Knowledge Is Power

Education is not intended to fill a container with knowledge. It is intended to light the fire of justice within you. The term ‘Philosophy’ in Doctor of Philosophy does not mean the field or academic discipline of Philosophy; #HealingTrauma

it means in the broadest sense, with its original Greek meaning, ‘love of wisdom.’ I share this not as a Psychologist as there are limits within any profession. I share this as a human being in the broadest sense in accordance with love of wisdom.

Throughout history it has been a privilege and more importantly a responsibility to share the truth for justice. For example, ‘homosexuality’ was recently considered an illness in Psychiatry; listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (See Thread: Psychiatry’s Dark Days: Healthy Scepticism).

Peace System (i.e. Intimacy and Play) despite the silence or judgment, blame, punishment, shame and stigma.

It was removed from the DSM in the 1980s because activists shared the truth for justice. Medicine records similar prejudices; ‘drapetomania’, was a 19th century disorder of ‘slaves who have a tendency to run away from their owner due to an inborn propensity for wanderlust’ (Drescher, 2015).

Buddha said: “There are two mistakes to the path of truth. The first is not starting. The second is not finishing.” Not starting is to not know that truth even is an option available to us all. Not finishing is to stop half way and to never find your fire of justice.

The fire of justice is a natural consequence of the love of wisdom. You might say ‘well not every person has the privilege to become a Doctor of Philosophy?’ That is the truth. However, not every person with a PhD found their fire of justice. You do not need to have a PhD.

The only prerequisite for truth is clarity: to see things just the way they are. Confidence without clarity is disastrous – it has destroyed the planet and killed countless lives. The truth’s most beautiful quality is that it is non discriminant. The truth has no agenda.

Clarity knows that it cannot squeeze the truth, nor any precious life, into a box. This is a shock to some indoctrinated by Western culture; to learn that Psychology as ‘the science of human behaviour’, is a relatively new school, and therefore young science, compared to say Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

For those aware of Psychiatry’s dark history, its future is looking bright: ⭐️ Bessel van der Kolk helped Psychiatry by pioneering our current understanding of trauma. He helped to demonstrate:

Trauma survivors recover best with both top down (i.e. Brain Down: Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, etc) and bottom up (i.e. Body Up: Yoga, Martial Arts, Ceremonial Dance, etc) processing. He also rightly criticised Psychiatry for being too top heavy.

Pioneering Trauma Expert Bessel van der Kolk.

Bessel van der Kolk challenged dominant paradigms, like the cognitive revolution, Big-Pharma, and Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Millions of trauma survivors have benefited from his contribution to Psychiatry. I often adopt his work for mental health:

The Western Medical Model uses the ‘Biopsychosocial Framework’: what biological, psychological, and social factors impact mental health? This is vital. However, young science had stopped there. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Framework of Social and Emotional Wellbeing includes:

connection to body, connection to mind and emotion, connection to family and kinship, connection to community, connection to culture, connection to country, connection to spirit, spirituality and ancestors (Gee, Dudgeon, Schultz, Hart and Kelly, 2013).

Such an approach to wellbeing encompasses the full spectrum of being human; each as a ‘protector’ that can empower us to keep well. Can they all be entirely measured by young science? No. But nothing existential can.

At some point you take science as far as it will ever go and stop – or – you put down the test tubes and immerse yourself into someone else’s school, tens of thousands of years older, humbly wiser. Since ‘Philosophy’ means ‘love of wisdom’ I stepped outside the box.

Australian Geographic: Laura Dance Festival
Cape York, Australia.

“Here in Australia, we’re fortunate enough to have one of the richest and oldest continuing cultures in the world. This is something we should all be proud of and celebrate.” – Professor Thomas Calma AO

However, I was strictly instructed to colour inside the lines!? (See Threads: I Have A Crazy Beautiful Story About Psychosis; My Recovery From Psychosis; What If Psychosis Is Not Losing Touch With Reality?). I just described one example of the love of wisdom in practice. What about on a grand scale?

