March 31, 2011

Closing The Cultural Gap

Kimi Alcott  Mother Earth
Australian Aboriginal People
28% Percentage of Aboriginal children with teenage mums
3 Times the Aboriginal male suicide rate is higher than non-Indigenous men. Most suicides happen between 25 and 34 years of age
40% Percentage Indigenous children make up of all hospital admissions in the age group 0 to 4 who are admitted for assault
75% Percentage of Aboriginal people who return to NSW jails after 11 months of being released
Closing the gap is a strategy that aims to reduce Indigenous disadvantage with respect to life expectancy, child mortality, access to early childhood education, educational achievement and employment outcomes. Endorsed by the Australian Government in March 2008, Closing the gap is a formal commitment developed in response, to the call of the Social Justice Report 2005 to achieve Indigenous health equality within 25 years.
        The Indigenous Health Summit, held in March 2008, concluded with the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, issuing, on behalf of the Australian Government and the Indigenous peoples of Australia, a Statement of Intent ‘to work together to achieve equality in health status and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians by the year 2030' (Indigenous Health Equality Summit Statement of Intent ).

Kimi Alcott, Enough is Enough's Cultural Coordinator, Presentor and Aboriganal artist talking about Closing The Cultural Gap and our work at EIE.
Kimi Alcott with Indiginous girls who will participate in the next Enough is Enough's Dreamtime Divas Project
In closing the cultural gap we need to focus on building an understanding of Aboriginal people to the Non-Indigenous community, as the media only presents predominantly negative stories. In addition to this, we need to give Indigenous people successful role models with indigenous backgrounds, so they can be proud of their heritage and be motivated to achieve.

Our initiative at Enough is Enough Anti Violence Movement based in Sutherland was to hold a seminar with Indigenous presenters speaking of their journey to where they are today. These speakers are doctors, teachers, and government officers, as well as a young person, a domestic violence victim and an ex-prisoner.

Within this text I believe that our colour, culture or background cannot be used as an excuse for failure, no matter who you are. We can’t change the past but we can make a better future by not making the same mistakes s made in the past.

Through their stories, attendees learn about resilience and the courage not only to survive, but also to achieve. I am now living in the Sutherland Shire south of Sydney, after coming from Central West NSW. I am still amazed about the lack of information and sometimes miss-information out there. Most Aboriginal people have been asked at some stage “Doesn’t the government give you a house and a car”., and this still happens in 2011!

I believe that to achieve peace and harmony in society we need to understand and accept our Indigenous people. Our Indigenous people need to accept and understand our Non-Indigenous people of all backgrounds who share this land today. At the end of the day we are all humans, we all bleed red blood. Understanding is the first step for all parties involved to heal and move forward to a more positive future, and we are not only Australians but part of a much bigger global society.

"The way Aboriginal people speak - it's different. Non-Aboriginal kids didn't understand why kids called me Auntie Jess - but it's a sign of respect and the idea that family and community are one. A lot of the Stolen Generation don't know their birth mother. That's why community with its aunties, uncles and cousins is equal to family". - Jessica Staines, Childhood educator.

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March 29, 2011

Your Positivity Ratio

People think angels fly because they have wings.
Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.  ANONYMOUS
Negativity can poison our lives, our relationships, and how we feel about ourselves. It can give us the sense of being overwhelmed and trapped, that we’re bringing down those we love, and failing to cope. Positivity can make a real difference. World-renowned Positive Psychologist Dr Barbara Fredrickson brings twenty years of research in her revolutionary science to help you defeat your negative emotions.
Take the positivity self-test now and calculate your Positivity Ratio for today. Then practice our New Toolkit  to Increase Positivity in Your Life. Find what works best for you. Try them out for 2 weeks and take a test again.  We promise that your Positivity Ratio will increase by 50%. Try it now! Share with us your results!
Your New Toolkit to Increase Positivity in Your Life by 50% in 2 weeks!

