June 2018 is shaping up to be one of Australia21’s busiest months on record! We’ll be taking a good hard look at inequality in Australia, launching a groundbreaking Australia21/FearLess report on PTSD in first responders and sharing our work on PTSD and mindfulness with medical practitioners of the future. We’re facing up to inequality: June 18 Roundtable Australian and global wealth inequality is rising and there’s growing international concern that our current systems are incapable of dealing effectively with either inequality or increasing damage to the environment. Growing numbers of commentators argue that the world will need to adopt a radically new economic approach which is fit for purpose, though that’s certainly not being acknowledged widely in Australia at this stage. On June 18 the Hon Wayne Swan MP, former Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer of Australia, and Australia21’s Emeritus Professor Bob Douglas will co-chair a joint Australia21/The Australia Institute Roundtable on inequality. Forty experts from across the disciplinary, social, political and ideological spectrum will gather at Parliament House in Canberra to discuss the theme ‘Dealing with Economic Inequality in Australia’. Over the course of the day, participants will address four key questions:
How serious is the inequality issue in Australia? What are the factors contributing to it? What changes will be needed in Australian society to make it highly likely that economic inequality will be declining in the next 10 years?
What changes are needed now to address the problem?
To allow free discussion, the Roundtable will be run using the Chatham House Rule – that is, outside the meeting participants may disclose the content of the discussions but not the identity of the speakers. Following the Roundtable, the project team from Australia21 and The Australia Institute will draft a report, including recommendations, for public release in the lead-up to the next federal election. Our aim is to stimulate discussion in the broader community about inequality, environmental sustainability and the appropriateness of the current economic model. When Helping Hurts: PTSD in first responders The latest Australia21/FearLess report, When Helping Hurts: PTSD in first responders will be launched by the Commissioners of the Australian Federal Police, the Victorian Police and the NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services.
These three organisations sponsored the ‘PTSD in first responders’ project with the aim of exploring better ways of preventing the debilitating consequences of traumatic stress and improving mental health outcomes for front-line first responder personnel. The report makes 31 recommendations and draws out nine key priorities for first responder organisations to consider. Available soon on our website. Sharing our work with future doctors Australia21 Directors will share their ideas with medical practitioners in training at the University of Melbourne MD Student Conference. Our Chair, Paul Barratt, will run an interactive seminar with Dr Katrina Sanders, Chief Medical Officer of the Australian Federal Police, asking students to think about the problem of PTSD in first responders and how it should be tackled. Dr Lynne Reeder, founder of Australia21’s Mindful Futures Network, will lead other experts in a discussion about the innovative role of mindfulness in medicine. Drawing on new neuroscientific research, combined with expert clinical experience, Lynne’s session will explore just how interlinked our emotions are with decision making. Australia21 has also assisted in convening a panel which will explore the interaction of social factors and drug use, including practical ideas on the kinds of services and community models that can improve health outcomes for patients who use drugs.
Australia21: Get informed. Be heard. Shape the future.