27 episodes

Wag Tales podcast is a series of conversations on all things trauma, healing, education and wellbeing.
Host of Wag Tales, Megan Corcoran is Director of Wagtail Institute, providing trauma-informed wellbeing consulting to schools and complex settings.
Megan believes in the power of story telling and engaging in great conversations as a way to learn, to grow and to take steps towards healing. In each episode, Megan invites a guest to share their story or to engage in a topical conversation with the goal of sharing best practice, new insights, and ideas to support those impacted by trauma to heal.
Megan is joined by a variety of guests including school principals, therapists, authors, artists and lived experience practitioners.

Wag Tales Megan Corcoran

    • Education

Wag Tales podcast is a series of conversations on all things trauma, healing, education and wellbeing.
Host of Wag Tales, Megan Corcoran is Director of Wagtail Institute, providing trauma-informed wellbeing consulting to schools and complex settings.
Megan believes in the power of story telling and engaging in great conversations as a way to learn, to grow and to take steps towards healing. In each episode, Megan invites a guest to share their story or to engage in a topical conversation with the goal of sharing best practice, new insights, and ideas to support those impacted by trauma to heal.
Megan is joined by a variety of guests including school principals, therapists, authors, artists and lived experience practitioners.

    #27: Belinda Jankowiak, creating regulating learning environments for students and teachers

    #27: Belinda Jankowiak, creating regulating learning environments for students and teachers

    Belinda Jankowiak is an Occupational Therapist (OT), zealous child advocate, and founder of Project Classroom, where she supports educators to create classroom spaces that are soothing and meet the needs of all students and teachers. Belinda has worked alongside educators for over 20 years and shares the science behind the work in ways that are accessible and applicable for all. Megan and Belinda have been following each other's work for awhile and Megan was eager to dive into a conversation with Belinda after always wanting to learn more about regulation from the OT perspective.
    In this episode, Belinda and Megan discuss the importance of classroom design to support the nervous systems of children, young people and educators, considering things like the noise levels and acoustics, and the visual stimulation of bright colours and classroom displays. Belinda shares some great tips for school leaders to consider, and ideas for teachers with minimal budgets to set up their classrooms. Belinda also shares the importances of incorporating movement into the school day and some strategies to regulate children and young people.
    Belinda mentions the work of Dr Stuart Shanker on self-reg, which can be found here: https://self-reg.ca/
    To learn more about Project Classroom and to get in touch with Belinda, you can access her work here: https://projectclassroom.com.au/
    Belinda's LinkedIn is here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/belinda-jankowiak-35a92855/
    Project Classroom on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/projectclassroomau?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet&igsh=ZDNlZDc0MzIxNw==
    Host: Megan Corcoran, Wagtail Institute, https://wagtailinstitute.com/
    Wagtail Institute empowers schools and complex settings to become trauma-informed wellbeing communities of practice where everyone can thrive. We work alongside leaders, educators, and practitioners to respond to wellbeing challenges, enhance trauma-informed practice, and navigate pathways to healing.
    The episode is brought to you by our sponsor, Teachers' Well. You can learn more about their work or purchase a compass journal here: https://www.teacherswell.com/
    Music by Kabbilistic Village https://kabbalisticvillage.com/

    • 43 min
    #26: Liam Wood, trauma-informed leadership and coaching in schools

    #26: Liam Wood, trauma-informed leadership and coaching in schools

    Liam Wood is a parent, teacher, school leader, and Director at Cor Effect. Liam's career in education began as he was working in education support while writing a book and he realised he loved the time in the classroom more than the time spent writing. He dived right into teaching through the Teach For Australia (TFA) program, having real experience in the classroom while completing his studies. Since then, Liam has dedicated himself to supporting students most in need, working in schools experiencing disadvantage, coaching teachers in the TFA program, and then spending some years teaching and leading in the Alternative sector. Megan and Liam first met in 2019, working alongside each other in an alternative school. They talk about Liam's first group of students in an alternative setting and how Megan felt imposter syndrome being appointed as Liam's instructional coach.
    In this episode, Megan and Liam also discuss the importance of trauma-informed approaches to leadership, recognising the experience of staff when they are exposed to trauma in the workplace. Liam shares insights into instructional coaching and the importance of having time for 1:1 support. Megan and Liam both share their own experiences of managing their stress responses and the (effective or not so effective) strategies they have used along the way.
    Liam recommends the following 2 books:
    You're not listening, Kate Murphy https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/45892276
    The checklist manifesto, Atul Gwande https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6667514-the-checklist-manifesto
    To learn more about the work happening at Cor Effect, you can visit their website: https://www.coreffect.com.au/
    Host: Megan Corcoran, Wagtail Institute, https://wagtailinstitute.com/
    Wagtail Institute empowers schools and complex settings to become trauma-informed wellbeing communities of practice where everyone can thrive. We work alongside leaders, educators, and practitioners to respond to wellbeing challenges, enhance trauma-informed practice, and navigate pathways to healing.
    The episode is brought to you by our sponsor, Teachers' Well. You can learn more about their work or purchase a compass journal here: https://www.teacherswell.com/
    Music by Kabbilistic Village https://kabbalisticvillage.com/

