With the new year well and truly in full-swing, Australia will once again prepare to celebrate its national day this month. But for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, January 26th is also a day that represents the start of violent conflict for their people, as well as the denigration of their culture and way of life. The effects of which are still being felt throughout Australia’s indigenous population today.
For the month of January, Pure Community is getting behind The Healing Foundation, a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address ongoing trauma caused by the disruption and mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the past 230 years. This includes actions like the forced removal of tens of thousands of children from their families, known as the Stolen Generations.
A report released in November 2018 by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) estimates that 17,150 members of the Stolen Generations are still alive today and that they experience higher levels of adversity in relation to almost all of 38 key health and welfare outcomes.
The Healing Foundation works closely with members of the Stolen Generations who have not had an opportunity to heal from ongoing distress and, through a collective healing approach, they are increasing their focus on reducing the impact of Intergenerational Trauma. The foundation focuses almost 40% of its investment on Stolen Generations, 30% on training and education, around 20% on key healing initiatives (including strategies to address intergenerational trauma and men’s healing) and just over 10% on its healing centres.
The Foundation is also leading the charge around research into Indigenous healing and are combining traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural healing tools with western practices, to achieve the best results. Key elements include: The reconnection with culture and identity, restoring safe and enduring relationships, and understanding the impact of trauma to find healing pathways.
Most importantly, the foundation works with communities to create a place of safety, providing an environment for Indigenous people and their families to speak for themselves, tell their own stories and be in charge of their own healing.
Since 2009 The Healing Foundation has:
- assisted more than 45,000 people in their healing journeys
- funded almost 170 community-based healing projects and forums
- provided nearly 500 organisations with grants for local commemorative events
- established an impressive body of evidence with over 30 evaluations and publications that show the impact of trauma and how to make healing work
- built the nation’s healing capacity through the release of specific training tools to build trauma knowledge amongst people who provide services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and create a framework for working with victims of sexual assault
- supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to build healing centres and create more effective and integrated services
- helped to shape future policy through a range of forums, from federal and state health bodies to Royal Commissions
Through their incredible work, The Healing Foundation have seen advances at the individual, family and community level for indigenous Australians, proving that investment in the right healing programs will create change and reduce the burden on public funds. If you’d also like to support the foundation and their important work, you can donate here and for more info, head to: www.healingfoundation.org.au
*Pure Community and Pure Finance have no direct affiliation with the organisations and causes listed on this page, we simply appreciate the work that they do, and choose to show our appreciation by contributing to them.