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Board Membership and Benefactor-Sponsor

August 9, 2011

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST for 2011

Board of Governance

Academic Board

Benefactor – Sponsor

Welcome

Thank you for your interest in reading about the establishment of the Ling Qi Institute. What follows is:

  1. Information about the Ling Qi Institute
  2. Invitation to express your interest in becoming involved
  3. Background for the Board of Governance and Academic Board
  4. Short background on its initial beginnings
  5. Basic Information about Qi Arts and the proposed Ling Qi Institute
  6. Bachelor programs

Even though this proposed ‘not for profit’ Institute will be registered in Australia, no matter what country you live in, if you have adequate access to the internet you can be a part of its birth, development and evolvement in the international arena. Both content and delivery format of the proposed Courses will be an international first for accredited Qi (Chi) Arts programs.

The Ling Qi Institute Mission statement

The Ling Qi Institute will develop and provide authentic, comprehensive Qi (Chi) Arts courses and trainings by utilising contemporary pedagogy and learning strategies, which foster excellence and self development and respect cultural diversity.

It will cultivate mentor/peer relationships, stimulate new research/ community health initiatives by its students, and promote international minimum standards for contemporary Qi Arts teaching and education.

What is the Ling Qi Institute?

The Ling Qi Institute will be a ‘not for profit’ (NFP) training centre providing Australian Higher Education Board accredited undergraduate and post graduate Qi Arts courses that will be underpinned by contemporary education and teaching practices.

Proposed courses will be available internationally by a blended delivery system of online learning and residential. Students will be required to have adequate access to internet facilities and be able to attend residentials twice a year, initially proposed for Australia and Europe/UK.  This blended delivery system will enable tutors and students to engage in study and live in any country or time zone, while continuing to meet family and work commitments.

Australian Government fee help and study visas may also be available to suitable candidates.

Proposed courses qualifications and other services

It is proposed the Institute will offer a Bachelor of Applied Oriental Health Science and Philosophy in two streams:

  1. Rehabilitation and Medical Qi Gong (Chi Kung/ Gung/ Gong)
  2. Wellness and Health Qi Gong

A professionally recognised Advanced Diploma will be available as a half way exit point qualifying the graduate as a Qigong trainer.

It is also proposed that a Graduate Diploma and a Masters (by Research) of Oriental Health Science and Philosophy will be offered to post graduate students. These two post graduate degrees provide a broad platform for enquiry, research and application from or pertaining to any of the Qi Arts and Oriental Philosophy areas, not only Qigong Health studies.

The Institute will also have the capacity for developing and offering individualised curriculum for professional development (providing continuing education points for health professionals), personal study and informal post graduate studies for health and other linked professions via a brokering system. This opportunity to formerly arrange an individual or small group program and link keen and inquiring students with distinguished experienced practitioners / teachers is innovative. It will bridge an educational and experiential gap that previously would have been filled by being in a long term apprenticeship or by being  introduced and accepted into a mentor – mente arrangement for a specific area of development.

Cultural and philosophical foundations

The studies offered by the Institute will promote cross-cultural communication and interaction by practising, interpreting and integrating Oriental traditional world-views of health, rehabilitation and wellness into contemporary lifestyles and contexts. The content of the studies will be respectful of, informed by and use the Daoist, Buddhist, and Confucian cultural traditions and principles of Qi cultivation.

Information and research generation

The Ling Qi Institute will also be a repository of both general and specific Qi Arts information, and a place for mentor/ peer interaction and information exchange. Enquiry, research and development of initiatives and projects using Qi cultivating principles in a wide variety of settings will also be promoted.

Promoting Qi Arts among health professionals

There are many professions that can incorporate Qi principles into their practice to enhance their clients’ outcomes while improving and maintaining the practitioners’ own health and life balance. Such professions will be targeted in marketing the Institute’s courses for either full Qi studies training or selected units that complement and enhance their professional tools of trade.