    • 1 hr 3 min
    #25: Martin Bisp, transforming lives with boxing therapy at Empire Fighting Chance

    #25: Martin Bisp, transforming lives with boxing therapy at Empire Fighting Chance

    Martin Bisp is the co-founder of Empire Fighting Chance, a boxing gym in the UK that provides Boxing Therapy to vulnerable young people. In 1972, Empire Amateur Boxing Club opened in Bristol, producing a long line of champion boxers, and like most boxing gyms, have a strong community. In 2006, the direction of the club took an unplanned turn when Martin Bisp and Jamie Sanigar decided to have a conversation with 2 young people who were dealing drugs across the road from the gym. To try and get them off the street, Martin and Jamie invited them in for an impromptu session with the invitation to come back in any time.
    The young people did come back, bringing friends along each time and before they knew it, Martin and Jamie were working (for free) with 50 young people, 5 days per week. From there, schools started to approach them to engage some young people experiencing challenges in schools and the police also started to refer young people. It became clear to Martin and Jamie that they needed to build something sustainable that could reach as many young people as possible. Empire Fighting Chance officially became a charity, which now supports over 5,000 young people per year. They now offer 4 psychologically-informed boxing programs, delivered by qualified therapists.
    In this episode, Martin shares what they have learned along the way, the ways in which they evaluate their impact and how they learn from their failures. It's helpful to hear from someone like Martin who applies an analytical lens to the work, ensuring it meets the intended outcomes, informed by the young people. Martin also shares some of the success stories of the young people who have engaged in the program, seeing some young people return to school, start university, leave gangs or even now be employed by Empire themselves.
    Empire Fighting Chance now train other boxing gyms and therapists around the world in the application of Boxing Therapy. If you are interested in taking on the training you can contact them by emailing info@empirefightingchance.org
    To learn more about the work of Empire and see the incredible impact, you can visit their website: https://empirefightingchance.org/ or find them on social media.
    Host: Megan Corcoran, Wagtail Institute, https://wagtailinstitute.com/
    SOS Palestine is an NGO and not for profit that was established in 1966 to support children and young people at risk due to family breakdown or the loss of a parent. They offer programmes to strengthen families and to provide out of home care services in Gaza and the West Bank. As you can imagine, they are currently working harder than ever, and financial support is needed. You can learn more about their work or donate by visiting https://www.sos-palestine.org/
    The episode is brought to you by our sponsor, Teachers' Well. You can learn more about their work or purchase a compass journal here: https://www.teacherswell.com/

    Music by Kabbilistic Village https://kabbalisticvillage.com/

    • 35 min
    #24: David Cerrone, healing through humour

    #24: David Cerrone, healing through humour

    David Cerrone is a comedian, clown, actor, teacher, humanitarian, art therapist, and author who travelled the world to understand laughter. In 2016, David set off on a 12-month adventure with the plan to visit 11-12 countries, volunteer, meet people and create a documentary along the way. In 2016, Megan also set off on an adventure, which led her to cross paths with David while they were both volunteering as teachers in Palestine. Megan and David bonded quickly, sharing a deep connection to education and a curiosity to learn more about life through relationships and travel.
    In this episode, David shares stories and lessons from his project, which took him further than originally planned and kept him on the road for 3 years. He talks about using humour to connect with others, break down barriers, and share healing moments, explaining the philosophy behind clowning. David has taken his work to kindergartens, schools, hospitals, refugee camps and prisons and speaks about the universality of humour.
    David has been off the road for the past few years, choosing to study art therapy to deepen his knowledge and give a formal name to the work he was doing. He talks about the healing impact this work can have with long-term practice, going beyond the brief moments on the road, to developing sustained relationships with his clients to see some transformation occur.
    David is an incredible storyteller, hence why this episode is a little longer. You could spend 3 days listening to his tales and having a laugh!
    You can learn more about David and his work on his Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/davidcerrone/) and on his YouTube channel. Here is a little snippet of his time in Palestine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT1NChpKSzg
    On February 28th, Megan is hosting an online workshop to support practitioners working with people who have experienced trauma. This is well suited to teachers, youth workers, social workers, or those who would like to be more trauma-informed. You can find out more and register for the event here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/757450373457?aff=oddtdtcreator
    SOS Palestine is an NGO and not for profit that was established in 1966 to support children and young people at risk due to family breakdown or the loss of a parent. They offer programmes to strengthen families and to provide out of home care services in Gaza and the West Bank. As you can imagine, they are currently working harder than ever, and financial support is needed. You can learn more about their work or donate by visiting https://www.sos-palestine.org/
    Host: Megan Corcoran, Wagtail Institute, https://wagtailinstitute.com/
    Music by Kabbilistic Village https://kabbalisticvillage.com/

