Platypus is a specialist training and consultancy organisation based in Bristol, our training provides a unique blend of research based knowledge and more importantly, lived experience. Whilst I have a MA in Autism and am a qualified Trainer writing and delivering courses for over 12 years, it has been my children that have taught me the reality of living with neurodiversity. Watching them over the years grow and adapt to the demands of our complex social world has be a privilege (and at times, a challenge). Being able to explain theories and behaviours through anecdotes and experiences truly brings learning to life. But, interestingly, the most frequently asked question at my workshops and training is – ‘So what’s with the Platypus?’ or ‘Why are you called Platypus?’ So I thought I would share the reason behind the name.
The Story of the Platypus
In the Dreamtime all the creatures on earth thought that they belonged to the most important group of creatures. All the animals had their own special meeting, the birds had their own special meeting and at the very same time all the water creatures had their own special meeting. Each thought that their group was the most special. But then they remembered that shy Platypus belonged to no group at all and each one decided to ask Platypus to join their own Very Special Group. First the animals went over to ask Platypus to join their group, then the birds and then the water creatures. Platypus asked them to come back after he had thought about their offers.
Now Platypus asked his friends and family whose group he should join. After thinking hard about it for some time, Platypus called all the animals and bird and water creatures to his place. They all gathered around, all wondering which group Platypus would join. Platypus came out of his home, climbed a log and when all the creatures were quiet, Platypus spoke.
“Thank you all for coming today. I have decided not to join any group at all.” All the creatures were shocked. “You have to join someone’s group.” they cried. “Please listen,” said Platypus patiently. “Everyone is special in their own special way and I don’t have to join any group to prove that. After all, I have a bit of animal in me because of my fur and because I like running across the land, but I have a bit of bird in me too, because my wife lays eggs and we both have beaks. And if that’ s not enough, I also have a bit of water creature in me because my home is near the water’s edge and I like swimming and exploring the underwater world. So you see, I don’t have to join any group to be special. But it’s not only me – everyone of us has something that makes us special in our own very special way.”
The creatures agreed, and from that time onwards, Platypus has been considered very wise and very special indeed.
Adapted from “Aboriginal Art & Stories” by Pauline McLead, Published 1994 by Intechnics Pty Ltd
Sometimes, being a unique individual can make fitting in difficult, but here at Platypus Training and Consultancy we celebrate, value and promote diversity.