The Institute has a vital role to play in promoting the ‘other arms’ that make up Classical Chinese Medicine (besides Acupuncture and Herbalism) to both Allied and Complementary health establishments.  It will also foster Qi Arts research, as well as support recognition and acceptance of Qi based treatment and individual practice by health practitioners.

Potential outcomes of practising Qi Arts

Health and Medical Qigong, Tuina (tactile therapy) and Dietary Therapy all are very accessible once learnt, and can safely and easily be integrated into people’s lifestyles to increase health, happiness, self esteem, promote a peaceful focussed mind, and improve vitality and quality of life. Practising simple interventions and/ or adjusting one’s lifestyle with Qi practices can optimise any health treatment. When practiced in groups, Qi practices can also improve community health and social connectedness.

What difference will the Institute make?

There is a genuine world interest in Complimentary therapies and alternative approaches to health and lifestyle. More and more, people are exploring ways and wisdom extracted from traditional cultures so as to improve and enhance their health for greater wellbeing and happiness. The Institute can embrace this opportunity to become a bridge for such enquiries, and to translate and interpret Classical Oriental health knowledge and wisdom for our diverse contemporary society.

Training effective teachers and excellent health professionals, as well as enhancing and broadening other allied professionals skills, are some of the ways the Institute can contribute to increasing greater wellbeing and happiness globally. Currently, there is a need for well-trained Health and Wellness Qigong teachers that can teach creatively in a variety of challenging settings and adjust to their students’ needs. Well-trained Rehabilitation and Medical Qigong therapists are also required, and especially those that can adapt their interaction with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Through its proposed studies, the Ling Qi Institute has this stellar opportunity to make a significant difference to personal and social health improvement and maintenance globally. This will be achieved by enabling students from a multitude of cultures and countries to access its online and residential studies, and as graduates, continue to be supported in a peer to peer or mentorship arrangement through internet networking.

Ownership and Practice

The Ling Qi Institute will register as a not-for-profit association (NFP) through the New South Wales Associations Incorporation Act 2009 and Associations Incorporation Regulation 2010. As the Institute will be a NFP it will apply for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status from the Australian Tax office (ATO). Other benefits may also be applicable like regular payroll donations from individuals or companies for tax – deductible purposes.  The acquiring of these regular donations will benefit the Institute by having a sound regular income to build its structure and enhance its development.

The Institute may also be established by a combination of financial capital, donations or sponsorship and if needs be, some human risk capital (i.e. managerial/ technical expertise/ contract work for delayed payment).

Financial capital will be needed to fund requirements such as fees for accreditation, business set-up, insurance etc, as well as developing infrastructure (computer and technology systems, office set-up and systems, office premise rental, marketing, online learning platform, intellectual capital for the Institute etc) and building knowledge capital by training staff members in skills required for online learning delivery.

The Ling Qi Institute will develop and implement sound business practices to sustain and grow its financial and people prosperity. The Institute’s business philosophy embeds economic value added (EVA) ideas to build and foster social capacity in communities the Institute is engaged in.

Business Philosophy

The Institute will operate a viable business enterprise. As a NFP, it is important to note that as an association the Institute can trade but this cannot be its main objective. Any surplus from the trading after payment of operating expenses (eg wages) will be put back into the association to support its growth and projects, and repay investment, but not given to its members.

Being a NFP organisation, the Institute will foster the building of social capital in its culture, and invite accomplished Qi practitioners of all styles and lineages to share their Qi Arts knowledge with a organisation that aims to stimulate, cultivate, sustain, build community of practice, collect, archive and disseminate Qi Arts knowledge for current and future practitioners.

The Institute may choose to involve people outside the business enterprise, who might be affected by the Institute, and seek their thoughts, deliberations and collective wisdom on how the business is run i.e. staff, students, Qi associations, and other stakeholder communities. The Institute will encourage the creation of a community of students, alumni and staff, as it recognises that for many, the interaction within the Institute may constitute their principal social group for many years. The Institute will grow with their guidance and support, which will ensure continuity as an organization entity and fulfilment for its social collective.