1. Be Open

The goal here is to experiment with mindful awareness while carrying out your day. Make your motto “be open”. Temporarily rid your mind of expectations and judgments. All too often these cloud your ability to be open. Instead, give yourself permission and time to experience the richness of the present moment. No matter what you encounter, no matter what happens, experiment with both awareness and acceptance. Attend to what’s happening without trying or wishing for change. There’s no need to view any of the thoughts, feelings, or sensations that come to mind as disruptions that must be suppressed. Instead, acknowledge them, appreciate them, and allow them to pass. Tell yourself, “It is what it is”, and simply observe. Mindful awareness casts a wider, more accepting stance toward the present moment than is typical. Watch what feelings emerge as you experiment with openness.

2. Create High-Quality Connections

Truly connecting with others can be a breath of fresh air. Any social interaction – whether with family, co-workers, or the person ahead of you in line at the post office – is a chance to create a high-quality connection. High-quality connections are life-giving. You recognize them instantly by several telltale signs: they foster mutual appreciation and encourage truly being or doing things together; they recharge your energy and your vitality; they bring real physiological changes.
According to Jane Dutton, cofounder of the Centre for Positive Organisational Scholarship at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, there are four ways to build high-quality connections. The first is respectful engagement. Be present, attentive, and affirming. The second is to support what the other person is doing. Do what you can to help her succeed. The third is trust. Believe you can depend on this person to meet your expectations, and let it show. The fourth way is play. Allow time simply to mess around, with no particular outcomes in mind. Engaging with others in one or more of these ways transforms ordinary or corrosive interchanges with others into end-less sources of genuine positivity.

3. Cultivate Kindness

This exercise draws from research done by Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness. Give yourself the goal of performing five new acts of kindness of a single day. Aim for actions that really make a difference and come at some cost to you, such as donating blood, helping your neighbour with her yard work. Or figuring out a better way that your ailing father might manage his chronic pain. Be both creative and thoughtful. Notice the good feelings that come with increasing your kindness: the positive connection to the person you helped, the fitting sense of pride you get from making a contribution. Try it for a few months and see the difference it makes.

4. Dispute Negative Thinking

This exercise is adapted from the Penn Resilience Program, a depression-prevention effort rooted in cognitive-behavioral therapy that teaches non-negative thinking. For this , you’ll need a set of index cards. On each one, write one of your typical negative thoughts, such as “Why hasn’t she called by now? Doesn’t she care about me?”. What is important here is to write down negative thoughts that are realistic and truly yours. Capture your inner critic, that voice in your head that’s sceptical of you, of others, and of everything around you – the voice of ill will.
Once you have written out your set of usual suspects, shuffle the cards and pick one at random. Read it out loud. Then – as fast and as thoroughly as you can - dispute it! Do it out loud and with some conviction. What are the facts here? When you’re satisfied that you’ve shot down your menacing negativity with your rapid-fire facts, move on the next card. Repeat. As you work your way through your negativity deck, let your conviction grow as you become a seasoned disputer. Whenever you find gratuitous negativity lurking in your mind, externalize it by adding it to your deck of cards. Challenge yourself to meet it out in the open – out loud – with your rapid-fire facts.
Negative thoughts roll out automatically, against your best intentions. Your goal with this exercise is to become just as quick with disputation as you are with negative thoughts. Nip them in the bud with your fast facts, before they have a chance to blanket your day with doom and gloom.

5. Find Nearby Nature

When the weather is good, you need to be ready. Locate a dozen places you can get to in a matter of minutes that will connect you to green or blue, to trees, water, or sky. These have been shown to boost positivity. Perhaps a few natural spots bloom just steps from your door. If so, explore them thoroughly. Make them your own. Go to your library or local bookstore and pick up a guide to the walking trails and gardens in your area. Seek out more-natural sanctuaries: forests, rivers, meadows and oceans. Make these placed regular destinations, whether to exercise, socialize, or just be one with nature.

