Student Wellbeing and Prevention of Violence (SWAPv) Conference

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Conference Connectors, Masters of Social Work students based in Oasis, helping Marja Van Breda with the many tasks involved in running a smooth and friendly conference.

Returning home from assisting and accompanying the Conference Connectors, whose job it was to assist in the creation of a web of friendly relationships among the delegates, to hear the news of the slaughter of innocent French celebrating their national day, and waking up this morning to the news of tanks in the streets of beloved Istanbul – this throws into perspective the enormous challenges for all who are concerned for the well being of the planet.

In the Nice situation, as in the Lyndt Cafe seige, the adage that the welfare of a society is determined by the extent to which we care for the least in our society is indelibly underlined. There can be no more important work than that of the Student Well Being and Prevention of Violence research centre at Flinders and the global network who are beavering away at develping strategies and resources for the education of children, who will inherit the mess humanity has made through repression, authoritarianism and war at all levels.

Only on Thursday I was talking with a Professor from the University of Nice. What shocking news to receive on the verge of her leaving Australia for home! What a psychological blow to her confidnece in the work she is giving her life to!

Every aspect of this inaugural three day conference, from the content of its keynotes and workshops, to the way it was constructed and conducted, affirmed the aspirations of Oasis at Flinders and its significance in the scheme of things. It was a real pleasure to be among those working for these aspirations, from the President of Malta and the Secretary of State from Timor Leste, with their entourages, working at a national level, to youth workers from Headspace at a local level.

Inspiration from the conference is now met with the challenges of being change agents in a world of change for the human flourishing of all.

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