Enriching language.
Enriching life!

Connecting: The Heart of Literacy Blog

Our Patron, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC, Governor of Tasmania, is generously hosting another Heart of Literacy symposium in September. Here are the valuable, insightful thoughts shared by participants of the earlier symposium:


Communicating: The Heart of Literacy

The Communicating: The Heart of Literacy symposium was a day of reflective dialogue hosted by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC, Governor of Tasmania at Government House in 2018. And now, it has become so much more than this first enabling event…


Proudly presenting…

The Symposium Report

“It was truly inspiring. At the end of the day we were at one: unlocking every child’s potential to learn the magic of reading is an achievable goal and here, in our island State, we have people with the passion, skill, drive and insights to realise this dream.”
Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC, Governor of Tasmania

The Latest from Chatter Matters

The Money Question. The What Next Question.

An attendee wrote: “Is Chatter Matters being funded by Tas Gov to run this workshop? Will there be a continuation? Will there be one for school leaders, such as teachers, as the direction becomes cheaper? Do we have Department support for Speech Pathologists to work...

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What About the Evidence?

In late June, Chatter Matters convened a seminar, Colleagues @ The Heart of Literacy. Its focus was on cross-disciplinary, cross-sector sharing of collaborative practice for advancing oral language and literacy in school-aged students and young people. Two...

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Just Sentences

Just sentences are about human rights, dignity, amelioration, restoration and redemption – to create safe, fair, just society,

This paper, Just Sentences: Human rights to enable participation and equity for prisoners and all, published in a special edition of the International Journal of Speech Language Pathology by Taylor & Francis Online, discusses our project, Just Sentences, and links language and literacy to human rights and equity.

In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, 2018, speech pathologists are lifting their voices to call for communication to be recognised as a basic human right. Communication skills are the pillars which fundamentally enable the UDHR’s Article 19: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”

Chatter Matters Tasmania’s Just Sentences project is honoured to contribute to this call.

“A paradigm shift is needed: use of liberty-deprived time for restoration, healing and equipping of skills for a better life.” Rosie Martin.



Colleagues @ The Heart of Literacy


Colleagues @ The Heart of Literacy is a 3/4 day-long seminar exploring the potential for students’ language and literacy advancement through whole-class interventions and expanded collaboration between educators and speech pathologists. It will take place in Hobart on Friday 21st June.

Just Time

Chatter Matters is excited to share that the Tasmanian Government has announced an additional $150,000 to continue “Just Time”, a program aimed at developing language and communication skills for men and women in Tasmanian prisons. Our program uses evidence-based practices to improve language, support positive interpersonal interaction and communication skills, and teach participants skills for developing secure attachment with their children.

There are many stories. This funding will assist others in our society to read, tell and share them with their children. All children and all parents are deserving of this. Gratitude to the Tasmanian Liberal Government and particularly to Justice Minister the Honourable Elise Archer.

See ABCs 7.30 report on Chatter Matters’ work in prison and community. It is worthy work toward a safer, fairer, more compassionate society.

Chatter Matters changes lives by building skills for positive communication.

We teach how kind connection with trust and shared language enable positive communication.

We assist with the important attachment between incarcerated parents and their children.

We teach reading and communication skills to men and women in prison and in community.

We show it’s never too early or too late for people to discover the joy of reading and writing.

We build awareness of the power contained within communication skills.

Positive communication is the key to healthy and successful lives.

Communication allows us to share our minds.

It provides us the way to join in.

It is the voice in ‘having a voice’.

And the freedom in ‘freedom of speech’.

And most importantly, communication is the doorway to positive relationships, education, and employment.

“Many members of our community cannot read and write well enough to navigate the activities of daily life.  They cannot read the street signs or fill in forms at the doctor’s surgery. They don’t understand the information on the electoral enrolment form, and are unable to complete the census. They don’t know which bottle is shampoo and which is conditioner; cannot read the menu in a café or the labels on pill bottles; don’t understand the bus timetable; and ignore important letters.

Too often they feel “stupid”; self-esteem around their ankles. Their vocabularies are weak and they can’t express themselves. They often get frustrated and end up taking an oppositional stance toward authority. Or they passively withdraw and make themselves small. They might wear themselves out in hard-labour jobs, which are the only jobs they can get. If they get a job at all. Or they drift into a life of crime.

The consequences of poor communication skills are grave for them. And for society.”

Rosalie Martin, Speech Pathologist, Criminologist and Tasmanian Australian of the Year 2017.

Together we can make a significant difference through communication and literacy

Chatter Matters Tasmania acknowledges the traditional owners of country and their continuing connection to land, sea and community throughout lutruwita (Tasmania) and Australia. We give our respect to the muwinina people upon whose land our offices stand.