Enriching language.
Enriching life!



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.


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…

The Latest from Chatter Matters

Literacy Can Change Lives Behind Bars

My role as Director of Prisons places in me in a unique position with regard to access and engagement with a broad range of people across Tasmania and mainland Australia, exposing me to many languages, cultures, perceptions, and opportunities. Approaching the...

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Not Where We Were

‘We are not where we want to be. We are not where we are going to be. But we are not where we were.’ ~ Rosa Parks This quote resonates with me strongly when I reflect on the current state of literacy in Tasmania. Having participated in the Chatter Matter’s Literacy...

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Language is the Currency of Education

For almost two decades I have been involved in some form or another in the research or policy development for improving the life outcomes of Tasmanians. In more recent times, my area of interest has shifted to focus on the role that education plays in peoples’ life...

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

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.

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.