Australian duo seeks ways to help Genocide survivors

Two female graduates from the Murdoch University in Australia recently visited members of Rwanda Association of University Women (RAUW), to discuss ways of assisting Genocide overcome trauma.
A group of RAUW members with Australian researchers.
A group of RAUW members with Australian researchers.

Two female graduates from the Murdoch University in Australia recently visited members of Rwanda Association of University Women (RAUW), to discuss ways of assisting Genocide overcome trauma.

According to a RAUW statement released over the weekend, the meeting that brought together both parties was held at the residence of Dr Shirley Randell, the Coordinator of International Affairs of the association.

“One of the great strengths of RAUW is its international network with university graduates all over the world, through knowledge exchange, we have learnt a lot from other countries’ experiences,” Randell is quoted in the statement as saying.

Although the Australians ­– Dr. Angela Ebert and Dr Amanda Third –both come from the Western Australia (WA) branch of the Australian Federation of University Women (AFUW), both are here to research and study different practices but each with an aim of speeding recovery.

With a view of understanding the mechanisms of human flexibility, Ebert, a Clinical Psychologist is studying about how people recover from extreme trauma without intervention.

For her PhD, Ebert once interviewed survivors of trauma in WA including Rwandan refugees and has since then founded an association of survivors of torture and trauma in WA.

“Rwanda can teach the world through the enormous strength and flexibility its people have shown, with many recovering and adapting to survival circumstances without counselling”, Dr Ebert said.

On the other hand, Dr Third is dedicated to the study of cultural and communication practices. She has a research interest in the social and cultural dimensions of new media technologies.

Currently, she is a senior Lecturer in the School of Media, Communication and Culture at Murdoch University, and a Director of a research institute Centre for Everyday Life in Australia.

“Rwanda is still portrayed very poorly in the media around the world, and it is important to let people know of the great developments that have gone on in this country since 1994”, Dr Amanda said.

In conjunction with ORINFOR, Dr. Third and two other members of the visiting Murdoch team are preparing a special production that will include interviews of survivors with messages of hope.

These will be played on the radio every day throughout the month of April as part of the 15th year commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

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