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Adapting writing from 1970s onwards. Latest Update Oct. 2014




This is an excerpt and amalgamation from a few seminal papers by Dr Neville Yeomans that links ConFest into the exploring of Epochal Change in Global Societies.


In Neville’s 1974 ‘On Global Reform - International Normative Model Areas (INMA)’ paper[1] 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 previously.[2] 


Neville’s wording of the Forward to his father’s ‘City Forest’ book[3]  published in October 1971 draws on and extends Neville’s ideas from his July 1971 Mental Health and Social Change’ paper,[4] and acts as a precursor to his 1974 ‘On Global Reform’ paper.[5]


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


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


2.    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’ 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.[6]


Refer Falk, R. A. (1974). Law and National Security: The Case for Normative Realism. Utah Law Review No. 1; Falk, R. A. (1975). A Study of Future Worlds. New Delhi, Orient Longman.


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.[7]


In the last paragraph, the ‘initial experiences’ Neville was referring to was the Human Relations Surviving Well in a Dominant World Workshops in Armidale and Grafton in 1971-1973.[8]  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’.[9]


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. The following quote from Cultural Keyline provides more on this monitoring process being used in Fraser House:


One of the Fraser House Handbooks (Yeomans, N. 1965a, Vol. 4, p. 1-54) confirms that during the staff discussion in the tea break following Big Group, the two official observers for the meeting used the Red Book to give their report to staff, followed by comments by all staff members present, including the Group Leader/Therapist. The points assessed were:


o   Mood

o   Theme

o   Value

o   Interaction

o   Therapist’s role and techniques employed.


From these ‘post-mortems’ comes much of the knowledge needed. These four aspects - mood, theme, value and interaction were the essence of what Neville was personally constantly scanning for. These guided his interacting with the group. In having these as the ‘discussion framers’ along with Neville’s role and process, Neville was fast-tracking all staff into his way. Note that while these review session were very involving, they were condensed by being limited to 30 minutes. They happened twice a day so the ‘unfinished’ may be taken up later if deemed a potent theme.


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


Neville[10] 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 and Verden-Zöller:[11]


….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[12] 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[13] 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 were the most strategic places 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.[14] Neville was convinced that these were the very best people on the oppressed margins of global society to explore new cultural syntheses.


I’ve been told[15] the most advanced global discourses on global futures are going on in languages other than English – among the world’s oppressed Indigenous people. Neville had first action researched ‘marginal locality’ in Fraser House.


Recall that Neville sensed the sensibleness of local people engaging locally, regional matters been engaged in regionally, and aspects of the global commons (water, weather, air, migratory birds, oceans, sea life, and the like) being engaged at the global level. With this he sensed the three levels having governance processes. In this he was not in the least bit interested in a Global World Government. Refer Declaration of Governance and Law.


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[16] about INMA being a place for action researching various utopias, and where local aspiring utopias can respect and celebrate other aspiring utopias. Turner uses the term heterotopias meaning multiple co-existing Utopias respecting diversity.[17]


Neville evolved practical action towards evolving 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’[18] 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 1975 book, ‘A Study of Future World’s, 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’


(Falk, R. A. (1975). A Study of Future Worlds. New Delhi, Orient Longman’; Falk, R. A. (1974). Law and National Security: The Case for Normative Realism. Utah Law Review No. 1.)



Three Transition Phases


In Cultural Keyline Chapter One I introduced Neville’s three transition phases in his global reform model:[19]


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:[20]


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.[21]


This bottom up ordering Neville repeated in writing the Extegrity Documents with me on reconstituting collapsed or collapsing societies in 1999, discussed later.[22]


This follows Neville’s starting with the marginalised in Sydney and gathering in the Indigenous people from the asylum back wards (where residents are ‘warehoused’ because they are deemed to be incurably dysfunctional).


The next step could be focusing their activities on the INMA.[23]


Recall that Neville established Fraser House as an INMA – an Inter-personal/Inter-network Normative Model Area. At Fraser House people who were labelled by wider society as mad and/or bad got on with their change work and left Fraser House as members of functional and well networks comprising between 50 and 70 people. For many, their experience of difference after residing or attending Fraser House was palpable; they could see difference occurring in their peers. Others did not even notice they were different; and through this non-noticing they did not sabotage their own change work - they just got with a functional life taking action with others for wellness. They were together taking practical action for a better world. In this context of momentum towards wellness there was generally little insight in as far as people had little understanding of how this was all working or what was contributing to it working; though the transforming was at some level credible and self-evident and at some level they knew it was working. Momentum was generated through the free energy in the networks and people would ‘go with the flow’. This gels with Fraser House being:


                                          i.    A  credible transition strategy

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

                                       iii.    With relevant application to individual communities


Neville also energised the Armidale and Grafton Gatherings in 1971 – 1973, and his Therapeutic Community Houses in Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, and Yungaburra as INMAs. Neville formed INMAs in these locales by networking among the Aboriginal and Islander nurturer women and resonant others.


