The Power of Sport: Conversations on Trauma, Healing, and Resilience

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Join Trauma-Informed Experts Discuss the Power of Sport

Wednesday, November 30th. 10:30a-12:30p AEDT.

This two-hour virtual session will begin with a conversation moderated by Maria Dimopoulos AM, with world-renowned trauma expert Dr Bruce Perry from the Neurosequential Network and Kate Thomas, who is leading The Center for Healing and Justice through Sport’s work in Australia.

They will discuss how sport can be used as an intentional strategy to support healing, build resilience, and address issues of systemic injustice. Evidence-informed concepts and strategies will be shared about how to create healing-centred sports environments that benefit all levels of sport.

To further this conversation, a panel of leading experts in human rights, sport for development, diversity and inclusion and sports policy will join Dr Perry and Kate Thomas to speak to their expertise around The Power of Sport: Conversations on trauma, healing, and resilience.

This panel will be moderated by Maria Dimopoulos, AM, Director & Principal Consultant at Myriad Kofkin Global and include Joe Williams, Founder of The Enemy Within, Rana Hussain, Sports Director at Champions of Change, Taryn Lee, General Manager, Social Impact and Policy at Collingwood Football Club and Timmy Duggan, Founder and Director at Hoops4Health.

Speakers and Moderator Biographies

Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. 

Dr. Perry is the Principal of the Neurosequential Network, Senior Fellow of The ChildTrauma Academy and a Professor (Adjunct) in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago and the School of Allied Health, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria Australia.

Dr. Bruce Perry

Over the last thirty years, Dr. Perry has been an active teacher, clinician and researcher in children’s mental health and the neurosciences holding a variety of academic positions. His work on the impact of abuse, neglect and t

rauma on the developing brain has impacted clinical practice, programs and policy across the world.

Dr. Perry is the author, with Maia Szalavitz, of The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog, a bestselling book based on his work with maltreated children and Born For Love: Why Empathy is Essential and Endangered. Dr. Perry’s most recent book, What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing (2021), co-authored with Oprah Winfrey, is a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

Moderator: Maria Dimopoulos AM

Maria is a lauded human rights advocate and champion of diversity and gender equality. She holds extensive experience and expertise, particularly around the rights and meaningful inclusion of women from migrant and refugee backgrounds in policy and system (1)

Maria has made significant contributions to policy development, research and community education, including as a member of the federal Access and Equity Inquiry Panel and as the inaugural Chairperson of the Harmony Alliance – Australia’s national coalition of migrant and refugee women. Maria has also contributed to state and federal family and gender-based violence prevention and response strategies, including as part of the National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children which oversaw the development of the First National Plan to End Violence against Women and their Children.

She has undertaken extensive research with diverse communities and organisations and has been published in the Feminist Law Journal, Family and Domestic Violence Clearinghouse, and the Australian Institute of Criminology. She is also the co-author of the book Blood on Whose Hands? The Killing of Women and Children in Domestic Homicides, published by the Women’s Coalition Against Family Violence.

A recipient of Member (AM) of the Order of Australia and an inductee to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, Maria was formerly Special Advisor, Multicultural Communities, for the Department of Justice and Community Safety. She is also a Board member of the Coronial Council of Victoria, Reconciliation Victoria, the Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, and the National Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity.

Kate Thomas

Kate is leadindownloadg the work of the Centre for Healing and Justice through Sport in Australia. She is a strong voice and champion for diversity, inclusion and gender equality within sport and other areas of society.

Kate has many years of experience developing and implementing programs that enhance community well-being and has worked in various professional domains, including State & Local Government, Sport, Education, Child and Family Services and the Not-For-Profit Sector. Kate’s expertise centres around well-being, including trauma-aware & healing-centred practice, mental health, emotional intelligence, gender equality, and early childhood & youth development.

Kate has a background as a former WNBL basketballer, is an Australian Insitute of Sport alumni and is a recipient of the Australian Sport Medal. Always active in her community, she coaches jnr basketball and serves as a Board Member for Helping Hoops, a charity whose mission is to use basketball to inspire, empower and support children and young people. She sits on the faculty for The Neurosequential Network’s NM-Sport Program and is a strong advocate for sport for healing and creating safe and inclusive sporting spaces for all.

