“One cannot begin to express the gratitude, or debt the students in the Faculty of Agriculture owe for your recent efforts in introducing us to Gho-Ghet. I would personally like to attest to the myriad of benefits of the Gho-Ghet program. Even University staff have noticed an increased participation rate in Faculty and Student affairs by those who attended the program.
I have witnessed a greater level of cohesion and respect among participants and the dissemination of the Gho-Ghet ethos into the wider faculty community. The basic tenents of the program are actually working, and with a greater trickle effect than I initially gave credit for. A synergistic effect is forming whereby students are more aware of themselves, trusting others and imparting the testimonials of lessons learned in the sessions. But perhaps there is no greater endorsement of the programs success, than in the students seeking to train themselves.” Sean Poole, Past Student President, University of Western Australia.
” I wanted to tell you about something magical that happened last week which had me punching the air with a resounding “Yes!” I had a family in for counselling with the aim to strengthen family bonds, but unfortunately had a very resistant teenager not willing to engage. She actually sat on the chair with a pillow over her head. Regardless, the rest of the family and I continued playing Gho-Ghet. Fun and laughter ensued and it wasn’t long before she wanted to be involved. At the conclusion of the session I gave them a choice of activities for the following week and, in unison they all said “play the game!!!”
The added extra “treasure” here is that mum is a very hardworking woman who always seems tired and stressed. It was beautiful to see her interact so well with her children (and to see her laugh) and for them to reciprocate. I wish every family could have this experience of connectivity and closeness. Thanks to you Len, changing lives, one at a time”. Mary, Clinical Social Worker. Western Australia.
“Absolutely one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done in terms of self understanding, development and fulfillment. I have rediscovered skills I had forgotten I had. Taking down those barriers to discover my personal freedom has done wonders for me. I still re-act, but now I see myself able to control, reevaluate and respond more appropriately. Some sense of self doubt is still there, but I am now facing challenges with enthusiasm rather than fear and trepidation and find myself taking on things I have been putting off for years.” D. Copper Phd
“I am taking this opportunity to document a few of my thoughts on the potential of Gho-Ghet – especially for remote Aboriginal and Islander Communities…seeing it is almost six months since we began our trial with it.
My professional background is in education and I have been working with Indigenous people since 1955. Throughout Queensland traditional family values are under considerable threat. In most areas I have been involved in, the future for youth and others is uncertain. Gho-Ghet has interested me greatly: All activities are simple, yet absorbing and to different degrees life changing.
Gho-Ghet nights have enabled a small number of our students to emerge from behind the ‘masks’ they had erected to protect their sense of inadequacy and inferiority. Gho-Ghet activities have fostered a much higher level of trust between students but in a fun setting. Gho-Ghet has worked well across a wide range of ages. On one occasion we were joined by a group of 10 year olds from a local primary school. The age range in this group was from 10yrs to 68 and it worked surprisingly well.
Gho-Ghet seems to accommodate all cultural backgrounds. We have been particularly anxious to check that the activities are not in any way culturally insensitive or off-putting to those coming from more traditionally orientated communities. Such persons have continually reassured us that this is not a problem. Over my now quite lengthy period of working in Indigenous education, one is always on the lookout for tools, programs and the like that may assist in attaining the long term indigenous goals for reconciliation, educational achievement and empowerment etc. and in this respect Gho-Ghet is quite unique.
Obviously it doesn’t replace the normal pathways to education but as a means to get indigenous people started, to cope, believe in themselves, overcome any sense of alienation or inferiority etc, it has a great role. I want to acknowledge Gho-Ghet as a particularly important initiative with very considerable potential as a resource for indigenous and other areas of education” Alan Randall Med (WA) FACE
“Absolutely amazing and like nothing I have ever experienced before. It has allowed me to open up to my natural abilities and tune into them and trust myself that I can just ‘do’ guided by the heart with a quiet confidence. FANTASTIC!” Annette, Perth W.A.
“My friends and our children all had a lot fun together with Gho-Ghet. We wanted to keep playing more and more. The game helped everyone come together in a safe environment and people cared for one another, said and did things that amazed us all. Great too!!!! Everyone should play it or get involved”. Rob Versaci, Perth WA
“I cannot stress more highly how important Gho-Ghet became in the context of our Student Council Seminar. Our program had began slowly, with the students seemingly lacking in motivation and interest. A quick change of planning saw Gho-Ghet being introduced earlier than planned with Len facilitating an hour of games. The students quickly warmed to the variety of games and the novel way in which Gho-Ghet selects it’s participants. They were greatly disappointed when the game finished and requested more time to play later in the programme.”(which was granted).