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.[24]


An example has been the Small Island Gathering in July 1994.[25]


Over a number of years the Indigenous population of the INMA would be increasingly involved, both black and white.[26]


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[27] (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.’ This Biography forms part of this research.


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[28] 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). This consciousness raising has continued in the Far North Queensland INMA since Neville’s death in 2000. There was a flurry of activity in January 2012 to accompany me and my son Jamie’s visit to the Atherton Tablelands[29].


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.[30]


To quote the INMA poem[31]:


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. Refer the bottom two boxes in Founding History of Social Transforming Action.


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:[32]


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 – the global commons – 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 after a time being to a considerable extent carried out by communal self help processes.[33]


Having set out his transition process, for completeness Neville proceeded in his On Global Reform 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.



Extegrity as the Missing Piece


It was not until November 2002 (two years after Neville’s death) that I realized that Exegrity[34] – 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.[35] Typical of First World documents, the European Commission document places government, then law and then people as the order of priority. True to the process Neville sets out in his ‘On Global Reform’ paper, Neville turned the European Community document on its head in rewriting them as Extegrity.


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


First comes enabling local self-help and mutual-help towards bio-psychosocial 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[36] are evolved.[37]


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.[38]


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.[39]


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[40] some commentators I spoke to who were present in the East Timor post-handover (a period from 1999 onwards ) 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[41] among Indigenous East Timorese of all ages.


East Timorese women I spoke to in 2004 were very concerned that angry young men who had:


o   years of fighting in the hills

o   little contact with females, and

o   no work prospects

o   had little or no support in adjusting back into communal life


and that they would end up in the criminal justice courts and prison system that the UN had prioritised after re-establishing national government.


First set up Government, then law, second set up a criminal justice system with police courts and jails. Third, the people come a very poor third as a focus. This top down impositional process imposes a control system upon a population who have been devalued, disconnected and dysfunctionalised by traumatising social forces. This new control system coerces dysfunctional people to conform.


What was the best response that grassroots folk could come up with under extreme duress may remain as embodied aspects of being and habits of a lifetime unless integral reframe possibilities emerge.


Also refer:


Flexibility and Habit


Transforming the Whole of It


Healing Artistry, Gene Expression and Gene Modulation


RAD and Resilience


Transforming Experiences for Wellbeing


Wellness Mantra


By the Way.


Extegrity reverses this devaluing, disconnecting dysfunctionalising process and embraces natural micro-experience as the process of personal and social transforming towards being well together.



Laceweb Home Page


ConFest and the Next 250 Years



Back to the Top[i]




[1] Refer (Yeomans 1974).

[2] Refer (Yeomans, N. 1971c; Yeomans, N. 1971b).

[3] Refer (Yeomans, P. A. 1971b).

[4] Refer (Yeomans, N. 1971c).

[5] Refer (Yeomans 1974).

[6] Refer (Yeomans N. 1974).

[7] Refer (Yeomans 1974).

[8] Refer (Aboriginal Human Relations Newsletter Working Group 1971a).

[9] Refer (Franklin 1995, p. 59).

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

[11] Refer (Maturana & Verden-Zöller,1996).

[12] Refer (Parkinson 1963).

[13] Aug, 1988, Dec, 1993 and July, 1998.

[14] Refer (Widders 1993).

[15] Aug, 2004.

[16] 1993, 1997.

[17] Refer (Turner 1982).

[18] Refer (Franklin 1995, p. 59).

[19] Refer (Yeomans N. 1974).

[20] Refer (Yeomans N. 1974).

[21] Refer (Yeomans N. 1974).

[22] Refer (Yeomans, N. & Spencer L., 1999).

[23] Refer (Yeomans 1974).

[24] Refer (Yeomans N. 1974).

[25] Refer (Roberts and Widders 1994).

[26] Refer (Yeomans 1974).

[27] Refer (Yeomans N. 1974).

[28] Refer (Yeomans N. 1974).

[29] Refer Appendix 40

[30] Refer (Yeomans N. 1974)

[31] Refer (Yeomans N. 2000a)

[32] Refer (Maturana, H. & R. Verden-Zöller, 1996).

[33] Refer Figures One, Two, and Three.

[34] Refer (Yeomans & Spencer 1999).

[35] Refer (European Initiative for Democracy and the Protection of Human Rights 1998).

[36] Refer (Yeomans & Spencer 1999).

[37] 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. & Wijewickrama, D., 2002).

[38] 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).  Also refer Figures One, Two, and Three where Neville reframes mainstream control and containment processes.

[39] Refer (European Initiative for Democracy and the Protection of Human Rights 1998).

[40] Refer (Pupavac, 2005).

[41] Refer (Regional Emergency Psychosocial Support Network Quarterly Newsletter, 2004 Vol 3, No 1. p5).