Chapter Thirteen – Evolving the Laceweb Social Movement




This chapter continues research on the Laceweb and its role in Neville’s exploring of epochal transition. It commences with a sociogram-based discussion on actions among natural nurturers for evolving, enabling, and supporting Laceweb networks, and the passing on of nurturing ways. Neville’s own writings about his macro-framework for the next 250 plus years are discussed and analysed. The chapter concludes with evolving action and future possibilities for the Laceweb Social Movement.




Turner and Killian define a social movement as:


A collectivity acting with some continuity to promote or resist change in the society or group of which it is a part. As a collectivity, a movement is a group with indefinite or shifting membership and with leadership whose position is determined more by the informal response of adherents than by formal procedures for legitimating authority (1972).


Laceweb is a social movement within the terms of that definition, though within the Laceweb as I understand, nothing is resisted or confronted.


I have traced the Laceweb origins in Australia to Neville’s Fraser House work in the Sixties and the Human Relations Gatherings in the early Seventies. Laceweb is spreading throughout the Asia Oceania Australasia Region. Laceweb has been spreading among healers and natural nurturers (Neville’s term) within the most marginalized of people in the Asia, Oceania, Australasia region - the disadvantaged Indigenous and micro-minority people. Neville and I had a sustained deep dialogue on numerous occasions over many years (1989, 1993, 1994, 1998, and 1999) about how he was evolving the Laceweb. Neville reiterated on many occasions in my presence that in his experience, wellbeing enablers and natural nurturers are typically present among local Indigenous and small oppressed minority communities. Neville described natural enablers as people with a natural propensity and capacity to support others towards wellbeing. Put another way, ‘natural nurturers’ are people who are naturally superb nurturers. That they are already there naturally is resonant with the Yeomans using local natural resources on their farms. The way the Laceweb evolves is resonant with Cultural Keyline.


Through Psychnet (an as a person linked to UN-Inma- refer Appendix 30) I carried out a series of action research visits during July 2003 to October 2004 relating to finding and linking up natural nurturers among indigenous and grassroots people. These visits were to Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand-Burma border regions, Vietnam and Aboriginal communities in the Atherton Tablelands hinterland and at Kowanyama on Cape York, Australia. During this action research I readily found natural nurturers by asking the local grassroots people who they were (Psychnet 2005a). I introduced them to Cultural Keyline and they instantly sensed it in how they do what they do. Natural nurturers appreciated receiving this term as they had no expression for it. They responded similarly when I introduced them to the term ‘connexity’. This research replicated Neville’s Networking in the Region.


Through the Psychnet Secretariat in Manilla I attended a five day action research gathering attended by 37 of the people I had linked with in my above travels from seven countries (East Timor, West Papua, Indonesia, Bougainvile, Cambodia, Vietnam, Australia, and Western Samoa). This gathering was held in Tagaytay the countryside south of Manila in the Philippines in August 2004 (Psychnet 2005b). The presence of natural nurturers in grassroots communities was again confirmed by grassroots people from the above countries. I co-facilitated this gathering with Professor Elizabeth deCastro of the University of the Philippines Psychology Department and Ernie Cloma (the Philippino Neville worked with in Darwin in 1994) using grassroots ways of the Region (until the experiential and relational discourse facilitation process was taken over by UNICEF observers giving lectures – so that the gathering conformed to UN protocols).


The participants were given the following identifiers of natural nurturers by Elizabeth, Ernie and myself and they were asked whether such people existed in their respective cultures:


1.    They support and nurture people psychosocially in everyday life contexts

2.    They typically act voluntarily

3.    They have no formal preparation for the role; rather they are naturally very good at it through life experience

4.    They typically network with and support other natural nurturers

5.    They use culturally appropriate ways to support community, family and individual wellbeing

6.    The locals know who they are and seek them out at relevant times


While there were cultural differences, every grassroots person at the Gathering agreed that such people were present in their cultures. They were readily able to describe who they were, their values and typical ways they support people. Also, attendees from within the same cultures at the Gathering had consensus about characteristics, values and ways of natural nurturers in their area. Below are two photos of artistic representations of natural nurturers made by the participants from two of the regions at the Gathering:



Photo 1 Photo I took at Tagaytay in Aug 2004 - the natural nurturer wise old person from China



Photo 2 Photo I took at Tagaytay in Aug 2004 - natural nurturers symbolised as a coconut tree from Philippines



Photo 3 Photo I took at Tagaytay in Aug 2004 - A Cultural Healing Action based mandala


I took photo 57 showing the Cultural Healing Action based mandala we created on the final day of the Philippines Gathering. It contains clay and paper sculptures of natural nurturers from the eleven counties, flowers, the healing stones we used, as well as paper models depicting the significance of our names. These surround a clay model depicting the three landforms, Keypoints and Keyline (modelling/sculpture as aspects of Cultural Healing Action). Ceremony and ritual were regularly used throughout the Gathering.


At Tagaytay I again introduced Cultural Keyline to similar effect. The term ‘connexity’ (and its connotations) was greeted with great enthusiasm by the people from China and Mongolia. Within five days, this one gathering changed a dispersed network, with me as nodal person, into an integrated network between regions and cultures (refer sociograms 20 and 27 in the next section). This new network has links to other networks in the region spread throughout the region.




What follows is a sociogram-based analysis of the processes Neville used in networking with natural nurturers in evolving the Laceweb. Neville repeatedly emphasized to me that in any engagement he had as an enabler nothing happened unless local grassroots people wanted it to happen. Locals would take what they wanted from him – again if they wanted it. This is the frame in which the following analysis is to be read. The above is why tentative language is used below.


The following sociogram material was well received in Tagaytay in October 2004 by the grassroots people. The black disk symbol (Sociogram 1) is used to depict a local Indigenous, small minority or intercultural wellbeing nurturer.



Sociogram 1


These nurturers are living among other locals depicted as in sociogram 2.