The students then returned to the more arduous and formal tasks expected of them at the programme. They were attacked with more enthusiasm and with more of a commitment to work as a team. “Gho-Ghet” was the medium through which students were able to break down barriers of communication, nervousness, and other aspects which affect the dynamics of group work.
Based on this experience, I highly recommend “Gho-Ghet” as an ice-breaker and/or as a tool to promote communication, team-work, confidence, self-esteem and so on. Mark Bradshaw, Cannington Senior High school.
“I attended your workshop with uncertainty and was glad I did. I can certainly see value to the people who want to open their minds and learn to reduce stress, learn to look at issues in a better frame of mind and learn to focus better. Certainly it was evident that you can learn to focus, stay relaxed and perform better through this sort of workshop. The workshop also helps I believe to overcome some of your own inhibitions and allows you to LET GO without fear of the consequences. Anything you do that improves your performance and outlook has to be of benefit to you.”Ben Ryder, Director. Michael Johnson & Co Real Estate.
At the RASCL the Gho-Ghet sessions gave 120 people the chance to experience the fun and positive effects of the game for themselves. I myself have seen the extremely positive effect that Gho-Ghet has on the behavior and learning of children of all ages. I also knew the teachers would learn so much and enjoy themselves thoroughly. Most importantly of all, Gho-Ghet with its emphasis on group co-operation, empowerment, personal development and fun absolutely fits in with the principles of Student Centered Learning.
“The reaction of the educators was universally enthusiastic. Part of the overall feedback about the two days was the way Gho-Ghet helped to make the atmosphere so vibrant and exciting. One Principal told me that she said to a teacher returning from the conference, “How did you like Gho-Ghet” and the answer came back ‘Where’s the order book?’ Gho-Ghet is an effective learning tool for groups of all ages. It tends to energize people to think and be creative, and certainly does increase self esteem.” Donna Brandes B.A.,M.Ed.PhD
“I really loved the second day of the training. By the afternoon everyone was so synchronized. When playing farmer, pig, wolf, the two teams kept doing the same character at the same time eg. two wolves. I really got it that we were picking up each other’s thoughts effortlessly.
Another great experience has been in the blindfold games. It was amazing to be able to ‘get it’ that my body knew exactly where the people and the walls were, so I could move around easily and catch people. It was just a matter of having my senses alight and relaxing and trusting.” Rebecca, Perth Australia
“I am a teacher and was creating a program for children, ‘Innovative Kids … Developing Intuition and Raising Intelligence’. For two days, nine of us, aged from 13 to 85 years played at the Gho-Ghet Training, 32 activities of self discovery, filled with joy and laughter. We had a ball! I was blown away by the caliber of these games, so simple and such fun, but profound in what they revealed in us all – a hidden intelligence, heart based thinking and feeling skills, intuitive abilities reawakened and a new sense of self belief.
Intuition is heightening now. It’s one of the things that is going to be talked about more and more. Practical intuition – intuition that’s not just about intuiting ‘the future’, it’s about intuiting ‘the now’.” Gail, Melbourne Australia
“I enjoyed attending the Gho-Ghet Train the Trainer Program, I was still sceptical about whether Gho-Ghet activities would help my class with some uncooperative children. The first time we played Gho-Ghet, I felt many of the class was uncooperative, although I felt they were enjoying themselves.
The following day several children asked if they could play Gho-Ghet and I agreed to play with half my class while the others were attending a talk. I told the class that if they wanted to play Gho-Ghet, they would have to move all the chairs and tables back. Normally they would only move their own desks and would stand back while everyone else works, however on this day they moved all the furniture perfectly in about two minutes and then played Gho-Ghet extremely well.
That afternoon the class asked me if they could play Gho-Ghet again and I told them they could play the next day for an hour if every single child in the class handed in their homework on time, normally many of the children do not hand in homework.
The next morning the first children at school came and gave me their homework and then went around checking the other children had brought in their homework. The students were helping those who hadn’t finished and the class were really working together as a team to get the homework in on time. This was the first time that I had seen my class working cooperatively.
The results of playing Gho-Ghet with my class have been amazing and I feel the results will improve if we continue to play. I now have total faith in the game and feel any class who plays it will benefit from it” Emma Guy, Kewdale Primary School.
