Tarntanya — AdeLaide

We gather to exchange ideas.

A Salon Series in 2024

These gatherings are designed to bring us together, live in one space, not through the computer screen, but in real life. We want to introduce you to some of the incredible revolutionaries we’re connected to. These are thinkers, academics, artists, educators, writers and clinicians, all working to make the world a more radically compassionate place.

This isn’t a ‘networking’ event, it’s a moment to connect, human to human. No need to bring business cards or prepare to spruik. Salons are all about beautiful questions and ideas bursting with curiosity.

We’re making a place where we can share our insights and quandaries, and strengthen our relationships by listening to, feeling with, and supporting each other. Our intention is to build the muscle of Compassion in our work and in yours.

Our Third speaker

Duncan McKellar

Transforming Culture and Care

Thursday 1 August, 2024
4pm — 6pm


Duncan McKellar is a psychiatrist specialising in the care of older people. In 2017 he was a co-author of Australia’s landmark Oakden Report, which triggered the Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Duncan wrote a book about Oakden and here’s an excerpt from it.

‘It was a disaster from the word go,’ Barb Spriggs said when telling the story of her husband Bob’s admission to the Oakden Older Persons’ Mental Health Service in Adelaide. Barb had no idea that her story would launch a landmark inquiry, The Oakden Report, trigger a Royal Commission, and place her at the centre of a national scandal. Barb’s story also changed Duncan McKellar’s life, a psychiatrist in the review team delving into the circumstances surrounding Bob’s death. Duncan went on to lead a transformation in culture and care.

An Everyone Story explores what we might learn from Barb’s story, from the stories of people who lived and worked at the Oakden Campus, and the reimagined services that followed it. It places these stories into context—of Duncan’s life and learning, of our health and social care systems, and our communities. It asks why cultures of care and service go wrong and what we might do to achieve a kinder and more compassionate world. Ultimately, An Everyone Story considers what it means to be human.

This book will inspire you to be a better, more grateful human.

Jason van Genderen
Award-winning filmmaker
Everybody’s Oma: Advocate for people with dementia and their carers.

For the past two years Duncan has been living in Edinburgh, working as part of HammondCare’s international team and exploring his Scottish heritage, before returning home to Australia in 2024. He is the co-creator of A Box of Memories, a musical written with his composer daughter Erin, about a family dealing with dementia. A Box of Memories was a breakout hit at the 2022 Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Go to Duncan’s LinkedIn

Event details

Thursday 1 August, 2024
4pm — 6pm

Care of: The Wyatt Foundation
161 Frome Street Adelaide

$66.00 (incl. GST)

Light refreshments will be served. When you buy your ticket you will be asked about dietary exclusions and accessibility needs.

Salons Archive

Salon speaker #2—Dr Ruth De Souza

On the 23rd May Dr Ruth De Souza facilitated a workshop with the theme of Building Cultural Safety. Ruth is a nurse, educator, facilitator, mentor, researcher, consultant and writer who migrated to Boon Wurrung country from Aotearoa, New Zealand. She has wide ranging expertise in cross-cultural engagement, having family origins in Goa, being born in Tanzania, and being raised in Kenya, The Kingdom of Tonga and Aotearoa New Zealand.

We all have culture which we express in observable ways, how we interact, what we value and hold to be true. No culture is better than another. As compassion revolutionaries we can aim to create inclusive spaces where we all can bring our best and highest selves. At the same time, we can be mindful of how our environments impede our ability to unleash our unlimited potential.

The focus of this beautiful gathering was all about equity, justice and cultural safety in both health and creative arts settings. Ruth invited the audience to bring an object with them that spoke to them as cultural beings. People shared personal stories attached to an array of personal objects and memorabilia. Objects ranged from a cast iron cooking pot, lavender, an audio recording of magpies warbling, hand blown glass, significant pieces of jewellery and art.

A participant has said in regards to attending this session, “The cells in my body have changed.”

We need to be working towards a compassionate curiosity about how race, cultural differences, racial bias may be at play in our work. This workshop underscored the importance of assuming there may be unconscious biases at work with respect to race. This might be overt or subtle. Ruth encouraged everyone to create environments that celebrate the courage to explore racial bias in all its forms.

Salon speaker #1—Rachel Callander

On 14 March, Rachel Callander addressed us with the theme The Art and Science of Using Words to Heal at our very first Salon. And a blazingly great first Salon it was.

Naomi Keyte opened the room with Greenhill, a song she wrote during Covid about finding space and perspective, softening everyone for the delivery of Rachel’s session.

Rachel is an advocate and educator on how the first words used at diagnosis or in a care setting critically shape how a patient, or carers of people, perceive their outcomes: the words can allow a person to be their best and find meaning, even in pain; or they can create anger, mistrust, frustration, and can break down the crucial relationships between those who need help and support, and those who provide it.

To a room of 60 people, Rachel again spoke of how we use words to hurt or heal. We broke into workshops where people recalled stories in their own lives where words used isolated and then found new ways of how we can use more human, warm and embracing language to warm, move forward and feel safe.

Attendee Natalie Wood said “It was a wonderful evening – incredibly inspiring and uplifting and provided some incredible insights to apply with our families here at the WCHN.” 

Thank you to Rebecca Graham and The Women’s and Children’s Hospital for sponsoring this event and being able to see our vision.

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