End of Year Highlights 2019

Featuring news (in sequence) from Laos, Papua New Guinea, Australia, South Africa, Northern Cyprus and Jamaica.


World Concern Laos with GULL – Pakse, Laos 10-12 September

World Concern (WC) is a Christian global relief and development agency that has been serving people in need in the world’s poorest places for 60 years. It’s mission is to equip and empower people to transform their own lives and communities. In consultation with leaders and community members, WC helps to identify the specific needs of villages and together with the community, they work to address key concerns in areas such as: Clean water and sanitation; Education and Food security and income. Support in these areas is facilitated by WC’s ‘One village transformed’ initiative. GULL’s work with WC Laos (WCL) began with a briefing for community facilitators at its office in Pakse (the second city in Laos).


(Above left) World Concern Laos poster

(Above right) Richard Teare (back row) pictured with WCL team members at the beginning of the three day workshop in English and Lao from 10-12 September 2019.




World Concern Laos with GULL – Pakse, Laos 10-12 Sep (continued)

A team of seven WCL staff specializing in aspects of community development and support services (e.g. project proposal writing) spent three days learning about lifelong action learning, the GULL system and how to integrate GULL with WCL’s work. This team will work towards their GULL Professional Bachelor degree over the next 12 months by integrating GULL with the WCL initiative ‘One village transformed’. By mapping the key transformational outcomes expected by WCL with GULL’s Certificate and Diploma awards, it will be possible to cascade GULL to community participants who will earn points (based on the step by step attainment of WCL outcomes). Those who gather sufficient points will earn their GULL Certificate in September 2020 and those who exceed the requirement, a Diploma.


(Above right) The WCL team: Silivong, Jude, Somsavanh, Khamsone, Manivanh, Lattika and Somchaivang with Joshua and other office team members.




Papua New Guinea (PNG)
Port Moresby – Monday 16 September

Monday 16 September was PNG’s 44th Independence day and the 24th anniversary of the ‘Personal Viability’ (PV) – a powerful self-help process designed and led by Samuel Tam, known throughout PNG as ‘Papa Sam’. The concept of PV underpins all the work undertaken by the Human Development Institute (HDI) with both community participants and organizations. Historically, the majority of people in PNG have lived a subsistence lifestyle and in order to sustain a micro enterprise, help is needed. For HDI, the participant is ‘the project’ and step-by-step development and coaching enables the participant to fully explore and develop their potential and learn how to use the tools of micro enterprise – especially money – skilfully. Sam and his team have trained many thousands of people in PV.


(Above left) A team from Manus Province, Northern PNG attended the HDI with GULL event. Shortly a large scale PV initiative will begin with the objective of enhancing economic development in the entire province.

(Above right) HDI’s 24th anniversary cake!




Papua New Guinea
Port Moresby – Monday 16 September (continued)

The event held at HDI’s head office, was attended by some 60 people and included the presentation of HDI coaching and HDI with GULL professional Bachelor Level 1 Entry, Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Diploma certificates. Guests included a representatives of Manus Province in Northern PNG who are preparing for the implementation of PV with GULL at every level of provincial life. This large scale initiative aims to improve the economic prosperity of the Province and all its inhabitants.

Also attending the event were representatives from the Women’s Micro Bank who are planning to implement the corporate variant of PV and the PNG women’s federation of micro business. After implementation, the PV with GULL system performance indicators can now be tracked by a new mobile phone app.


(Above left) Representatives from the company ‘Rapid Response’ sign a PV-GULL corporate deployment agreement

(Above right) Samuel Tam presents a copy of his new book about the philosophy that underpins PV to Richard Teare




Yeronga, Brisbane – Thursday 19 September

On Thursday evening, 19th September, the Action Learning and Action Research Association (ALARA) convened one of its regular ‘Conversations’ at the Village at Yeronga, Brisbane, Queensland to explore with Richard Teare the question: ‘Is self-help the best way forward for subsistence communities?’

The discussion sought to explore the main theme of GULL’s work with low income and marginalized communities. Richard provided a 30 minute briefing, case studies from the African continent and questions for group discussion followed by feedback, interaction and a decision by the group to set-up a working party to explore ways in which self-help in developing countries and in Australia could be better supported and promoted.


(Above left) 40 people participated in this interactive session.

(Above right) Richard is 6 pictured with Judith Kearney and Ortrun Skerritt.