Sociogram 2


The crosshatched disk symbol (Sociogram 3) is used to depict a non-local Laceweb enabler. Enablers, as their name implies, enable others to help themselves towards wellbeing. Enablers may share micro-experiences of healing ways and ways that heal towards peace (what Neville termed ‘peacehealing’).  Neville defined ‘micro-experiences’ as personally sensing some behaviour and noticing the resultant change in our body - such that we have embodied understanding of new ways of behaving and responding and change towards wellness.  Learning is typically by personally experiencing using the healing way on self and others.



Sociogram 3


The darker crosshatched disk symbol (Sociogram.4) is used to depict a local Laceweb enabler.

Sociogram 4


Typically, co-learning takes place. That is, as a person shares healing ways for others to experience and embody, the sharer also receives insights and understandings back from these recipients; hence, lines in the sociograms represent a two-way flow of healing sharings. Typically what flows between people are rumours – rumours of what works. Typically the ‘author’ of the rumour is not disclosed. It does not matter. Recall that Neville associated increases in uncertainty and rumour as a feature of cultures in decline (Yeomans, N. 1971c).


Sociogram 5


The dark line between two locals in Sociogram 5 represents a two-way flow of healing sharings and that these sharings have been adapted to local healing ways. That is, non-local enablers may share with locals many of the micro-experiences that they have received from other places and cultures. The local(s) may adapt these micro-experiences to the local healing ways. They may then pass these ‘localized’ healings on to other locals.



Sociogram 6


Sociogram 6 depicts an enabler interacting with three locals and one of these three has links to a chain of four, and one other link. Experiences passed from the enabler may flow through this network system.


In Sociograms 7 and 8 the local who commenced the chain makes links firstly with the second, and then the fourth person in the chain. This may have the effect of enriching the speed, flow and feedback of healing ways micro-experiences. In Sociogram 7 a link has also been made between one of the original three locals and the new local not in the chain. The healing network is beginning to expand in mutual support.



Sociogram 7



Sociogram 8


Further links have been made in Sociogram 9 so that now, the local that started the chain is directly linked to every member of the chain. The chain is also linked into the original three via the other new member. Notice that the enabler’s links to the three continue with the lighter links signifying that the micro-experiences the enabler is sharing originate outside the local culture. The enabler is in a two-way co-mentoring/co-learning flow and is receiving feedback from the three locals about how the healing ways they are receiving from the enabler are being adapted locally.

Sociogram 9



Sociogram 10


In Sociogram 10, the fourth person in the chain has linked with the first and second person in the chain.


These further links may have the potential to:


·         increase and strengthen the diversity in healing ways in use as people share their differing experience

·         increase the intrinsic bonding within the network

·         increase the availability of potential support

·         increase the store of micro-experience in the network and relational communicating about embodied experience

·         increase the potential for self-organizing in the network

·         increase the potential for emergence in the network

·         increase the embodied unconscious use of Cultural Keyline


In Sociogram 11 the local natural nurturer who has been evolving the network is depicted as evolving into a local enabler. This enabler role emerges over time. Further linkings have been made. The expanding network has potential for both unifying experience and enrichment through diversity.



Sociogram 11


Now the ‘web’ like structure of the linking is emerging.


When Neville got started in each of Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, Atherton Tablelands, and around Darwin, Neville was the one initiating almost all of the linking. He said that this was a very slow process. In sociograms 6 to 11, the enabler has only made links with the original three locals.  It may be that further links are made between the enabler and others in the network.  It is not however necessary. In some contexts the links between locals may increase ahead of the links between locals and non-local enablers.


It will be noted that by Sociogram 11, the outside enabler may have become a relatively invisible figure. I am told by my overseas links that this is the experience in East Asia and Oceania contexts. The non-local enabler may continue to share micro-experiences with the original locals. By now most of the healing ways may be received from locals.


In the contexts that Neville energized in the Australian Far North, most of the natural nurturers had a close connexion to Neville.


Healing micro-experiences may be combined and adapted as appropriate to people, place and context. Over 30 years of experience has demonstrated that:


·         these processes may be self-enriching

·         people may be intuitively innovative

·         micro-experiences may be readily and easily passed between cultures


To go back in time, while the local network depicted in the preceding series of sociograms has been emerging, the enabler may have been enabling, supporting, mentoring/co-mentoring and linking with one or more other enablers who are in turn linking with other locals not known to the local network mentioned above.


Sociogram 12 depicts such a linking. While this second enabler is also linking with three locals, it may be any small number. Typically, these linkings start out small.

Sociogram 12


Sociograms 12 to 17 depict the evolving of this second network. The sequence may differ, though many of the characteristics of the first network emerge. Linked chains of people may emerge. Further linking strengthens the number of people available to each other for mutual sharing and support.


Sociogram 13



Sociogram 14



Sociogram 15



Sociogram 16



Sociogram 17



Sociogram 18


Sociogram 19 depicts later links being made between the two local networks and the local enabler in the first network links the two local networks. As these links are extended, the two networks may merge to be one expanded network.



Sociogram 19


There is always the possibility that local healers may position themselves such that they generate links to other local healers without linking the locals to each other. In this way any local doing this may become the one all the others rely on.


Sociogram 20 shows the original network of eight locals and underneath, another eight locals where seven locals only have one link and that link is with the local in the centre. There are differences in the structure and dynamic between the original network and this later form of linking - what has been described as integrated and dispersed networks (Cutler 1984, p. 253-266).



Sociogram 20  - Integrated network (above) Dispersed network (below)


This second pattern (the dispersed network with a nodal person in the middle linking rumour lines is prevalent throughout the Laceweb in SE Asia where the safety and integrity of the natural nurturers is under threat. This is discussed later. The August 2004 gathering in the Philippines countryside shifted the network from dispersed to integrated. These integrated network members are themselves nodal people in dispersed networks.


Experience has shown that the integrated network with the multiple cross linkings has many advantages such as:


·         Members have multiple people to call on for support

·         The flow of information tends to be fast and rich

·         The diversity enriches the micro-experiences being shared

·         It is possible to get cross-checks on others’ outcomes


Networks in the Atherton Tablelands in the Queensland region tend to take this form.