“Psychiatry has been rightly criticised for over focusing on individualised diagnoses of mental illness while ignoring the larger ‘social context’ of humans; ‘Symptoms of inequality’ continue to be pathologised as ‘symptoms of mental illness’ located within the individual.” (Watson and Azer, 2020).

Ms Represented with Annabel Crabb.

The Confronting History of Australian Parliament:

“Some have argued that the psychiatric diagnosis systematically pathologises people’s rightful and reasonable responses to unreasonable events occurring in oppressive, dangerous and damaging social contexts. This hides/denies the gendered, racist, classist, homophobic intersecting hierarchies of power that shapes individuals experiences and pervade inner life.”

Example: “Decades of research demonstrates sexual violence and abuse as major predictors of women’s mental health distress; a connection now evident across all diagnoses: depression; self harm and suicidality; borderline personality disorder; bipolar disorder; emotionally unstable personality disorder; hearing voices and psychosis; substance abuse; PTSD, eating difficulties; phobias; and OCD.”

Power Threat Meaning Framework (2018).

“The ‘Power Threat Meaning Framework’ is a trauma informed approach that connects external structural inequalities with our personal experience. It’s the way in which ‘the outside gets in’. This framework locates power centrally in understanding distress.” (Watson and Azer, 2020).

The Power Threat Meaning Framework is: The negative operation of “power” (e.g. family member, educator, employer, government, religious institution, war, climate change), triggers the “threat system” and fight, run, freeze or collapse occurs.

The person triggered then makes “meaning” of this event/s (i.e. “Others are out to get me.”, “It was my fault.”, “I’m a bad person.”, “The world is unsafe.”). Trauma is when these meanings and threat responses endure past their expiry date (i.e. even once the danger is gone).

“The Power Threat Meaning Framework asks: ‘What has happened to you?’ (‘Power’), ‘How did it affect you?’ (‘Threats’), ‘What sense did you make of it?’(‘Meaning’), What did you have to do to survive?’ (‘Threat Response’).” (Watson and Azer, 2020).

Australian of the Year Grace Tame: #LetHerSpeak

“It’s been a great privilege this year to witness widespread progress, driven by survivors and a nation of people who’ve listened and lent their support. But we mustn’t forget that this movement’s unprecedented acceleration is the result of mass, re-traumatising disclosure.”

“The framework also asks: ‘What are your strengths?’ ‘What access to Power resources do you have?’ ‘What is your story?’ The Power Threat Meaning Framework also names the key sources of Power:”

“Power by force or Coercive power (e.g. violence, sexual violence, threats, intimidate for compliance and to silence). Interpersonal power (e.g. close relationships, to look after/not protect, to leave, to give/withdraw/withhold affection). Economic and material power (e.g. valued possessions, services, to control others’ access to resources).”

“Legal power (rules/ sanctions, supporting/limiting power, offering/restricting choices). Ideological power (e.g. language, meaning, and perspective, to identify ‘subordinate’ groups on basis of class, race, gender sexual orientation).”

“This state is incarcerating so many Aboriginal children and youth, and this has been condemned by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Children even younger than 10 are being processed by police…. 54 countries on Earth have told the government of Western Australia to stop,” – Lawyer and law academic Dr Hannah McGlade

“Biological or embodied power (e.g. physical attractiveness, fertility, strength, physical health). Social/cultural capital (e.g. qualifications, knowledge, connections, privilege).”

“For the Power Threat Meaning Framework mental health ‘symptoms’ are survival strategies and our strength and resilience; ways of trying to protect ourselves from danger. The courage of survivors of sexual/physical abuse is no different to the courage of war veterans. They’ve the right to be acknowledged for their strength, courage, resourcefulness and resilience.”

“There are multiple levels of interventions for recovery and re/empowerment: Increasing safety, access to power resources and survival strategies; trauma therapies: individual and group therapy; increased access to group/community strength; and social and political change.”

