Strategies to Face Adversity

How do Aboriginal people overcome adversity?

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‘The Nature of Healing’ by Professor Helen Milroy

Unknown-1I have recently started collaborating with an Aboriginal lady here in Perth, Dr Marion Kickett, who is an Associate Professor at Curtin University. We’re very excited about the project we are developing, along with my close friend and filmmaker Mike Liu.

I have been fascinated reading about aboriginal history, culture, health, historical trauma – more of which I will talk about in later blogs – and many other things. During this time, I have become very interested in the concept of Aboriginal healing.

Yesterday, I was chatting with good friend Christina Burki about healing and she loaned me a fascinating book Traditional Healers of Central Australia: Ngangkari. In the Foreword, I found this delightful description of healing (I have altered the paragraphs):

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Strategies to Face Adversity: Inner Strength

A number of study participants spoke about their inner strength, or strong spirit, helping them overcome adversity.

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Strategies to Face Adversity: Enduring

Aboriginal people have endured, tolerated or suffered past government policies and racism in society.   

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Strategies to Face Adversity: Thriving

Many of Marion’s study participants were thriving, living a successful life and doing far more than just surviving.

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Strategies to Face Adversity: Humour

Humour for most participants was an important coping mechanism used to deal with the many adversities they had to face on a daily basis.  It was also used to help deal with stressful and painful traumatic events suffered by some participants.

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Strategies to Face Adversity: Letting Go, Forgiveness and Healing

Every participant spoke of the healing process and how before such a process can begin, they had to let go of negative emotions such as anger and hatred.

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Strategies to Face Adversity: Role Models

Role models were important to many participants and played a major role in many individuals being able to face and overcome the many adversities they had to face during their lives.

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Strategies to Face Adversity: Health

Although health was not a major concern for most participants, some saw health as an important factor underlying resilience.

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Strategies to Face Adversity: Education

Many participants spoke of education as power and how having an education certainly empowered them as individuals.

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Promoting community led solutions to indigenous youth suicide

I have just received the email below. Last week, I attended an aboriginal healing retreat and had spiritual experiences that confirmed my commitment to helping the Indigenous people of Australia tackle addiction and mental health problems and other consequences of historical trauma.

This email reminds me of the scale of the problem. The video touched my inner soul. I am so happy I have made this commitment. I know the journey ahead is a long one.

Please support this cause, first by sending this blog and the website link out to as many people as possible. Thank you.

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An educaring approach to healing generational trauma in Aboriginal Australia

Shouting recovery from the rooftopsI was away this weekend in the country at an aboriginal healing retreat, which was an amazing experience. I felt peace in a way that I have not experienced in a very long time. I will blog about this later in the week.

Prior to going on the retreat, I started to look for content on historical trauma, something that I have been thinking more about recently. I have become increasingly aware of the inter-generational trauma which has been experienced by Aboriginal Australian peoples (and indigenous populations of other countries)  and which has resulted in social dysfunction, violence, addiction and mental health problems.

It seems to me that far too few people in Australia are aware of the role of inter-generational trauma in producing the above problems.

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