“There is no such thing as a new idea.”
“It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.” Mark Twain
The ‘first peoples’ of this planet developed social technologies we are still attempting to fully comprehend. Social justice was a necessity for their survival. We are just starting to appreciate the contribution ‘first peoples’ made in developing circle processes that contribute to social harmony, decision making and healing.
We wish to acknowledge the people who came before us, all ‘first people’ and in particular Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on whose land we now live. May we honour them with our actions.
Dr Marshall B. Rosenberg
Nonviolent Communication is a body of work developed by Dr Marshall B. Rosenberg. NVC offers a means of connecting with others effectively, a means of personal and social change as well as a spiritual perspective that honours ‘life’ and our deepest desire to contribute to it.
‘Restorative Circles’ are the work of Dominic Barter, a British ex-pat now a resident of Brazil. Dominic’s early development work with
Restorative Circles began in the favelas of Brazil, where government regulated forms of justice were absent. The justice system available was violent and socially costly within the favelas, and often more so if outside authorities were called in.
Seeking a sustainable alternative he worked with the people of the favelas and developed ‘Restorative Circles’. Officials became aware, as they tend to when an alternative justice system moves in, but the efficacy of the work could not be denied. Restorative Circles are now a part of the formal Brazilain Justice system and a part of popular Brazilian culture.
Dominic has generously shared his work, providing facilitation training on a number of continents at great personal cost. We are forever grateful for his contribution to our lives and for his vision of Nonviolent, non-punitive social justice.