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Seasons greetings!

Wishing you all a safe and festive season and a good break with lots of creative, happy, relaxing spaces and places.

Creating A Safe Supportive Environment (CASSE) has been on a very busy and productive journey this year!

It has been a true privilege to be on this journey.

I thank the Committee of Management members and consultants for their incredibly supportive and thoughtful work. I thank the team of the Men’s Tjilirra Movement and the research team, Ingkintja and Social and Emotional Well-Being at Central Australian Aboriginal Congress for their self-determining, generative, culturally appropriate and psychological work with Aboriginal men, women, families and communities on the ground. I thank the psychotherapy community for their support and imaginative discourse. I thank all our partners and collaborators who have engaged with CASSE in 2017. We have experienced very dynamic emotional encounters and movements together.

And I thank the many people who have been part of our journey so far and supported our work in so many different ways. We look forward to continuing our journey with you well into the future. 

From the ‘hurting hearts’ toward recognition, resilience, reconciliation, ‘good spirit inside’ and dreaming together, are some of the healing  ‘songlines’ of the country we have wandered, traversed and traveled.

Stories have been told. Stories are in the making. Two-way.

Pamela Nathan
Director, CASSE Aboriginal Australian Relations Program


MTM and the Young People’s Struggle Project

Image: Lunch break

"Connecting with family, community and culture can help you with your bad thoughts, they can give you the strength to feel strong about yourself and get through tough times." 

The Men's Tjilirra Movement's most recent cultural camps were run in early December with Macdonnell Shire's Mac Youth and Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation. The first was a camp for young men – the ‘Young People’s Struggle Project’. The second was a camp for young women.

Click here to read the full story, watch the video and view the photo gallery...

Image: a successful hunt for ruumiya (goanna)!


The heart of the matter

Image: George Halasz and Ken Lechleitner Pangarta at the closing of a transformative event.

CASSE was very privileged to be among those invited to present, share and talk about our work at the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ (RANZCP) 2017 Psychotherapy Conference, which was hosted at Uluru from the 15th to the 17th of September.

The conference was in the spirit of truth-telling and finding voices. As well as keynote addresses by CASSE's Pamela Nathan, films of the Men's Tjilirra Movement (MTM) were screened. Members of the MTM - Jamie Millier Tjupurrula, Martin Jugadai and Nathan Brown - and Ken Lechleitner, Research Officer of the Aboriginal Men's Shed Research Project (a collaboration between CASSE and the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation (CAACAC) and Facilitator of the Breakthrough Violence Program, were also involved in interactive workshops.

A communal, deeply moving and transforming experience was emergent. A journey of heartfelt stories, of the hurting hearts, led us on a journey of reconciliation and to a community of the heart, opening hearts and to a rising spirit.

Read more about the conference...

Read reflections on the conference...

Further reflections on the conference - spaces of hope...


NT Cattlemen's Association

Image: Arriving in Pt Augusta

In November CASSE's Pamela Nathan was invited to present a suicide workshop to Indigenous members of the NT Cattlemen's Association in Pt Augusta (SA). Suicide can be a silent killer and the presentation was an important catalyst for breaking the silence and making difficult conversations a bit easier. Sharing the pain can lighten the load. We look forward to presenting more workshops on this important topic with other organisations. For more information about CASSE's workshops on Suicide, Violence and Tools For Living, please contact us.  

Rob Springall (CASSE Chair) and Jamie Millier Tjupurrula (Program Manager, MTM), also attended the workshop


Yiramalay/Wesley workshop

Following on from the NT Cattlemen's Association workshop in November, Pamela Nathan facilitated a Social and Emotional Wellbeing workshop with the staff and mentors involved with the Yiramaly/Wesley Studio School.

Using a psychoanalytic framework, CASSE workshops can reveal the issues that are urgent within a community or organisation, and identify key emergent outcomes. CASSE considers it a great privilege to be invited to work with organisations in this manner. The workshops can be challenging but they can also provide a valuable space for new narratives and transformation.

Click here for more information about how CASSE works with communities and organisations...


Aboriginal Men's Shed Research Project

Image: Ken Lechleitner, Men's Shed Research Officer and Facilitator of the Breakthrough Violence Program

The Aboriginal Men's Shed Research Project, a collaboration between CASSE and the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation (CAACAC), has now been completed and the report is currently being finalised. A number of key issues and priorities have been identified by the men involved with the project and with the Breakthrough Violence Group Treatment Program for the prevention of Violence. We look forward to releasing this report and key recommendations in the new year.


Breaking the silence

Breaking the silence

Let us be present.
Let us sit down together.
Let us listen deeply.
Let us companion.
Let us be a mate.
Let us bear witness.
Let us hear the story.
Let us find the words.
Then an internal story takes place.
It fills the void, the black hole inside.
It gets known by another person.
It starts a dialogue.
Between the self and the other.
Internal and external.
When there is a story there is less likely to be a violent or desperate action.
The story is finding a language for pain and suffering.
Out bush by the campfire there is plenty of time to tell stories.
Tell your story.
Hear the story of the other.
Let us develop bush communities of story-telling.


International recognition

John, Lord Alderdice (pictured above) is an International Ambassador for CASSE and a determined advocate for conflict resolution and social justice. He has forwarded to CASSE, for distribution to our network, correspondence regarding the role of the Government of England in relation to recognition of, and treaties with, First Nations people of Australia, Canada and New Zealand. He has also invited suggestions for follow-up questions. 

Read correspondence from Lord Alderice...


Breakthrough Recognition Symposium booklet and videos

In case you missed CASSE's Breakthrough Recognition Symposium in March, a booklet and videos of all of the presentations are available online.  Featuring Senator Patrick Dodson, the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MPAlexis WrightLord John AlderdiceKieran FinnaneDr Timothy KeoghCraig San RoqueKen Lechleitner Pangarta, The Men’s Tjilirra Movement (Martin Jugadai, Jamie Millier Tjupurrula, Nathan Brown) and Pamela Nathan, they are are well worth revisiting, particularly in relation to the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The booklet was submitted to the Referendum Council prior to the Uluru Convention and is currently being edited in readiness for publication in 2018 as a special issue of the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalysis. Along with the presentations, the booklet includes key themes/outcomes from the symposium.

CASSE  Breakthrough Recognition Symposium Booklet Part 1 of 3

CASSE Breakthrough Recognition Symposium Booklet Part 2 of 3

CASSE Breakthrough Recognition Symposium Booklet Part 3 of 3

Videos of Presentations

These videos are displayed in order of the day's proceedings

Introduction to 'The Day After Tomorrow Breakthrough Recognition Symposium'

Lord Alderdice

Kieran Finnane

Dr Craig San Roque

Ken Lechleitner Pangarta

Pamela Nathan

The Hon Mark Dreyfus

Senator Patrick Dodson

Dr Timothy Keogh

Alexis Wright


Panel discussion and closing of symposium

How can you support our work?

To make a donation, please contact us: phone 0450 540 366 or email enquiries@cassse.org.au .

CASSE Australia Inc (ABN: 17811 536 315) is registered in Australia as a Deductible Gift Recipient. All donations over $2 made to CASSE Australia are tax deductible and go directly towards supporting our programs.

Check out our MTM T-shirts!