So far I have only depicted the links between enablers (non-local and local) and local healers and nurturers. Typically, these local natural nurturers are regularly being approached by local family, friends, and others for nurturing. As well, nurturers tend, as a matter of course, to reach out to support others as they go about everyday life. Sociogram 21 depicts three other locals (shown as the striated circles) that have links with one of the healers. Typically, each of the healers has a number of locals that seek out their support from time to time. As healers pass on healing ways to locals that enable them to help themselves, often these other locals emerge as healers and start to merge with the wider healing network.

Sociogram 21





Enablers are also part of an enabling network. Sociogram 22 depicts the original enabler’s links to the Laceweb enabler network.


Sociogram 22


After a time, the network may start to link more widely into the wider local community and extend through a number of surrounding villages (settlements/towns) with links to more distant places. The healing network starts to enable self-healing among the local communities. More and more people discover that they can change their wellbeing as depicted in Sociogram 23.  Nurturers begin to identify other nurturers living in their area with whom they have not yet established links.

Sociogram 23


After a time, whole villages (settlements/towns) may enter cultural healing action as depicted in Sociogram 24. The triangular symbol represents a dwelling and the three rings of dwellings depict three villages located in reasonable close walking distance from each other.


Sociogram 24


Note the differing patterns of transfer depicted in Sociogram 24.


At the top right:


·         an integrated support network

·         an isolated link

·         a dispersed chain linking 5 people


At bottom right:


·         one nodal person is a source for five separate others in a dispersed network


After a time, locals may evolve as enablers and so further assist in the spreading of cultural healing action.


At other times there may be campout festivals, celebrations, and gatherings of enablers, nurturers and other locals from a number of villages (settlements/towns). These may last for days with diverse and spontaneous cultural healing action occurring.


An example of this was the Small Island Coastal and Estuarine People Gathering Celebration on the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland Australia in June 1994 (Roberts and Widders 1994).


Sociogram 25 depicts the network shown in Sociogram 24 after they have gathered together in a healing festival (what Neville (Dec 1993) called a HealFest). Typically such gatherings create opportunities for a sudden large increase in linking. You may note that the people in the lower right of Sociogram 25 who had relied on the central person, have now met up with each other and formed into a mutually supporting net. This network has linked with the enabler to their left and into that little network. The network on the upper left has also made further linkings and one person has made many linkings throughout the other networks. All of this linking may hold forth promise for further enriching. Just as the nature of the system covalent bonding at the molecular level determines system properties such as transparency, malleability, conductance, brittleness and strength, so the nature of bonding links determine healing network characteristics (refer Neville’s poetic desert web metaphor in Chapter One).



Sociogram 25


All of the foregoing depicts the forms of networks Neville was evolving in the Australia Top End.


Sometimes an intercultural enabler may set up links with healers who do not want information about themselves, their links, or their Laceweb involvement known to anyone else. Where torture is used for social control, healing the tortured is deemed by the torturers as a subversive activity. Consequently, throughout parts of the Region, Laceweb linking operates on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. Neville never revealed his overseas links to me as I had no need to know. Many of the people involved want to keep a very low profile. Some healers are wanted dead by dominant elements in the areas they live in; as stated, healing may be deemed by some the ultimate subversive act. Someone else revealing a Laceweb person’s details to another person without that person’s permission would typically mean that the link with the betrayer would be severed permanently. This limited knowing of who is involved is not a weakness; it is a strength. It is isomorphic with neural networks where only four adjacent connections are typically activated as things fly along the neural pathways; like the brain, information may travel very quickly.


In the Laceweb there can be very long chains where healers know only between two and five people in the chain. In these dangerous contexts, no one can find out the ‘member list’ in order to undermine the movement. The list does not exist. No one knows more than a few of the others involved. An enabler may set up links with a number of these ‘anonymous’ healers. Each of these may have ‘trust’ links with between one or as many as four or five people along ‘rumour lines’. Sociogram 26 depicts such a rumour line where each of the link-people has a small group of healers they know in their local area. Each of these sets of other local healers is not known to any of the others in the rumour line. Each segment (and the whole rumour line) is self organising.



Sociogram 26 - Rumours network linking

small healing groups at different locations


Considerable portions of the Laceweb throughout the East Asia Oceania Region take this form. The larger black circles depict the healing people who pass on the healing rumours backwards and forwards to healers in other localities. 


As shown in Sociogram 26 there are small groups of healers in the different locations. Number 1 is a nodal person with links to other parts of the Laceweb. Number 1 knows 2, 3, 4 and 5. Numbers 4, 5 and 6 know each other. Numbers 6, 7 and 8 know each other. Typically, no one knows more than 4 or 5 people in the chain.



Sociogram 27 - A dispersed network with a nodal link person in the middle


The healer in the middle in Sociogram 27 is a nodal person and a key energizer in passing rumours from one segment of a network into many other rumour lines linking local small networks. Often a nodal person is able to pass on the healing ways from one cultural rumour line into the rumour line of another culture. Any of the little local networks may have potential to expand in the local area by locating other natural nurturers, or by so enriching others in their self-healing, that they also become enablers and natural nurturers. The above sociogram is idealized in the linear nature of some of the lines; this was only for ease of drawing. Lines do not represent locality relationships; the links jump between different places in the region.


While these linkings are between caring enablers and natural nurturers Neville spoke of there been misunderstandings from time to time that cause people to sever links. Neville would from time to time tell me not to contact certain ones till he lets me know things have been ‘cleared up’.

The Sharing of Micro-experiences Among Locals - A Summary


The following lists Cultural Keyline aspects of the above Laceweb action:


·         Nothing happens unless locals want it to happen

·         Enablers using all of their sensing of and attending to the local social topography outlined in Chapter Nine

·         Interacting with the surrounding cultural locality as a living system

·         Enabling others to tap into personal and interpersonal psychosocial and other wellness and resilience resources using the following processes:


o   Enablers sharing healing micro-experiences

o   Locals adapting micro-experiences to local nurturing ways

o   Locals passing on their new micro-experiences to each other.


