Category Archives: Facilitation & teaching

An example of strengths-based engagement

The following is part of a reflection from Vanessa Linden, one of my students in HLSC6105 (Engaging families and communities) as part of her Master of Family Studies at the University of Newcastle. She was happy for me to share … Continue reading

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An interactive exercise exploring parenting styles

The Alternatives to Violence Project in Newcastle has been exploring workshops on nonviolence and conflict resolution with parents and partners. The following is an exercise Gener Lapina and I have developed (with input from Anne Hoffman) to explore four parenting styles Continue reading

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Conflict resolution and nonviolence workshops with young people

This paper was originally published in 1999, but is still quite relevant. SINCE 1994, the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) and Help Increase the Peace (HIP) have conducted workshops in Newcastle on conflict resolution and nonviolence with adults and young … Continue reading

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Recruitment: an important step in engagement

Without successful recruitment, family and community engagement can flounder. Before programs and other initiatives can successfully engage participants, people need to show up or become engaged in some other way. Although advertising and promotion are not engagement in their own … Continue reading

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7 principles guiding my work

When I started facilitating workshops on evidence-based programs and practice as part of the Children and Families Expert Panel, I wanted to ensure that my approach was consistent with my commitment to strengths-based approaches and bottom-up community development. In planning … Continue reading

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Keeping contact with students in online teaching

I’ve recently started emailing students more frequently in the online elective on community engagement I teach at the University of Newcastle. The students come from a wide variety of disciplines: since it started in 2008 there have been 1389 students … Continue reading

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Seven principles for a strengths-based approach to working with groups

There is surprisingly little literature on strengths-based approaches to group work. Most of the available literature focuses on groups as part of a broader strengths-based approach to a particularly issue or target group, rather than a strengths-based approach to actually … Continue reading

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Types of community engagement – creating boxes?

Community engagement covers a very broad range of meanings, aims and strategies. In teaching community engagement to undergraduate and postgraduate students, I need to find ways to explore the diversity of practice that are relevant to students from a wide … Continue reading

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Luis von Ahn: Massive-scale online collaboration

I’ve decided to make this  entertaining and surprising TEDx talk, by Luis von Ahn, required watching in an online undergraduate course (or subject) I teach on community engagement (HLSC2241). Although the course is online, I haven’t included much material about … Continue reading

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Team building before facilitating

This weekend I’m facilitating my 80th Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshop (or Help Increase the Peace workshop which is the youth version of AVP), but my first on in over 14 years. One of the things I learnt through … Continue reading

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