Figures Depicting the Evolving of Indigenous and Small Minority Healing Networks in East Asia Oceania Australasia


Written 16 Nov 1998. Updated April 2014.


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This page uses diagrams (sociograms) to encapsulate the transfer of micro-experiences, understandings, and healings within Laceweb networks of indigenous, small minority and intercultural people in the Australasia, East Asia Oceania Region.

These diagrams are all in the form of sociograms (graphic representations of social links).

The processes outlined are pervasively tentative. Everything depends on local people. Nothing can happen unless local people want it to happen and are fully involved in doing it through mutual help processes. This is why tentative language is used. Even in giving examples it is understood that everything is caste as possibilities. To repeat, things will happen if, and only if locals want it.

An example from Bougainville

It is noted that the PNG Government representative back in the 1990s in opening the talks as part of the final drafting of the UN Inter-Agency Report on Bougainville, stated that both:

'the participation of local people' and 'self help' processes are crucial to any meaningful normalisation on the Island and that both should be incorporated into the Report's recommendations.

The final Report also held out those two aspects as critical.

'Participation of local people' and 'self help were again reiterated in a recent statement by Bougainville Member of the PNG Parliament, John Momis (from 2010 to currently in 2014 the President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.. He noted that all sorts of Australian organisations wanted to come into Bougainville and provide various 'services' - in effect, to capitalise on opportunity. He cautioned against this. The Bougainville people want to help 'themselves' to return to normalcy.

John Momis was sworn in as President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in 2010. 

The following view has been expressed by many Bougainvillians:

'We Bougainville people are very cautious of outsiders who want to come in to fix things for us. Massive needs exist in health, education, and infrastructure to name a few. We virtually need to start from scratch. Outside help 'is' needed. However we do not believe that having a massive range of 'services' devised and provided across the board by outside experts is the way.'




It is noted from a careful reading of the UN Inter-Agency Report that its own recommendations contain virtually nothing that falls within the PNG Government's and the Report's own guidelines requiring 'participatory self help action by locals'. There is a dearth of 'participatory self help models' among both Government bodies and NGO's.

In the UN Inter-Agency Report, while there was 'lip service' to 'self-help' and 'participation by locals', there was little evidence of the use of participatory mutual-help and self-help action models.

Virtually every one of the Report's recommendation was for 'centralised' 'uniform' programs that are 'devised', 'controlled' and 'implemented' by outsiders, and via 'top down', 'bureaucratically organised', 'service delivery' processes. This is prescribing forms of governance when 'governance' is a prime point of contention!


It is not surprising. This is the 'way' of the mainstream first nations. Virtually all mainstream funding uses 'top down service delivery' models as a starting point. This is never questioned. Both funding 'policy' and 'programs' are based on this 'service delivery' model. It is the model used at every level of Government. All Program funding 'criteria' and 'evaluation' are also based on the 'service delivery' model. Any 'sense' of participation and 'self help' is skewed into the service delivery model.

There is a real dilemma in all of this. Bougainville people have been cut off from the World for almost a decade.

'We are traumatised. We are very sceptical of outsiders. The last thing we want is someone coming in and running our lives for us. And yet the only model that Governments and NGO's have is 'service delivery'. Service delivery typically means 'You decide and do things for us'.'

'Participatory self-help action' as Laceweb know it, does not meet either the funding criteria or the evaluation criteria of 'service delivery' models. These two models belong in different worlds.


To attempt to place a top down service delivery organisation in a watchdog role over Laceweb Action using 'service delivery' criteria to 'ensure we are doing things 'properly' is unacceptable and unworkable in respect of Laceweb Participatory Self-Help Action.



Either Laceweb Enablers or local indigenous, small minority or intercultural people may identify local wellbeing nurturers. Locals seeking well-being support tend to use these nurturers. Typically, these nurturers are 'self starters'.

The black disk symbol (Fig.01) is used to depict a local indigenous, small minority or intercultural wellbeing nurturer.

Fig 1.

It is understood that these nurturers are always living among other locals depicted as in Fig.1a

Fig 1a.

The cross hatched disk symbol (Fig.02) is used to depict a Laceweb enabler who may or may not be a local. Enablers, as their name implies, enable others to help themselves towards wellbeing. Enablers may share micro-experiences of healing ways and peacehealing™ that other indigenous, small minority or intercultural nurturers have found to work.

Fig 2.


Typically, co-learning takes place. That is, as a person shares healing ways with others, the sharer also receives insights and understandings back from these recipients. Hence, lines in the figures (as in Fig 3.) represent a two-way flow of healing sharings.

Fig 3.

The darker line between two locals in Figure 4 represents a two-way flow of healing sharings and also that these sharings have been adapted to local healing ways. That is, non local enablers may share with locals many of the micro-experiences which they have received from other places and cultures. The local may adapt these micro-experiences to the local healing ways. They may then pass these 'localised' healings on to other locals.


Figure 5 depicts an enabler sharing healing ways with three locals. In this example, let's assume different micro-experiences are passed on to each of the three locals.

Fig 5.

