Advocating for Indigenous Genius, Indigeneity and Wellbeing

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[Book review] Creating agency in Aboriginal health by Dameyon Bonson

Reflections / Book reviews
Creating agency in Aboriginal health

Dameyon Bonson
Med J Aust 2014; 201 (9): 540.
doi: 10.5694/mja14.01096

PAT ANDERSON, chair of the Lowitja Institute, Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research, provides generous praise to the authors of this work for their valuable contribution to research and practice of empowerment in Aboriginal health ( When you read this text you will find that the praise is well deserved.

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Malaria kills nearly one million people each year – Public Health Poetry

Malaria Poems by Cameron Conaway

Malaria kills nearly one million people each year. Hundreds of millions more are sickened by the disease, and many of them are permanently disabled. Billions are spent each year to understand it. Researchers know the molecular details of the interaction between the mosquito and our own red blood cells, and the myriad ways in which malaria impacts the global economy and the advancement of humanity. But what of the public? Though its story is told in thousands of articles and in hundreds of books, many in the developed world are unaware of how prevalent malaria still is. “Malaria, Poems” testifies to the importance of bridging the chasm between science and art. It adds thread to a tattered and tragic global narrative; it is poetry’s attempt to reawaken care in a cold case that keeps killing. According to Cicero the aim of the orator is threefold: to teach, to delight, and to move. Poets during the renaissance embraced this idea, and Malaria, Poems reinvigorates it. Allen Ginsberg called for a poetry of social consciousness, a “bare knuckle warrior poetics.” Cameron Conaway, a former MMA fighter, offers” Malaria, Poems” both as a response to Ginsberg’s call and as a new call to contemporary poetry.


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Aboriginal Suicide is Different by Colin Tatz

An expert from Chapter 10. Towards Alleviation

I prefer the words ‘alleviation’ or ‘mitigation’ to the conventional ‘prevention’. One can only prevent what one knows is likely to happen, and then only of one can clearly identify a cause which can be ameliorated or mitigated. We do not know the causes of youth suicide. ‘Prevention’ has not diminished youth suicide in Australia, New Zealand, North America, the Scandinavian countries, Scotland, Sri Lanka or the Pacific Islands, in each of which the rates of youth suicide have escalated markedly. All we can do is try to slow, or deflect, the development of trends towards attempts at suicide.”


Aboriginal Suicide is Different

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(Video) The only prelude needed for Cage-Fighting Poet -Cameron Conaway’s memoir “Caged” + Book Review

Caged – Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet – A Review

Cameron Conaway reaching out to his dad

The Good Men Project is the link between Cameron Conaway and myself. I’m not sure when that link was made and why out of all the contributors to GMP that I began following Cameron on twitter. Maybe it was the Cage Fighter slash Poet paradox that intrigued me.

And that he looks more like a Poet than a Cage Fighter.


But even when Cameron was fighting and looking like a Cage Fighter than Poet he was writing poems and into poetry.


I’ve not been one for poetry really. Not writing nor reading it. Mainly because I think it’s because there’s nary been a poem or poetry style that’s attracted me to it. Reading Caged has changed that. I don’t think that I will now suddenly become a poet, even though I’ve had a crack here. But I will write shit down. There’s a style that Cameron refers to early in his book, or as he writes it’s a “tactic” poets use called Enjambent. I like it. And like I said, I’ll give it a crack.

I know I’m going to read Caged again. The first lines I drew my pencil under were on page 8 – The Warrior Spirit. But they were also the last. I wanted to read the book, not study it this first time round. The purposeful intricacies of MMA and BJJ as life metaphors that Cameron brings to light amazed me. It’s like he’s created a road map to life or at least a guide to perhaps follow or a stencil to which colour in however you want. Hell, even colour outside of it.

Admittedly while reading Caged I didn’t feel inspired but rather validated within my own sense of maleness and masculinity. But towards the end I did get inspired. Inspired to write more. This year I’ve really only just gotten into it (writing). My third for the GMP is coming up and an Op Ed I wrote has been widely circulated. Plus a Book Review for a Medical Journal should be out in the coming months.

The next time I read Caged though, will be with pencil, ruler and notepad. There is so much to unpack and explore and reflect upon. Well, for me anyways.


The biggest reward for me from reading this book is that I’m excited about poetry, as a method of story telling.