South Africa
Stellenbosch University – 4 October, Stellenbosch

Educational Psychologist Lynne Damons has been using the GULL system in conjunction with a Cape Town City Council initiative, in support of personal and professional development in a low income community setting. On Friday 4 October, a team visiting Stellenbosch University met with the six women who are leading self-directed change and will soon receive GULL mid-point certification in recognition of their efforts. Lynne and her colleagues in the university’s social impact team are planning to scale-up their collaboration with GULL.


(Above left) GULL and Richard Teare are welcomed to the Sir Lowrys Pass community by the GULL participants who are leading self-directed change.

(Above right) Stellenbosch University hosted a community-based research workshop on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 October, including discussions about the wider adoption of GULL.




South Africa
Nelson Mandela University – 8-9 October, Port Elizabeth

Bruce Damons and his team at the Centre for the Community School, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth have been using the GULL system for several years and on Tuesday 8 October, hosted an exhibition of the work undertaken by a team of thirteen community members who run after school reading and maths clubs located in thirteen schools serving in poor communities. Here, the team augment the work of teachers (who typically have up to 50 children in their class) and using an array of creative and innovative methods and resources, make learning fun! This vital work helps to ensure that children can make progress – often against the odds.


(Above left) The team of thirteen women (in blue tee shirts) who organized and presented their work at the reading and maths club exhibition (8 October)

(Above right) Bruce Damons and Project Manager Marieka Roberts (centre, back row) discuss the on-going GULL pathway with reading/maths club facilitators (9 October)




South Africa
University of the Free State (UFS) 11 October

Karen Venter, Head of Service Learning at the Centre for Community Engagement, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein has for several years, been overseeing and facilitating the implementation of the GULL system. Karen’s work began at the Bloem Shelter for homeless women and all the participants have advanced.

Most now have their own micro enterprise and as passionate advocates for GULL, they are ‘cascading’ their self-directed action learning know-how to others. On Friday 11 October, UFS hosted a GULL graduation for 30 people from the Shelter and new projects.


(Above left) Karen and her friend Tersia introduced GULL to a school for children with learning difficulties and three teaching assistants (holding their portfolios) reported significant growth.




Northern Cyprus
Cyprus International University (CIU) 28 October

On Monday 28 October, Richard Teare visited CIU in Nicosia, Northern Cyprus to facilitate a publishing workshop and to discuss a journal issue focused on planning for sustainable tourism in Cyprus. During the day-long meeting with Dr Hale Özgit and colleagues, we began to explore the possibilities for workplace action learning and especially for hotel workers. This may lead in 2020 to a collaborative opportunity for GULL with CIU or the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU).


(Above right) Ali Ozturen, Faculty of Tourism, EMU, Zanete Garanti, Faculty of Economics & Administrative Sciences, CIU, Hale Ozgit and Richard Teare, GULL.




Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) 12 November

The Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) is Jamaica’s newest public university – incorporated in 2017. CMU is renowned for its work in maritime education and its main campus is located on Palisadoes Park, overlooking Kingston harbour.

CMU has been supporting GULL’s work in Jamaica for several years and a number of CMU’s industry graduates have also completed GULL pathways. In 2020, CMU and GULL will sign a memorandum of understanding to facilitate a wide-ranging partnership in Jamaica and the Caribbean region.


(Above left) Richard Teare pictured with Shanice, Lanna and Ibrahim, Acting President of CMU.




Montego Bay and Negril, 13-14 November

On 13 November, Norma Taylor (GULL President Jamaica) past GULL graduates and Richard Teare met at Unity Church in Montego Bay to recognize the contribution made to the Jamaican hospitality and tourism industry over a 50-year period by Patricia (Pat) Elaine Samuels. Among many career attainments, Pat worked for the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association as general manager for regional offices in Jamaica and as regional director of marketing in Canada and Europe. She has also served as a board member of organizations as diverse as Jamaica Airlines, the Salvation Army Western region and the Montego Bay Community College.


(Above left) Pat Samuels, who holds Jamaica’s Order of Distinction, receives her certificate from Richard Teare.

(Above right) On 13 November, Norma and Richard spoke about lifelong learning to Western Hospitality Institute students in Negril.


GULL is a non-profit public benefit corporation registered in California, USA. GULL’s mandate to confer professional awards is based on a statement of recognition offered in perpetuity and signed by the Head of State and the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea on 10 April 2007. GULL is also endorsed by other Governments, Leaders and Institutions.

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