Welcome to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing portal, an online hub for people working in healing, health, justice, education, employment, child protection and family violence.

The Healing portal is designed to encourage information sharing and collaboration across sectors and locations. It brings together information about what is working in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander healing and includes examples of best practice healing initiatives, the latest research from around Australia and tools people can use to develop healing opportunities in their communities.

Service provision including crisis support is beyond the scope of this resource. Information about crisis support services can be found here.

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Marumali Healing Program

This nationally accredited program aims to increase the quality of support available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by trauma as a result of the Stolen Generations.

It enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by past removal policies to identify and understand their trauma, the stages of healing from trauma and the types of support they may need on their ‘healing journey’. Tailored programs are delivered to men and women in correctional facilities and young people including those in out of home care and youth at risk.

The program also aims to improve service delivery by providing training to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous service providers on how to best support people affected by the Stolen Generations policies, including intergenerational trauma.

Established in 2000, Marumali is derived from Aunty Lorraine Peeters’ experience of past removal practices and trauma recovery which has resonated with Indigenous people and communities around Australia.

It is delivered in a culturally safe and appropriate manner by Aunty Lorraine and her daughter Shaan Hamann, who use their personal experiences of trauma to build supportive relationships with participants as they work through the program’s emotionally difficult content.

The program only goes where it has been invited by the local community, and works closely with a local person to build relationships and research the local history and community in order to tailor the program as much as possible.

While the program varies for each workshop and community, it includes the following topics: recognising triggers, accepting grief and loss, talking about the issue, facing demons, returning home, reclaiming the future and reflecting on identity and strength. It is delivered using short presentations, case studies and, individual and group discussions.

It focuses on improving people’s ability to cope by helping them move from experiencing a triggering event, to understanding it and moving forward with their lives based on a renewed sense of identity.

An independent evaluation of the program completed in 2014 found it builds individual, family and community capacity and is based on trauma informed practice.

The evaluation found participants were satisfied with the program’s content, had increased their awareness of past removal practices and intergenerational trauma, had an increased understanding of their clients’ needs and were able to utilise learnings in their workplaces.

Anecdotal evidence also confirmed the program had promoted participants’ personal development and self-awareness and increased their sense of cultural identity.

To read more about this program click here.

Aunty Lorraine Peeters and Shaan Hamann with participants and staff from Wulgunggo Ngalu Learning Place


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