CEO Media Diverse Australia, Co-Chair of Board Australian Muslim Centre for Human Rights, Founder and President of Islamophobia Register, Advisory of Welcoming Australia:

“Now I recall a conversation I was having with two senior managers about corporate Australia’s shift to start focusing on culture diversity within it’s leadership ranks, now that we are doing better around gender diversity. One of them was a woman of Australian Asian heritage.

She was a former college of mine. The other a colleague of hers. A man of Anglo Celtic origin. Now it’s in the context of this discussion in which he turns to her, the Asian Australian woman and says “There you go. Another leg up for people like you.” Now she’s shocked because they’re colleagues so she says nothing. But I can’t stay silent. I literally put hand out like this. Got up from my pedestal. And I said:

“When you extend a hand to a group of people, who for far to long have been effectively walking in the gutter while others comfortably stroll the streets, that ain’t no leg up. That’s certainly not a hand out. That’s simply levelling the playing field.”

Rethinking Privilege:

“How is the Power Threat Meaning Framework more helpful than an individualised psychiatric diagnosis? This framework examines the social context of mental health difficulties over individual isolated distress; names the power and power abuses involved in the negative operation of power;”

“offers an understanding of the power process; links it directly to symptoms of distress, views symptoms as strategies of resilience and survival; recommends multiple levels of intervention for recovery and re/empowerment; reduces the risk of misdiagnosis of survivors’ trauma for example ‘bipolar’, ‘psychotic’, or ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’;”

Importantly – “The Power Threat Meaning Framework looks to change the social context to reduce inequalities and injustice.” (See Source: Gilli Watson with thanks to Suzanne Azer, DPC Annual Conference, 2020).

Kon Karapanagiotidis AM. Lawyer, Founder and CEO of Asylum Seeker Resource Centre:

“Think about this. The @ScottMorrisonMP Government is spending $4.3 million per human being per year to imprison & harm them on Nauru. Driven by nothing but political self interest & hoping they can leverage their misery & suffering for votes at the next Federal Election. Shameful.”

Advocating for asylum-seekers: lessons from the pandemic:

It is not hard to see then how intergenerational trauma continues to plague society. One might now appreciate the sheer amount of resilience required for any individual to break the cycle of abuse inherent within the very system they depends on for survival (See Thread: Intergenerational Trauma: My Humble Two Cents for First Nations Australians).

How could we use the Power Threat Meaning Framework to address the negative operation of power inherent in Australia for personal, social and political change?

According to Bessel van der Kolk: “The prevailing brain-disease model overlooks four fundamental truths (See Thread: Healing Trauma):

(1) our capacity to destroy one another is matched by our capacity to heal one another. Restoring relationships and community is central to restoring well-being;

(2) language gives us the power to change ourselves and others by communicating our experiences, helping us to define what we know, and finding a common sense of meaning;

(3) we have the ability to regulate our own physiology, including some of the so-called involuntary functions of the body and brain, through basic activities such as breathing, moving, and touching; and

(4) we can change social conditions to create environments which children and adults can feel safe and where they can thrive. Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to life.”

Jack Latimore is a Goori writer and researcher based in Melbourne. He is the senior editor for News Online at NITV and a Guardian columnist:

“500 Indigenous deaths in custody since 1991. Have a think about that. Since a landmark royal commission revealing the extent of the issue and providing over 330 recommendations about how to address it, there has been 500 more deaths. That’s what people should be taking to the streets about.”

“Traumatised people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. When something reminds traumatised people of the past, their brain reacts as if the traumatic event were happening in the present.”

“We learn to shut down the brain areas that transmit the feelings/emotions that signal terror. Yet our effort to shut off terrifying sensations, also deadens our capacity to feel fully alive.”

⭐️ We therefore close ourselves off to the flame of justice burning inside.

“Neuroscience research shows that the only way we can change the way we feel is by becoming aware of our inner experience and learning to befriend it.”

“Beneath the surface of protective parts of trauma survivors there exists an ‘undamaged essence’, a ‘Self that is confident, curious, and calm’, a ‘Self that has been sheltered from destruction’ by various protectors that emerged in their efforts to ensure survival.”

