Fifteen participants gathered at Brindabella Lodge, a new venue for SDN. It proved very suitable. To start, people introduced themselves with sharing about their background and interests. The timetable was then formed by offers from participants to run sessions (typically one and a half hours).
The following sessions and topics resulted:
- Small group discussion of death, politics, sex and religion made for an interesting start and enabled early sharing of personal concerns and ideas.
- Two participants held a dialogue on common concerns shared over many years, especially in relation to Indigenous communities.
- Creative exercises to show ways in which movement, mind and spirit interact to enhance wellbeing and awareness.
- A session on Restorative Practice and how it is being extended in areas of justice, education, welfare and community.
- A cross-cultural program at Charles Darwin University with the Yolnu people, about mediation, conflict resolution and cultural sensitivity.
- Reflections on the SDN process and methods that enable going deeper than normal conversation based on mutual trust and respectful learning.
- A meditation exercise and a mapping human sculpture to focus on mindfulness and the ways in which SDN might develop further.
- Bullying in schools and what might be done to change the conditions that cause it, in small groups to share stories.
- Looking to 2019 the group spoke about their hopes, fears, visions and challenges for themselves as individuals, for the wider society, and for the world.
- A session on the different functions and responses of the human brain, especially the right and left sides in responding to crises/accidents.
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan - challenges caused from overuse of water, droughts, and the emergence of Indigenous people as significant contributors to decision-making.
- Integration of the feminine principle in human behaviour and potential for growth in wisdom and peacefulness.
- A theory of human history and nature, ways in which we have overreached our power through trading, money, ownership and authority.
Reflections on the migrant experience, through the story of a migrant who has been in Australia for many years and experienced the good and the bad aspects of our culture.
- Report on the campaign to include non-religious (secular) pastoral counsellors in hospitals.