6. Learn and Apply Your Strengths

Once you’ve learned your strengths, the hard part follows: redesign your job and life so you can use them every day. Which aspects of your job or daily activities draw on your strengths? Which aspects squelch them? How might you devote more of your energy toward doing what you do best? What changes do you need to make to truly use your strengths each day?

7. Ritualize Gratitude

Being grateful simply requires that you notice the gifts that surround you. If you’re drawn to record your thoughts in writing, consider buying a handsome blank book to be your gratitude journal. In it, describe the things for which you’re grateful each day. Beyond simply listing good things in your life, one effective strategy is to describe why each good thing happened, in a few sentences. Or consider, for instance, reviving the time-honored ritual of saying grace before meals: either in your head or out loud, take a moment to offer your sincere thanks for the food that’s before you. You choose whom to thank, whether it be God, the earth, farmers, food handlers, chefs, or all of the above.

Or try “good ending “ritual. Good ending include an appreciative summary – an honest acknowledgment of the goodness that transpired prior to leave –taking. Take stock of what good has happened in that location. Thank the person or group, the place for supporting you or experiences that occurred there. You’d be surprised how many times each day you face endings. If departures become your cue to give thanks, this ritual will leave you afloat in gratitude each day.

8. Savor Positivity

We highly recommend reading:
5 Simple Ways to Get More Laughter Into Your Life
To experiment with savouring, you’ll need two things: first, a source of genuine love, joy, pride, or any other flavour of positivity in your life; second, a willingness to think differently about it. It doesn’t matter if your source of heartfelt positivity happened in the past, is happening now, or has not yet come to be. Practice with all three time frames. See which suits you best. The key is to think about the event in a way that stokes your positivity flames right now.

Allow yourself time to roll your mental images around in your mind. Look at them from all angles. Pump them up and then drink in their sweetness now. Now consider whether you can consolidate those memories further. Did you take any photos? Is so, perhaps you could organize them and select a few to frame or share. Do you love words? Then perhaps you could write a poem or story about the most radiant moment. Or simply strike up a conversation with someone who’d also appreciate these cherished moments.
Once you recognize how valuable good feelings are to your mindset and your future, savouring becomes easier. You’ll soon find that you can stretch and amplify your moments of heartfelt positivity simply by the way you attend to them.

9. Visualize Your Future

Imagine yourself ten years from now, after everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of the life goals you set for yourself. Imagine that you’ve reached your own best potential.

Try to write it every day for a week. Fill in all the details you can imagine. Describe your surroundings and your feelings.
After about a week, review what you’ve written. Draw out from your dreams a life mission. What purpose do you want to drive you – each and every day. Why do you get up in the morning, feed yourself, and bother to stay healthy? What is the meaning of your existence?
Take time to let your deepest hopes and dreams rise to the surface. Give those visions words. Get your ideas out on paper, then distil them to their essence by crafting a mission statement, short enough to memorize and serve as your touchstone. When you think you’ve got it right, put it to the eulogy test. If you were to carry out this mission, would your time on earth be well spent? Would others resonate with appreciating and admiration?

Now create a ten-year plan to help you meet your mission. Distill it to bullet points, so that your dreams can guide you through your decisions now.
To keep up to date with our news, new articles and current events connect with us on Twitter, Facebook. For information about Enough is Enough Anti Violence Movement visit:

March 23, 2011

Research on School Bullying

This article is extract from Aggression and Violent Behavior 14 (2009) 146–156: Bullying in different contexts: Commonalities, differences and the role of theory.

Research on School Bullying

Bullying has been a focus of research for over 20 years. There has been debate over the definition of the term “bullying”, but most researchers agree that it is an act that is intended to harm, that takes place repeatedly, and with an imbalance of power between the aggressor and target (Farrington, 1993). This is put succinctly by Smith and Sharp and Rigby as a “systematic abuse of power”. In order to understand fully the risk factors involved in studying bullying we need to look to theory. Examination of the characteristics of those who bully or are bullied , and situational factors involved suggest that a number of different psychological approaches may make interesting contribution from which to develop interventions and preventative measures. 

