Real Talk has been very excited to officially expand into the primary school space this year, after 7 years of developing and refining primary aged content and resources. With the appointment of Nikki Lysaght as Primary Schools Manager and Presenter, Real Talk is meeting the needs of primary educators, looking for curriculum-based, holistic and values-based puberty and personal development presentations.
Nikki has 18 years experience teaching in Education and 10 years as an Assistant Principal Religious Education. She is passionate and creative, and as a wife and mother of 3 children aged 9 – 13 Nikki is experiencing first hand the joys and challenges that come with parenting tweens to teens.
Nikki says she is excited to now be working with the Real Talk team to develop primary school content and roll it out in schools all around Australia.
"It’s a very exciting time as we have just finished producing a puberty video resource, which will form part of our Year 5 and 6 content. This puberty content forms part of a bigger reflection day where we explore the physical development areas of puberty within the wider context of self-image, positive relationships, as well as the role that society and the media play in forming our understanding of these topics."
You can contact Nikki about primary school visits at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Real Talks Primary Schools Seminars, click here.
Check out what Girl Talk is all about from Kym and Chantale.
GIRL TALK is an identity program specifically designed for preteen girls. There is so much more than the physical changes in this age group! This time is about the heart growing up. GIRL TALK takes the girls on a journey to womanhood. It covers issues like making good choices, friendship and peers, beauty and more.
GIRL TALK is an 8 module resource and includes a workbook, DVD and enhanced CD with all the ideas, input and presentations you will need to run GIRL TALK in your home, your school or your church/parish.
The Porn Myth: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography
Matt Fradd (Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2017.)
The Porn Myth: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography, is Matt Fradd’s latest book. It is a well argued, well structured discussion of the porn phenomenon and its effects on people. Matt is an Australian, now based in the United States of America, and is the founder of theporneffect.com. He is currently the Director of Content Development for Integrity Restored and is a best-selling author and speaker.
In this book, Matt goes about debunking many commonly held beliefs about pornography. The book is definitely not a religious treatise. He attempts to avoid religious jargon, and uses rational, fact based arguments to debunk many myths and misconceptions.
As the author states, “the goal of this book is to expose the myth that pornography is good or at least not that bad”. It could be said that Fradd is very Aquinas like in his method as he works towards achieving the book’s goal. (The author obviously looks up to Thomas Aquinas, judging by the name of his podcast, “Pints with Aquinas”). He does this by methodically stepping the reader through the many arguments or beliefs around pornography that are widely accepted in society. Chapter headings include: “Porn empowers women”, “only religious people oppose porn”, “I don’t pay for porn, so I’m not contributing to the industry”, “Porn isn’t addictive” and the classic claim “porn is only fantasy: it doesn’t affect our real lives”.
The book is an intelligent and compelling read and creates solid arguments on what is a major issue in society. When it comes to human sexuality some would say it is THE issue of our time. As Fradd cites:
“among millennials (18-30 year olds), 63 percent of men and 21 percent of women say they view pornography at least several times a week – and that says nothing of those who view pornography somewhat less frequently”
The author rigorously argues that sexuality is better and more fulfilling when one is not exposed to a cornucopia of sexual imagery on the internet.
“by placing sex, any kind of sex, into the medium of pornography, we gorge the masses on industrialised, commodified sexuality. This does not celebrate sex at all. It cheapens it.”
Whilst much of the book is built on the above proposition, it is great that Fradd positions sex clearly as something pleasurable and good. In fact, the reader no doubt will benefit from a deeper and richer appreciation of the gift of sex.
Whilst non-religious in tone, the book has a clear moral and theological underpinning. For the amoral, it may not be digestible content, but for someone striving “to be a good person” it certainly will make them think twice before using pornography again. Further than this, the book is so thorough it forms a great reference point for someone working in the growing number of areas affected by this topic. Be it education, counselling, psychology, pastoral or church ministry the book provides both a good reference point, for most common arguments, and also an in depth analysis of each topic.