·         In this way locals may become a resource to each other

·         No local becomes a ‘font of all wisdom’

·         Locals may be engaging in the enabler role or beginning to take on this role

·         Enablers are not seen as the ‘font of all wisdom’

·         As the local healing network strengthens, the enabler may become more in the background

·         Networking may respond to perturbing action by enablers

·         Networking may be emergent

·         Locals may take on or extend their local enabler roles

·         Locals may use naturalistic inquiry and iterative action research

·         Nurturing may take place as people go about their everyday life

·         Nurturers may use local knowings in responding to themes conducive to coherence in the local social topography

·         The sharing may be self-organizing

·         No one is ‘in charge’, although everyone involved may have a say

·         There may be shared accountability for unfolding action

·         Global multidirectional social, cultural and intercultural communicating and co-learning may occur among those involved - following Terry Widder’s remarks to Franklin (1995, p. 59)

·         There may be the sharing of embodied micro-experiences and the healing/nurturing role

·         Nurturing may be an intrinsic aspect of cultural locality

·         There may be the enacting of local wisdoms about ‘what works’

·         What ‘fits’ may be repeated, shared and consensually validated

·         Healing actions may be resonant with traditional Indigenous ways

·         The use of organic processes - the survival of the fitting

·         Knowing may include the ever tentative unfolding action

·         Organic roles - orchestrating, enabling and the like

·         Healing actions that work may be passed on as rumours that may be validated by action


Laceweb as a social movement, and evolving micro-models of epochal transition are discussed in the next section.




In Neville’s ‘On Global Reform’ paper (Yeomans 1974) (introduced in Chapter One) he wrote about his involvement in the New State Movement in Far North Queensland and its potential relevance for his ideas. At one level this ‘On Global Reform’ paper was written for the Australian Humanitarian Law Committee, and as a paper submitted on humanitarian law for Neville’s law degree. At a more significant level, I suspect that this paper is Neville’s key epochal transition document. Its precursor is Neville’s ‘Mental Health and Social Change’ paper discussed in Chapter One (Yeomans, N. 1971c; Yeomans, N. 1971b). 


Neville’s wording of the forward to his fathers ‘City Forest’ book (Yeomans, P. A. 1971b) published in October 1971 (Appendix 4) draws on and extends Neville’s ideas from his July 1971 Mental Health and Social Change’ paper (Yeomans, N. 1971c), and acts as a precursor to his 1974 ‘On Global Reform’ paper (Yeomans 1974).

The City Forest forward is fully consistent with Cultural Keyline principles:


                                                i.        Sensing Australia’s unique marginal geo-psycho-social topography for evolving micro-model transitional communities towards human cities and humane caring continental nations


                                               ii.        Enabling self organizing contexts where caring resonant people self organize in mutual help using values and behaviours respecting the earth and all life forms


‘On Global Reform’ written by Neville in 1974 specifies Neville’s Epochal Quest and his big picture long-term framework for achieving epochal transition. Neville told me of this paper in 1994 and said he was unsure of where I could find a copy. I kept asking and finally found it in June 2000 a month after Neville’s death in a collection of Neville’s papers recovered from his Yungaburra house by Marjorie Roberts.


In this On Global Reform paper, Neville writes about one model of Global Governance being put forth by people described as ‘normative realists’ (Neville recognized downsides of their position):


The global transition model of the normative realists has emphasized a credible transition strategy in the move towards a more peaceful and just world. However it is necessary to make such a strategy both meaningful and feasible to persons and groups, and to underpin that world level analysis with relevant application to individual communities. An attempt will be made to do this in an Australian context by presuming the creation of an Inma in North Queensland (1974).


Neville refers to a ‘credible transition strategy’ - recall that Neville structured Fraser House to be a ‘transitional community’. For Neville, the exploring of the nature and behaviours of transitional communities in Fraser House was evolving ‘Global transitional models’. Notice Neville’s linking of macro and micro in the above quote – using the principal, ‘Think globally. Act locally’ – using the following elements:


1.    A World level analysis

2.    A global transition model

3.    A credible transition strategy

4.    A strategy both meaningful and feasible to persons and groups

5.    Underpin that World level analysis with relevant application to individual communities


Notice that Neville uses the expression, ‘presuming the creation of an Inma in North Queensland’; Neville would regularly presume that something already existed, and start inviting people to be a part of it. Neville would so presume Inma, that it did ‘exist’; people never knew the extent of it. Neville actualised Inma from a potent articulated virtual reality, repeated passionately.


Neville continued:


It is submitted that…consciousness-raising...would occur firstly among the most disadvantaged of the area, including the Aborigines. Thus human relations groups on a live-in basis could assist both the growth of solidarity and personal freedom of expression amongst such persons.


In initial experiences along this line the release of fear and resentment against whites has led to a level of understanding and mutual trust both within the aboriginal members and between them and white members (Yeomans 1974).


In the last paragraph, the ‘initial experiences’ Neville was referring to was the Human Relations Workshops in Armidale and Grafton in 1971-1973 (Aboriginal Human Relations Newsletter Working Group 1971a). In saying, ‘the growth of solidarity and personal freedom of expression amongst such persons’, Neville was referring to the experience of participants in those workshops. Neville spoke of people regaining their voice and forging inter-community cooperating in networking. Terry Widders referred to ‘social and cultural communication’ (Franklin 1995, p. 59).


Notice that the above process is again using Cultural Keyline:


1.        During the milieu of the Human Relations Gatherings, at the various Therapeutic communities in North Queensland and within the evolving networks:


a.    Pervasive attending, sensing and supporting of self-organising action, emergence, and Keypoints conducive to coherence – monitoring theme, mood, values and interaction among the Indigenous and the marginal

b.    fostering cultural locality (people connecting together connecting to place)


Neville and resonant people engaging in support towards strategic design possibilities and context-guided perturbing of the social topography towards wellbeing – where nothing happens unless locals want it to happen and make it happen – to paraphrase Maturana[1] (1996):

….mutual help in interactional and relational space re-constituting social relating through a flow in consensual coordinations of consensual coordinations of behaviours (process about process) and emotions towards consensuality and cooperation, rather than competition or aggressive strife – evolving homo sapiens amans (lover) rather than homo sapiens aggressans (aggressor).