“Once those protectors trust that it is safe to separate, the ‘Self will spontaneously emerge’, and the parts integrate themselves into the healing process.”

⭐️ The truth and beauty of being alive returns and the flame of justice burns bright.

Australian Geographic: Laura Dance Festival
Cape York, Australia.

“Most great instigators of social change have an intimate experience of trauma. Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou and Nelson Mandela. Read the life history of any visionary, and you will find insights and passions that came from dealing with devastation.”

⭐️ All visionaries share the love of wisdom: truth is non discriminant. Its only prerequisite is clarity. They then transformed the truth into justice.

“Up until 1921, the punishment for gay sex in New South Wales was imprisonment for life. In Victoria it was the death penalty. Up until the 1980s, many individuals who were gay accepted Psychiatry’s illness model and sought to “treat” and “cure” their homosexuality” (Drescher, 2015)

“However, other gay activists forcefully rejected a pathological model and presented modern research to the American Psychological Association. They disrupted the 1970 and 1971 annual APA meetings and explained to psychiatrists, the “homosexuality” diagnosis causes stigma.”

“In 1972, an anonymous “homosexual psychiatrist”, disguised his true identity (John Fryer, M.D.), due to the realistic fear of adverse professional consequences for coming out, and spoke of the discrimination gay psychiatrists faced in their own profession.”

“By 1973, APA’s Board of Trustees (BOT) voted to remove homosexuality from the DSM. However, some psychiatrists objected to the decision. The decision also did not immediately end Psychiatry’s pathologising of some presentations of homosexuality.”

“For in “homosexuality’s” place, the DSM-II contained a new diagnosis: Sexual Orientation Disturbance (SOD). SOD was later replaced by “Ego Dystonic Homosexuality” (EDH) which was removed in 1987. This ended medicine’s participation in the stigmatisation of homosexuality.”

“In 1990, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). In many countries, the decision led to, among other things,

(1) the repeal of laws that criminalised homosexuality;
(2) the enactment of laws protecting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in society and the workplace;
(3) the ability of LGBT personnel to serve openly in the military;
(4) marriage equality and civil unions in an ever growing number of countries;
(5) the facilitation of gay parents’ adoption rights; and more.”

“Most importantly, Medicine, Psychiatry, and other mental health professions, shifted from asking “What causes homosexuality?” and “How can we treat it?” to focus on the wellbeing needs of LGBT individuals.” (See Source: Drescher, 2015: 10.3390/bs5040565).

Peace System (i.e. Intimacy and Play) despite the silence or judgment, blame, punishment, shame and stigma.

This is a brilliant example of Psychiatry situating pathology within the individual (i.e. homosexuality) when the trauma and stigma was actually the outside getting in: the negative operation of power.

Another group who experience devastating impacts of stigma are individuals who have an addiction. Imagine Australia treating addiction as a health issue, not a criminal issue? The operations of power using science and compassion, not punishment? (See Thread: Don’t Ostracise Drug Users: Empathise with them; Gabor Maté:

Trauma and Addiction expert Dr Gabor Maté:

“Depression is rising. Youth suicide is rising. All is not well. So the question is can we be human beings in the midst of civilization? Because what we call civilization demands the denial of human needs.”

All of the violations of human rights outlined in the 2021 Human Rights Watch World Report: Australia can be linked to the negative operation of power. The World Health Organisation declared that the health and wellbeing of countries depends on the systems that serve them: The appropriate operation of power.

I believe none of our individual efforts for justice – towards First Nations Australians, refugees, women, the elderly, individuals with a disability, ill health, living below the poverty line, homelessness and climate change – will last long term without appropriate power (See Thread: Rising Seas: Connect The Dots: Democracy On The Streets).

While each injustice differs, all stories share the same trauma: the negative operation of power. Human rights are non discriminant. Australia’s great leaders know this; what they lack is access to power. Meanwhile people are dying. Suicide is now the leading cause of death for young Australians.

