Enriching language.
Enriching life!

Communicating: The Heart of Literacy is a public dialogue about communication, literacy, enablement, collaboration, and relational trust. The words of passionate Tasmanians writing on these topics will be hosted here through April and May – with a new blog post by a different author each day.

Share them around.

There is much value in engaging with a large cross-section of view points on important topics. Doing so helps us to understand each other. It helps us to teach each other and learn from each other. It allows us to more clearly see the meaning which we share. And understanding this, in turn, provides us with a platform from which to most respectfully bring change which benefits all of us.

Tune-in here with us regularly. We’ve been astounded at the diverse beauty, wisdom, insight and passions expressed by those who have written for the Communicating: The Heart of Literacy initiative. We are confident you will learn something new through them too.

Many thanks to our fine supporters:

Dispense the Mystery

My hands and feet started shaking at the mention of the Headmaster’s office.  This became a quivering in my chest and constriction in my throat during the short walk there. In his office was another teacher I had never met.  I wasn’t in trouble, but the next 10...

On Communication

My primary school classroom was on its best behaviour when the headmaster came in to see how things were going. After all, he was the man with the cane. “What’s six-and-five-and-seven-and-three-and-four?” he barked at a deferential class. I don’t really remember the...

Reading Democracy

One of the limitations with the way the question of low literacy is raised in our society is that it is often done so in a technocratic, rather than a democratic, manner. The difference is that a technocratic approach sees society as a series of problems to be solved,...

When Women Can’t Read

I am the first in my family's line of women to win an English Literature Prize. I am the first to quote Shakespeare in conversations and the first girl child to own a library. This is very isolating. As a reading woman I defy every barrier that was placed in front of...

The Language of Maths

I am no expert in literacy but I have worked in mathematics education for nearly 30 years and have witnessed the effects of poor literacy on people’s ability to comprehend and decode mathematical problems. Often this is most apparent in the courses that are tailored...

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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.

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

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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.