2.        Sensing and attending to the natural social system self-organising in response to the perturbing, and monitoring outcomes.


Neville further links the Inma framework to a tightly specified cultural locality and place with the following:


Turning to the ethics and ideology of Inma people; it is axiomatic that for a life-style and value mutation to occur in an area, such territory needs to be in a unique combined global, continental, federated state and local marginality. Globally it needs to be junctional between East and West  (Parkinson 1963) at least geographically and in historical potentiality. At the same time at all levels it needs to be sufficiently distant from the centres of culture and power to be unnoticed, unimportant and autonomous.


Sensitive to the significance of place in Cultural Keyline, biogeography and social topography, Neville envisioned a four-fold locality positioning for his INMA to best explore global transition models at the margin - in the niche of Far North Queensland:


1.    Global (junctional between East and West)

2.    Continental (within the continent of Australia)

3.    Federated State, (within a Federated State System) and

4.    Local marginality (Atherton Tablelands)


The words ‘unnoticed, unimportant and autonomous’ are apt descriptors of the Laceweb networking in the Australia Top End. Neville told me (Aug, 1988, Dec, 1993 and July, 1998) that in 1963 when Neville travelled the World speaking to Indigenous peoples about the best place in the World to begin evolving a normative model area, the constant feedback was that Far North Australia was the most appropriate. Neville told me many times that Far North Queensland and the Darwin Top End was the most strategic place in the World to locate Inma. Initially I kept thinking he meant the best place for least interference. While ‘least interference’ was important, he meant the best place to start global transition modelling. In July 1994, Neville told me that action would be best above a line between Rockhampton on the East Coast of Australia, and Broome on the West Coast. The Australia Top End was a marginal locality adjacent the marginal edge of SE Asia Oceania – a region containing around 75% of the global Indigenous population as well as containing 75% of the World's Indigenous peoples (Widders 1993). Neville was convinced that these were the very best people on the oppressed margins of global society to explore new cultural syntheses. Zunzanka (Aug, 2004) told me of the most advanced global discourse on global futures going on in languages other than English – among the worlds oppressed Indigenous people. Neville had first action researched ‘marginal locality’ in Fraser House.


Neville had been reading the writings of Richard Falk of Princeton University in USA and other normative realists who were connected to the World Order Model Project, called ‘WOMP’ for short. Neville spoke (1993, 1997) about Inma being a place to action research various utopias, and where local aspiring utopias can respect and celebrate other aspiring utopias. Neville evolved practical action towards multiple utopias, where every aspect may be grounded in action research, with unfolding outcomes tested by the locals in respective local contexts. What works may be repeated by locals in local contexts and passed on as rumours that others may adapt and test if they want. Respect between utopias may be fostered by what Widders called ‘cultural communication’ (Franklin 1995, p. 59) and by implication from Terry’s later work, ‘intercultural communication’.


Neville’s monograph then proceeds to outline his 200-year transition process. (Neville at varying times gave differing time periods for the transition - up to 500 years.) Neville writes of adapting one of the World Order Model Project’s (WOMP) models toward what he described as a ‘more problem-solving and value priority functionalism’. By comparing texts it can be seen that Neville drew upon Richard Falk’s book, ‘A Study of Future World’s (Falk 1975), although Neville did not refer to this in his ‘On Global Reform’ paper. Neville also drew upon and referenced Falk’s Journal article, ‘Law and National Security: The Case for Normative Realism (1974)’.


Three Transition Phases


In Chapter One I introduced Neville’s three transition phases in his global reform model (1974):


This design involves the conceiving of a three-stage transition process (T1-T3) (where T1, T2, and T3 signify three transition processes):


Tl   = Consciousness-raising in national Arenas

T2 = Mobilization in Transnational Arenas

T3 = Transformation in Global Arenas


Neville went on to describe proposed political frameworks (1974):


The political organs have tripartite representation:


1.    Peoples,

2.    Non-government Organizations, and

3.    Governments.


Notice the bottom up ordering.


It is submitted that T1 consciousness-raising… would occur firstly among the most disadvantaged of the area, including the Aborigines (1974).


This follows Neville’s starting with the marginalised in Sydney and gathering in the Indigenous people from the asylum back wards.


The next step could be focusing their activities on the Inma (1974).


Neville did this by networking among the Aboriginal and Islander nurturer women.


This would be accompanied by widespread T1 activities in the Inma, conducted largely by those trained by previous groups. Aborigines from all over Australia and overseas visitors would be involved as has begun (1974).


An example has been the Small Island Gathering in July 1994 (Roberts and Widders 1994).


Over a number of years the Indigenous population of the Inma would be increasingly involved, both black and white (Yeomans 1974).


This especially started with the Armidale and Grafton human relations gatherings (1971 to 1973).


Co-existing with later T1 activity is a relatively brief consciousness raising program with the more reformist humanitarian members of the national community, i.e. largely based on self-selected members of the helping and caring professions plus equivalent other volunteers. However their consciousness raising is mainly aimed at realizing the supportive and protective role they can play nationally, in guaranteeing the survival of the Inma beyond their own lifetimes, rather than trying to persuade them actually to join it by migration (1974) (my italics).


In 1986, when I first met Neville I slotted precisely into the italicised sentence. I was one of those ‘more reformist humanitarian members of the national community’. In writing, ‘rather than trying to persuade them actually to join it by migration’, Neville actively encouraged me not to shift North. He said I was most valuable as a distant resource person; in supporting the Laceweb Internet homepage and doing this research perhaps I may contribute to, ‘guaranteeing the survival of the Inma beyond their own lifetimes.’


In the years following 1974 when Neville wrote the ‘On Global Reform’ paper, he followed through with the above social action. Neville implemented his networking firstly in the Queensland Top End and in the early Nineties extended this to the Darwin Top End.


Neville’s paper (1974) continues with the Second Level Transition phase (T2 level):


‘T2 has two subunits:


T2 (a) commences with the mobilization of extra-Inma supporters nationally.


