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What to do if family or friends get bad news about cancer

  “I just want to die now. I am living in hell” That was a fifty year old cancer patient. “I am sorry to hear that – are you in pain?” “No” she said. “But, my husband is angry all day, because he is stuck in the anger phase of grief, my son couldn’t stand it so he moved in …

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What I love about Western Australia – but what frustrates me too

Today is W.A. Day – celebrated on the first Monday in June each year to commemorate the founding of the Swan River Colony in 1829. On Friday night, I attended the W.A. day banquet dinner. The new Western Australian of the year was announced. Two years ago, when they chose me, it turned out to be a very profound experience. …

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Three ways to make sure change sticks

Welcome to the final post in the SOCK theory – a tool for personal and corporate change series. The success of this tool relies on completing all of the steps in order. So if you missed any, head here to return to the start. Congratulations on making it to the fourth and final step of SOCK. Successful change is challenging …

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Three ways to make that change you always talk about

Welcome to part three of the SOCK theory – a tool for change. The success of this tool relies on completing all of the steps. So if you missed any, start here first. I know this can be a difficult journey, but please stay with us. So far we have discussed the need to change, the need to own it, …

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Zero-culturalism: fear perpetuating ignorance and denying our kids clarity

  Al-Shabaab kills 147 students in Kenya. Boko Haram kidnaps 276 young girls in Nigeria. All in the name of fundamentalist Islam. Priests have abused children. This must surely mean that religion is evil and the teaching of any religion to kids is such a bad idea that we should get rid of it altogether. But religion has also generated …

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A response to coin collection in Aceh to ‘repay’ Australian PM

This post is in response to the February 22, 2015 article in the Jakarta Post titled In Aceh, people collect coins to ‘repay’ Australian PM I felt sad to hear that some Acehnese collected coins to “repay” Australia’s generous $1 billion gift to Indonesia after the tsunami. I was also sad that the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s comment about …

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10 years on: A reflection on the agony of Aceh

I have made five trips to provide medical relief to the Aceh region, growing my love for the place and it’s people since the first agonising trip. It all started 10 years ago this week, when I left Perth to join the many others helping the devastated Indonesian peninsula. On December 26th, 2004 at 8 am, a 9.1 magnitude undersea …

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How to make your conversations great

Have you ever wished you were a better conversationalist? That other people would enjoy talking with you rather than enduring it? Over the summer break I have been relaxing and swimming and in the process, thinking about how hard human verbal communication actually is – how hard it is to listen, engage and leave feeling enriched rather than feeling a …