Cameron’s website is here

Cameron has a new book of poetry out on November 1st called Malaria Poems.

Malaria ? Poems ? How’s that for a juxtaposition.


I bought my copy of Caged from Bookktopia but you can also get it via Amazon

Here you can find my first two pieces for the Good Men Project the third is on its way. Here is also a piece that the GMP passed on Robin Williams, Henry Rollins, Men and Depression

Cheers, Dameyon


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“The Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking” – Characteristics and Strengths

Here are some of the characteristics and strengths of introverts, described by *Susan in her book (with supportive evidence and research).

If you read them carefully you will realise what Susan means when she says, “The Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.” :-

Recharge their batteries by being alone (more likely to meditate and do self-reflection)
Drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling.
Listen more than they talk, think before they speak and often feel that they express themselves better in writing than speaking.
Likely to be creative, patient and persevering
High reactive, prone to worry and live in their heads
Excellent artists, writers, scientists and thinkers (I would add Consultants and coaches).
Good at observing self and others.
Good at focused complex problem solving
Philosophical or spiritual in their orientation
Highly empathetic.
Do not like small talk
More likely to feel guilty because of sensitivity
Passion for thought and attention to subtlety
Good at predicting trends and future
Have more determination and give attention to detail
More likely to be driven by inner reward (passion and satisfaction) than outer rewards.
More likely to focus on their own instincts and have less of herd mentality.
Likely to focus more on substance than style.
Don’t like to attend to many people at once (e.g. partying)
Like serious discussions and not very fond of casual talk.
Tend to have one or two deep interests and passions.
Have good concentration and insight
Good at strategizing and spotting problems and,
In my opinion, good at collaborating and creating win-win situations.


Susan Cain “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”


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#MentalAs @JezNews you need to get this #Broome guy in for Mental Health Week on 5-12 October

For Mental Health Week on 5-12 October, the ABC is launching Mental As: a week of distinctive programming across the ABC. You’re invited to take action, start talking and to give to mental health research and help fund the next wave of breakthrough solutions. Mental As
Mental-as-logo-Hyper-realistic Speed Portrait Drawing – ‘Childhood Memories’ – Trent Caldwell

Mental As

The Society for Mental Health Research



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[Just Arrived] We Real Cool by @bellhooks

We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity by bell hooks


In We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity,  bell hooks talks of the the way in which both white society and weak black leaders are failing black men and youth. Her subject is taboo: “this is a culture that does not love black males:” “they are not loved by white men, white women, black women, girls or boys. And especially, black men do not love themselves. How could they? How could they be expected to love, surrounded by so much envy, desire, and hate?”

“When women get together and talk about men, the news is almost always bad news,” writes bell hooks. “If the topic gets specific and the focus is on black men, the news is even worse.”

Download We Real Cool_Black Men Masculinity By bell hooks

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Also reading “Promoting Men’s Mental Health”

Promoting Men’s Mental Health

Men's Mental Health

Men – in all their diverse groups, settings, lifestyles and stages of life – can face considerable challenges to their mental wellbeing from specific cultural and societal factors, causing difficulties for themselves and those who live and work with them. In addition, these men may respond better to certain approaches and treatment. Promoting Men’s Mental Health outlines the breadth of the challenges and provides guidance for those working in primary care on targeting and helping men who need support. Good mental health is more than the absence of mental illness, and this book therefore highlights methods to promote positive mental health by increasing psychological wellbeing, competency and coping skills, and by creating supportive living and working environments The book highlights examples of best practice throughout the UK, Europe and America, and will be essential reading for primary care and mental health professionals, and all those with an interest in men’s mental health. ‘We need to be more innovative in the way we try to reach men. This book will help stimulate further discussion and hopefully encourage men to seek help or support.

order from Amazon (Worldwide)

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Currently reading “Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet” by @CameronConaway

Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet


Accomplished MMA fighter and award-winning writer Cameron Conaway presents in Caged the true story of a young man who overcomes a family background and his own inner torment by learning to channel his frustrations into the physical world of mixed martial arts fighting and the cerebral world of poetry and writing. It teaches the value of personal reflection, how life’s most painful moments can lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of human nature, and just what is possible when optimism and determination combine to overcome tough odds. Caged shows how the pursuit of two seemingly disparate passions helped a struggling boy blossom into a simple man. The result is a literary and lyrical philosophical journey into the heart and mind of a modern-day warrior.