Afternoon shower in Aurukun. Photo: Brian Cassey.

“Equality will always be a struggle while it continues to be the responsibility of the oppressed to fix a problem created by the oppressor.” – Dr Tracy Westerman AM.

Indigenous Child Removal: Fixing a Broken System:

“The last 20 years of trauma research has shifted treatment from purely bio-medical (medicine and psychiatry) and/or purely psychoanalytical (psychology) to include psycho-social (trauma-informed) and recovery focused (recovery-oriented) frameworks.”

“Trauma-Informed Practice is strengths-based grounded in understanding the impact of trauma: emphasising physical, psychological, and emotional safety for everyone, with opportunities for survivors to re-establish empowerment.” (See Thread: What is Trauma-informed Care?).

Blue Knot Foundation National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma.

The Blue Knot Foundation National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma have a vision for a ‘trauma-informed world’: “By employing trauma-informed principles, we can build a ‘trauma-informed’ society that creates possibilities for recovery on a grand scale.” (See Blue Knot Foundation National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma:

What can we do personally? Becoming `trauma-informed’ does not require clinical training or specialist skills. It requires basic knowledge only. The best way we can be there for others is by looking after ourselves first. This give us the strength we will need to help others (See trauma informed tools for survival and wellbeing: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5)

It helps to keep up self-care based on the ‘protectors’ described earlier: body, mind, social connection, culture, country and spirituality. This encompasses the full spectrum of what it means to be human: from the body to Existence itself (See Gee, Dudgeon, Schultz, Hart and Kelly, 2013 for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander version).

It helps to have a basic understanding of our body’s Threat System (fight, flight, freeze, collapse) and our body’s Social Engagement System, or what I like to call the Peace System (peace, joy, love, compassion, blissfulness and ecstasy; See Thread: #1 Threat System vs Peace System; Stephen Porges:

It helps to be realistic: wellbeing is like a game of snakes 🐍 and ladders 🪜 (See Thread: #3 Window of Tolerance: safe enough and okay enough vs too much or not enough; Dan Siegel: It helps to know what strengthens wellbeing: Intimacy and Play (See Thread: #2 What is Intimacy and Play? Stephen Porges:

Intimacy (safety, stillness, low arousal, flip side of freeze).

Perhaps the most helpful tool I’ve learnt from 20 years Psychology experience and recovering from two episodes of Psychosis is Dr Kristin Neff’s research comparing self-esteem to self-compassion (See Thread: #4 Why I Switched From Self-Esteem To Self-Compassion; Dr Kristen Neff:

I believe the ultimate solution for justice is switching from self-esteem (i.e. the need to be ‘special and above average’; aka a ‘Survival of the Fittest’ mindset leaving others behind to die) to self-compassion (kindness, common humanity and mindfulness; aka an ‘Enlightenment’ mindset; you are enough; #YouBelong).

Dr Kristen Neff’s world famous TED Talk: The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion (2013).

Self-compassion helps us to put an end to being in a constant state of threat (fight, flight, freeze, collapse) because the need to be the number one person on top is no longer our life’s goal. It is kindness, common humanity and mindfulness that helps to strengthen our self-soothing system (peace, joy, love, compassion, blissfulness and ecstasy).

A strong self-soothing system increases our Window of Tolerance (optimal state of arousal); snakes 🐍 and ladders 🪜 becomes easier to play. I define Mindfulness as – nonjudgmental acceptance of the present with openness and curiosity; the ‘opposite’ of our intellect.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama:

“Love is the absence of judgment.”

Put simply: the scientist uses his intellect to dissect the Frog 🐸 – pulls it apart, knows all its pieces, then the Frog is dead. Mindfulness teaches us to experience the Frog, child, loved ones, or stranger with a sense of openness and curiosity instead (See Thread: How To Hold Your Frog).

