Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

New Program Promotes Peace

October 19, 2009

A new program aimed at bringing more peace to the world is off to a strong start with representatives from Queensland Police Service, New York City Police Department (NYPD) and members of the public gathering last week at Robina Community Centre on the Gold Coast to discuss how to best promote community relations and tackle conflict in the community.

The seminar included a presentation by Jeff Thompson, Community Affairs Bureau detective from the NYPD on the innovative ways in which the organisation has used sport to bring the community together, and explored strategies that could be used here in Australia to promote peace.

It was the first in a range of activities to be held as part of the Community Peace Program – a new research project funded by the Legal Practitioners’ Interest in Trust Account Fund Grant Funding, administered by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General of Queensland and spearheaded by Professor Bee Chen Goh, from the School of Law and Justice and co-director, Centre of Peace and Social Justice at Southern Cross University which will include a series of community events and cross-cultural training designed to promote positive community relations, embrace cultural diversity and enhance social inclusiveness.

Acting senior sergeant Holly James, regional crime prevention coordinator and cultural liaison officer, Queensland Police Service said she was pleased to be involved with the program.“Although New York is a long way from the Gold Coast, we are all fundamentally the same and face the same challenges, so this seminar was a good opportunity to exchange ideas,” said sergeant James.

“The community members are our eyes and ears, so we also always welcome the chance to engage with them and hear their feedback.” Professor Goh said she was pleased with the success of the first seminar.“Before we tackle big issues like terrorism we must look at how we resolve conflicts in our own daily life,” said Professor Goh.

“The Community Peace Program focuses on understanding each other and managing conflicts in order to improve neighbourly relations.“If we can, in our own daily lives, learn to be peace keepers in a conflict-ridden world, we are making a contribution to world peace – and the Community Peace Program aims to support people to do just that.”

The Community Peace Program will continue with an interfaith forum in December, including presentations by Rabbi Nir Gurevitch of the Gold Coast Hebrew Congregation, Gold Coast Sikh priest, Mr Bhajan Singh Bains, and Dr Mohamad Abdalla, director of the Queensland branch of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies, Griffith University.It will be held on Sunday December 13, from 2pm-3.30pm (Queensland time) in the Library Meeting Room at Robina Community Centre on the Gold Coast.

To attend contact Benedict Coyne on b.coyne.11@scu.edu.au.Photo: Professor Bee Chen Goh with Community Peace Program guest Jeff Thompson, Community Affairs Bureau detective from the NYPD (high resolution image available on request)

From [here].

(pictured above: Jeff Thompson and Bee Chen Goh)

Media contact: Zuleika Henderson, media officer, Southern Cross University Gold Coast and Tweed Heads: 07 5506 9385 or 0408 644533
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[part II] Come Join Me… In Australia!

September 29, 2009

I have another speaking engagement in Australia next Tuesday. Special thanks to Bee Chen for including me.

When: Tuesday, October 6th
Where: Library Meeting Room, Robina Community Center
Time: 2-4pm
What:
Community Peace Program
“Communities desire peace and happiness. It is important to learn about understanding each other and managing conflicts, in order to improve neighbourly relations.

In this Program, Professor Bee Chen Goh, Professor of Law of the School of Law & Justice and Co-Director of the Centre for Peace and Social Justice at Southern Cross University and Adjunct Professor of Law at Bond University, leads a dialogue on cross-cultural peace building.

Special guests of this Program are Acting Senior Sergeant Holly James, Regional Crime Prevention Coordinator/Cultural Liaison Officer, Queensland Police Service and Jeff Thompson, Community Affairs Bureau Detective from the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

Spread the word and bring a few friends to help spread peace. All are welcome. Free admission.

This Program is funded by the Legal Practitioner Interest on Trust Accounts Fund (LPITAF) Grants Fund, administered by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General of Queensland.

For enquiries, please contact Benedict Coyne,email: b.coyne.11@scu.edu.au mob: 0434915713

Ombudsman Releases Workplace Guide

September 2, 2009

The Fair Work (Australia, www.FairWork.com.au) Ombudsman recently released a series of guides to best practices for improving workplace relations. [from the media release here]

Below, you will find a brief outline what the guide offers. Some very good stuff there that can help all ADR professionals- not just Ombudsmen.

Executive Director Michael Campbell says the guides will particularly benefit employers with limited workplace relations or human resource management experience.

“With this latest initiative, we have sought to explain in simple language the concepts of best practice in key areas which can promote harmonious, productive and co-operative workplaces,” Mr Campbell said.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Practice Guides cover the following topics:

1. Work & Family
Fostering a culture of workplace flexibility for family responsibilities can help to achieve a more productive work environment. From reduced absenteeism to improved job satisfaction, there are significant benefits for employees and employers in achieving a work and family balance.

2. Consultation & Co-operation in the Workplace
Best practice workplace consultation involves developing and implementing effective consultation mechanisms which encourage cooperation and the engagement of employees and management across the workplace. Employee involvement in decision-making regularly leads to benefits such as increased productivity and greater collaboration.
3. Individual Flexibility Arrangements (IFAs)
Flexible work practices can deliver benefits to both employers and employees. Individual flexibility arrangements can lead to greater job satisfaction and help attract and retain skilled and valuable staff. Flexibility in the workplace can also improve workplace productivity and efficiency by helping maintain a motivated workforce with reduced staff turnover and absenteeism.
4. A Guide for Young Workers
It can be an exciting time for a young person when they get their first job. Knowing and understanding their workplace obligations and entitlements can assist young workers navigate their way through the employment process.
5. An employer’s guide to employing young workers
Young workers can bring enthusiasm and new skills to a workplace. They can also become loyal and valuable employees. Best practice employers understand their obligations to young workers and recognise that their guidance and support can shape young employees’ futures and their attitudes to work.
6. Gender Pay Equity Gender
Pay equity is about ensuring that both women and men are paid fairly for the work they perform. Gender pay equity makes good business sense because it fosters fairness and respect, which helps to create a motivated and harmonious workforce.
7. Small Business
The Fair Work Act 2009 sets out a number of requirements that business, including small business, needs to be aware of. Best practice employers know and understand their rights and obligations under workplace law and know who to contact for assistance.

8. Workplace Privacy
Operating at best practice when it comes to workplace privacy creates trust, certainty and security for both employers and employees. Employers, employees and their representatives need to know what information may be collected and retained by employers and whether it can be passed on to others.
9. Managing Underperformance
Establishing effective performance management systems can have significant benefits for a business, leading to happier, more motivated and better performing employees. Reviewing, refining and implementing performance management systems are ways of helping achieve these benefits.

10. Effective Dispute Resolution
Disputes can arise in any workplace. A dispute exists when one or more people disagree about something and matters remain unresolved. A fair and balanced dispute resolution process is important for the effective operation of any business.
11. Improving Workplace Productivity in Bargaining Enterprise
Bargaining is a way of fostering a culture of change in the workplace and is a valuable tool in the process of continuous improvement. It can assist in the creation of responsive and flexible enterprises and help to improve productivity and efficiency.

Read the Best Practice Guides documents [here].
Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman page [here].
Read About the Fair Work Ombudsman, Nicholas Wilson [here].