Australian Premiere: BEYOND FEAR: Finding Hope in the Horror

Jointly presented by:
Issues Deliberation Australia/America and The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, UniSA

Thursday 9 November 2006

Copies of BEYOND FEAR: Finding Hope in the Horror are available for purchase at a cost of $19.95 via Issues Deliberation Australia/America. 

Please contact Deborah Shakeshaft, IDA, on T: 08 8295 6112 or E:

This fascinating documentary is based on the work of the world’s experts on managing fear and terror. These experts – from the USA, Australia, Canada, Iran, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, France, Italy Germany and the UK, came together at an International Assembly convened by South Australian psychologist, Dr Pamela Ryan, research fellow at the Hawke Research Institute for Sustainable Societies and Managing Director of Issues Deliberation Australia/America (IDA) .

Via the media, we all see the immediate impact of terrorism, but what actually happens to survivors of terror in the aftermath? And…. how well prepared is our community to deal with the longer term psychosocial effects of terrorist attacks? The film explores the psychological impact of fear and terror through the eyes of those who have suffered and those whose job it is to help them manage their trauma.

There will also be an opportunity to hear from Jason McCartney, former AFL footballer, 2002 Bali bombing survivor, and delegate to the International Assembly on Fear and Terror, and the Hon Bob Hawke AC, who headed the International Board of patrons for the Assembly. One of the major outcomes of the Assembly was the establishment of PSYCHOLOGISTS PSYCHIATRISTS AND SOCIAL WORKERS WITHOUT BORDERS. Members of the Board of Directors of PWOB, including Dr, Ryan (Chair of the Board) will join Jason to take questions following the screening.

Recommended viewing for mature audiences only.

With special guest speakers

  • The Hon Bob Hawke AC
  • Jason McCartney, AFL Legend and Survivor of the 2002 Bali Bombings
  • Dr Pamela Ryan, Managing Director, Issues Deliberation Australia/America
  • Ms Amanda Gordon, President, Australian Psychological Society

Panel Members

Following the screening, there will be an opportunity for Q & A with a selected panel of experts.

  • Pam Ryan - Moderator
  • Moira Deslandes
  • Virginia Hickey
  • Amanda Gordon
  • David Bonython-Wright, SA representative: Psychology Without Borders
  • Jason McCartney

BEYOND FEAR: Finding Hope in the Horror

The advent of random terrorist attacks, the escalation of which we have seen in the last few years, has revealed how psychologically vulnerable and unprepared the west is to handle the consequences of terrorism. In countries where terror has a longer history, the psychological damage is immense. Australian political psychologist, Dr Pamela Ryan, wanting to help people overcome the paralyzing affects of fear and terror, convened an International Assembly on Managing the Psychology of Fear and Terror. The Assembly brought together over 90 of the world’s leading trauma specialists whose job it is to help ease the psychological suffering of others. The Assembly was convened by IDA in collaboration with the University of Texas and the University of South Australia. These experts gathered in Austin, Texas from the USA, Israel, Iran, The Gaza Strip, Chile, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Canada and of course Australia. The International Board of Patrons for the Assembly included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former British Prime Minister John Major, and former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

Beyond Fear is a documentary based on that Assembly, but it speaks in two voices: that of trauma specialists as they brainstormed how best to manage the psychology of fear and terror; and the voice of the ordinary people who have suffered directly or indirectly the horror of a terrorist attack.

The film is a companion to the White Paper Managing the Psychology of Fear and Terror: Strategies for Governments, Service Providers and Individuals which together will provide an invaluable tool for educational institutions, practitioners and politicians who need to know more about psychological preparedness to combat the fear that the perpetrators of terror seek to achieve.

Jason McCartney

Jason McCartney became a national hero in the wake of the Bali Bombings and epitomises the Australian fighting spirit. His story is one of humanity overcoming adversity. Jason, a young Australian with an exceptional talent to play Australian Rules Football, was thrust into the hearts and minds of all Australians through his courageous fight-back from horrible burns he suffered in Bali.

Few will forget his triumphant return to AFL football on the evening of June 6, 2003. He helped in scoring the winning goal, but his ultimate glory was a victory over terrorism and a "win" for all those who survived Bali. Jason was awarded an OAM in October 2003.

