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Two Way Working – Working in the heat

Psychoanalytic ideas and tools will be presented as a starting point for conversation. Facilitated and presented by Dr Craig San Roque and Pamela Nathan.

Conversation starters:

  • Japaljarri’s Vision – includes Andrew Japaljarri Spencer’s original paintings
    as maps of intercultural dynamics
  • Mourning, Melancholia and The Echo Effect – On the personal effects of intercultural relationships; with a map of  pressure and stresses for central Australian people
  • Monstrous Trauma – a brief journey of monstrousness in Central Australia
  • Working Two Way – Shields For Living Tools For Life program
  • The How-Psychoanalytic concepts and tools
  • The rollercoaster ride – Aboriginal-Whitefellah relations across the racial matrix

Workshop Details


Desert Knowledge Australia
475 South Stuart Highway
Alice Springs NT 0870


Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea provided


$180 – Full Price
$150 – Early Bird : 24th March 2021
Concessions available – Contact

About the Presenters

Dr. Craig San Roque, psychoanalyst/community psychologist, has worked in or with almost every indigenous organisation in Central Australia since 1992 – including remote mental health, the NPY Women’ Council Uti Kulinjakugroup, CAYLUS, Outstation youth projects, indigenous economic development and law – and in close partnership with (the late) Japaljarri Spencer on the practice and philosophy of bi-cultural work. Spencer’s visual, clear thinking is the basis for this presentation. Craig has many publications on Centralian themes, including the award winning Joshua Santospirito graphic novel, A Long Weekend in Alice Springs.  

Pamela Nathan is a clinical and forensic psychologist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist in independent private practice in Kew, Melbourne. She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and the Victorian Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. She was previously a sociologist working as an academic and researcher for over a decade. She has completed research in Aboriginal health in Victoria and the Northern Territory and published three books- A Home Away From Home, Health Business and Settle Down Country with the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service and The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress. She has worked in the public sector in clinical and forensic settings, in senior positions, including Forensicare and the Royal Melbourne Hospital for fifteen years. She is currently Director of the Aboriginal Australian Relations Program, Creating A Safe and Supportive Environment (CASSE) and is working with violence and trauma in Central Australia. She continues to practice, teach, workshop, supervise and publish, in journals, booklets and papers, in the psychological and psychoanalytic arena.

Program Summary

Dr Craig San Roque:

Dr Craig San Roque Japaljarri’s Vision  – on  two way/ black/white working – beginning with Andrew Japaljarri Spencer’s 1990  (HALT) painting on Two Way governance; his famous 1993, Thinking about Young People, where he looks creatively at bi-cultural law and potentials for the future; 2011 Eagle and Crow, on making that choice and his final 2015 painting on the conflict between two snakes – Ngankari Jungarai Wanu – on  wrestling with poisonous psychic contaminations. The ‘wrestle’ demonstrates present tension in Central Australia.

Mourning Melancholia and the Echo Effect is about the emotional and psychic effects of working together in the pressure systems of Central Australia – first outlined in the NPY Women’s Council conference, 2019. It looks into unconscious thoughts and feelings stirred up between people of different cultures when we live and work together, especially in this part of the country.     Features paintings by Rod Moss whose life work exemplifies the ‘two way’ attitude. See his books, The Hard Light Of Day and 1,000 Cuts.


Pamela Nathan:

Pamela seeks to open a dialogue with workers at the frontline about what can facilitate two-way working in a monstering trauma landscape that straddles a racial divide and different cultural words in Central Australia.

The monster world heralds a tsunami ‘too much’, terra nullius ‘too little’, ruptures, rollercoaster rides and contaminated knowing. Two way implies a relational companionship and a working together in a healing process. Pamela will highlight several psychoanalytic concepts that inform the work of CASSE and provide a foundation to navigate and transform the emotional turbulence, uncertainty, and psychic dread associated with profound trauma in the intercultural relational spaces.

Such concepts can be applied to two-way community work and become tools  to promote ways of recognizing and responding to emotional experience, assisting team members and collaborators to process their own emotional experiences through intense and challenging psychological work. Pamela will talk about the work of CASSE and present some vignettes.

Two Way Working – Working in the heat


9.30-10am Morning tea

10 – 10.15 Opening remarks on Two Way Working

10.15 – 10.30 Pamela Nathan to present brief story – ‘Feeling the Heat’

10.30—12.30 Morning sessions lead by Craig San Roque

Topic 1: Japaljarri’s Vision + discussion

Topic 2: Mourning, Melancholia and The Echo Effect + discussion

12 – 12.30 Lunch (provided)

12.30 – 2.30 Afternoon sessions lead by Pamela Nathan

Topic 1: Monstrous Trauma + discussion

Topic 2: Working Two Way – Shields For Living Tools For Life + discussion

Topic 3: The How-Psychoanalytic concepts and tools in conversation with Craig San Roque

Topic 4: The rollercoaster ride – Aboriginal-Whitefellah relations across the racial matrix. Pamela will present a story called “No! – Rage and despair”

2.30-3.00 Afternoon tea

3.00-4.00 Final session

Full group conversation: Facilitated by Pamela and Craig.

It has been a BIG year for us all! COVID-19 catapulted us all a crisis curveball and thrust Black Lives Matter into centre stage. In 2020 CASSE has been on the rollercoaster ride but stood strong. Read all about our achievements in our latest newsletter:…

About 4 months ago from CASSE Australia's Twitter via Twitter Web App