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Creating Space Project
15 minutes | a year ago
We Need Water
The Creating Space Project interviewed Miria and Ziggy, two young people on the Yaama Ngunna Baaka Corroborree. We were travelling with the Water for Rivers convoy in outback NSW, camping in the river towns from Walgett to Menindee. The purpose was to learn about the plight of the rivers from a First Nations perspective. The rivers are empty or near empty. This isn't just about the devastating drought or the climate emergency. The rivers are literally being sucked dry by big corporations. It is a death sentence for Aboriginal communities, for whom the rivers are life itself. Miria and Ziggy reflect on the impact that Uncle Bruce Shillingsworth has had on them, as well as the theft of water and climate change.
34 minutes | a year ago
People Not Gender
When is about people not gender? Sahra and Ruth explore patriarchy as a system of oppression that affects all genders. Far from experts on the matter, we are two psychologists sitting with self-doubt and the discomfort of critically examining what it is that we value, and how we bring that into a therapy room.
16 minutes | a year ago
Asylum Seekers on PNG
Trillions of dollars have been spent by the Australian government detaining asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea for six years. It would be far better governance to bring about an end to this situation. Cathy McGowan is the former Independent member for Indi, in rural Victoria. She talks to the Creating Space Project and asks each of us, right now, to email our local Member of Parliament and our state Senators and ask for answers to the following questions: What are the Government's plans for the asylum seekers on Papua New Guinea who can't go to the USA? What would it take for the Government to agree to New Zealand's offer? If you are an Australian citizen, you can find the relevant email addresses on www.aph.gov.au and it only takes about 15 minutes.
35 minutes | a year ago
Feminism and Counselling
The Creating Space Project is currently exploring feminist psychology and intersectionality, through asking listeners the question “What would you ask a feminist psychologist?” In this episode, Sahra O'Doherty and Ruth Nelson talk about Tanya's question regarding how you weave feminism into counselling, about being a values-based therapist, and the embodiment of values.
36 minutes | a year ago
Patriarchy and mental health
What would you ask a feminist psychologist? Ruth Nelson and Sahra O'Doherty respond to Jess's question about the effect of patriarchy on women's mental health, and how many problems stem from inequality. "I should look good." Ruth and Sahra explore the ways feminist values inform their psychology practice. They also explore systems of oppression, layers of privilege, intersectionality, who is allowed to get angry, cultural expectations of women, pain and motherhood, unrelenting standards and the male suicide rate. Photo 'Tern with a Fish' by David Noble
39 minutes | 2 years ago
It’s very hard to find the words, “I have experienced this.” What brings people into counselling? The Creating Space Project talks about therapy and mental health with psychologist Sahra O’Doherty. People can spend a lot of time squishing uncomfortable feelings back down, and get worried that if they lift the lid, they’re not too sure what’s going to emerge. We can be pretty afraid of our emotions. Society teaches us to fear failing. Shame and guilt feel painful. Vulnerability is frightening. So to come and talk to a psychologist can take a lot of courage. And what’s it like to be a psychologist sharing space with clients? Sahra talks about the ways that providing counselling has shaped her and how if we, as therapists, can’t sit with our own discomfort and vulnerability, how can we expect it of anyone else? The research tends to show that 70-80% of the effectiveness of therapy comes from the relationship between therapist and client. It’s the relationship that heals. So if you have a really fantastic and strong therapeutic relationship, that can facilitate positive change.
46 minutes | 2 years ago
Ballot Boxes and Witness K
“I find it very hard to accept that Australia’s national interest is about putting security listening devices of the walls of our poorest, nearest neighbour.” This is an interview about espionage, exploitation and politics. Elizabeth Biok is a lawyer and member of the International Commission of Jurists. She talks to the Creating Space Project about the case of Witness K and his lawyer, Bernard Collaery. These two men exposed the Australian government for bugging the offices of the newly formed government of Timor-Leste. “The Australian intelligence agents were asked to put listening devices inside the cabinet room and some of the ministers’ offices in the parliament of Timor-Leste. And that was no doubt to eavesdrop on what the Timorese politicians were saying, while the negotiations were going on with Australia about the oil boundary, and sharing the resources in the Timor Sea.” For exposing corruption, Witness K and his lawyer are charged with breaching the National Security Act and are now imprisoned and facing a trial that lacks open and fair justice. Elizabeth went to East Timor as a legal monitor of the Independence Ballot in 1999 and bore witness to the political oppression and militia violence of the Indonesian occupation. She takes us, with wonderful clarity, through the history and geography of our relationship with Timor-Leste, and our place in South East Asia, to help us understand how this situation came about and how it pertains to processes of economic development, democracy, and our identity and values as Australians.
22 minutes | 2 years ago
Cherie Heggie is wonderful. She sees the world with an openness and compassion that many of us just can’t seem to attain. She declared as a Bahá’í in 2015 and what drew her to the faith is its belief that all the major religions of the world are from God. In her life, she has found no difference between herself and the Muslims who live around her. Talking two days after the terror attacks on the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Cherie talks about privilege, peace, fear and the outrage that we are wasting time on hatred between religions when the true crisis facing us is the climate emergency engulfing us all.
