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Mater Education celebrates the first 12 months of Speaking With Good Judgement


Mater Education is proud to be celebrating the first year of its Speaking With Good Judgement© Program, which provides an organisation-wide, best-practice communication framework for voicing concerns, challenging assumptions and providing feedback.

Speaking With Good Judgement© (SWGJ) Program Lead Jo Griffin said the program was developed to support Mater’s commitment to providing exceptional care and a safe space for both patients and staff.

“The aim of Speaking With Good Judgment© is to empower our staff to speak up, regardless of hierarchy, if they have concerns about things that may affect patient or staff safety,” Jo said.

“It’s about ensuring all conversations are open, honest and respectful in manner. Also, it’s not only about how to give feedback but also how to receive it.”

The program is being rolled out across Mater and, to date, more than 2000 staff have participated in the program.

When SWGJ was launched 12 months ago, Education Coordinator/ Clinical Facilitator – Ambulatory Service Sue-Ellen Howard was keen to sign up to the program.

“This program fit so well into my personal ethos of professionalism and conduct that I wanted to become part of the change that the Speaking With Good Judgement© Program was generating,” Sue-Ellen said.

“Speaking With Good Judgement© connected so closely with my organic beliefs of being appropriately curious, always respectful and helpful, and having conversations based in this frame was a very natural progression for me.

“The program has given me a framework for having conversations. This has been a powerful tool in enabling me to have difficult conversations with my peers, usually with resounding success.”

As Sue-Ellen began to put the templated conversations into practice, her colleagues began to ask her about SWGJ.

Realising that other staff members would benefit from support in utilising the templated conversations, Sue-Ellen became a SWGJ coach—a role that is responsible for modelling SWGJ conversations and supporting their use in a coach’s work area. 

“As a coach, I have been approached by a number of people in my department to help support them in having a difficult conversation.

“I’m beginning to see the transformative culture within our department as people feel more psychologically safe in their work environment, and enabled to have these conversations with others.”

Fully committed to the SWGJ Program, Sue-Ellen has also recently become an instructor “to continue spreading the message of holding the basic assumption of others and myself and changing our organisational culture one conversation at a time.”

Mater Education will continue to roll out Speaking With Good Judgement© across Mater, with the goal of delivering the program to all of the organisation’s 7000 staff.

If you are interested in learning more about Mater Education’s Coaching and Development Programs, please contact Judith Todd, Business Development Manager – Education, via email judith.todd@mater.org.au or phone 07 3163 6638.

The framework of the Speaking With Good Judgement© Program is based on the highly regarded debriefing methodology developed by the internationally renowned Center for Medical Simulation (CMS), Boston.