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September 28, 2022

Honing the art of deep listening

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DCJ Project Officer Sally Moore, Mullum High P&C’s President Damian Farrell, Cath Graeme-Cook and Vice President Cindy Alice planning the local Deep Listeners program. Photo Tree Faerie.

The impacts of the floods earlier in the year are far-reaching, and the Mullumbimby High School P&C has recently received a $50,000 flood grant from the NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) to help the entire community.

The bulk of the grant will be used in a partnership with the Deep Listeners network, who deliver a program to upskill and empower community members and organisations to be prepared and willing to listen compassionately to each other. 

When you see someone wearing the Deep Listeners badge, it means they’re available and ready to listen, no strings attached.

P&C President, Damian Farrell, says that he recently saw an online post that said, ‘We often listen to reply, rather than to understand’.

He says, ‘I thought about that, and reflected that I too am guilty as charged. The school staff and the P&C have regularly discussed the impact of the flood on both the school community and the wider community, and have often been in awe of just how many people have given so much support to those severely impacted by the flood. In giving this support, it is very likely that we have all been accidental counsellors’.

‘Thus it is with curiosity and a desire to change, that I look forward to what the Mullumbimby High School P&C can offer to the community over the next year.’

The workshops offer participants the opportunity to learn techniques and guidelines to support them to be safe, compassionate listeners out in the community.

‘We see these workshops as a really relevant way that the school can support our wider community, when they are supporting family, friends or strangers in the community. It is heart-warming that the NSW Department of Communities and Justice acknowledge and value the importance of this type of support too.’

Workshops begin in October, and the P&C have booked venues and dates for November and December.

To register, visit www.deeplisteners.org/training-for-everyone.


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