The Institute aims to incorporate sound business practices that are in line with the Daoist and Buddhist philosophical underpinnings of the studies it is promoting. Ling Qi Institute will aim to leave as little a carbon footprint as it can, operating ethically with care and respect for others and the environment.

THE BOARDS

The Boards seek to recruit people who have a strong commitment to create the Ling Qi Institute, to achieve and support its objective of educating Oriental Health practitioners (Qigong/ Tuina/ Dietary/ Lifestyle practices), promoting Qi Arts, research and Oriental health promoting practices in general.

In addition to a strong alignment with the Mission statement, a desire to contribute to building an organization that can cultivate through its students and graduates, promotion of inexpensive and effective health care choices and community health initiatives. This will have the potential of making a significant difference to personal and social health improvement and maintenance in a diverse global arena.

As the Institute will be using the web for communication and course delivery, it welcomes board members living in different countries and time zones that have adequate access to the Internet. Detailed description of the Boards and their roles are following.

Time commitments

Each selected voluntary Board member is asked to serve a one year term in establishing the Institute. Thereafter the term will vary according to what this first board decides upon in its organizational development plan.

In order to establish the Institute and its Boards, members must be prepared to attend and participate in regular board meetings and be involved in at least one sub committee. Initially it is proposed to have monthly board meetings of 2 hours duration via the web (as board members will be living in different locations and perhaps time zones).

The Boards and their subcommittee structure must evolve in a way that suits the needs of the Institute. Committees will meet regularly and undertake the practical work of the Boards to deal with specific issues and projects.

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

If you believe you can contribute to the establishment of the Ling Qi Institute and have the relevant experience and commitment that the Institute is seeking, please call Suzanne Rienits on +61 (0)2 6687 5636 or email lingqiinstitute@gmail.com to arrange a time to speak with her or to request a copy of the Business plan. Please note, you will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before receiving the Business Plan.

For Board membership

All candidates are requested to submit their Expression of Interest for Board positions application via the above email address by 13 October, 2011.

Expressions of Interest are to include a cover letter outlining answers to the following questions, along with your CV:

  1. What interests you in serving on the Board of Governance/Academic Board of the Ling Qi Institute?
  2. How would you like to contribute your skills and experience  to the Board of Governance/ Academic Board of the Ling Qi Institute?
  3. What do you hope to achieve or accomplish as a result of your participation on the Board of Governance/ Academic Board of the Ling Qi Institute?

For Benefactors – Sponsors

Commencing such a NFP enterprise as the Ling Qi Institute requires support in many ways. If you are in a position to assist the building of this organization in any way, please contact Suzanne to discuss what you can offer or suggest. All input and support is welcomed and greatly appreciated.

THE BOARD OF GOVERNANCE

The Governing Board is entrusted with the role of strategic leadership, governance and coordination of activities that reflect the Institute’s Mission statement and vision. It is responsible for establishing the Institute’s organizational culture and for the development of the Institute’s Strategic, Operational and Financial/ Budget plans and the implementation of these.

To establish the Governing Board, the Ling Qi Institute is particularly interested in recruiting individuals who have experience in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Business/ Business development, Law or Human Resources
  2. Knowledge of and expertise in Financial management –  especially experience in not-for-profit financial management
  3. Experience in Organizational development that is in line with the Ling Qi Institutes aims of developing a respectful and communicative culture, ethically aware, including low carbon footprint and fostering the building of social capital
  4. Skills in Mediation/ Group facilitation especially of voluntary organizations
  5. Fund raising and political advocacy skills, with contacts and Networks within these arenas
  6. Education and/ or education administration qualifications and/or experience working within the public or private sector in administration or knowledge of the building of educational Infrastructure
  7. On-line learning (Moodle/ Mahara) experience/ web culture, set-up and/ or IT administration
  8. Entrepreneurial ventures
  9. Effective marketing/ promotion knowledge, especially in using social media
  10. A community leader with skills and experience in engaging with communities relevant to the Ling Qi Institute
  11. Previous experience as a not-for-profit board member, and having significant interest in the Qi Arts/ Oriental Medicine

The Board will also eventually include the Principal (when appointed), an Academic committee representative, a Qi Arts/ Oriental Medicine association or community representative, a student representative, and alumni representative (after the Institute has graduates).