“Thank you for inviting me to your recent program. I have not witnessed before the extent to which personal growth can be achieved in such a relatively brief time frame. The nine hour program enabled a group of mature adults, from a variety of backgrounds, to develop a bonding the like of which I have only seen before following a week residential experience that I directed for Rotary Clubs.
I commend all with an interest in human development to explore the inestimable possibilities available through participation in this simple and effective medium.” Peter Turnham, Psychologist.
“I have seen Gho-Ghet work and I am highly impressed by its ability to enhance people’s listening and communication skills and how quickly it helps to build the confidence of the players. I recognise its potential to improve the social condition.
I believe this program has great potential because it is simple, easy to relate to and totally non-threatening. Gho-Ghet will, and does have a life changing effect on the young people who take part, developing the essential skills they need for everyday life. What impresses me about this project is that it specifically helps people learn better coping and communication skills by teaching them to put aside limiting thoughts and attitudes.
If we all improved our ability to interact, so many of the day to day problems and challenges that we face would simply disappear, because those with whom we associate would better know our thoughts and feelings on issues and conflicts that could be avoided. It is also a good way to keep people mentally and physically active.” Major General Michael Jeffery. Ex Governor General of Australia.
“It’s been exactly one week since I attended the last session of the Gho-Ghet Life’s a Game programme and I’m still gaining from the experience. I can see positive changes in my relationships with people, both in my working and my personal life and also within myself. I now feel that I am able to meet the challenges of difficult or even threatening situations.” Karen, Administrative Secretary, UWA.
“Gho-Ghet activities sometimes jolt one out of a ‘comfort zone’. On one level I think this experience can give, or enable people to develop a ‘quiet assurance’. It is an understated feeling of confidence and strength, something steady and reliable. An almost innate sense of ‘I can manage this’ without thinking too much about it. The activities also help to illustrate how our intuition can be powerful if we just learn how to follow it. The program doesn’t make you jump up and down and shout ‘Ra, Ra,Ra as some other programs do. I came away feeling confident with dignity that I could face the challenges before me” Julianne, Psychologist.
I must be honest that when I first heard of “Gho-Ghet” and knew that I would have to sit through it at a conference I was attending, I was majorly skeptical and not at all excited with the idea, even though I had no clue what “the idea” was all about.
How wrong I was! I LOVED the game(s) and wished we had done nothing more the entire conference! As I told Len, the creator of the game, I really loved the connection that was immediate as we started playing Gho-Ghet – no competition, no intimidation, just PURE fun! A type of fun and connection that I could envision all ages enjoying.
I have learned to recognize Gho-Ghet as a powerful tool to aid in connecting this very disconnected planet – this age of texting, Facebook “friends”, online dating, instant emailing where we “connect”, but in a very impersonal, unemotional way.
Yes, the games are very much fun, but they also resonate at a much deeper level, one in which I could look at my own impatience and frustration when playing certain games and begin to see this as a true pattern of my reactions to many challenges in my own life, while at the same time realizing that the impatience and frustration were not only holding me back from completing the game, but they were truly unfounded and downright silly.
Since my divorce ten years ago, I have for the most part, lived a very solitary life, not knowing how to connect effectively with people – “hiding” and feeling relatively safe behind my Facebook and Twitter accounts, websites, etc. Gho-Ghet has opened my eyes to a new and exciting way to connect, while at the same time providing a much needed service to this very disconnected world we live in. Re-connect. Revitalize. Renew – Gho-Ghet! I LOVE IT! Sue Ansari, USA.
“I sincerely enjoyed the exercises and would consider other sessions. Although I thought of myself as someone who thinks ‘outside the square’ I realized that there is certainly more work to be done in that area. It became blatantly obvious that external influences have more of an impact on me than I had initially thought. To trust your ‘gut feel’ means to trust yourself, could that be why we doubt?” Heliyana, Perth Western Australia.
“When we began, some children refused to play, but they soon changed their mind when they saw how much the other children were enjoying the game. When we play Gho-Ghet, those who earlier resisted are now enthusiastic and flourishing. They always resist at first but join in within minutes. The class now ask to play all the time.
We were amazed on the day when students played the blindfold game. Usually rough and abrupt children were gentle and caring. Although they initially felt threatened, you can see the trust developing between them. Trust is very important and we are continually trying to develop it. We continue to play as we have found that group participation has increased and our classroom is now a safe learning environment, where learning is fun.
