W E L C O M E 

About the Institute



The Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice (Inc) was founded in 2006 to support approaches that promote resilience as opposed to dealing with deficits.



We are a group of people from a range of professional backgrounds such as social work, psychology, education and management that believe, work with and advocate strengths based practices. We recognize that the strength based movement is gaining impetus globally, with people from diverse backgrounds attracted to this inward looking practice, whether it be teachers utilizing such strategies with their students, helping professionals engaging with clients to fulfil their potential, or employers and HRD Managers utilizing strength based performance appraisals with their employers.



Much before the modern literature on strengths based practices started appearing in Positive Psychology, Social Work, Human Services and Management utilizing narrative traditions from the field of Anthropology, as being taught and learnt today, principles such as ‘self reliance’ as part of home rule movement for the Indians by Gandhi the Mahatma did yield results. Practice knowledge and wisdom of ‘Ubuntu’ in many African nations existed. Many seers and wise men, therapists and managers talked of inner wealth and urged individuals, groups, communities, and those in the corporate world to look within for solutions to their modern day problems, issues and dilemmas.



Nelson Mandela very passionately utilized ‘ubuntu’ practice in South Africa and concepts such as ‘gross national happiness’ were spoken by King Jigme Singye Wangchuck of Bhutan in Asia. King Jigme, now 50, suggested that nations be measured by “gross national happiness”; the rich are not always happy, after all, while the happy generally consider themselves rich.



Strengths based practices encompass all human activity today. They have become far more pervasive than what they were thought to be as more and more individuals, groups, communities and societies have started considering them as the only hope to build hope and work with hope.


The Brisbane Institute is a leading collective of strengths based front liners, a trainer and consultant practitioner group of people not restricted by residence to Brisbane but present predominantly in all Austral Asian countries and the Asia Pacific region.





The Brisbane Institute contributes its member’s personal and collective expertise and utilises its combined extensive professional networks as necessary to carry out strengths based projects. In addition, the Institute has already built collaborative relationships with various international teaching institutes. These collaborative relationships have been possible due to either the visits of our Members to these institutes or through previous active partnership. Generally these are through a memorandum of understanding (MOU).



Previous and ongoing partnerships and collaborations include:



·         Sanghamitra - India (http://sanghamitra-mdidp.cfsites.org)


·         National Institute for Small Industry Extension Training (NISIET) http://www.ndparking.com/nisiet.com)


·         Bala Vikasa Social Service Society (http://www.balavikasa.org)


·         Oxfam Australia (http://www.oxfam.org.au)


·         AUSAID and AYAD (Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development)  (http://www.ausaid.gov.au; http://www.ausaid.gov.au/youtham/default.cfm)


·         National Institute of Social Development, Colombo, Sri Lanka (http://www.nisd.lk/nisd)


·         Centre for Strengths Based Strategies, Michigan, USA (http://www.buildmotivation.com)


·         Society for Psychological Assistance, Zagreb, Croatia (http://www.dpp.hr/eng/onama.php)


·         The Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development (http://www.fsd.org.qa/)


·         The Community Connections, Canberra, http://www.comcons.org.au


·         National Institute of Social Development, Department of Social Welfare, Government of Sri Lanka, http://www.nisd.lk/nisd/


·         Kadambari School of Science and Management, Kathmandu, Nepal (http://www.nepalschoolofsocialwork.org)


·         Not for Profit Network, Australia , (http://www.nfpn.com.au/)


·         Australian Association of Social Workers, (http://www.aasw.asn.au)


·         Rural Social Workers Action Group- Victoria, (http://www.aasw.asn.au/)


·         Icongo, (http://www.icongo.in/)


·         Anamcara, Centacare, Brisbane, (http://www.centacarebrisbane.net.au/disability/anam_cara.php)



Modus Operandi


The various members of the Institute contribute their personal and collective expertise and utilise their extensive professional networks as necessary to carry out particular projects. In addition, the Institute has built collaborative relationships with various international teaching institutes such as the National Institute for Small Industry Extension Training (NISIET), Hyderabad, Department of Social Work, Kadambari Memorial College of Science and Management, Kathmandu, Nepal and the Bala Vikasa Social Service Society, Sri Lanka School of Social Work run under the auspice of National Institute of Social Development, Department of Social Welfare, Government of Sri Lanka and aid agencies and programs, including Oxfam, AUSAID and AYAD (Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development).



Since the resources available to the Institute do not reside with any one individual member of the organisation, projects are undertaken in a collaborative manner with joint ownership and pooling of available resources. Therefore all potential projects are discussed in detail and are endorsed by a sufficient number of suitably qualified Institute members before they may proceed.



Not all members of the Institute will directly engage with all projects; however all projects do have more than one sponsor or supporting partner in most of these countries and members will contribute their various skills as necessary. Projects undertaken by the Institute are regularly discussed and monitored by all members of the Institute throughout the project’s life.



Key Facilitator




Dr Venkat Pulla



Venkat is a an accredited Practitioner of Social Work well recognized in Australia and overseas as a highly committed trainer of human values and strengths based social work practice frameworks for empowerment of clients and staff within the teams. Venkat utilizes a process called ‘intentional perspectives approach’ (IPA) that focuses on ensuring survival -first; growth and development of pervasive consciousness -second. Venkat sees a great majority of people innocently, ignorantly or purposively leading veiled lives. Venkat’s tactical conversations cause gentle nudges for such slumbering humanity without sounding provocative. Venkat spent some 15 years preparing social work graduates and a couple of years in capacity development of public sector management through British Aid (DFID) Projects in Metros India. Venkat is a Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Social Worker, a Tata Dorabji Scholar and has a doctorate in the field of Community Development obtained in India. His work life includes positions as Head of the Social Work Department at the Northern Territory University, Darwin for three years and several years in India in Teaching and Training at the College of Social Work, Hyderabad, and He has recognition in areas of training for performance measures, quality, change management, strength based child protection, family directed practice, trauma torture counselling and refugee resettlement. His policy consulting included health policy, urbanization, poverty alleviation, social infrastructures, disability and aged care, wage reform, employee strategies, and industrialization.




Since 1996 Venkat worked extensively with refugees and migrants being the Acting Coordinator of Brisbane Migrant Resource Centre. Within the Disability Services he held Acting Manager Professional and Specialist Services positions and currently holds a Senior Social Work position.



Venkat has extensive clinical as well as organizational experience across a wide range of service settings.  Until recently he has been the Vice President of the Australian Association of Social Workers, Queensland and is a member of the accreditation panel for schools of social work in Australia and Convenor, International Social Work Interest Group, AASW (QLD). 


Contacts & Inquiries

dr.venkat.pulla@gmail.com and on 00 61 422345982  00 61 422345982 or by snail mail to Dr Venkat Pulla, 5 Mandell Close, Coopers Plains, Qld, 4108 Australia.






Our Inaugural Conference 2006  proceedings, papers, power point presentations are available from