Role of the Board of Governance

This first board of the Institute will be responsible to develop and implement an appropriate plan to establish and operate a sustainable educational institute that fosters Qi development. Once the Institute has developed its infrastructure and is operating and delivering courses, different foci will be required. The roles of the first board will be to:

  1. Establish Governance (initially includes managerial roles) and Academic Committees
  2. Set up and launch the Institute by developing appropriate: Operational business structure, Strategic plan, Financial plan, Obtain appropriate funding
  3. Through the Academic board, organise resources so as to develop Curriculum and the writing of the online units (completion of writing the three years of actual online  may take up to two years depending on funding and  appropriate staff)
  4. Stimulate a caring, supporting, social capital building and  green work culture
  5. Obtain Higher Education Board accreditation for courses
  6. Attract high calibre staff and faculty
  7. Create and execute a marketing plan to attract students
  8. Implement on-line learning program

Suggested subcommittees of the Board include:

  1. Governance
  2. Organizational structure development
  3. Strategic Planning
  4. Financial Planning
  5. Fund raising and financial sponsorship
  6. Operational policies and procedures

THE ACADEMIC BOARD

The Academic Board provides vision and leadership within all the academic activities of the Ling Qi Institute. It is responsible for the development of a culture of scholarship, enquiry, research and for supporting student or staff community health initiatives. It also encourages cultivating Mentor and Peer support liaisons and due to the variety of its members serving at different times on the Board, it will be able to provide links with a diverse range of Qi Arts practitioners, teachers and styles.

The Academic Board therefore has decision-making powers over academic matters, on which it reports to the Board of Governance.

The Academic Board will consist of both internal (eventually employed staff positions by Institute) and external representatives. As the Institute initally won’t have any employed staff to represent its positions on the board, it will consist of all external members. To establish the Academic Board, the Institute is particularly interested in recruiting individuals who have experience in one or more of the following areas:

External

    1. Qi Association representative (s) ie. Qigong/ Tai Chi, Oriental/ Chinese Medicine, Massage/Bodywork and Dietary/Nutrition Associations etc
    2. Academics/Educators (especially Tertiary Academics/Educators), experienced Practitioners and Researchers who are experienced in any of the following areas:
  1. Qi Arts
  2. Oriental/ Chinese Medicine
  3. Eastern Philosophy/ Psychology
  4. Mindfulness and Meditation practices
  5. Massage/ Bodywork
  6. Physical training
  7. Online delivery systems i.e. Moodle
  1. A member from the Board of Governance
  2. A member from the Academic Board of the Registered Higher Education Provider the Ling Qi Institute will be under
  3. A student representative
  4. A alumni representative (after we have graduates)

Internal

The Principal, Course Advisor and/or the Student / Tutor Liaison Officer, Faculty representatives and the IT administrator will also represent the Institute. Initially these positions on the Academic Board won’t be filled until the Institute is set up and employing staff. Some of these positions might need active attendance or to send in regular report updates.

The positions of Course Advisor and the Student / Tutor Liaison Officer will have direct contact with the Tutors and be keeping regular observations and documentation of the student’s performances and feedback. As the Institute will be delivering a lot of it’s units on line, regular reports and trainings from the IT administrator will be important in being able to provide a smooth operation of uploading of subject units and tracking students interactions and assessments. Initially the Institute will have a small Faculty, but will grow during the first 3 years as different units for the Bachelors programs come on line. Halfway through the Institute’s second year of studies, the students will elect to go into either the Rehabilitation/ Medical Qigong stream or Wellness and Health. At this point, election of the main tutor representative from each stream will become permanent on the Board. As the Institute commences teaching the Post graduate Courses, representatives from each of the courses will be included.

