I want to live in a world where families (in all their diversity) are cherished and supported; communities are nonviolent, inclusive, resilient and vibrant; the environment is valued and protected; and injustice is a thing of the past. I know I’m a dreamer and an idealist but I also know that change is possible. Blogging is one small way I can contribute to a better world.
Through the blog, I hope students, practitioners, families and anybody who wants to make a difference will find useful and inspiring resources about inclusive, strengths-based approaches to working with families and communities , underpinned by nonviolence, social justice and social change.
I write as a lecturer (at the Family Action Centre of the University of Newcastle), a practitioner, a peace and environmental campaigner (mainly with the Alternatives to Violence Project and Transition Newcastle ) and a family man (my partner and I have two wonderful daughters aged 19 and 16). You can learn about some of my current projects here or find out more about studying a Graduate Certificate or Master of Family Studies at the Family Action Centre, University of Newcastle by clicking the links.
I started working with communities in 1983 (through peace and social change movements) and families 10 years later, and have continued to do so ever since in both paid and voluntary capacities. Some of the roles I’ve had include supporting homeless youth and residents of caravan parks; promoting strengths-based community development; facilitating workshops on a range of topics in prison, schools and the community; volunteering with peace and environment groups; teaching at TAFE and University; and supporting community organisations with planning and evaluation.
I’ve worked at the Family Action Centre since 2003, first as a community worker with the Caravan Project before moving into a more academic role in 2008. As an academic, my focus has always been on strengths-based approaches to working with families and communities, and I make sure that I am involved in grass roots projects so that I keep developing my practice skills.
If you want to find out a bit more about me you could look at:
- My current projects (April 2019)
- My University profile
- Getting to know Graeme Stuart (a profile through Engage Newcastle)
- 7 principles guiding my work
- My background in peace and environment groups
- Blogging as an academic
- My decision to focus more on families
- Why I’ve gone rainbow-coloured
I acknowledge the Awabakal and Worimi people on whose land I live and work, and pay my respects to their elders past, present and future.
The Sustaining Community blog does not necessarily represent the views of the Family Action Centre nor the University of Newcastle.