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Australian Family & Community Strengths Conference

29 September 2003 at 1:09 pm
Staff Reporter
The 3rd Australian Family & Community Strengths Conference in NSW in November offers an exciting opportunity to explore family and community strengths initiatives that work.

Staff Reporter | 29 September 2003 at 1:09 pm


Australian Family & Community Strengths Conference
29 September 2003 at 1:09 pm


The 3rd Australian Family & Community Strengths Conference in NSW in November offers an exciting opportunity hear International and Australian researchers, practitioners and policy makers explore family and community strengths initiatives that work.

The Themes for this year’s conference are:
• Promoting Strengths-Based Leadership/Management
• Linking Schools, Family and Community
• Working from a Strengths Perspective in a Problem-Focused
• Exploring Resilience
• Mobilising People and Community Resources (practical application)

The Conference will take place from Sunday 30 November to Wednesday 3 December 2003 at the University of Newcastle and is hosted by the Family Action Centre in the Faculty of Health.

The Family Action Centre is a unique, independent centre that provides the community services programs to marginalised groups. As a result of this work the Family Action Centre undertakes advocacy, dissemination, resource development, lobbying and research in order to bring about positive change for family and community.

FAC says strengths-based practice is gaining momentum in Australia. Across the country, practitioners from different disciplines are exploring the potential of the strengths perspective in their work.

Clinicians, counsellors, advocates, community and family workers are applying it to their practice, staff teams are incorporating it in their planning sessions, managers are using it in their staff appraisals, teachers are using it in their classrooms, community groups are applying it to discover the capacity of their members and policy makers are incorporating it in their recommendations.

The last two Family and Community Strengths Conferences (1999 & 2001) focused on the introduction and possible application of the strengths perspective.

The 3rd Family and Community Strengths Conference is about the successes and challenges of applying the different forms of strengths perspective, such as asset-based community development, strengths-based practice, narrative therapy, appreciative inquiry and brief solution-focused therapy.

It will offer opportunities to share the joys and struggles of working from a strengths perspective with its clients/patients/co-investigators/ participants, and also to explore how well the strengths perspective can be incorporated into leadership, staff management, organisational structures, partnership building and interagency networking.

Michael Durrant, the founder and Director of the Brief Therapy Institute of Sydney will deliver the Keynote Address. The centre is devoted to counselling, training, consultation and research into strengths-based, solution-focused approaches.

He is also Senior Clinical Associate in the School of Psychology at the University of Western Sydney. Michael has conducted workshops in various aspects of “competency-based” approaches to therapy and Solution-focused Brief Therapy to professional audiences in Australia, North America, Asia and Europe and has consulted to a number of organisations wishing to redirect their practice towards
a strengths focus.

Some of the aims of this exciting Conference are to:
• Discover and identify attitudes, perspectives and practices that empower individuals, families and communities
• Develop an understanding of Asset Based Community Development and its place in the school and wider community
• Network and start new connections
• Understand the Family and Community Strengths approach and its integration in school/ community culture
• Consider key issues around the engagement of fathers in the family and community
• Develop, understand and apply a strengths approach to challenging environments
• Celebrate – participate in the ‘Celebration of Life’

If you would like more information about the Australian Family & Community Strengths Conference and a registration form just send us an email to

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