Children are discovering new things about themselves and as confidence continues to increase, they take on more challenges. The great thing about Gho-Ghet is that it is a learning tool too. It is helping everyone’s listening skills, communication and memory, including ours! It is great to be in sharing and trusting environment. We think some of the changes are due to Gho-Ghet and would like to thank you. Robin Maclean and Lisa Colbourn. Katanning Senior High School.
“I am enjoying the Gho-Ghet, Life’s a Game workshop very much. I didn’t know what to expect when signing up for it, but I’m really happy with the way it is run. I would definitely recommend the workshop to friends and co-workers. I think that if everyone respected the underlying rules of the game, the world would be a lot better off”. Piero, University of Western Australia.
“After a 10 week study playing Gho-Ghet with a very challenging class for one hour per week we offer the following observations.
1. There has been a notable improvement of attitude when interacting with peers and teachers.
2. The students are far more comfortable in approaching their class teacher about their problems both in and out of school.
3. A health unit on human sexuality has been successfully completed for the first time.
4. Class members are more willing to help and far less obstructionist behaviour is exhibited.
5. Academically they are more motivated and accept positive encouragement.
As a teacher I found the whole class displays a more positive attitude. I am sure this is because my attitude towards them has changed as playing Gho-Ghet with them had revealed them as whole, interesting personalities rather than a difficult class whose weekly visits I rather dreaded.
As Deputy Principal, who is responsible for discipline in the school, I find that these previously habitual offenders are rarely referred to me. When they are, I find it much easier to sort out their problems as they all speak openly to me without the vigorous defensiveness or sullen silence which usually surrounds their sessions.
We hope our case study will encourage you to persist if the going gets tough because we believe that there are many positive outcomes”. Lacey Langworthy and Natalie Hibble, Gosnells Primary School.
From a student in the Gosnells class: Gho-Ghet is a fun and exciting play for all ages. The game develops a sense of trust, not the kind of trust you hop into strangers cars, but enough for family members and really good friends to develop a trusting relationship within each other. I recommend you play this terrific game. I bet you will have the time of your life and think it’s the best game on earth, just like I do. Jade, Gosnells Primary School Student.
“I met with a couple of people who did the Gho-Ghet workshop and we are all missing the sessions. In fact we have set up an email list so we can stay in touch. I still want to order a game.” Karen, UWA Staff.
“I just love this game. As a Child and Adolescent Counsellor I find it so useful in building a rapport with my clients. Playing this game not only contributes to an improvement in one’s self esteem, but also helps to improve communication, develop trust (of self and others), develop impulse control and social competence, all while having FUN! I recommend it to all Counsellors, Teachers and Parents” Mary O’Brien, Clinical Social Worker. Perth, Western Australia.
“Everyone I spoke to afterwards said they enjoyed the Gho-Ghet workshop a great deal and I personally gained a lot from it. The more involved I became with the play, the more amazed I am at how it really works.” Tony,Nedlands, WA.
It is exactly one week since I attended the last session of Gho-Ghet and I’m still gaining from the experience. I can see positive changes in my relationships with people both in my personal and working life and also within myself. I now feel that I will be able to meet the challenges of difficult or even threatening situations.
Being an introvert according to the Myres and Briggs personality types, the word game was little threatening but I was determined to do something real about my aversion to conflict situations the games and activities were not at all threatening, even when we tried to put pressure on each other.
I feel that I gained something from every activity and every time we played each activity. Because of the experiential quality the Gho-Ghet activities reinforced every positive advice and information that I have ever received about dealing with pressure and stress and even unfair situations like abuse or harassment. Due to their simplicity, it is easy to recall the new skills and lessons learned.
My working week after the last session was a very demanding one. Every time the pressure mounted, I found that I automatically recreated the feeling of calm learned during many of the exercises, particularly the chalk and cheese one. As you will remember this was not one of my favourite activities that, not only did I learn to recreate that feeling of calm which allowed me to think more clearly and be more productive but I also learned how important it was to laugh in the face of adversity.
We can only ever be in charge of ourselves and if life were like a car ride, we need to get in the driver seat and drive that car, not allow it to take us for a ride. To conclude, I believe that Gho-Ghet is an invaluable and timeless tool for education and personal growth at any age. It should be introduce as part of the curriculum in schools and definitely in management training. Incidentally it is the only workshop situation that I have ever been in where I have got to like everyone. Karen, University of Western Australia.