28 minutes | 2 years ago
Australia has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world. That is amazing and a credit to our public health system. And, of the people who give birth in Australia, one in three experience it as a traumatic event. Grace Jeffery is a student midwife. She talks to the Creating Space Project about helping people feel safe and empowered in labour, and the importance of continuity of care throughout pregnancy and of good post-natal care, to reduce this experience of trauma for families. Grace also talks to the gendered nature of midwifery, which translates back to "with women", and the ways in which this can exclude people who don't fit a binary construct of gender. She reflects on how, while it is traditionally a very feminine space, it is fine to extend that space for people who don't identify with "woman", or "man", or "mother" or "father", so that they also can feel safe and comfortable in their experiences of becoming parents.
42 minutes | 2 years ago
This is a beautiful, relaxing, bilingual conversation between guest interviewer, Gavin, professional interpreter, Sajsajee, and naturopath, Jik. Jik is a naturopath. She practices Kai Therapy. With her husband, she has established an organic city farm in the middle of Bangkok. Their hope is to educate people about holistic approaches to health. From volunteering with street children, Jik now tries to educate people about integrative medicine, from the importance of fresh food, to changing the behaviours of consumerism. It is important to Jik to live the way that you teach, and becoming a Kai therapist was a way of fulfilling this, using ancient wisdom from Japanese villages to bring a new model for healthy living to modern Bangkok.
30 minutes | 2 years ago
Jaeb is a woman of vision, as well as extraordinary humility. “If I know anything, it’s that I know nothing.” When Jaeb and her husband first purchased land in central Thailand, the soil was so degraded by monocrop farming and heavy use of chemical fertilisers, it was like rock. They started growing trees for shade around the house. Initially, Jaeb and James had many failures, with thousands of saplings dying. But then they discovered the work of Dr John D. Liu. Since then, Jaeb has undertaken a fascinating journey of learning about ecological restoration, permaculture and sustainable agriculture. Jaeb wants to create a food forest, a way of producing food that doesn’t require deforestation or monocrop farming. An educator by training, and passionate about the environment, Jaeb wants to bring as many people on this journey with her as possible. From her own children to the local town to an international community of volunteers who come to the farm to live and learn, Jaeb’s vision is to share knowledge about food security and nature. “It’s possible to live off the land and to enjoy nature. You don’t need to cut down everything in your farm.”
38 minutes | 2 years ago
Muck In and Help
"Where are you getting the next lot of food?" And he just shrugged his shoulders. Ev Van Bo and her husband packed up their caravan for a trip around Australia. They thought that perhaps, on the way, they should stop to help a farmer. So they contacted the Country Women’s Australia and were put in contact with Nea Worrell, from the Baradine CWA Drought Pantry. She may have spent the first week leaving the cover on the thermometer when preparing the feed for the poddy lambs, but Ev’s help meant that farmers could have dinner with their children. For Ev, helping out in a drought was a reminder of what is actually important in life, and how we need far less than we imagine. But what we do need is food and water. In these times of climate change, with Australia become drier and hotter, this interview is a reminder that food security will become a more pressing issue, and that the people we depend on every day to feed us are struggling in ways that are unimaginable here in the city.
39 minutes | 2 years ago
Art of Marine Salter
Do you ever feel like who you are on the inside is different to the way you perform for other people on the outside? You should listen to this episode. Marine Salter did beautifully moving artwork for a journal article that I was part of, called Barometers of the City. Published in Human Arenas, it is qualitative research using poetry by psychologists as cultural data. Marine reflects on the process of producing art, which for her is about personal expression, for an audience. She describes being hyperaware of what’s expected of her in the world and feeling that she does not match the expectations of others, and the low self-worth that comes with that. Articulate and generous with her insights, Marine describes a phenomenon that is common to many of us. It is the need to be authentic to yourself and to heal your sense of pressure to meet the expectations of others.
54 minutes | 2 years ago
Back on Country
Kim is a Joondoburri Salt-Water woman from Yirin, the traditional name of Bribie Island, South East Queensland. She found out at the age of 21 that she is Aboriginal. As a child, Kim's father was sent to a boys’ home to learn Western ways, his mother having been persuaded that this was in his best interests. In this institution, her father sustained appalling abuse. Now that her father walks with the Ancestors, Kim shares with the Creating Space Project the story of her family and her culture. As well as the trauma sustained by First Nations Peoples as a result of colonisation, this is a story of resilience, growth and joy. “To lose 65 000 years of culture, to lose my language, to lose my stories… I don’t know my language. I would so love to. I know the name of my language. It was Oondoo. But I don’t know anything. Any words. Nothing. It’s a sad thing. But… I know where I’m from. I can connect to my ancestors. I can connect with my country.” TW: Abuse, suicide attempts
30 minutes | 2 years ago
Wisdom of a Shaman
"I am a link between my father and my ancestors, the Incas, and knowledge formed thousands of years ago." The daughter of a Shaman, Julia has just released a book of her father's stories. Abuelito tells the tales of boyhood adventures with Eduardo Paez's grandfather in the foothills of Ecuador, trekking into mountains, visiting his special tree, watching the rituals of the wise men. Stories of fun and adventure, they also represent an ancient spirituality, a First Nations cosmovision, and bring a wisdom formed thousands of years ago into the modern day, a wisdom gentle and profound. From Eduardo's grandfather, a strong man, leader and warrior, there are gentle lessons on how to tackle climate change, how to protect the Earth that sustains us, and how to get along with each other. As Julia asks, "Who will still be telling these stories in a thousand years?"