Jason is a remarkable guest speaker with an amazing ability to inspire audiences with accounts of how he overcame adversity through amazing support from family, friends and team mates. The burns he received in Bali have seen him become a staunch supporter of various charities including the blood donation and the Red Cross Blood Service and he maintains a strong commitment to helping those less fortunate.

Dr Pamela Ryan

As a psychologist, political scientist, organizational consultant and academic, Dr Pam Ryan has helped numerous private and public organizations successfully handle a diverse range of strategic, psychological, organizational, cultural and political issues. Dr Ryan has shared her time between Australia and Texas for almost twenty years. During her first decade in Texas, Dr Ryan conducted award-winning research into the escalation of commitment by venture capitalists, and consulted in the venture capital industry on strategic human resource and organizational culture issues. In 1998, Dr Ryan shifted her focus to the public policy/political arena, to establish Issues Deliberation Australia / Issues Deliberation America, and has been Managing Director of IDA since its inception. As Managing Director of IDA, Dr Ryan has headed the team of psychologists, sociologists, researchers and over 100 volunteers to ensure the success of numerous political psychology and public policy projects: national Deliberative Polls on whether Australia should become a Republic and Reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians; a “future perfect” Economic Growth Summit and a Constitutional Convention on parliamentary reform for the South Australian government; a cross-country comparative study of True Believer voters in Australia and the USA; and the first International Assembly on Managing the Psychology of Fear and Terror. This unprecedented event brought 90 of the world’s experts on fear and terror to Austin, Texas to collaboratively build strategies for global, national, local and individual application.

In March 2005, Dr Ryan founded Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Social Workers Without Borders (PWOB) as a direct outcome of the first International Assembly on Managing the Psychology of Fear and Terror. In May 2005, Dr Ryan joined a team of psychologists from Israel, Australia and Texas for a PWOB pilot project in Sri Lanka doing tsunami relief work. PWOB is involved in planning similar mental health work for survivors of Hurricane Katrina in the US Gulf coast.

Dr Ryan has authored and co-authored several conference papers and journal articles relating to the academic aspects of IDA projects. Dr Ryan serves on several Boards, including a term on South Australia’s Premier’s Council for Women. Dr Ryan is also co-founder and co-author of Board Women, an international program to assist women to serve most effectively on Boards of Directors, both private and public. Dr Ryan earned her PhD at the University of Texas. She has taught graduate and undergraduate classes in the psychology of decision making, qualitative research methods, entrepreneurship, organizational behaviour and politics.

Issues Deliberation Australia/America

Issues Deliberation Australia / America (IDA) is a not-for-profit, non-partisan political psychology and public policy think tank. IDA was established to facilitate the conduct and dissemination of high quality research, public consultation, education and public debate on topical social and public policy issues impacting Australia, America and the world.

IDA uses a number of leading edge methodologies from other parts of the world for research, public consultation, education and public debate on social and public policy issues. These include: Deliberative Polling®, International Assemblies™, National Assemblies™, ‘Future Perfect’ Thinking™, Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research.

  • Deliberative Polling encompasses the full spectrum of research methods, utilising random sample surveys, personal interviews and focus groups to facilitate the informed voice of the people. That informed voice can then inform policy. IDA has conducted Deliberative Polls on whether or not Australia should become a Republic, relations between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, human rights and constitutional reform.
  • Future Perfect Thinking is an innovative method of strategic planning known to enhance the quality and quantity of ideas generated. For example, in 2003, IDA designed and implemented an Economic Growth Summit for the South Australian Government set in 2013.
  • National and International Assemblies bring the experts together in order to develop a comprehensive solution set for targeted social and public policy problems. IDA designed and convened the first International Assembly on Managing the Psychology of Fear and Terror in Austin Texas in August 2004. One of the key outcomes of this Assembly was the establishment of the international non-profit organization, Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Social Workers Without Borders (PWOB). IDA spearheaded this initiative.

Qualitative and Quantitative research is conducted for all of the above methodologies, both academic and applied. Other leading edge research, for example the cognitive mapping of true believer voters in two countries, exemplifies IDA’s commitment to rigorous cutting edge research that can contribute to both the political psychology field, as well as the real life political arena.

IDA is also committed to significant public education on findings resulting from the above methodologies. Research findings are disseminated to Members of Parliament, government agencies, the general media, professional organizations and directly to the public through publications, presentations, training programs and other educational forums.

While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: strengthening our democracy – valuing our cultural diversity – and building our future