News, Reviews & Resources   ||   Issue 120 July 2015 Dear Reader, Like Lewis Carrol's White Rabbit, "I'm late, I'm late ...." for Starlink this mont


News, Reviews & Resources   ||   Issue 120 July 2015

white rabbit

Dear Reader,

Like Lewis Carrol's White Rabbit, "I'm late, I'm late ...." for Starlink this month. But perhaps there's a reasonable excuse this time.

I was in South Africa for the World Appreciative Inquiry Conference for the first half of the month and began teaching a University elective the day after I landed back in Australia! So everything else, including Starlink, has been compressed into the last 10 days or so of the month.

You will also notice that I am signing off below without Chris. This is because he has begun another monthly newsletter called Good Chi News, drawing on his many years of experience with Tai Chi. Like Starlink, Good Chi News also focuses on useful resources and inspiration - but with a more specific emphasis on 'good chi' or positive energy.

So we've made the sensible decision to divide our responsibilities between the two newsletters and Starlink has once again become my baby. :)

BJ Seminars International

Building Resilience in Children


A working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, at Harvard University, is entitled Supportive Relationships and Active Skill-Building Strengthen the Foundations of Resilience. This is something that most educators and workers with children or young people will know instinctively, but the working paper is still well worth reading.

It explores decades of research, including more recent scientific discoveries in molecular biology, genomics, and epigenetics. It explains how protective factors in the social environment and highly responsive biological systems interact to produce resilience, and discusses strategies that promote healthy development in the face of significant adversity.

There is also a very helpful series of three videos: What is Resilience, The Science of Resilience and How Resilience is Built.

Dynamic Dementia Project


Anyone who works in Aged Care in Australia should be familiar with the Dementia Dynamics Toolkit - it was distributed to all Australian residential aged care facilities in 2014. The website also offers a wide range of resources focusing on "current evidence-based information about dementia and responsive behaviours".

However you may not have encountered the Dynamic Dementia Project, which was launched in May this year. It's a fascinating and global project designed to offer a range of films and other media to explore and further understand dementia.

Posing questions in it’s path, the project will build a well-rounded picture, exploring both the light and dark aspects of the condition in many different contexts. Person centred, this project will also support the international ‘Living Well with Dementia Fund’, which aims to provide education on the subject supporting the needs of the applying individual/group.

Cause Clarity: Bite-Sized Courses in Communication


Cause Clarity provides ideas, tips and resources on effective communication strategies for nonprofits. Each of their series of "How-Tos" includes a three-minute video and a downloadable worksheet to help you apply the ideas to your own workplace.

From messaging and branding to fundraising and social media, our collection of “How-To” videos address the top communications challenges facing nonprofits today. No matter your role, these resources help ensure that everyone in your organization can communicate with clarity.

Workshops in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide

Each workshop is $352 (incl GST) or $319 (incl GST) at the Early Bird rate. Early Bird deadlines vary, depending on the workshop date. (See the cut off dates for those in our full Program Schedule.) Click on the images below for more information about each program.


Chair Chi Lvl 1
Brisbane 17/08
Sydney 21/09
Adelaide 09/11


A Taste of Appreciative Inquiry
Brisbane 17/08
Sydney 21/09
Adelaide 09/11


Chair Chi Lvl 2
Brisbane 18/08
Sydney 22/09
Adelaide 10/11


Unleashing Appreciative Intelligence®
Brisbane 18/08
Sydney 22/09
Adelaide 10/11

Resources for Teachers


Here's a grab bag of websites that contain useful resources for teachers - across different age groups.

Maths on YouTube

Firstly, here's Maths on YouTube - a video of a 'flipped classroom' taught by Peter Smyth, a maths teachers at Gunghalin College in Canberra. He has changed his whole teaching approach in response to feedback from his students and now prepares a series of videos to cover essential concepts, leaving more time for him to assist students with their learning.

