This is an extremely well written and
competent thesis. Although at
first glance, it seems difficult to sustain a PhD with a biography of
one man, the candidate has achieved this well and in the process,
added immeasurably to the literature on radical innovations in the
treatment of the mentally ill.
The thesis is a meticulous documentation on the life of Neville
Yeomans, undoubtedly one of Australia's pioneers in new ways of
treating not only the mentally ill, but also those who were
previously considered pathologically criminal and a danger to community.
The candidate's methodology is idiosyncratic but highly successful.
Indeed it was refreshing to read a thesis so full of insight and yet
laced with large doses of humanity.
Yet if we are to judge the thesis by the objective criteria
established by his university (and most other Universities) then the
candidate passes with flying honours.
It is original and adds immensely to knowledge; a great deal is
learnt about the power of therapeutic communities and the ideas of
one man who tested such communities in Australia.
The candidate has established his ability to carry out independent
research and synthesises his observations with critical aplomb,
sharply pointing out the relevance of what he discovered about
Neville Yeomans' new ways of dealing with the mentally ill.
In conclusion I recommend that the thesis be passed with no
requirements for correction or amendment. Please pass onto the
candidate my admiration for a wonderful thesis, sensitively written
and an outstanding contribution to the generally unknown history of a
The candidate fine tuned his most
which is his own perceptive self, to a
fine level of effectiveness
by taking on a research methodology
which also provided with
the necessary attitude in conducting
his research in the most
fair and productive manner.
His elucidation of Yeomans' 'Cultural Keyline' as an approach to
psychological study and as a derivative from Yeomans Father's
'agricultural theory' is masterful.
The candidate’s meticulous documentation and account of Yeomans'
work at Fraser House reveal the
ingenuity of Yeomans' work.
Most fascinating is the candidate’s
presentation of Yeomans' Cultural
Keyline as a micro model for epoch transition. It is Yeomans' ideas
and tools for facilitating a utopian society that makes his work
unique among psychological theories. The candidate was able to
show that that
indeed Yeomans aimed to strategically and patiently
evolution of a utopian society. If psychologists are to
their role in social transformation, the candidate's
work on Yeomans'
approach is a good read for them.
cataloguing, describing, and explaining of Yeomans'
work on this area
is itself a significant contribution to the developing
community psychology. Yeomans provides the psychologists
working in the
community not only tools for working with macro
structures, as is the wont of social psychologists and
psychologists, but also tools in working with groups
big and small,
and individuals as well.
Overall, and if we evaluate from the central goal of the
dissertation, the work is commendable and for the reasons
that have been earlier presented,
merit the evaluation of
high pass with a cum laude rating.