Role of the Academic Board

Essentially the Academic Board has the key role in setting academic policy and procedures and maintaining academic standards. As stated before, this initial Board will not include Internal staff until the Institute employs staff. Once the the Institute is operating with students, the foci of the Academic Board will shift and include addressing issues that come up from delivering and maintaining academic excellence. The role of the first Academic board will be to:

  1. Plan and develop undergraduate and postgraduate programs. This involves the issues of curriculum, course approval, creating procedures for course review and the ensuring of consistent standards. These will actively be used as guides for decision-making and resource allocation.
  2. Identify the requirements for the online learning units to be written. Define a timeline for the required units and obtain resources to employ researchers, a writer, editor and have subject units uploaded for viewing and online delivery.
  3. Steer the academic quality system to ensure that governance is in place by having teaching and learning approaches defined,  faculty/ staff employed with the appropriate qualifications, and academic policy developed with systems established to effectively monitor them.
  4. Have involvement in the Strategic Planning as part of the Institute’s quality management system. Develop the Academic Board culture that takes into account requirements for Higher Education providers which include evidence led programming, documentation processes of this, appropriate data feedback and benchmarking.
  5. Build and support the Faculty in the cultivation of their own knowledge and skills base. Identifying, allocating and provisioning resources to enhance development in teaching and learning systems.

Suggested sub committees of the Board include:

  1. Academic vision mapping
  2. Academic Committee operational structure and procedures
  3. Developing an Academic Strategic plan
  4. Course Advisory Committee – design and development
  5. Higher Education application coursework information
  6. Designing the Faculty and support services

BACKGROUND

The Ling Qi Institute is being proposed by Suzanne Rienits who began her studies in Chinese Medicine/ Acupuncture in 1985.

She has had experience in registering a college as a Registered Training Organisation and writing training packages for course accreditation with Australian education authorities. Suzanne has established, directed and managed colleges of Oriental studies previously and developed curricula and distance learning education modules. She has extensive experience in teaching a wide range of adults from different backgrounds over three decades. This and personal studies in Asia has provided her with a rich and diverse knowledge of pedagogy.

The name Ling Qi, (Spirit of the Qi) and its calligraphic image/ logo used for promoting the Institute, was commissioned and gifted to her by one of her first Medical Qigong teachers (Liang) in 1989 in Guangzhou. The one brush stroke was loaded/inked with Qi (Calligraphic Qigong), which she could feel strongly emanating out from it for many years. It was on a recent journey (September 2010) that returning from Emei Shan (Sichuan province) that she realized that the next phase of her life would include catalysing and nurturing the birth and early development of a Qi Arts educational institute. In fact when she reflected over her last couple of decades, it seemed obvious that her past was a practice ground for such an international venture.

Once the Ling Qi Institute is established she would like to continue teaching, supervising, mentoring (and be mentored) and pursue her own research studies and practices.

BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT QI ARTS AND THE LING QI INSTITUTE  PROGRAMS

A few descriptions about Qi Gong:

“Qi – describes the nature of the cosmos, visible and invisible. The air, trees, water, human beings and all living things. Qi is a vital force, changing and moving constantly like clouds in the sky. It is the law, which governs all change and movement.” [1]

“Gong – a skill mastered by careful practice. The skill enables the practitioner to gain control of these universal processes. Harmony and balance within the self will follow.” [1]

Qigong: “ …the skill of body-mind exercise that integrates body, breath and mind adjustments into one”. [2]

