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GRA Update for March

Just a quick note to inform you of two very important GRA matters.

In January I wrote of the question I held: “What can GRA offer that might assist make sense of the madness, might reclaim the otherwise readily disowned parts of our own thinking, and might create spaces for the courage to keep thinking, keep feeling our way through the times ahead and even to lead others?”

Well on Tuesday night 7th March GRA showcased some of the ways in which we can and do achieve this.  The launch event of the Socioanalysis Special Issue: Seeking Asylum was a great success with 49 registrations, ten of the contributing authors in attendance and a challenging presentation by Julian Burnside AO QC.  Jinette de Gooijer showed a moving silent video of the silent Slow Walk held in Melbourne last year and several authors generously brought more material, photos and graphics and questions into five small group discussions.

The design of the event – creative and purposeful – had four speakers warm us to the material of seeking asylum and to the process of publishing a journal of this calibre. My sincere thanks to Susan Long, Allan Shafer, Greg Cook and of course Julian Burnside.

If you have not yet had the chance to read the journal articles I strongly encourage you to do so as, although much of the content is quite sobering, the articles demonstrate the power of bringing a socioanalytic mind to the enormous issues related to seeking asylum such that our agency is more able to be felt, our helplessness slightly diminished.

Congratulations to Allan Shafer as the Guest Editor, to Greg Cook as the SAP Coordinator and to the entire SAP Organising Committee: Greg, Allan, Jinette, Karen Perrin, Michael Donnelly, Sara Taylor, John Newton and Nuala Dent.

The second matter is that I must inform you of the resignation of GRA’s Vice President Sara Taylor this week.  As you would be aware the role of Vice President is one of supporting the President in role whilst preparing oneself to take up the role after two years.  Sara has decided that she is not in a position to take up the presidency at the AGM later this year and has vacated the role immediately.  I would like to thank Sara for her contribution to GRA over this time and know that she will continue to contribute to the richness of GRA’s work in her writing, seminars, social dreaming and other avenues.  Thank you Sara.

The resignation and the vacancy it causes do raise questions for me about the challenges of leadership, of women in leadership roles and what is needed to lead a dynamic, thoughtful volunteer organisation like GRA.  I encourage any member who would like the opportunity to explore the reality of the leadership experience, by joining the CoM to contact me directly.

Joanne Fitzgerald
President, Group Relations Australia
0412 228 076
Group Relations Australia Inc is a not-for-profit professional association whose members seek to develop the field of group relations and systems psychodynamics. We apply its methods to working with groups, organisations and communities.
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