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Board Level Blog: Winter 2021

Hi Everyone and welcome to the end of Winter Board Level Blog.

I would like to acknowledge the Darug and Guringai people who are the Traditional Custodians of the Land on which I live, and I pay my respects to their Ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging.

Well, my friends and dear colleagues, I think we’re all feeling pretty fatigued. As I write, New Zealand, NSW, Victoria and the ACT are all in lockdown and for many of us it seems unending. Our colleagues in other Australian states have all experienced short and sharp lockdowns and many are separated from extended family and friends. This is a hard time.

Despite these challenges, the ANZ ACBS Board has been working consistently and it’s my pleasure to fill you in on the last 3 months and give you a little taste of what’s coming up.


Ken Pakenham was inducted into the 2021 class of ACBS Fellows. Fellowship recognises professionals who have made a strong and positive contribution to Contextual Behavioural Science, and we congratulate Ken for joining this esteemed cohort.

Carrie Hayward released her first book in the Being Human series. The Woman who Lost the Sun is a metaphorical story about the meaning of thriving when life goes wrong. This is such a beautiful piece of work, and you can find it in all places you buy great books.


ANZ ACBS was very proud to host its first online workshop series facilitated by Brendon Knott, Thinking Functionally in the Therapy Room: Using Functional Analysis to Tailor Interventions with Precision. Presented over four weeks, this was a standout series full of information, opportunities for practice and observational role plays. You can still purchase tickets to the recording here but be quick, there are only a couple of weeks left.

Jodie Wassner presented a webinar on ACT for Young People on the Autism Spectrum. This was one of our most attended webinars and Jodie’s knowledge on this subject was well received. Tickets to the recording are available here.

The Webinar and Events Committee is committed to offering workshops and webinars that showcase the skills and knowledge within our community. If you have ideas for future webinars please contact our Webinar Committee Chair, Shelley Viskovich at

The next ANZ ACBS Book Club will take place on Wednesday September 1st at 5pm (Syd/Melb) and discuss Mindfulness and Acceptance for Gender and Sexual Minorities – A Clinician’s Guide to Fostering Compassion, Connection, and Equality Using Contextual Strategies edited by Matthew D. Skinta and Aisling Curtin.

This is a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and discuss those books that you’ve been meaning to get to. And don’t worry if you haven’t read the book – everyone is welcome.

For further details check out the Facebook page or contact Andrew Duirs at or Elizabeth Maher at

And if you’re in Perth, ANZ ACBS (WA) is hosting a pub talk on 16th September by Dr Sian Jeffrey, ACT and DBT: Same, similar and different. You can buy tickets here.

2021 ANZ ACBS Online Conference

Built around the theme of ‘Expanding our Impact: Building ACT and CBS in our Region’ the 2021 ANZ ACBS Online Conference will be run from November 26th to 28th.

We are thrilled to announce the following invited speakers:

  • Dr Paul Atkins will be joining us to discuss the latest developments in prosocial with a plenary ‘Advancing Wellbeing through Prosocial’.

  • Dr Yvonne Homes-Barnes will be presenting on ‘Process-Based Behaviour Therapy (PBBT): Why a New Form of Behaviour Therapy was Needed’

  • Dr Russ Harris will be presenting a workshop on ‘Self-as-Context Made Simple’

  • Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson will deliver a plenary titled ‘Generational Trauma: Are We Ready for Truth-Telling which requires Healing the Colonial Wounds’

You can check out the details here and buy tickets here

Submissions close this Friday September 3rd. We are committed to creating a conference that will reach a wide audience of people from a range of professions and who have varying experiences with CBS related approaches. Introductory, intermediate and advanced workshops, panels, symposia and papers are welcome. We are keen for presentations about a variety of CBS related approaches and third-wave behaviour therapies (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Functional Analytical Psychotherapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Applied Relational Frame Theory, Compassion Focused Therapy, and other mindfulness based therapies).

You can submit here.

I want to thank our fantastic team, Conference Co-Chairs Deb Hart, Daniel Simsion and Michael Swadling and Programme Co-Chairs Giselle Bahr and Shelley Viskovich, for their tireless work in getting our very first virtual conference off the ground.

Strategic Planning Process.

The ANZ ACBS Board is currently engaging in a Strategic Planning process, the aim of which is to create a dynamic document which can anchor this and subsequent Boards in values based strategic direction.

The Board has engaged Garth Britton and his colleagues to step us through a prosocial process using the ACT Matrix and Ostrom’s Core Design Principles. Garth has generously offered his services pro bono. We plan to present the outcome at the Online Conference in November.

ANZ ACBS Board Elections

The Board will be shortly seeking nominations for the following positions:

  • President-Elect

  • Secretary

  • Member-at-large (general)

  • Member-at-large (NZ rep)

Serving on the Board is a fabulous opportunity to develop new skills, hang out with very fun ANZ ACBS people, and help shape the CBS community in Australia and NZ. If you or someone you know is interested, keep an eye out for the upcoming call for nominations.

Financial Update

I’m pleased to share with you the financial update for this quarter. ANZ ACBS continues to be in a solid financial position. Many thanks to our wonderful treasurer Farah Gulamoydeen for her work in this portfolio.

Current balance as of 1st Sept 2021: $172, 219.40 Profit and Loss For the 3 months ending 30 June 2021 Trading income: $8147 Operating Expenses: $6679 Net Profit: $1469

That’s all from me for this quarter. I’m so thankful to be a part of this community and lately more than ever I find myself relieved that I know about this therapy called ACT.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite poems from Bertolt Brecht, who knew something about living through history.

“In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times”

Go well.


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