Biography

I have been a man full of intention and determination to make a contribution, believing in my capacity to make it happen. The humbling experience of only partial success has taught me to be open to the often-subtle messages of others- human and non human- to begin the journey of acting in response to the cosmos. Struggling with paradox and apparent contradictions provokes attunement with assessment, passion with detachment, self-transcendence with practical idealism. This is at the heart of my access to wisdom. As to the nature and source of my capacities, living in community for over 35 years continues to be a wellspring for life learning. Some examples are:

  • Skills for learning to work with the dialectic between leadership and participatory democracy, sharing power while owning my own, having a captain's propensity and a participatory ideology.
  • Teaching team management and having to struggle to practise it
  • Finding the courage to advocate for the tough wise decisions, alone if necessary. Working for the group's collective interest while recognising the constructive roles of different views.
  • Living in groups while working with them. For example, experiencing that effective group processes are usually wiser than one village elder. Being able to accept group decisions that I disagree with.
  • Learning to accept that history starts for most when they walk in the door.  

The roots of my wisdom come from a father who was an intuitive, natural healer and worker of the land and a mother who nourished others' personal and spiritual transformation in the growth centre she founded. I have been encircled by personal, professional and global elders who have inspired and challenged me. Among them are Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Plum Gerrard and Susan Becchio. My mountain top home on this continent worn down by its eons of elemental encounters stirs constant homage to first peoples and their lives as part of the earth. This in turn aids 'big picture' seeing- the whole, the deep, the long term.

Many significant life experiences contribute to but do not define the sources of my wisdom. I learned non-violence through being a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War and being arrested for demonstrating against a coal-fired power line extension.

My extensive education, teaching and long institutional experience at Monash teaching units such as environmental policy and action, ecopsychology, conserver society, ecotourism. (1) have helped me to think through meaning. This however, has played a subsidiary role in my reach for eldership. In my academic role, the contrast between my ongoing struggle with dyslexia and my strong creative, thinking and verbal skills has equipped me to be comfortable with my own limitations. I have come to see mistakes as learning opportunities and limitations as encouragement to cooperate.


Qualifications

  • B. Comm. (Melb.)
  • M.A. (Government, Ohio)
  • M.A. (Sociology, Ohio)
  • Ph.D. (Sociology, Monash)

 

Current Engagements:

Lecturer and Academic Board Member of Oases Graduate School
2008 to present

Vice President Sustainable Living Foundation
2006 to present

Co-Founder and Resident Member of Moora Moora Cooperative
1972 to present

Vice President of Natural Death Advocacy Network
2014 to present

Employment History

Teaching Fellow

Sociology Department, Monash University 1971-1981

Lecturer

Graduate School of Environmental Science, Monash University 1981-1988

Senior Lecturer

School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University, 1989-2006.

Prior to my university appointment I was an investment analyst at National Mutual Insurance in Melbourne and at Scandia Insurance in Stockholm. I also had short-term teaching at ANU, Deakin, RMIT, Melbourne University, and the C.A.E.

Tertiary Teaching

I have been involved in teaching 18 different courses. These have been concerned with:

  • The Structure and Dynamics of Society; Courses in Neo-Capitalism, Social Change and Social Movements, Built Environments, Environmental Decision Making and Action.
  • Human–nature relations Environmental Psychology, Social and Sacred Ecology; Wilderness Studies in Social and Sacred ecology; Ecotourism.
  • Social Psychology; courses in Small Group Dynamics, The Family, The Human Life Cycle.
  • Future Studies; Courses in the Sociology of Alternatives and the Future, Conserver Society;
  • Interdisciplinary Environmental Research; Courses in Interdisciplinary team Research, Environmental Research Methodology;


Publications

A full list of publications by Peter Cock is available in the Resources section.

Next exploration

"Life Skills for Living in Community"
26. February 2017 Moora Moora Cooperative 10am />Read more ...

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