The topics covered are: porn culture, the porn industry, porn and our sexuality, porn and our relationships and the struggle with porn. The book is heavily referenced, which will appeal to those seeking academic justification for the arguments, and the book includes a significant appendix which further digs down into the science and the plethora of brain studies that backs up the book’s premise.
With the viewing age of pornography getting younger and younger, and the rates of exposure before adulthood nearing 100%, all caring parents should have good knowledge on this topic. Children should be prepared from a young age to deal with porn exposure. In speaking of sex education Fradd says,
“Children and teens need to see that their parents are reliable sources of knowledge about sex, which means that conversations about these matters should be considered normal in the home”.
The author’s experience in working with people (and their spouses) impacted by pornography is obvious. The book also also attempts to help those affected, with helpful advice and encouragement. The reader is reminded that our desire for sexual fulfilment is rooted in something very good and that there is a way out of pornography’s sticky web. Fradd seeks to inspire people to pursue the real love on offer in authentic sexual relationships, rather than the cheap counterfeit that pornography offers.
Fradd’s arguments are insightful, accurate and supported by experts in the fields of neurology, psychology and sociology. Discussions pull back the curtain on an often hidden problem that has even more hidden effects. Drawing from insiders in the sex trade, the realities of the industry and pornography’s sordid history is exposed. Reaching into the personal lives of actors and actresses the fantasies of porn production are exposed; so too is the trail of broken lives that have been left behind. Matt Fradd definitely attempts to leave the reader motivated to fight the pro-porn cultural norm that is widespread in society.
This is definitely a book for the bookshelf if you are someone who seeks to challenge the wave of destruction that pornography is bringing to children, relationships and society. The book however, is probably best in the hands of someone asking the question, “Does porn really hurt anyone”?
The book absolutely does what the title suggests and exposes not just the “porn myth”, but it systematically removes the scaffolding that pro-porn arguments are built on. This book clearly contributes to the conversation on the harmful effects of pornography and I would suggest it is the most comprehensive discussion I have seen. If you are looking for a book that thoroughly scrutinizes the pro-porn arguments and encourages individuals, parents and communities to work to reject the influence of porn, then look no further.
Gossip is like feathers in the wind! Watch on to hear about the impact of gossip and rumours.
Paul Ninnes at The Renaissance of Marriage Conference 2016 in Sydney on The Digital Space and the Impacts of Being a Digital Citizen. (Thanks to ROM Conference - http://www.rom.org.au)
If you follow us on social media, you may already have heard our exciting news....
We are proud and excited to announce that this year's Annual Dinner guest speaker is world-renowned author, speaker and expert in JPII's Theology of the Body, Christopher West.
If you haven't already heard of Christopher West and his work, you might want to check out The Cor Project.
Tickets are selling fast so get a table of 8 together and secure your seats now! It is Christopher West's first and only speaking engagement in Brisbane - so make sure not to miss out.
We look forward to seeing you there!
When: Monday 24 October 2016
Pre-dinner drinks starting 6:30pm
Where: Hotel Grand Chancellor – Brisbane
Cost: $125 per person
RSVP: 10 October 2016
email@example.com or call 0425 277 785
An online petition to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull started by Real Talk Managing Director Paul Ninnes has gotten lots of coverage over the last two weeks.
Hours after delivering a talk at a special event hosted by The Dating War on pornography and its harmful effects on relationships, Paul read reports of child rape in a Sydney school and felt urged to start an online petition to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for internet service providers to filter pornography and have an "opt-in" option to safeguard our children.
“There is no reason why our politicians can’t legislate and put pressure on Internet providers to automatically block pornographic sites, with individuals being required to opt in to receive sexually explicit material, rather than opt out,” Mr Ninnes said.
“As leading expert Dr Michael Flood, (a professor from the University of Wollongong) said in his 2009 report there is ‘consistent and reliable evidence that exposure to pornography is related to male sexual aggression against women’.”
Mr Ninnes said he believed “enough is enough” after two 12-year-old boys in Sydney were last week charged with raping a six-year-old girl in a northern beaches school.