This article is focused on school bullying, which is probable a reflection of the longer research history in this filed. Starting with research in Scandinavia, Japan, and the United Kingdom (U.K.), there is now active research in most European countries, in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States (U.S.).

Nature and extent

Main types are physical and verbal bullying, indirect and relational bullying (such as spreading nasty rumors), and social exclusion. Recent research has highlighted cyber bullying via mobile ‘phones and the Internet’ So-called “bias bullying” refers to bullying because of some group (rather than individual) characteristic of the recipient.

A development of the latter (Salmivalli, Lagerspetz, Björkqvist, Österman, & Kaukiainen, 1996) allows differentiation of participant roles, such as ringleader bully, follower, reinforcer, outsider, and defender, as well as victim. Studies with young children suggest that aggressor and defender roles can be recognized by 4–5 years, although few children are continually targeted so early; peer-aggression is more randomly distributed, but becomes focused on certain children later, for example those at risk in various ways (Monks, Smith, Swettenham, 2003).


In school, the majority of bullying takes place in the playground, classroom, or corridors. Self-reports of being bullied decline over the 8 to 16 year period; self-reports of bullying others do not. There tends to be some shift with age away from physical bullying and toward indirect and relational bullying. Boys are more numerous in the bully category, but the sexes are more equal in being bullied. Boys practice/ experience more physical bullying, girls more indirect and relational bullying (Olweus, 1993; Smith et al., 1999).

School factors

There are large school variations in the prevalence of bullying, but factors such as size of school, class size or rural versus big city setting are usually not related to this. However, the school ethos, attitudes of teachers in bullying situations, and the degree of supervision of free
activities appear to be of major significance, as is the existence of an effective school policy (Galloway ; Roland, 2004).

Individual risk factors

Risk factors for being bullied include having few friends, especially friends who can be trusted or who are not themselves of low status; sociometric rejection (Hodges, Malone, Perry, 1997); and coming from over-protective families (Smith; Myron-Wilson, 1998).

Another risk factor is having a disability or special educational needs (e.g., Mishna, 2003; Wainscot, Naylor, Sutcliffe, Tantam; Williams, 2008).

Children of minority ethnic origin often experience more racist name calling (though not necessarily other forms of bullying) than children from the ethnic majority (Monks, Ortega-Ruiz; Rodríguez-Hidalgo, 2008).

In secondary schools, children may be bullied about their sexual orientation, and even physically assaulted or ridiculed about this by teachers or other pupils; a review (Warwick, Chase, Aggleton; Sanders, 2004) found estimates of 30–50% of same-sex attracted young people in U.K. secondary schools having experienced homophobic bullying.

Children who bully others may be hot-tempered, and come from families lacking warmth, in which violence is common, and discipline inconsistent (Olweus, 1993). Fathers who were aggressive and bullying at school are likely to have sonswhowere bullying at school (Farrington, 1993). Children who are bully-victims may come from particularly troubled or abusive families (Schwartz, Dodge, Pettit, Bates, 1997).

Although some bullying childrenmay lack social skills, ringleader bullies especially may have good “theory of mind” abilities and be skilled social manipulators (Sutton, Smith, Swettenham, 1999).


Bullied children are significantly more likely to report not sleeping well, bed wetting, feeling sad, and experiencing head and stomach aches. School doctors and nurses may well be presented with symptoms due to bullying, with implications for school health services (Dawkins, 1995). The experience of being bullied correlates with anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem (Hawker , Boulton, 2000). Findings of low self-esteem for bullies are mainly limited to aspects (e.g., “behavioural self-worth”) directly related to antisocial
behaviour. (O'Moore, 2000).