    • 1 hr 17 min
    #23: In conversation with Graeme Baird, responding to the Senate Inquiry on disruptive behaviour in Australian schools

    #23: In conversation with Graeme Baird, responding to the Senate Inquiry on disruptive behaviour in Australian schools

    In this episode, Graeme Baird and Megan Corcoran come together to discuss the Senate Inquiry on disruptive behaviour in Australian schools. Both Graeme and Megan are passionate about this topic, having worked extensively with young people who present with behaviour that could be considered “disruptive.”

    To try and make sense of the inquiry, Graeme and Megan unpack the 2 approaches used by schools and in various settings with young people. The first approach they refer to is behaviourism (the more traditional approach), and the other is the trauma-informed approach. They spend the episode combating the myths, the criticisms, the potential misuse of these approaches, and the unexpected similarities.

    We'd like to invite you to add to this conversation by sharing your thoughts or questions with us on Linked In. You can do so by connecting with Megan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/megan-corcoran-a5ab1738/

    If you missed Graeme's first appearance on the Wag Tales, you can find him in Episode 4 on all platforms. In Episode 4 we discuss the importance of mentorship and the role Graeme played as Megan's mentor throughout her career. More on Graeme's work can be found here: https://mcalpineb.com.au/

    The report from this Senate Inquiry is scheduled for February 7: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Education_and_Employment/DASC

    Host: Megan Corcoran, Wagtail Institute, https://www.wagtailinstitute.com/

    The episode is brought to you by our sponsor, Teachers' Well. You can learn more about their work or purchase a compass journal here: https://www.teacherswell.com/

    Music by Kabbilistic Village https://kabbalisticvillage.com/

    • 57 min
    #22: Marissa Williamson Pohlman, from life in foster care to qualifying for the Olympics and making history in the ring.

    #22: Marissa Williamson Pohlman, from life in foster care to qualifying for the Olympics and making history in the ring.

    Marissa (Riss) Williamson Pohlman is a proud Ngarrindjeri woman, who was raised on Wadawurrung Country in Victoria and very recently became the first Aboriginal woman to qualify for the sport of boxing in the Olympics. At the 2023 Australian Elite Boxing Championships in August, she also made history being the first woman to win the Arthur Tunstall Trophy, which is given to the best boxer at the tournament. She will be representing Australia at the 2024 Olympics and has started a very busy training regime to prepare.
    But, Riss is so much more than boxing. In this episode, Riss very openly talks about her childhood, having lived in 16 foster care homes, experiencing homelessness, and attending 6 different high schools. Riss explains that a high school principal gave her one more chance if she was to sign a behaviour contract and take up a sport, which at the time, was AFL. It was through one of her foster carers that Riss discovered the sport of boxing and she has never looked back.
    At just 21, Riss is wise beyond her years. She shares some great tips for teachers and schools to consider when working with traumatised young people. She also talks about how damaging the foster care experience can be for young people, particularly for First Nations young people when they are not placed with their community and without connection to their culture. She talks about her adoptive Mum being someone to look up to, who has given her a home and made her boxing career possible.
    Unfortunately, in the Australian sporting context, athletes do not receive a wage to compete for Australia and are merely supported financially to attend the games. Riss' Olympic journey can only happen through the generosity and support of sponsors and donations. Riss has a Go Fund Me page which can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/marissas-road-to-the-paris-olympics?member=31550049&sharetype=teams&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer
    You can follow Riss' journey on her instragram: https://www.instagram.com/risswillpohl/
    The episode is brought to you by our sponsor, Teachers Well. You can learn more about their work or purchase a compass journal here: https://www.teacherswell.com/
    SOS Palestine is an NGO and not for profit that was established in 1966 to support children and young people at risk due to family breakdown or the loss of a parent. They offer programmes to strengthen families and to provide out of home care services in Gaza and the West Bank. As you can imagine, they are currently working harder than ever, and financial support is needed. You can learn more about their work or donate by visiting https://www.sos-palestine.org/
    Host: Megan Corcoran, Wagtail Institute, https://wagtailinstitute.com/
    Music by Kabbilistic Village https://kabbalisticvillage.com/

    • 37 min

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