Neville was doing this on his return to Sydney for a couple of years in 1987 through to 1989 at the Healing Sundays in Bondi Junction in Sydney.


T2 (b) moves to the mobilization of transnationals who have completed T1 consciousness raising in their own continents. That mobilization is of two fundamentally distinct types:


T2 (b)(i) mobilization of those who will come to live in, visit, or work in the Inma.


As far as I can determine T1 consciousness raising is evolving in the Far North Queensland Inma, with links across Northern Australia and the Darwin Top End. T1 consciousness raising is also occurring among marginalized people across the East Asia Australasia Oceania Region (this is discussed later).


T2 (b)(ii) mobilization of those who will guarantee cogent normative, moral and economic support combined with national and international political protection for its survival.


By T3, the effects of T1 and T2 have largely transformed the Inma, which is now a matured multipurpose world order model. Its guidance and governance will be non-territorial in the sense that it extends from areal to global. Politically it is territorial, economically it is largely continental; in the humanitarian or integral sense it is continental for Aborigines and partly so in other fields, but it is largely global.


T3 for the Inma is then nearing completion, while its ex-members who have returned to their own continents are moving these regions towards the closure of T1, the peak of T2 and the beginning of a global T3. This is perhaps 50-100 years away. By the time of the peak of global T3 humanitarian consensus provides the integral base for development of a World nation-state of balanced integrality and polity. World phase completion could perhaps be 200 years away (1974).


To quote the Inma poem (2000a):


Inma believes that persons may come
and go as they wish, but also
it believes that the values will stay and
fertilize its area, and
it believes the nexus will cover the globe.


Small beginnings have been made in T2a and T2b(i). Laceweb is about 50 years into the 200 plus years considered by Neville.


The above 200 year global transition model is resonant with the Yeomans pervasive sensing of all of the myriad inter-connected, inter-dependent inter-related aspects of self organizing nature on the Yeomans farms and being mindful of timing and placement in design. Neville quoted Maturana (1996):


In this evolutionary process, living systems and medium change together in a systemic manner following the path of recurrent interactions in which their reciprocal dynamic structural congruence (adaptation) is conserved.


In Neville’s 200 year model, resonant people are the medium for change and the uniquely appropriate placed bio-geographical context of Northern Australia is the ideal medium for the medium – ‘reciprocal dynamic structural congruence’.


While Neville envisaged a ‘World nation-state’ he was not advocating a ‘World Government’. He always spoke of ‘global governance’ with global governance of global issues, like, Global warming, the atmosphere, the seas, large river systems, and global peacekeeping. Regional issues would be covered by regional governance and local issues by local governance. Recall that Neville had pioneered this three tiered governance in Fraser House. Neville envisioned many aspects of current Government service delivery being carried out by communal self help processes.


Having set out his transition process, for completeness Neville proceeded in his monograph to give a glimpse of his macro thinking about longer-term generative action for evolving possibilities towards humane law and caring governance in the Inma.


It can be noted that in Neville’s ‘On Global Reform – International Normative Model Areas’, he had not specified in detail the processes he envisaged taking place in any of the three transition phases. He had given an over-view and then went on to specify possible legal and governance models that may be applicable at some time way in the future. It was not until November 2002 (two years after Neville’s death) that I realized that Exegrity (1999) – a set of documents that Neville and I worked on for nearly a year in 1999 (when he was in constant chronic pain) was this piece missing from his, ‘On Global Reform’ monograph. These Extegrity documents set out a comprehensive Laceweb process for non-compromising funding and the reconstituting of a decimated society such as East Timor or Bougainville. For Neville, the name ‘Extegrity’ embodied the notion, ‘extensive integrity’.  The documents were inspired by a European Commission document relating to social reconstruction following societal collapse through war (European Initiative for Democracy and the Protection of Human Rights 1998). Typical of First World documents, the European Commission document places government, law and people as the order of priority. True to the process Neville sets out in his ‘On Global Reform’ paper, he turned the European Community document on its head.


The sequence for action embodied in the Extegrity Document is as follows:


First comes enabling local self-help and mutual-help towards biopsychosocial wellbeing.


Second comes the re-connecting with local lore rather than law. Locals reconstituting their lore raises possibilities for the local-culture-sensible emergence of norms, rules, obligations and local law - during their co-reconstituting of community, while sharing in therapeutic Community Healing Action in evolving cultural locality.


Third comes local democratic governance by local communities as exemplified by the Fraser House patients’ committee-based governance. From this local governance may emerge regional and global governance consistent with Neville’s model mentioned above. From this may emerge law. A non-compromising non-pathologising international peace-keeping process may ensure a peaceful framework while the above three processes are evolved (1999).[2]


At each of the three levels - people’s wellbeing, lore and governance – the Extegrity Document sets out social action which reframes the European Community document to being Laceweb Cultural Keyline way.[3]


Neville described the Extegrity Documentation as an isomorphic (of matching form) reversed, reframe of the European Community documents. (For completeness we even matched the layout, paragraphing, fonts and font sizes.)


A feature of both the European documentation and the Extegrity documentation is a preference for partnerships-in-action between previously conflicted people. It was this funding preference for partnerships between previously conflicted peoples and the ‘completeness’ of the European Community document that attracted Neville to adapt these forms (European Initiative for Democracy and the Protection of Human Rights 1998)


The Extegrity Documentation was sent to UN Secretary General Kofi Anan, to Mary Robinson, Head of UNHRC, and to various Global governance bodies. It was also circulated widely among Indigenous communities in the Region – for seeding possibilities.


The UN process in East Timor implemented the First World model of ‘nation state’. It used the First World model of nation building as per the model in the above European Union Document. Resonant with Pupavac’s article (2005) some commentators I spoke to who were present in the East Timor post-handover (1999 onwards period) spoke of Western psychosocial aid based on diagnosing post traumatic stress and labelling resulting in pathologising of the local population. Balancing this, I found many forms of resilience and local adaptive psychosocial mutual help present in Dili and Bacau among Indigenous East Timorese of all ages.


The next section explores the structure-process of the Laceweb.




