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Author(s) Adams, Allan
Sveen, Robert Lee
Denholm, Carey J.
Year 1997
Title The Aftermath of the Port Arthur Incident: The Strategic Response by Project Hahn to Adolescent Needs
Published in 1st International Conference on Adventure Therapy
Link [1]
Abstract This paper provides background information about the Project Hahn adventure-based program and its ongoing involvement with the Port Arthur Recovery Group to assist 42 adolescents directly affected by the murders of 36 people by a lone gunman in Tasmania in 1996. Case studies relate personal, social, and community issues faced by these adolescents, as well as post-course challenges as they attempted to implement personal changes within their community. The philosophy and practices of the Project Hahn therapy program are given: work with at-risk and socioeconomically disadvantaged youth, pre-course agreement among all participants, promotion of positive peer dynamics, instructional use of risk-recreation activities, freedom of task choice, peer and leader support, followup with participants, and cultivation of moral growth through small-group peer interaction. One case study documents how participation by a 15-year-old student in adventure activities helped her to reevaluate her experiences with the Port Arthur shooting and redefine personal issues of trust, vulnerability, and protective and defensive behaviors. Project Hahn will use planned intervention throughout each wilderness challenge course to experiment with a range of new ideas and behaviors; confront salient and pressing issues; and provide time and opportunity within a supportive and safe environment for adolescents identified by the Port Arthur Recovery Group to express fears, pain, and the traumatic impact of the shooting tragedy.
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