It has now been several months since we enjoyed your Introduction to the Gho-Ghet process at our school development day. I have reflected on session since December and noted the positives which have come from it for our staff. There is still much discussion about how successful the day was for us.
We have always prided ourselves on being a cohesive team of people, focused on student learning and welfare. I have observed an even more relaxed atmosphere at our school with the bonds of friendship reinforced. I think this has been significantly strengthened by our participation in Gho-Ghet.
The impact on the tone and spirit of the whole school is clearly obvious as we celebrate success and raise self-esteem. Please accept our sincere thanks for your input and positive impact on our school. Doug, Principal North Parmelia Primary School.
At the Gho-Ghet workshop, I had a knee jerk reaction in one of the challenges, followed by a blinding flash. Good grief I thought, here I am getting irritated by something in a game. This is what I do all the time, get hooked in by small irritations and then hold on to the irritation until eventually, over time it turns into stress. I suddenly saw how funny it was and since then I can honestly say my life has been different, not perfect but better. I always take things too seriously and it’s a great cause of distress to me and it’s a relief to find a way of dealing with it.
This Monday when I left I realised I had forgotten my front light for the bike. Now I don’t like riding without the light, so I decided to take another route home so I could stay on the pavement. This route, I usually avoid because it has two huge hills which nearly killed me the first time I tried. However, I made a bargain with myself that I’d walk the hills and I did walk first one but then I got on the bike and started cycling.
As I went along I was thinking about the workshop and what a joy it was to have fun with other people and what a profound effect it was having in my life. Then I noticed when I was (you’ve probably guessed) over the other side of the second hill. This might sound silly but again I realise that I do this in life. I see the hills and simply decide not to try if I have already tried and it was too hard. My partner has already noticed this. I’m terrified of waves and he said he sees me bracing in fear as I face them and notices that this is what I do in life when faced with problems.
What amazes me about the workshop is how all the different people seem to be getting out of it just what they need. The four of us from the Dept of Botany are vastly different characters, yet are all picking out our own messages. Incredible! Trish, University of Western Australia
I thought I’d send you some comments on the workshop which I thought was excellent. I found the games we played a great way to examine my reactions to stressful or busy situations and the experience gave me a lot more confidence in my ability to handle such situations. I realise, I am often afraid of failing and that stops me from succeeding, or succeeding with less effort. The Chalk and Cheese game was really useful for this. I think the workshop was a brilliant way to get to know myself better. Thanks. Sue, University of Western Australian.
I want to thank you for organising the Gho-Ghet life’s a Game programme and to tell you that I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t quite as I expected, in fact it was totally different and better. The invitation email was sitting on my computer for weeks and eventually I thought “just do it” and now I’m very glad I enrolled. I was telling a friend about the workshop just now suggesting it would be good as a non-alcoholic college activity. But my friend had a better idea, it would be extremely beneficial for the college staff. Chris, University of Western Australia.
Not only am I enjoying the Gho-Ghetworkshop immensely, but I find it is helping me to be more constructive and more conscious in my feelings with people. It has also reinforced the realisation that we can only be in charge of ourselves and we have to be responsible for ourselves. Karen, University of Western Australia.
I have appointed your input to the Professional Development needs of Coogee Primary School Staff. The extensive sessions on the Gho-Ghet process has equipped teachers and non-teaching staff with valuable skills and strategies to impart to students under their care.
Your involvement at Coogee has been extensive. Firstly, the staff group workshop was well received and this has significant impact on staff who, along with others, participated in the “Train the Trainer” workshop. This specific workshop had a networking effect in the wider district and enquiries and referrals for your program were generously given.
Subsequent sessions to parents and students at Coogee were very informative and generated further interest and an understanding of the importance of creative games to develop cooperation, self-esteem building, as well as social and non-verbal communication techniques.
I am positive that Gho-Ghet does reap benefits in changing behaviours of the participates in guaranteeing more acceptable attitudes and developing of confidence with others. I wish you well in continuing this worthwhile programme at strengthening participates self-esteem and extending interpersonal skills to make our world a better place to live. Ken, Principal, Coogee Primary School.
Thank you for an enjoyable introduction to Gho-Ghet. It certainly was a challenge for you to present a participative Professional Development session with all our staff on the second last day of school year.
It was apparent by the way all staff were drawn into the activities that your outcomes were met. My original notes that Gho-Ghet would promote co-operation and trust were validated by the actions of all involved. This proved to be a very positive conclusion to a two-day professional development program. Jenny, Principal, Lynwood Primary School.