Timmy Duggan

Timmy Duggan is the founder of Hoops4Health, an organisation that works with young people using basketball as the medium. The program operates in the community, youth justice centres and remote communities. The fundamental philosophy of Hoops4 Health is to always celebrate the success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.timmy d (1)

A locally born and bred Darwin man with family connections to the Warramungu people of Central Australia and the Nykinya people of the Kimberley. Timmy has a Diploma of Youth and CommunityDevelopment from RMIT University and is the first person from the Northern Territory to play in the National Basketball League. He is a pioneer for both Indigenous basketballers and Northern Territory basketballers. In 2020 Timmy was nominated for the “Local Hero” Australian of the Year award.

Rana Hussain

Rana Hussain is an Inclusion & Belonging leader making important inroads into Australian sporting culture, media culture and the community at large. One of a handful of women of colour working in sports administration and media, Rana is a pioneer and a passionate advocate for social inclusion, cultivating belonging and reducing discrimination.

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Rana’s driving passion is to foster a sense of belonging and connection, particularly for those who feel on the margins of society. This has led Rana to zero in on the spheres of sport, media and organisational culture. Rana is a skilled speaker and facilitator, regularly presenting Keynote speeches and facilitating education sessions and training for organisations.

Recognising that representation is core to driving inclusion and belonging, Rana has carved out a successful media career which sees her writing and broadcasting for various outlets including several years with the ABC. Rana is a talented writer, skilled presenter, commentator, MC and broadcaster. Rana brings humour, kindness and thoughtfulness to every conversation. She is entertaining and enlightening on a broad range of subjects from pop culture to sport to discrimination and human rights.

Rana has worked in sports administration for a number of years, developing culture, inclusion and promoting diversity. She now works as Sport Director for Champions of Change and as a consultant, advising on inclusion and diversity, belonging and organisational culture. She is a Board Member of the Victorian Women’s Trust and was a member of the Collingwood FC anti-racism expert group. She curated and produced the DoMore project and continues to consult for the Ben Simmons Family Foundation.

Joe Williams

Joe is a proud Wiradjuri/Wolgalu, First Nations Aboriginal man born in Cowra, raised in Wagga NSW, Australia. Joe played in the National Rugby League for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs before swit

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ching Joe to professional Boxing in 2009. Joe is a 2x WBF World Jnr Welterweight champion and won an WBC Asia Continental Title.

Although forging a successful professional sporting career, Joe battled the majority of his life with suicidal ideation and Bi Polar Disorder. After a suicide attempt in 2012, Joe felt his purpose was to help people who struggle with mental illness. Through customised workshops Joe talks of dealing with adversities, struggles, resilience, addiction, connection, emotional wellbeing & healing trauma in schools, communities, correctional services, sporting clubs and workplaces.

Joe was awarded the Wagga Wagga Citizen of the Year in 2015 for his committed work within the community mental health and suicide prevention sectors and was named a finalist in the National Indigenous Human Rights Awards. In 2018 Joe was awarded Suicide Prevention Australia’s highest honour, a LiFE Award for his excellence in communities within the suicide prevention sector and in 2019 was named a dual winner of the Australian Mental Health Prize.

Taryn Lee

Taryn is a Yawuru woman from Broome, who lives in Melbourne. As a Roberta Sykes Scholar, she completed with Distinction, a MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London in 2014.

taryn lee.jpg.pwcimage.200.252 (1)She graduated from Victoria University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Laws, and from the College of Law with a Diploma of Legal Practice. She also holds a Global Executive MBA from the University of Sydney.

Prior to her current role as the General Manager, Social Impact and Policy at Collingwood Football Club, Taryn was a Director at PwC Indigenous Consulting and before that, Director, Aboriginal Affairs Policy at the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Victoria. She also serves on a number of boards, including as Board member of the Victoria Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission and the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation.

About The Center for Healing and Justice Through Sport

The Center for Healing and Justice through Sport’s (CHJS) mission is to make sport healing for all youth, everywhere, through training, consulting, and movement building. At CHJS, we believe that underneath the fun and camaraderie, sport can be used as a vehicle to provide creative and accessible solutions to some of society’s biggest issues.

With millions of U.S. youth living through trauma due to a variety of factors, it has become clear that there’s work to be done to ensure athletes are prepared to win on the field of play and in life. Sport is uniquely situated to help kids heal and thrive. Healing isn’t just for the wealthy or privileged; it is a right for all. 

We seek to redesign the delivery of all youth sports, everywhere, to maximize sports’ inherent developmental and healing qualities.