Individual coping strategies

Pupils adopt a variety of coping strategies when bullied. The success of these varies, and is age- and gender-dependent; however, non-assertive strategies, such as crying, are less successful than ignoring or seeking help.

A substantial proportion of self-reportedbullied pupils say that they have not told a teacher, or someone at home, about the bullying (Naylor, Cowie, del Rey, 2001). This proportion who have not told increases with age; this may reflect the more serious nature of bullying at older age groups as pupils may feel more afraid to tell. The success of telling teachers will depend on the school context (Kochenderfer, Ladd, 1997).

Peer action against bullying

A survey of peer support schemes in schools (Naylor, Cowie, 1999) found that there were benefits to the users, to the peer helpers in terms of confidence and responsibility, and to the school atmosphere generally; but also problems due to some hostility to peer helpers from other pupils, difficulties in recruiting boys as peer supporters, and ensuring sufficient time and resources for proper implementation. An evaluation of the work of CHIPS (ChildLine in Partnership with Schools) in 20 schools (Smith , Watson, 2004), found buddying and befriending schemes common in primary schools, peer mentoring or lunchtime clubs in secondary schools.

Some methods included use of the internet and e-mail support. A clear majority of users said CHIPS had helped them and that they would use the service again.

School action against bullying

Monitored interventions range from case studies of a particular school with a whole-school program against bullying to larger-scale projects. Recent reviews (e.g., Smith, Pepler, Rigby, 2004) suggest that these have effects ranging from a maximum of 50% reduction in prevalence rates, down to near zero or even small negative outcomes; with most outcomes positive and in the range of 10–20% reduction.

Controversies continue as to the effectiveness of whole-school policies (Woods , Wolke, 2003), the use of more or less direct negative sanctions against children who bully others (Smith, Howard, Thompson, 2007), and whether the most effective strategies are specifically directed to targeting bullying, or instead directed to class climate and pupil–pupil and pupil–teacher relations more generally (Galloway, Roland, 2004). School bullying continues to be written about and researched in many countries (Smith et al., 1999).

Does bullying build character? Human Behavioural Specialist Dr John Demartini is outspoken on the benefits of bullying. He talks to David Oldfield about bullying and asks is it bittersweet or simply self-destructive?
Are you a victim of history, or master of your destiny? Follow the link to find more for this point of view


March 15, 2011

What Lies Beneath: Exploring Stress and Anger Management

The old saying "The Tip of the Iceberg" is so true because most of the iceberg is under the surface. We as human beings sometimes only see the "tip" in ourselves and others. This video provides you with the opportunity to explore for yourself: "What lies beneath of MY Iceberg?" and how it can relate to any negative emotions, reactions and responses that you would not like in your life.

March 10, 2011

Kindness in Dark Places

This is an inspiring book with seventy short , heart-warming true stories of acts of kindness by strangers with contributions by prominent Australians, including CEO of Enough is Enough, Ken B Marslew. Please read his story.
My 18-year-old son, Michael, was murdered during an armed holdup.
In the early years following Michael's murder, I began running programs in correctional centres across NSW. Remember I was a very angry man; I still am, although I use my anger in a positive way these days.
I was working with a group of serious offenders, about a dozen men. My subject was "personal responsibility."

During the presentation, one of the offenders said, as many do, "It wasn't my fault." I challenged him: "Whose fault was it?" As the excuses flowed I got aggro and said," Don't you understand what responsibility means? You crap on to everyone, including yourself. When are you going to grow a set, and accept the truth about your behaviour?"

At this point the inmate, a big man with a shaved head and many prison tattos, jumped to his feet and lunged at me.

To my surprise, two of the other inmates in the group also jumped up and restrained the original  inmate, saying, "Can't you see this bloke is trying to help you? Sit down, shut up and listen." He did.

This act surprised me, and was one of many things to happen to me in prison, which made me  see inmates in a different light.

Even in the darkest places, there is good in the supposed worst of us and, dare I say, there is some bad in the best of us.