The Laceweb is not an organization in the familiar sense. Laceweb in one sense is a loosely integrated functional matrix of functional matrices (holons in holarchy), discussed previously in Chapter Eleven. It is akin to the self organising living system energy on the Yeomans’ farms. Within Laceweb (similar to Fraser House) the psychosocial structure and processes are entangled - just as the process of spiralling water structures the whirlpool. Just as the whirlpool is entangled in the water process, so the Laceweb’s tenuous structure is sustained as self-organising human energy in action.


As a functional matrix structure, the Laceweb has no central ‘organization’ that any one can ‘belong to’ or ‘re-present’. Some Indigenous and small minority people can have as much difficulty coming to terms with this aspect of the Laceweb as mainstream Western people. While typically Indigenous and small minority people spurn the idea that any one could represent (re-present) them, they sometimes expect non-local Laceweb enablers to be ‘from’ or be part of some organization and to re-present it. It typically takes a while to recognize and understand the amorphous nature of the Laceweb. Neville told me (Dec, 1993) that it is often a few of the women elders who recognize it first and say that ‘Laceweb action is like their old ways’.


The next section looks at examples of Laceweb action.




During the month of June in the years 1998-2002 there were a series of small gathering celebrations in the Atherton Tablelands Region to celebrate the anniversaries of the 1994 UN funded Small Island Coastal Estuarine People Gathering Celebration. A pictorial summary of action at the June-July 2001 Laceweb Gathering has been posted on the Internet (Un Inma 2001).


Neville’s T2 (b)(i) consciousness raising in his 200 plus Year Model (1974) has transnationals who have completed some T1 consciousness raising in their own continents, coming to live in, visit, or work in, the Inma. An example of this was the July 2001 Healing Sharing Gathering in Cairns, Queensland. This gathering was attended by survivors of torture and trauma - Bougainvillians and other Papua New Guineans, West Papuans, East Timorese, as well as interculturals from Brazil, Ireland, Finland and Australia. Women and children were the focus. The Jessie Street Foundation (in memory of Jessie Street) has supported the July 2001 Healing Sharing Gathering, as well as follow-on action in 2002 (Laceweb-Homepage 1998; Laceweb-Homepage 2001). West Papuan and Bougainvillian attendees who were survivors of torture and trauma found body approaches very effective in producing psycho-emotional shifts towards wellbeing. The following photo shows some of the West Papuan and Bougainvillian torture and Trauma survivors enjoying spontaneous dance with a Brazilian Enabler (placed at the rear). Faces are hidden by request.




Photo 4 A photo I took in July 2001 of spontaneous dance as change process


Following the Gatherings, some attendees visited with Aboriginals Geoff Guest and his partner Norma at Petford Aboriginal Training Farm, 170 kilometres inland from Cairns.



Photo 5 A photo I took of the Bougainville attendee at the July 2001 ‘Small Island Gathering’ Anniversary Gathering with Geoff at Salem Farm


One of the visitors from Bougainville had just completed his masters degree in community development. He was returning to Bougainville charged with the responsibility for oversight of community development in Bougainville.


Consistant with Neville’s On Global Reform T2 (b)(i) transition phase (refer above), Nodal networkers linked to the Tagaytay Gathering mentioned above have come from Cambodia and the Philippines to link with Laceweb and attend ConFest in 2003/2004 (Down to Earth Cooperative 2002, Newsletter Dec, 2003 & Dec 2004).


As for Neville’s T2 mobilization in Transnational areas, Terry Widders has written of wellbeing links now existing among Indigenous and Oppressed Small Minorities in the following places - Australia, Bougainville, China, East Timor, India, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sarawak, Southern Siberia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam, and West Papua, and on small islands dotted right along the Asian and South East Asian mainland (Widders 1993).

Inma Involvement in Urban Renewal Project


In October 2004 I funded David Cruise, a Down To Earth director (accompanied by his son Matthew who paid his own way) to visit Geoff and Norma Guest at Petford and visit Mareja Bin Juda (now deceased) and her Manoora Project in Cairns. This project like some other INMA praxis engaged in cooperative action with State and Local Government. Resonant with the Rapid Creek Project in Darwin, Mareja worked closely with the Queensland State Government, the Cairns City council as well as the local Aboriginal and Islander Community of the suburb of Manoora in Cairns in a large scale whole community urban renewal project.[4]



Photo 6 Mareja Bin Juda at Manoora – D. Cruise’s Archives – used with permission


Mareja enabled many in the Manoora Aboriginal and Islander Community to engage in mutual help in supporting the urban renewal project. Ten years earlier Mareja had taken a 60-seater busload of women and children from Manoora for the NCADA funded gathering at Geoff and Norma Guest’s Healing Farm at Petford (discussed in Chapter Twelve). Mareja was able to refer back to that Petford experience in mobilising these women in the urban renewal project. For the Project Mareja energised a group of Aboriginal and Islander women (some elderly) in doing day and night voluntary safety audits of streets, footpaths, pathways, lighting and other potential hazards. Mareja also energised Aboriginal and Islander youth to prepare a Transport Revamp Project Report that the Cairns Council stated was equal to a professional report; this report was used by the council in its deliberations,


Mareja with community and Project backing created a process whereby each family could decide how they wanted the money allotted in upgrading their public housing property; some wanted carports, others opted for covered verandas for breezeways and outdoor shade, and others wanted palms and other garden shrubs (this is resonant with Fraser House patients being asked their views on Sydney landscaping).



Photo 7 Example of House Upgrade – photo from D. Cruise’s Achives 


Prior to this Project, one large housing complex in Manoora was virtually without any greenery and extremely hot in the tropical summer and a place of civil disobedience. This complex was turned into a beautiful ‘resort’ like atmosphere with many large palms and tropical plants, shade areas and lawns with sprinkler systems. The Project supplied the trees, plants and equipment to dig holes and move earth. The local residents supplied the voluntary labour to plant and maintain the greenery. Mareja told me (July 2003) that along with the habitat, the sociocultural tone of the place was turned around completely in twelve months with the crime rates significantly lower – refer photo 63 below.



