his own story of how as a successful young man he contracted a debilitating illness that had life defining implications. John will identify how his involvement with the formal service system resulted in him rapidly becoming powerless in his own life, and outlines his struggles to reclaim control and power over his own life. He will lead the audience through his own story which saw him enter the disability service system. He will explain how a diagnosis of Epilepsy and a misdiagnosis of Intellectual Disability resulted very quickly in a loss of his Social Roles, his Dreams, an assumption of incompetence, and rapid devalued status. As a client of a sheltered workshop and earning $20 for a fortnights work John will discuss how he fought to save his own life from radical medical intervention, and how through self-belief with support he made the gradual journey to re-claim his life. John's personal resilience meant that he was able to change the system that had captured him, eventually forming a service that would find him open employment. John has not only returned to work in the sector, grew to become a senior manager, and has truly moved from being a powerless service recipient to being in a position of power and authority. His story of coping and resilience will inspire the audience.
Biodata: John Dommett, until recently was Acting CEO Uniting Care Community Options, Victoria and recently moved to the Connecting Home- A service for the stolen generation, Victoria Australia as its Foundation CEO.


Margaret McKenzie, Susan YoungThe terms Resilience and Coping invoke experiences of disadvantage, deprivation, crisis and harm. Professional assistance or treatment for people experiencing these circumstances has tended to focus on individual or group recovery which may or may not recognise or seek to use the strengths and capacities present in the people experiencing the crises. Child abuse is a specific occurrence of crisis or harm which has attracted a recovery approach. In addition to the necessary therapeutic approaches and investigatory actions to be applied in child protection work, we maintain that developmental approaches have a vital role to play in keeping children safe. While community development has been traditionally to encourage collaborative strategies to address structural disadvantage and deprivation, it has been less used for the practice of protecting children. The principles and practices of community development have the potential for providing a framework incorporating strengths and capacities for protecting children. In this presentation we consider the role played by community development in contributing to the protection of children. This takes the strengths approach to build and support capacities in families. Using experiences from practice in several settings in Norway, Western Australia and Aoteoroa/New Zealand we outline this developmental approach to child protection.
Biodata: Dr. Margaret McKenzie is Head of Department of Social Work and Community Development, University of Otago , New Zealand . She has published in the areas of child protection, family, welfare policy and mental health.

Dr. Susan Young and Margaret McKenzie are social work educators at the University of Western Australia


Tatjana Ewais, Ranji GoundarA growing body of knowledge and evidence based practice confirms that academic education for people with severe mental illness is a necessary part of their overall rehabilitation and successful recovery. This paper confirms that acute mental health inpatient settings can be places of learning and, with the right approach of experienced teaching staff, can offer a significant difference to young people's lives, by creating a path to further education, meaningful life and recovery. Inpatient adolescents present a range of mental health issues such as mood, anxiety, psychosis, social, intellectual deficits and trauma are some of the frequent presenting problems. A purposeful educational program seeks recovery, promotes educational acheivement alongside coping. This paper describes the process outcomes within an acute mental health impatient setting. The staff in this setting are experienced, focused, instill hope and support young people to develop their identity, role and purpose outside the parameters of their mental illness. For most adolscent inpatients during their short stay, the focus is also on return to community and assistance with further education and vocation. This focus is achieved through interdisciplinary collaboration, liaison with community educators and other stakeholders and through a variety of formal and informal community integration strategies.
Biodata: Tatjana Ewais is a Consultant Psychiatrist, at Adolescent Mental Health Unit, Logan Hospital; Senior Lecturer, Medical School, Griffith University. Dr Ewais is Fellow of The Royal Australian College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP, Melbourne)
Biodata: Ranji Goundar, currently teaches Adolescent Mental Health Students in Logan Hospital. Ms. Gounder holds B.Ed and M Ed majoring in Career Guidance and Counseling, (QUT) 1997 and has her substantive teaching position in Marsden State High, Marsden.

Nebojša Manojlovic, Law, Austria, Universitaet Wien, RechtswissenschaftenI was four years old when the war took place in our region 1992. I am the child from the so called “mixed marriage” and when I grow up it was hard for me to understand what this means in the context of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Where do I belong? I am supposed to be real Bosnian as I am a child of three nations. Instead, I had a feeling that I am lost and an identity was lost by the fall of Yugoslavia. Insecurity of my adolescence lingers on. My search for a new identity began, learning to cope with my past and to feel secure in the present and to move on. I took to volunteering with an NGO that was assisting the survivors after war and through that learnt to cope with the diversity inside me. In our society it is a living process that may continue for a long time. I am perhaps a representative of Bosnian youth that is looking for a meaningful life. I will be presenting our views about how we feel and how we would like our country to be. My presentation summarises youth aspirations and youth expectations.
Biodata: Nebojša Manojlovic studies Law in Austria the Universitaet Wien, Rechtswissenschaften, in 2007, I become a volunteer in Nongovernmental organisation Vive Zene. He believes that there is a need to work with children and young generation in his country right now.



About Conference :: Abstracts ::  PAGE 1 - PAGE 2 - PAGE 3 - PAGE 4 - PAGE 5 - PAGE 6 - PAGE 7


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