This greater sense of awareness puts the breaks on our obsession with using our intellect to dissect each other – including ourselves – and carve up the planet. Because we use this cutting instrument incorrectly most of us have now been cut in half:

not good enough, smart enough, fast enough, skinny enough, pretty/handsome enough, rich enough, powerful enough. We all must examine this MYTH! Is a child born half or whole? All of us were born ‘whole’. So why fight to be the number one person on top! (See Thread: A Daily Reminder You Belong).

Greta Thunberg, Climate- and Environmental Activist with Asperger’s:

“We can no longer let the people in power decide what hope is. Hope is not passive. Hope is not blah, blah, blah. Hope is telling the truth. Hope is taking action. And hope always comes from the people.”

This obsession is just a byproduct of self-esteem (i.e. the need to be ‘special and above average’; aka ‘Survival of the Fittest’) via our intellect: a cutting instrument. This hierarchy is not the ultimate truth. The intellect sees a series of staircases we must climb to the top; awareness sees only life.

We will always need both: discipline and play (See Thread: Enlightenment: Is reality an illusion and are we all hallucinating? What does it mean to ‘break the glass wall?). Truth, freedom, love are not on top. They all live inside us. No qualifications or endorsements required (See Thread: Breakthrough).

Neuroscience confirms what Wisdom Traditions have known for tens of thousands of years: awareness, compassion and purposeful action benefits us all. The truth is universal and has no expiry date. There is no excuse for injustice. Ignorance, arrogance and the negative operation of power remain obstacles to trauma informed change (See Thread: #5 Three Phase Approach To Healing Trauma).

There are two mistakes to the path of truth. Not starting. Not finishing. Why do I share the love of wisdom with you? To keep the fire of justice alive: Knowledge is power. All the 21st century needs is humans willingly to break the cycle: the negative operation of power (See Thread: I Can Already See This World).

Jagadish Vasudev, venerated as Sadhguru, Indian Yogi and founder of Isha Yoga Centre, Tamil, India:

“True human capabilities will not find expression in competition. True human capabilities will find expression only in absolute relaxation. Your mind, your body will work best, will find fullest expression, only when you are joyful and peaceful, and quiet within yourself.

“Why do you need to be pleasant within? The answer is self-evident. When you are in a pleasant inner state, you are naturally pleasant to everyone and everything around you. No scripture or philosophy is needed to instruct you to be good to others. It is a natural outcome when you are feeling good within yourself. Inner pleasantness is a surefire insurance for the making of a peaceful society and a joyful world.”

Source: A compilation of pieces explored in Trauma Informed World. Anything I have not personally written is attributed to the author/s. The website of each expert is included to connect you to their life’s work which I am sure they would love you to learn more.

Now you know the power of Trauma Informed Care. Let’s turn this framework into a mindset for personal, social and political change. If you are unable to, you might need help first, to get safe or become ‘unstuck’ from trauma. Reach out for trauma informed care. #YouBelong

With love,

Dr Louise Hansen
PhD in Psychology
Human Rights Activist

#HealingTrauma #Justice4Australia #YouBelong

Warumpi Band – My Island Home (1994):

“Six years I’ve been in the desert
And every night, I dream of the sea
They say home is were you find it
Will this place ever satisfy me?
For I come from the salt water people
We’ve always lived by the sea
Now I’m out here west of Alice Springs
With a wife and a family
And my island home
My island home
My island home
Is waitin for me
In the evnin the dry wind blows
From the hills
And across the plain
I close my eyes and I’m standing
In a boat
On the sea again
And I’m holding a long tyello spear
And I feel unclothed now
To where it must be
My island home, is waitin for me
For I come from the salt water people
We’ve always lived by the sea
Now I’m out here west of Alice Springs
With a wife and a family
And my island home
My island home
My island home
Is waitin for me
In the evnin the dry wind blows
From the hills
And across the plain
I close my eyes and I’m standing
In a boat
On the sea again
And I’m holding a long tyello spear
And I feel unclothed now
To where it must be
My island home, is waitin for me
My island home
My island home
My island home
Is waitin for me
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home
My island home.”