Let us say the three locals in Figure 5 each receive 3 healing ways from the enabler. They then adapt them to local healing ways. Figure 6 depicts these three locals then passing these micro-experiences on to each other.

Fig 6.

In this example, each local receives six healing ways via other locals - that is, three from each of the other two locals. They each receive three healing ways directly from the enabler. That is, they are receiving more from locals than from the enabler. Of course, each of the ways was originally passed on by the enabler.

This process means that locals are receiving twice as much from other locals and these sharings are adapted to local way. Locals become the primary source for shared ways. The enabler is in the background.

The sharing of micro-experiences among locals - a summary

  • Locals adapt micro-experiences to local nurturing ways.
  • Locals pass on their new skills to each other.
  • In this way locals become a resource to each other.
  • No local becomes a 'font of all wisdom'.
  • Locals may begin to take on the enabler role.
  • The enabler is not seen as the 'font of all wisdom' either.
  • As the local healing network strengthens, the enabler becomes even more invisible.

Figure 7 depicts one of the three locals linking and sharing with two other locals.

Fig 7

The sharing of healing ways may have some or all of the following features:

  • takes place as people go about their everyday life
  • No one is 'in charge' tho everyone has a say.
  • Shared accountability for unfolding action
  • Global multidirectional communicating and co-learning.
  • Sharing micro-experiences and the healing/nurturing role
  • Enacting of local wisdoms about 'what works'.
  • What 'fits' may be repeated, shared and consensually validated
  • Healing actions resonant with traditional indigenous ways
  • The use of organic processes - the survival of the fitting
  • Knowing includes the ever tentative unfolding
  • Organic roles - orchestrating, enabling and the like

Figures 8, 9, and 10 depict the progressive building up of a chain of linked people with sharings going back and forward along the chain.

Fig 8.

Fig 9.


Fig 10.

In time more and more skills are generated in the healing network and passed on to others. The role of enabler continues to become more invisible.

In figures 11 and 12 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-experience. Note also that in Figure 12 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.

Fig 11.

Fig 12.

Further links have been made in Figure 13 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.

Fig 13.

In Figure 14 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 as people share their differing capacities
  • increase the intrinsic bonding within the network
  • increases the availability of potential support
  • increase the store of micro-experience in the network

Fig 14.

The expanding network has potential for both unifying experience and enrichment through diversity

Further linkings have been made in Figure 15. Now the 'web' like structure of the linkings is emerging. Another term for this is ‘functional matrix'. The word matrix is from the Greek word having the following meanings:

  • the womb place of nurturing a place where anything is generated or developed the formative part from which a structure is produced intercellular substance a mould type or die in which anything is cast or shaped a multidimensional network

In this example 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. Typically, the links between locals rapidly increase ahead of the links between locals and enablers. It will be noted that by Figure 15, the enabler may have become a relatively invisible figure. The enabler may continue to share micro-experiences with the original locals. By now most of the healing ways are being received from locals.

Fig 15.

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 are self enriching. People may be intuitively innovative. The local 'seed-bank' of healing stories is soon replanted and bearing fruit.

Fig 16

While the local network depicted in the preceding series of sociograms has been emerging, the enabler may have been linking with another enabler who is in turn linking with other locals not known to the local network mentioned above. Figure 17 depicts such a linking. While this second enabler also is linking with three locals, it may be any small number. Typically, these linkings start out small.

Fig 17.

Figures 18 to 23 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.

Fig 18.

Fig 19.

Fig 20.

Fig 21.

Fig 22.

Fig 23.

Figure 24 depicts links being made between the two local networks. As these links are extended, the two networks may merge to be one expanded network.

Fig 24.

There is always the possibility that locals may position themselves such that they generate links to locals without linking the locals to each other. In this way any local doing this may become the one all the others rely on. Figure 25 shows the original network of eight locals and underneath, another eight locals where seven locals only have one link and that being into the local in the centre. A moment’s reflection may give a feel for the difference between the original network and this later form of linking.

Fig 25.

This second pattern may spread healing ways. Experience has shown that the 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 richer
  • The diversity enriches the micro-experiences being shared


Enablers are also part of an enabling network. Figure 26 depicts the original enabler's links to the Laceweb enabler network.

Fig 26.

After a time the network may start to link more widely into the wider 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 Figure 27. Nurturers begin to indentify other nurturers living in their area with whom they have not yet established links.


Fig 27

After a time, whole villages (settlements/towns) may enter into Cultural Healing Action as depicted in Figure 28. The triangular symbol represents a dwelling and the three rings of dwellings depicts three villages located in reasonable close walking distance from each other.

Fig 28.

Note the differing patterns of transfer depicted in Figure 28.

  • At the top right :
    • a support network
    • an isolated link
    • a chain linking 5 people


  • At bottom right:
    • one person is a source for five separate others

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 healing celebration camp out festival gatherings of enablers, nurturers and other locals from a number of villages (settlements/towns) as depicted in Figure 29. These may last for days with diverse and spontaneous cultural healing action occurring around the clock.

Fig 29.

Many changes that have occurred  between Figures 28 and 29 that may have potent implications.


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