“My daughter is about that age, and I’ve just had a son, and to be honest I am fearful as a parent of the world that my kids are being brought up in Australia where they can access Internet pornography unfettered, where young people are learning misogynistic, violent sexual acts from the pornography that they are exposed to unwillingly,” he said.
“It’s got to do with the freedom of children to grow up in a world where they are not exposed to things that are damaging to their ideas of how to treat another person.”
Other incidents have spurred Mr Ninnes to take action, including a recent report that 70 Australian high schools were involved in an Internet porn ring.
Mr Ninnes said legislative action in United Kingdom was sparked by public reaction to the case of a 12-year-old boy, who, emulating pornography, raped a nine-year-old.
UK News outlets and politicians joined forces to make Internet porn something people had to opt in for.
“Then Prime Minister David Cameron made it clear that his aim was to ensure that all ISPs (Internet service providers) would have a filtering system in place. As a result, within a year, all four major Internet providers introduced default filtering,” Mr Ninnes said.
Read the full article here.
Real Talk's ministry aim is to help young people understand the message of love and life in a way that relates to them by sharing the solid facts and the presenter's own life experiences. Carmel Donnelly, the youth worker of the Hervey Bay Parish Youth Group, understands this and so invited us to come share with them about this vital message.
TALKING love and sex with teenagers can be an awkward conversation for some parents, but one Hervey Bay mum has found a way to make the tough chat palatable.
Carmel Donnelly, a mother of five and youth worker at Hervey Bay City parish, decided other Catholics, not her qualified self, needed to shed light on the Church’s teachings on marriage and sexuality.
Mrs Donnelly invited two guests from Brisbane-based ministry, Real Talk Australia, to speak to her young people about love and relationships.
“One of the things young people are wondering is, ‘How do we know we’re in love’,” she said.
“A lot are not sure.”
Read the rest of the Catholic Leader article here.
If your Youth Group would like to have Real Talk come and speak drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Zealand is on the Real Talk bandwagon. During the month of May, Paul Ninnes went to New Zealand to not only present to a number of schools and follow up on training our three new NZ presenters but also to incorporate Real Talk NZ.
The Catholic Leader has featured an article on Real Talk's adventures there...
Talk Australia will present the Christian view on sexuality in New Zealand schools permanently following full support from the Auckland, Christchurch and Hamilton bishops.
Managing director Paul Ninnes said the ministry was now a “long-term fixture” following several years presenting talks to New Zealand Catholic schools “periodically”.
“We have invested in New Zealand and trained three presenters to be a long-term fixture in schools,” Mr Ninnes said.
Briegé Koning, of Hamilton diocese, and Thomas Saywell and Gerard Trolove, of Christchurch, will represent Real Talk Australia’s New Zealand branch.
Mr Ninnes said the New Zealand venture would be a “culture change experience opportunity”.
Real Talk Australia has visited Catholic schools in the Hamilton diocese for the past three years.
Ms Koning, who is co-ordinator for the Hamilton diocese’s youth office, said Real Talk’s presentations on sexuality, personal development and relationships were needed in New Zealand schools.
She said her own understanding on sex came from secular perspectives or from friends, despite being taught in a Catholic school.
“When I was in high school, these topics were not based in the truth of the Catholic Church’s teaching,” Ms Koning said.
You can read more here.
Starting high school is exciting and scary! Even more so this year in QLD, where many 11-turning-12 year olds entered the high school yard for the first time. As pictures of all the kids heading off to school filled facebook and instagram last term, I thought about how exciting a new year of school can be. And, as I sent my son off to first year of high school this year, I was reminded of my eldest girls first semester of high school and the transitioning that happens.
