Radio In Colour: Brisbane vs The G20

g20-3In November 2014 Brisbane hosted one of the world’s biggest meetings of world leaders – the G20.

The then LNP governments led by Campbell Newman in Queensland and Tony Abbott at a federal level, resulted in predictable overkill of security measures, crackdown on dissent, and surprisingly, neglect of one of the most important global issues – Climate change. Continue reading


New radio series tackles peace and conflict at many levels

We spoke to psychologists and peace activists from around Australia about why we fight and how peace is possible

We spoke to psychologists and peace activists from around Australia about why we fight and how peace is possible


Have you ever wondered how to avoid getting into an argument?

Have you ever faced a bully? Or experienced racism? Or war?

This new series from the studios of 4EBfm in Brisbane, with funding from the Community Broadcasting Foundation, tackles the issues of conflict and peace through the research of peace psychologists.
We talk to counsellors, researchers, peace advocates and citizens about their experiences in this ten-part radio series that covers the breadth of the field from couples conflict, through group conflicts including racism, to national and global conflicts like war. We conclude the series with a vision of a peaceful world through the eyes of psychologists and peace advocates.
The soundtrack of this entertaining and informative series includes a selection of alternative Australian and overseas music.  The series is supported by a facebook page where listeners can find more information on the topics we cover and hear complete interviews.
The series is sponsored by Psychologists for Peace, an interest group of the Australian Psychological Society, 4EBfm, 4ZZZfm and the Community Radio Network.
10 episodes, 27:50 mins each.   Series Producers: Kim Stewart, Linda Rose and Nathan Renault.

Broadcast on the Community Radio Network in August 2013.  Available for free download to any and all community radio stations.

The series will be available to online listeners via the CBAA podcast site in August.

Find out more:

war games can never be green


Today Friends of the Earth release a damning report of the track record of military uses of the environment and the risks US bases and exercises pose to our natural heritage. The report “US Bases in Australia:  the social and environmental risks” lists the numerous locations that the US military will increasingly use on Australian soil.

One of the report authors, Kim Stewart, says, “The military recognise the environmental values of the areas in which they train.  But this does not stop them conducting live firing in areas where endangered species live, or using munitions and equipment that destroy habitat and contaminate into the future.”“Military exercises are not required to submit Environmental Impact Assessments.  Defence instead produce a Public Environment Report with no legal standing – a green washing exercise. Continue reading

power and social change

peace doveIn any human group, relationships of power are a determining factor in behaviour and constrain or permit social actors. In local communities sources of power and influence include elected government officials, but often those with economic or social advantage, such as landowners, employers or the ‘upper’ classes can have great influence without holding political power.  It is important to understand the different types of power that individuals or groups can have in a community to understand how it can be used or subverted to facilitate change. Continue reading

vygotsky and authoritarian parenting

Lev Vygotsky

Lev Vygotsky

Developmental psychologists study the means by which children learn cognitive and behavioural skills. Many have linked authoritarian discipline to bad behaviour and cogitive delay.  Today I’m interested in Lev Vygotsky, a marxist psychologist and founder of the cultural-psychological movement.

Vygotsky emphasises the importance of cultural conditions in the formation of personality and behaviour. Vygotsky saw the parental relationship as vital to the development of the child’s interpersonal and cognitive skills. Through the example and assistance of a parent the child’s social development is advanced by activating what Vygotsky calls “the zone of proximal development”. Thus children who experience cooperative and assistive, rather than punitive styles of parenting, will quickly increase cognitive skills and be motivated to learn. This applies to practical skills like writing or building things from blocks, as well as the learning of ethical and problem-solving behviour. Continue reading