“Qigong is a wholistic system of self-healing exercise and meditation, an ancient practice that includes healing posture, movement, self-massage, breathing techniques, and meditation. Through these different methods, qi is accumulated and stored in the body, like filling a reservoir. Impure or polluted qi – the essence of disease – can also be cleansed and refined into pure, healing qi.” [3]

For many the familiarity of practising the slow, flowing and graceful movements of Taiji Quan (Tai Chi Chuan) may have been their first introduction to Qigong. Taiji Quan is a widely practised form of dynamic Qigong or as a martial art and sometimes these days it is also performed as a form of physical exercise/ movement. Many Taiji practitioners have only been taught their particular lineages form and are unaware of the Medical side of Qigong that is used for diagnosing, treating, rehabilitating and preventing ill-health conditions.

Qigong Medical texts can be traced back at least 1400 years. There are literally thousands of Qigong forms, perhaps a few dozen commonly known and practised. Whether Dynamic (moving) or Passive (meditative) styles, all Qigong forms have the same key underlying principles.

The Institute’s proposed two Bachelor of Applied Oriental Health Science and Philosophy programs are unique in their breadth, quality of information and overall depth of the material that will be studied and practiced in regards to Qigong and associated healing Arts.

The courses consist of 24 units (8 per year) that are studied over a three year period, and are delivered by a combination of online learning, participation in 6 residentials, as well as external placements. The first 12 core units set the foundations for the practice of Qigong forms/sets as well as exploring effective learning and teaching techniques. This will aid the future health practitioner/ teacher’s ability to teach a wide range of students with differing needs.

The core units also introduce the philosophy and worldview underpinning Classical Chinese Medicine and Qigong theory, along with ancient health preservation/ nurturing practices (Yang Sheng) in their cultural context. Students will explore how we can promote health through incorporating these energy sciences into our diverse contemporary lifestyles, whatever our background, health status or country of residence. Exploring appropriate research methods, learning effective communication and developing sound ethical business practices complement the students Qigong studies, so as to be able to confidently establish themselves as effective and financially viable practitioners/teachers in their community.

i) The Wellness and Health Qigong stream provides the student with the skills and competencies for teaching Qigong in either class settings, special needs groups or coaching/personal training. A wide range of Qigong styles and forms will be learnt, practised and then taught by the students. Further explorations in mindfulness, meditation and breath practices, along with studies in body awareness and movement, provide the bedrock for the student to observe and diagnose body alignment and energetic fields. This will assist graduates to guide others to better posture, mental and physical health and fitness. Two personal electives studying Qigong/Taiji forms (externally from the Institute) to teaching competency, allow the student to broaden their skills and knowledge of other Qi forms and get exposure to other teachers not engaged by the Institute.

ii) The Rehabilitation and Medical Qigong stream provides the student with the skills and competencies for working in a clinical setting as an Oriental Medicine health practitioner. Modalities of Tuina (Chinese massage), Chinese Dietary Therapies and Medical Qigong, along with studies in Daoist and Buddhist Psychology, passive Medical Qigong and select active Medical Qigong styles to teach their personal clients makes for a comprehensive course which will cultivate confident and competent health practitioners.

Some students may choose to study a double major, and thus graduate as an Oriental Medicine Qigong and Rehabilitation practitioner, as well as a Wellness and Health Qigong teacher.

ENQUIRIES
If you would like to apply to become a Board member, Benefactor/Sponsor, have a question, comment  or would like to know more details regarding subjects and course content, please speak to Suzanne Rienits and/or request a Business Plan.

You can contact her at lingqiinstitute@gmail.com or  62 Survey Street, Lennox Head   NSW  2478   Australia  or  +61 (0)2 6687 5636.

[1]  Guo, B. (2000). Point Zero compact disc. New York: Liu Sola.

[2]  Liu, T. (2010). Chinese Medical Qigong (1st English edition). London: Singing Dragon. p4.

[3] Cohen, K (1997). The Way of Qigong. London: Bantam Books. p4.

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