What Schools Can Do to Welcome and Meet the Needs of All Students and Families

One of our favourite resource websites, mentioned previously in Starlink on a number of occasions, is the School Mental Health Project at UCLA in the US. Here is one of their useful guidebooks: What Schools Can Do to Welcome and Meet the Needs of All Students and Families. While you will need (in most cases unless you know the language) to flip past the Spanish sections to the next section in English, there are many useful tips and suggestions for schools everywhere!

Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets is another US based website that nevertheless has a wealth of information useful for Australian schools as well. It is a "national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help ... Our goal is to bring the reading research to life — to spread the word about reading instruction and to present 'what works' in a way that parents and educators can understand and use."


Educator Innovator

Educator Innovator provides "an online 'meet-up' for educators who are re-imagining learning. Educator Innovator is both a blog and a growing community of educators, partners and supporters. If we want to educate a generation of young people to be innovators — to create, build, design, and use their talents to improve their world — we need to value the creative capacity in the mentors and teachers who support them."

Project-Based Learning Research Review

"Studies have proven that when implemented well, project-based learning (PBL) can increase retention of content and improve students' attitudes towards learning, among other benefits. Edutopia's Project-Based Learning Research Review explores the vast body of research on the topic and helps make sense of the results". Here you'll find a series of articles with a wealth of information about project based learning, as well as a comprehensive annotated bibliography of all the studies and reports cited in their review.

A Failure to Communicate


A Failure to Communicate is a short animated video ... great to use with children but might be a conversation starter for grown ups in the workplace as well! Assumptions? Stereotypes? Dependency on technology? Lots to prompt discussion.

And while we're on the subject of communication ... here's a very short take on the workplace jargon we all love to hate. You know what we mean - all those phrases that fill air time but actually communicate nothing. :) Well comedian Clint Paddison covers just about all of them in only a minute.

And for a wince-worthy list of words or phrases that 'fail to communicate' anything worthwhile in the workplace, see the Dictionary of Management Jargon or (for an even more tongue-in-cheek perspective) MBA Jargonwatch.

Out and About on the Web


Learning to Keep a Balance


5 Professional Development Lessons from Reality TV


Emotional Intelligence Toolkit


What Makes a Great Workplace?

Youth Policy Resources - A Global Collection


An excellent resource for anyone working in the youth sector, houses a comprehensive collection of information about youth policy from 200+ countries around the world. You'll find a Youth Policy Library, an extensive Youth Policy Database, reviews, fact sheets, articles, and information about youth participation structures and academic youth journals from around the world. Information appears to be updated regularly and is pretty current - the "fact sheet" page about Australia, for example, was last updated in September 2014.

A Little Inspiration


Just as they say on Inspired, "We really believe that what you focus on is what you get – so it’s well worth filling your head with the good stuff."

Visit Inspired to read stories about ordinary people with inspirational stories to share. For example there's Peter Sharp of Perth, WA, "who is driven by a desire to remind humanity of their common connection, to create public platforms for spontaneous outpourings of joy". He believes “life starts at the edge of our comfort zone”.

Or read about another Aussie, Oliver Percovich, who is transforming children's lives ... with a skateboard! ... through a grassroots initiative that now employs 70 people and educates 1500 students a week across four sites in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa.

And here's an amusing and insightful speech about aging - an invocation given by Mary Maxwell, at a convention for senior carers . It's a perceptive view about getting older - and very funny too!

Laughter - Things You Knew and Some You Didn't


"Laughter is like a reset button for your soul".

So true! We loved this quote from a TED talk by Steven Mazan on the Power of Laughter.

And did you know that you're 30 times more likely to laugh if you're with somebody else? You may also enjoy listening to Why We Laugh by cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott ... who shares this and other somewhat surprising facts about laughter.

And here's Robert Provine (mentioned by Sophie in her talk) who shared his research findings about laughter in Cracking the Laughing Code at the Chicago Humanities Festival a few years ago.

Finally, at a TEDX event in Munich, Anthony McCarten gives his talk On Laughter about the importance of humour and laughter in todays' world.

Dates for Your Diary


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

facebook linkedin twitter youtube