Annalise Jennings and the Australian Aboriginal community of Napranum

Some of you will know that I run Sharing Culture, a website focused on the healing of historical, or generational trauma, amongst indigenous peoples of the world. I also blog regularly on this website.

Indigenous peoples have overcome great adversity arising from colonisation and its associated violence and control, as well as paternalism, racism, poverty and social exclusion. I am greatly saddened by what I see here in Australia and the disregard of the human rights of our First Nations people by government.

At the same time, I marvel at the amazing resilience of indigenous peoples in overcoming such adversity over the generations. As the Hon Pat O’Shane said, “I recognized the things that happened to the thousands of other Aboriginal families like our family, and I marvelled that we weren’t all stark, raving mad.”

I also believe that indigenous peoples have a much better philosophy underlying their health and wellbeing than the Western world. Various features which underpin healing – and are not as apparent in Western society – are:

  • an holistic approach working towards helping people reclaim a sense of balance and harmony in their physical, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual lives; (in contrast, the western world is becoming increasingly medicalised)
  • strong extended family networks;
  • strong connection to land and nature;
  • a strong spirituality;
  • a belief that healing must involve working on the  social, emotional, and cultural well-being of the whole community. Individuals, families and communities must heal.

The last point is particularly pertinent to the film clip above. I am really excited by what is happening in Napranum, where consultant Annalise Jennings is working with community members in what I can only describe as a community healing process.

In this clip, Annalise describes her philosophy and approach to a conference she recently attended. You can read more about her work in an ABC article and hear her and Elder Maryann Coconut in a very interesting podcast. You’ll need to put your feet up for the latter, as it is 65 minutes long. But well worthwhile listening.

This is game changing stuff! Well done Napranum.

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