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17 March 2015




What's love got to do with it?

Plenty it seems - Read new ideas about compassion, and discover the Compassion Charter and the soothing/affiliation system.

While What's love got to do with it? may bring to mind the '80s hit byTina Turner, if you are like me, you know what compassion is, but have never heard of the Charter or the soothing system. So this is your opportunity to become enlightened, as I was, about some fascinating developments in neuroscience and evolutionary biology and how they can be applied to the way we live as individuals and the way our communities work.

Rather than foreshadowing your own discoveries with a summary, our newsletter today simply provides two links for you on this topic.
Read and see what you think. 
As well, because of the strong response to our essay collection on the public interest, I am providing a link to a Radio National podcast of Bob Douglas being interviewed on this topic by Jonathan Green. 

We are raising funds now for the next steps in our Public Interest project. Stay tuned for further developments, but this is likely to be a roundtable of leading thinkers and activists in this area to consider the best ways of strengthening recognition and action on the public interest in Australia. If you would like to become a friend of this project, your donation will be very welcome.   
Lyn Stephens, CEO Australia21 

Here are the links

Dr Lynne Reeder is a former Executive Director of Australia21 and remains on the Board. Writing in "Who speaks for and protects the public interest in Australia?" she argues we need to move beyond platitudes when it comes to compassion. We need to understand its biological and social function and incorporate it into how we relate to each other and how we govern ourselves. Click on the title, A contribution from neuroscience and evolutionary biology, to read her essay.


For more on compassion and how it can be applied in the everyday world, read Australia, a nation in need of compassion-focussed therapy, which Lynne co-authored with A21 director, Bob Douglas. It was published in The Conversation this week.

If you would like to hear Bob speaking about the public interest on Radio National with Jonathan Green, click on

"Who speaks for and protects the public interest in Australia?" click on the title or the cover.


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