TACKLING LIFE’S CHALLENGES IN QUEENSLAND
Paula Neal, from the Aboriginal community of Yarrabah, Australia, found effective tools for some of her community’s toughest problems.
Yarrabah Aboriginal Corporation for Women in Queensland, Australia, is a women’s shelter, providing crisis accommodation for women and children escaping domestic violence with a focus on servicing indigenous women.
When Operations Manager Paula Neal came across a copy of The Scientology Handbook: Tools for Life DVD—a film introducing 19 Scientology tools for overcoming life’s problems—she saw the relevance to her own work and requested on-site seminars for her staff.
The most dramatic benefits came during the Communications workshop wherein staff paired up and practiced communication drills developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, and noticed the improvements in their own composure and communication abilities.
One staff member felt all the “noise” and “busyness” calm down in her universe. And Paula noticed that she now “kept her cool” when others tried to upset her and did not get into fights she otherwise would have.
Paula saw that this knowledge and the techniques had broader applicability to her community. As a single mom of six children, she was intimately aware of the problem of bullying between children in schools and saw the obvious relevance of the Communications workshops to the problem. “The skills are very useful, very simple, practical and vital for our younger generation, as they are becoming so volatile and vulnerable to peer pressure and bullying.”
Paula introduced the Volunteer Minister, who had delivered her own workshops, to the Principal of the nearby Djarragun College in Gordonvale, a primary through 12th year school whose student body is made up almost exclusively of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Bullying was a real problem at the school.
The VM observed that children being bullied were also the ones inviting it through their own teasing. “I saw the students were constantly being rude to each other and creating situations which can escalate easily.”
“The Scientology training definitely has good, positive outcomes and leaves you in a better position than you were before the training session.”
The Principal was interested in Scientology solutions and arranged a pilot project. All during Term 4, the VM delivered Communication workshops—complete with students paired up for practical communication drilling.
The feedback from the students summed it up:
“I’ve used this a lot since I learned how to do it. I don’t worry so much about teasing now. And I can be kinder when I talk to [another student].”
“I can get my questions answered and I get less teasing now. I also learned how to get a better response from others when I tell them what to do, because now I can speak more kindly instead of yelling and swearing.”
And from a student who uses her new skills beyond the confines of the school: “I am better now about teasing and I know how to get my questions answered. I use this a lot at home.”
With the pilot a success, a proposal has been put forward for broader implementation of the Communication workshops for the next school year.
And Paula couldn’t be happier:
“The Scientology training definitely has good, positive outcomes and leaves you in a better position than you were before the training session,” she said. “I would also like to recommend this training to other community members of Yarrabah and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities, as it would be beneficial to our people who have experienced trauma, grief and loss, and emotional and mental stress.”