Here are 5 tips for you as parents and carers to set your new high schooler off to a good start:
1. Be available to talk and debrief
Even though they have probably been waiting for this moment for a long time, starting high school can be scary! Going from being ‘the oldest’ to suddenly ‘the youngest’ can be a challenge. Adjusting to high school teachers when you are used to being cared for by one teacher can be difficult too. Try to set time in your own schedule to ask how its going. Some kids like to talk straight after school, some at dinner, and some just before bed. Being available as a parent to talk or debrief or just showing you are there for them can be a huge support for them. This is the year you don’t want to lose communication! With so much going on internally growing up in their body and brain, there is a lot going on externally too, and this is the time to learn creative ways as a parent to engage with them. Sometime cooking a yummy afternoon or dinner is enough to entice any teenager to hang around a little longer to chat. ☺
These guys and girls need encouragement. Writing a little note in their lunch box, tidying their room with a note on their pillow or other small gestures can show them you are there for them. Saying to them ‘I’m so proud of you!’ and ‘This is a big time of so many changes, which are both exciting and scary all at the same time, and you are doing so well in adapting to them all’ can go along way. One time in the first semester, my first-year-of-high-school daughter was feeling so overwhelmed, I cleaned her room for her and put a note of encouragement on her bed. It spoke volumes for her, and encouraged her in this time of adjustment.
One of the biggest changes from primary to high school is independence. You are expected at high school to know where to go, what books you need, what uniform you need to wear, how to catch public transport etc etc. Its hard to go from a primary school where the teacher takes responsibility for you, to a high school where YOU take responsibility for you! It can feel scary and lonely. BUT… this is a great time of empowerment! Resist the urge to do everything for them.
Help them to remember, NOT take over
Its ok in the first few weeks to remind them or help them out, but you really need to empower them to start thinking for themselves. If they are forgetting things, encourage them to do up their own personal checklist the night before. Things like ‘have I put my laptop and phone on charge?’ or ‘have I got my uniforms ready?’ ‘do I need to be at school early for anything tomorrow?’ There’s lots to remember and its important at this time to help them remember, NOT take over. On the other hand, it’s also important to let them know, as they learn independence, that they are not alone and you have their back.
Some kids look around at school and expect to be ‘best friends’ by the end of the first week! Whilst some people click instantly, some kids know its takes time to develop lasting friendships. Just because people ‘act like BFFs’ after meeting a week ago, doesn’t mean it will last. It’s hard to explain this to your young teenager, as they look around and think ‘Am I the only one who doesn’t have a new best friend?”. If your teenager is feeling alone or wondering these things, reassure them. One of the things I’ve always said to my kids is, ’If you wanna make a friend, be a friend.’ It’s one of the sure ways of making friends.
‘If you wanna make a friend, be a friend.’
5. Don’t take it out on them!
The change is not only big for them, its big for you too! Your new highschooler can go from being that fun, over-communicative pre-teen to a moody, hard to love teenager. Remember, just because they don’t act like they need you, doesn’t mean they don’t! They need you more than EVER. Communication between you and them is even more key to a successful high school transition. Research shows that teenagers around 14 and up express parent-child conflict as one of their greatest concerns, so now is the time to invest in this relationship – moody or not – to keep communication channels open. Having a once a week coffee/catch up is just the ingredient for this. Even if not much is said during this time, creating a culture of ‘opportunity to share’ will be worth it in the coming years.
Research shows that teenagers around 14 and up express parent-child conflict as one of their greatest concerns
I remember that first shock as a parent of a high school kid. I remember looking back, just 12 months later and thinking ‘wow! So much has changed between the end of primary school and the first year of high school.’ It was like I was holding on to my hat and going on for the ride. Being an engaged, attentive parent will help your child know he/she is not alone and has the back up they need. Empowerment, not taking over. Encouragement, not criticism.
Keep going parents, you can DO this! And the good news is that YOU are not alone in this journey either. We are all in it together.
Real Talk is very excited that Managing Director, Paul Ninnes, was awarded the Professional of the Year award at the 2014 Community Leader Awards. Here's how the award category is described:
PROFESSIONAL LEADER OF THE YEAR
This award is presented to an outstanding corporate or business professional who is an active member of the Catholic community.
The award recognises an individual who has made a significant impact on the lives of colleagues, clients or customers.They exhibit exemplary leadership skills and set a benchmark of charity, integrity and professionalism in their workplace. The nominee does not need to be employed by a Catholic organisation, but they must be able to demonstrate how their Catholic values are integrated into their professional life. Special consideration will be made to a person who demonstrates active participation in their parish or Catholic community.
You can read about the awards here