International expert in child resilience Dr Michael Ungar visited Perth from 19 to 30 May 2014 as the Commissioner’s Thinker in Residence 2014.
Acting Commissioner Jenni Perkins welcomed Dr Ungar as the third Thinker to focus attention on public policy issues that affect the wellbeing of children and young people.
During his two-week residency Dr Ungar worked with management and staff from government and non-organisations, and parents, offering new perspectives on a community-wide approach to building resilience in children and young people, particularly those who were vulnerable and had complex needs.
Dr Ungar’s explanation of resilience shifts our understanding of resilience from an individual concept, to a more culturally embedded understanding of wellbeing. He believes that resilience is possible for most children and young people. This can be achieved by shifting the focus from the difficulties and problems that children and young people have to the ways they cope and the ways in which we can facilitate their strengths and the processes they use.
When communities provide the services, supports, and health resources for children and young people to do well in ways that are meaningful to the individual, his or her family, and the community they are more likely to be resilient.
2014 Thinker in Residence Report by Dr Michael Ungar
- Parents seminar on resilience - Michael Ungar, John Curtin College of Performing Arts - 26 May 2014 (1 hour 24 minutes)
- The Social Ecology of Resilience: Families, Schools, Communities and Service Providers (ECU mylecture) - Michael Ungar, Community seminar, ECU Joondalup - 21 May 2014 (0 to 5 minutes Introduction Lynne Cohen, 5 to 55 minutes Michael Ungar, 55 to 111 minutes questions)
- Early Childhood Education and Care: Opportunities to Nurture Resilience (Curtin ilecture) - Michael Ungar, Early education seminar, Curtin University - 28 May 2014 (73 minutes)
Public seminar handouts
Five seminar for professionals, parents and the community were held in Perth and Kalgoorlie.
- Handout – Professionals seminar – 20 May 2014 (PDF 650KB)
- Handout – Community seminar Joondalup – 21 May 2014 (PDF 1MB)
- Handout – Parents seminar Fremantle – 26 May 2014 (PDF 260KB)
- Handout – Early childhood sector seminar Curtin - 28 May 2013
- Opinion piece - Care needed to build resilience in children – The West Australian by Dr Michael Ungar – 28 July 2014
- Opinion piece - Our Kulunga – The West Australian by Associate Professor Ted Wilkes – 2 June 2014
- Media report - The Risk Takers Advantage - 9 News Perth - 30 May 2014
- Radio interview - Morning Magazine with Paul van Lieshout Hunt - RTR FM with Paul Van Lieshout Hunt - 29 May 2014
- Opinion piece - A healthy environment will help our kids thrive – The West Australian by Professor Lynne Cohen – 20 May 2014
- Opinion piece - Resilience smoothes road for troubled kids – The West Australian by Acting Director General of the Department of Child Protection and Family Support Emma White – 22 May 2014
- Media statement - Building resilience key in overcoming modern challenges – 19 May 2014
- Opinion piece - It takes a whole community to build resilient kids - The West Australian by Acting Commissioner Jenni Perkins - 24 April 2014
The 2014 Thinker in Residence was supported by:
- Departments of Health, Education, Local Government and Communities, Child Protection and Family Support and the Mental Health Commission
- Child Australia
- Rio Tinto
- Edith Cowan University
- Western Australian Council of Social Service Inc
- Telethon Kids Institute