“The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation from First Nations to all Australians to realise a better future. Learn more and help us educate other Australians.”

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin
Dr Tracey Westerman awarded AM:

“I’m a proud Psychologist; but the Psychology profession must own the fact the entirety of its training is built on a foundation of cultural exclusion.”
“Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of support we received overnight! We’re able to fund one more Indigenous Psychology student for a full three year Psychology degree from just a 10 minute appearance on ABC #TheDrum.” – Dr Tracy Westerman AM

If you would like to donate, please visit:
Former Socceroo, Adjunct Professor, Human Rights Activist Craig Foster AM:

“Confronting racism is a profoundly positive act of citizenry.”

“You must resist attempts to convince you that torture and the breaking of humans is strong, and care and compassion is somehow weak when the exact opposite is evidently true. It takes strength to lift another person up, a community, to give something of what we have, to another. It takes real courage to speak out for a colleague or community when they’re in need. The terrible irony is, First Nations aside, we’re all ‘asylum seekers,’ aren’t we?”

Full speech below:

Australia and the World
Courage, Solidarity, Humanity and Leadership.
Or Refugee Torture, Human Rights Abuse, Xenophobia and Climate Inaction.
From Local to Global.
Annual Australian National University Address
National Press Club, Canberra.
Energy Transition Expert Simon Holmes à court:

“Australia’s political system is too broken to tackle climate change, and big polluters are determined to keep it that way. But we have a plan:”
Democracy On The Streets:

a global, chalk based wellbeing movement.
Climate Crisis, Fragmentation and Collective Trauma with Dr. Gabor Maté, Bayo Akomolafe, Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, & Eriel Tchekwie Deranger:
My partner Marcelo Alegre Rubic who taught me do not let anyone control your life. #YouBelong

Trauma Informed World was inspired by Kopika and Tharnicaa; two faces that remind us everyday of Australia’s cruel refugee system. One of many systems in Australia that remind us of the negative operation of power. #HomeToBilo

Kopika (left) and Tharnicaa (right) were kept at Christmas Island Detention Centre for nearly two years despite trauma informed calls to return them to Biloela, Queensland. Tharnicaa has spent most of her life detained by the Australian Government and is still in community detention to this day. #YouBelong

***Since the creation of this website the Biloela family were released from detention, returned to Biloela and granted permanent protection in Australia. However, hundreds more people still remain stuck in a system that requires urgent reform.***

Welcome to the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. Join us to make positive changes for refugees around the world.

New Kaldor Centre policy brief proposes reforms to Australia’s temporary protection system | Kaldor Centre:

You can listen my talk with Dr Cathy Kezelman AM, the President of Blue Knot Foundation on my own healing journey, training and study and how it has informed my work and advocacy for a trauma informed world here:

If you require Trauma Informed Telehealth Counselling please click here:

Trauma Informed World acknowledges and respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and waterways on which this educational resource was inspired. I acknowledge and respect Elders past, present and emerging. I honour the continuation of educational, cultural and spiritual practices and celebrate the extraordinary diversity of people and relationships worldwide. This website contains images of deceased persons. There are also swear words in some of the songs presented that portray intense emotions. This website is not intended to trigger people who have experienced trauma. However, if you do find any of the content triggering, each page has a link to Australia’s National Helplines and Websites for immediate mental health support. These are my own personal views and comments and may not reflect the views of my employer.

Australia’s National Helplines and Websites:

To provide the best information possible, Beyond Blue has listed national helplines and external services. All services linked to Beyond Blue are reviewed before they are posted.

Published by Dr Louise Hansen

This is a free educational website on Trauma Informed Care for survival and wellbeing. While each injustice differs, all stories share the same trauma: the negative operation of power. Let’s break the cycle of injustice and trauma together one day at a time. The byproduct of clarity is peace. Joy is peace dancing. Trauma is disconnection. Empathy fuels connection. Knowledge is power: “Love is the absence of judgment.” – His Holiness the Dalai Lama. #YouBelong

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