News, Reviews & Resources   ||   Issue 114 December 2014 Dear Reader, 'Tis the season ... etc. :) We hope you enjoy reading this final Starlink for


News, Reviews & Resources   ||   Issue 114 December 2014


Dear Reader,

'Tis the season ... etc. :) We hope you enjoy reading this final Starlink for 2014. And we'd like to wish you and yours a wonderful festive season and all the very best for the start of the New Year. See you again in 2015!

Sue & Chris
BJ Seminars International

Holiday Fun

With the festive season upon us and school holidays almost here, we hope some of the following ideas will strike a chord of fun and laughter for you, whether or not you have kids of your own, or nieces, nephews or grandkids to entertain. And let's face it, some activities for kids are fun for grownups as well - with or without children in tow! :)

2015 Workshops

This year may be winding to a close, but that means we're already planning for the next! We will definitely be taking some R&R time over Christmas and New Year, but will gear up for 2015 early in the new year. Our plans include four public workshops we'll be offering in various locations around Australia at different times during the year. Images below have links to general information about the workshops. For specific dates, locations and registration links, please visit the Program Schedule page of our website


Chair Chi Level One


A Taste of Appreciative Inquiry


Chair Chi Level Two


Unleashing Appreciative Intelligence®

Engaging Your Community


Firstly, we recommend Bang the Table, an excellent source of articles, resources, tips and news about engaging with communities around the globe:
Whether you call it community engagement, public participation, community consultation, public involvement, civic engagement, or any other combination of words, Bang the Table is the place to keep up to speed with stories, people, practices and theory.

Secondly, here's a video produced by the Country Fire Authority in Victoria. While designed as an educational tool for local voluntary fire fighting groups, you'll find some great tips for any organisations or groups wanting to engage more effectively with their local communities! For example "meeting them on their own turf is far more effective than expecting them to come to us".

And, finally, a resource for small local councils is the Online Community Engagement Toolkit for Rural Remote and Indigenous Councils, produced by The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG). Despite the specific nature of the toolkit's title, there is much within it that's useful information for any Council - or indeed all those seeking to engage with their local communities.

The Heart Always Remembers


We've found some wonderfully moving - and uplifting - stories about people at the end of life, whose hearts remember even if their minds no longer do.

The first is a heartwarming news story about Melvyn Amrine, a man with Alzheimers.

And if you've grabbed the box of tissues for that one, you may find you'll need them again for these as well ...

First, a tribute by Marco Cueavas to his parents and their 87 year history together: When the Mind Says Goodbye

Second, My Sweetheart and Me - An Alzheimer's Story

Finally a musical tribute from Kenny Chesney to his father: While He Still Knows Who I Am

For Early Childhood Educators


And from one end of life (above) to the other, here are some resources for our readers who work in the Early Childhood sector.

Connections, released in September this year by the Australian Federal government, is a useful resource for early childhood educators on children's wellbeing.

Early Learning Association Australia has developed an Employee Management and Development Kit, for which the various sections and several related forms and tools are available for download from their website.

Here's an enjoyable read - an article by Leslie McCollum titled A Day in the Life of a Preschool Teacher. We loved the quotations she has incorporated from the kids themselves!

And finally, on a lighter note, we think this presentation by Richard Cohen will make you smile: Top Ten Signs You're an Early Childhood Educator.

Online Open University Courses


In so many ways we are all 'lifelong learners' ... after all, life itself continually throws learning challenges our way.

But for those who would like a more formal approach, the following resources might be of interest. After all, we're sure all our Starlink readers have hours to spare for self-education, particularly over the summer holidays here ... Hmmm ... ok, so that's a total furphy! :) But you may find a course to tempt you anyway ...

All offer courses at no charge across a wide range of disciplines, at varying levels of complexity, and either time-specific or self-paced. While these courses won't give you a formal qualification, they are rich sources of new learning.

Coursera is the most comprehensive site we've found. It "is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take. " It has 881 courses (in various languages), 116 partners and over 10.5 million users.

Open Universities Australia Open2Study website has a small number of courses (48 at time of writing) available at no charge. However these do seem primarily to be designed as 'tasters' for more comprehensive courses available - which do attract fees. All their no-cost options are four weeks in duration and we found only two that were open at any time and self-paced. The others all start on 5 January, so essentially an equivalent of 'summer school' for Australians.

Academic Earth has "curated links to over 750 online courses and 8,500 individual online lectures, giving students of all ages unparalleled access to college courses they may otherwise never experience. Whether supplementing existing coursework, or learning for the sake of learning, anyone with an internet connection has the freedom to learn at their own pace from world-renowned experts, without the burden of rising tuition costs".

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is "a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity." You can find complete materials for over two thousand courses online here.

EdX offers "interactive online classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities, colleges and organizations. Online courses from MITx, HarvardX, BerkeleyX, UTx and many other universities".

Out and About on the Web


Teen Mental Health


Growth Areas Social Planning Tool

balancing the brain

Balancing the Brain Toward Joy



Let Go and Lead


Let Go and Lead is a site worth bookmarking, as there is far more here than you could possibly cover in one visit! Sub-titled Conversations on Leadership in the 21st Century, it contains interviews with leaders from different background and showcases different perspectives on a wide range of topics related to leadership.

Let Go & Lead is a community. It is a celebration of diversity and a genuine embrace of different points of view in an attempt to come to an unprecedented understanding of how the most powerful ideas come to life within the most complex environments and systems ... Each thought leader has shared a point of view on what we see as a fundamental paradox at the heart of today’s leadership challenge: Now more than ever, leaders must let go to lead.

Reimagine the Future

SOWC 2015

Each year, Unicef publishes an overview of the state of children around the globe. About The State of the World’s Children 2015: Reimagine the future Unicef says:

Around the world, an innovation revolution for children is growing – often in the most unexpected places – and increasingly led by young people themselves.

Fueled by creativity, connectivity, and collaboration, new ways of solving problems are emerging – in tech design studios and university laboratories, in development organizations and corporations, and in kitchens and community centres.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, this edition of The State of the World’s Children highlights the work of remarkable young innovators who are already reimagining the future – and invites the world to join this rising movement to advance the rights of every child.

Works and Conversations


In last month's Starlink, we mentioned Servicespace.

This month we'd like to add \mention of Works and Conversations, an arts-based magazine that is a Servicespace project - and a magazine that has moved from the usual subscription-based economic model to the 'gift economy' model of 'pay it forward'. is a collection of in-depth interviews with artists from all walks of life.

Carrying no advertising, making the entire interviews available on-line without charge, ours is a humble effort to "be the change we wish to see in the world ... It's an experiment in generosity, and to this day, the magazine costs are covered entirely by unsolicited donations from grateful readers and supporters.

Not only is this an intriguing concept, but the magazine itself makes for interesting reading! Enjoy.:)

From Our Blogs


This month we're sharing a few snippets from all our blogs.

From our BJ Seminars International blog, here are some tips to Save Yourself from Bad Meetings

Chris reflects on the crazy zoo he encountered when going to the movies in Blockbuster Movie Zoo and also on the work he does with aged care residents in Aged Care: Chi and Parkinson's Disease

Sue shares a song of protest in Judy Small: You Don't Speak for Me, as well as a memory other Melbournites may share in Princes Bridge Station. And she pays tribute to 'animal doctors' in What Veterinarians Know that Doctors Don't

Dates for Your Diary


Visit our Events Calendar to find details of conferences, workshops, training opportunities, exhibitions and special days to celebrate!

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