Ken B Marlsew AM is a NSW Senior Australian of the Year 2010 State Finalist. He was foremost in establishing the Charter of Victim Rights in 1996.

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March 7, 2011

Running Away - Adolescents

Facts:● Young people under 18 make up over half of Australia’s missing person reports● Those more likely to be missing are girls aged 13-17● 99.5% of people are located. In fact 85% are found in the first week.● About one third of people will go missing again. You can report someone missing more than once.● It is not a criminal offence to go missing

There is no one reason why adolescents run away from home. Young people from many different family backgrounds may run away, and their reasons for doing so are varied. Sometimes it may seem to young people that the only way to deal with conflict or unhappiness is to assert their independence and leave the situation. Whilst it is true that some young people leave home to gain freedom this is not true of everyone. It is important as parents not to jump to conclusions about why your child has left, or about what may have happened to them. Most young people who run away will return home, and most of those who are reported to the police are located within 48 hours.

What Can I Do?

When a young person runs away it is natural to feel worried, anxious, or guilty. Many parents blame themselves for what has happened. This can make an unbearable situation even more difficult. You may feel that you don’t know what to do next, or where to turn. You may feel frustrated or anxious about not knowing whether your child is safe.

To help you through this time, try to maintain a level of calmness and take time to think about the situation. Find out what you can about your child leaving. Was it impulsive or planned? Have they run away alone or with friends? Have they taken anything with them, or left anything behind? Think about where your teenager may go, and contact people who may know something.

If you have reasonable fears about your child’s safety or wellbeing, you may choose to make a report at your local police station. This does not mean they will be in trouble with the police, or will be charged with an offence – it is not a crime to go missing. It is usual practice for police to notify the Department of Community Services when young people under 15 years of age go missing, and for decisions about their welfare to be made collaboratively. If an environment is assessed to be unsafe, police will not force young people to return home.

Think about what you will do if your teenager returns home or is located by someone else. Remember that they are likely to be feeling very scared, confused, and uncertain. It is important to show them that you care, rather than conveying anger or hurt. Assure them that the door is always open for them to return. Think about what services may be able to support to your family at this time; you may find it useful to involve someone else as a mediator.

Some Strategies for Parents

1. Think about why your child run away

In some cases young people run away because of safety issues in the home. They may have experienced physical, sexual or emotional harm, or witnessed violence between family members. Other circumstances in which young people run away include difficulties at school or with friends, relationship difficulties in situation when parents re-partner or re-marry, drug or alcohol problems. Young people may experience depression, anxiety or stress, and it can be very difficult for them to know how to deal with all their emotions.
Take warning signs and threats seriously. Listen carefully to what your teenager is saying and talk to them about what they are feeling. Be careful of making threats in the heat of an argument. 
Comments such as “if you don’t like it you can leave”, are often make in the midst of emotion-charged encounters. Whilst you may not believe your teenager will go, many do.

2. Discuss options with your teenager

What alternatives are there to running away? Is there somewhere else they can stay? Who else can they talk to about what they’re feeling?
Keep up to date with who your teenager’s friends are, their contact details, favourite places, and school. Establish a contact person, or develop business cards that include the contact details of everyone in the family. Make sure your child carries this with them.

3. Discus the issue when your child return back home

If you child runs away , discuss the issue with them when they return. Don’t be afraid to bring it up, but do wait until they have settled. The primary thing is to let them know you care. Talk to them about what to do should they feel like that again, and develop some safety plans.

Check our articles for some ideas and strategies to help improve communication with your child:
  • Enough is Enough Anti-violence Movement – Sutherland (02) 9542 4029. Counselling for parents and youth at risk
  • Police Assistance Line: Missing Person's Unit: 1800 025 091
  • Family and Friends of Missing Persons : 1800 227 772
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
  • Parent Line: 1300 1300 52
Enough is Enough thank you Parent Line for this article.