28 minutes | 2 years ago
Kate is a farmer in outback NSW. She loves farming and she loves her land. Her cattle wander the paddocks in peace, in view of the Warrumbungles. "Anything that’s had a happy life is good. One bad day and that’s the day they’re on the truck." At the moment, keeping the cattle alive is hard. Kate describes the most extensive drought she has seen in 40 years in Coonabarabran. Even the native trees have not survived. Among dust storms and dirt, Kate often lacks the water to even wash her clothes.
22 minutes | 2 years ago
Kim works in town during the week and on the family farm on weekends. Her family are trying to keep some of their cattle alive during the drought. Resilience is a complicated business. It is the quality of bouncing back, surviving or thriving, and is revealed in hard times. Kim is the embodiment of resilience. She brings love, hope, commitment and loyalty to the work of emotionally sustaining her family through a drought that is slowly killing their stock. She doesn’t avoid emotional pain, standing side by side with her son as he has to put down the animals. She nurtures a small patch of lawn so her husband and son have something green to see when they return home from paddocks that are nothing but dust and dirt. She finds ways to sustain herself as well, one of which is choosing to tell her story as part of the Creating Space Project. Kim understands the power of witnessing. Just as she stands witness to her son in the fields, supporting him in his work, she talks here to allow us to bear witness to what she is carrying. “I like to think someone’s heard what I’ve said and actually acknowledged what I’ve said.”
14 minutes | 2 years ago
Amid the bustle and kindness of the Baradine Country Women's Association hall, Isabelle took time away from volunteering to talk to the Creating Space Project. Isabelle’s mum, Julia, tells a story about running away to her grandmother’s house whenever she needed a break. Isabelle, confident and insightful, uses that story to reflect on what’s important to her life. Family and working hard. Those things matter a great deal to Isabelle. Having interviewed her grandmother and mother previously in the podcast (Drought Pantry and Fourth Generation), this interview provides beautiful insight, from Isabelle, into the ways that families pass their values down through the generations.
24 minutes | 2 years ago
“I am the fourth generation of incredibly strong women.” When Julia was four years old, she was run over by the family car and pronounced dead. Somehow, she was revived and recovered from the incident without lasting harm. Julia Baird is the daughter of Nea Worrell, the amazing woman integral to the Drought Pantry at the Baradine Country Women’s Association, and previously interviewed on the podcast about the ways this drought, the worst in living memory, is impacting rural NSW, Australia. Cut from the same cloth, Julia talks to the Creating Space Project about the strength of the women in her family, from her grandmother down to her own daughter. She also talks about the faith that sustains her mother and sustains her, one that is linked to Mary MacKillop and the charism of the Josephite Sisters, also women of great strength. “She [mum] just has this attitude – you just get on with life.. I think she got that from my nan.” The intergenerational transmission of values is a process that I am very interested. Listening to Julia reflect on her family provides fascinating insight into the ways that families pass down an ethos of hard work, kindness, and never giving up. “Mum always said “You just get on with it, you’re my daughter, you know what to do, get on with it.” Family is one of the places where we shape a powerful sense of who we are, of our own identity, and this can be one of the forces that generates resilience in us. “Through the telling of these stories and the acceptance of who we were as women, I really took on, “I’m Julia, I know who I am, I have this strength, I have this power.”
27 minutes | 2 years ago
The Baradine Country Women’s Association is 90 years old. At the moment, its hall is full of supplies and vouchers, donated from around NSW and Queensland to support farmers and to try and keep the local shops alive. Nea Worrell, part of a family with five generations in the CWA, talks to the Creating Space Project about the impact of the drought. “We’ve had that farm for forty-odd years, my husband has been farming for seventy years, and we’ve never had dry dams.” Nea and her family have been handfeeding their animals, from sun-up to sun-down, for 18 months. They’re reduced to their breeding stock, and are wondering how they get through summer, never mind beyond that. There is no rain predicted. Nea’s story is not unique. Farming communities are facing enormous hardship. As well as struggle, though, what shines through is the strength, wisdom and kindness of women like Nea, building community resilience and hope. “We have ladies burst out crying when they see us. They’re being strong for the men in the farm and then they come in here and we say “How are you? Are you alright?” And then the boom gates open. So cuddles and cuppa teas and cakes are free here at the CWA. They go away feeling restored and better. And if we can do that, that’s great.”
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