Photo 8 The Housing Complex After Supported Community Self-Help Action - Photo from D. Cruise’s Achives 



The local community decided what they wanted to do about a dark park in their area that was unsafe. They decided that the tops of the trees be floodlit at night by using hidden soft green lights facing upwards. Now the whole park is like an enchanted forest at night.



Photo 9 The Floodlit Garden by Day - Photo from D. Cruise’s Achives 


Strife in the park has dropped markedly. In the process, disadvantaged Aboriginal and Islander people found their voice. They gained group and community competencies and strengthened family and friend support networks.


Signing Un-Inma Memorandum of Understanding and Treaties


In June 2002, a UN-Inma Memorandum of Understanding (Yeomans 1992a; Yeomans 1992b) was signed in Cairns by people of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, East Timorese and Bougainvillian backgrounds acknowledging ongoing partnership and mutual support towards Laceweb action in and between their respective communities with further outreach to West Papuans. This intercultural action linking Indigenous and oppressed people in the Region is consistent with Neville’s Extegrity aspirations (Yeomans and Spencer 1999). Also signed in recognizing Laceweb Way was the Unique Healing Treaty (Yeomans 1992a; Yeomans 1992b) and the Young Persons Healing Learning Code included as Appendices 40 and 41 (Psychnet 2005d). The same documents have been circulated in East Asia Networks.


East Asian Oceania Linking


During June to December 2003, through funding from the UK via East Asia, I visited grassroots people in six counties in the region – linking with 40 grassroots wellbeing self help bodies and networks, sharing with 240 people in Cambodia, East Timor (Dili and Bacau), Indonesia, (Jakarta and Bali) Philippines, Thailand-Burma border regions (Chang Mai and Mae Sot), Kowanyama Aboriginal Community on Cape York in Australia, and in Hanoi, Saigon and communities in the Mekong Delta Region in Vietnam. I heard about their healing ways and shared micro-experiences of some of the things that had worked in Laceweb networks. Amidst contexts of major man-made and natural harm, self-help and mutual help is thriving in these grassroots networks (Balanon 2004; Psychnet 2005a).


In the August 2004 gathering in the countryside in the Philippines I worked with Ernie Cloma using cultural healing action. Ernie worked with Neville in Darwin in 1994 using all forms of artistry. The Tagaytay Philippines gathering was to refine grassroots natural nurturer psychosocial response following man made and natural emergencies (Yeomans, Widders et al. 1993b). I had prepared a set of resources for that gathering and also gave a copy of the then current version of this thesis to all grassroots attendees. The gathering was attended by grassroots people very experienced in psychosocial emergency response. The thirty-seven grassroots attendees from eleven countries in the region were very experienced grassroots people that I had met in my travels mentioned above, some that I already knew from the region, along with other invitees from China and Mongolia. Networking and exchange was fast-tracked by meeting other kindred natural nurturers and sharing experience. A core theme and issue during the gathering was interfacing between First World and Grassroots way. I shared Cultural Keyline concepts with grassroots attendees who readily recognised these concepts and their fit within their own grassroots understandings of community mutual help. Consistent with sociograms 26 and 27 above, the sharing at the gathering enabled the 37 grassroots natural nurturers - most of whom had no previous contact with each other - to form a close integrated network during five days of sharing grassroots ways and bonding. All of the grassroots attendees are nodal people in respect of other networks in the region.


Following Tagaytay I accompanied Faye Balanon and Marco Puzin from UP-CIDS (host to Psychnet Secretariat), Than To from CamboKids in Phnom Penh and a small select group of others linked to Psychnet to trial our emergency response processes around Takepan, a small rice growing district near Piket in the war zone in Mindanao, Philippines. There we found and linked with natural nurturer networks and resilient people in a number of small rice growing communities made up of mutually cooperating Muslim and Christian families  (Balanon, 2004).


Resonant with Neville’s later T1 action, and T2 (b)(ii), during 2005 among the ‘more reformist humanitarian members of the national community’ - largely ‘self-selected members of the helping and caring professions’ (Yeomans 1974), energy has been emerging towards evolving in Melbourne, in Victoria Australia (at the Southern end of the country), ‘mobilization of those who will guarantee cogent normative, moral and economic support combined with national and international political protection for its (INMA) survival (Yeomans 1974).’ Ideas are evolving fund generating economic application of indigenous knowings about nature’s resources for generating possibilities for non-compromising funding for future Inma action research.


Action Researching Biopsychosocial Frameworks


Neville pioneered the biopsychosocial mode of wellbeing care (Engel 1977) in Australia and carried out constant action research on the mode from 1956 to 1998. Inma action research on the biopsychosocial model continues to this day.


The biopsychosocial framing of mutual help action and experience within Laceweb and INMA may serve as a model for both health and wellbeing services, as well as a model for Victorian Workcover where the legislative thrust is to have Workcover claimants taking their own action to facilitate a return to their prior life participation and involvement.




This chapter commenced with a sociogram analysis of the evolving of Laceweb followed by a summary analysis of Neville’s ‘On Global Reform’ paper. Laceweb was discussed as a functional matrix of matrices, and examples were given of Laceweb action research in evolving Inma as a micro-model area exploring epochal transition. Chapter Fourteen contains a summary of my conclusions.


[1] Neville referred me to this article (Dec 1993).

[2] Issues regarding interfacing between Extegrity grassroots mutual help wellbeing ways and First world pathology-based aid (Pupavac 2005) are explored in a paper I wrote with Andrew Cramb and Dihan Wijewickrama for Psychnet, ‘Interfacing Alternative and Complementary Wellbeing Ways For Local Wellness’ (Spencer, L, Cramb, A. et al 2002).

[3] It also reframes the international psychosocial model mentioned in Chapter Three, where therapeutic ethos is being used for pathologising for social control by wide interests in the First World (Pupavac, 2005). 

[4] During November 2005 I visited high density high-rise Public Housing and Urban Renewal projects in Hong Kong and Shenzhen in China. In that context housing followed the structural form of wealthier people’s housing (that is, also high density/high-rise).