Marion’s Film Story, Part 2

I continue the series of films made by Mike Liu and I when we spent a day with Professor Marion Kickett, Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University, in York in September 2103. Marion is a Noongar from the Balardong language group. On this day, I learnt a good deal about Aboriginal culture, the experiences of an Aboriginal person in a white dominated society, and about the healing of trauma.

Marion talked about her strong sense of belonging she feels for her country, the Western Australian town of York and its surroundings, and the strong connection she has for the Native Reserve where she was brought up. She describes the racism she experienced as she grew up, and how she overcame her various adversities and challenges. She talks about the shocking events experienced by Aboriginal people which have impacted on health and wellbeing. Over time, Marion came to realise that she had to forgive non-Aboriginal people for the terrible things they had done in the past. Forgiveness is a key element of healing. You can find the first six films of this series here.

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Oprah Winfrey & Dr. Bruce Perry in Conversation | SXSW EDU 2021

Oprah Winfrey and leading child psychiatrist and neuroscientist Bruce Perry, MD, PhD explore the impact of childhood trauma on who we become, the decisions we make, and how healing must start with one question ‘what happened to you?’ in anticipation of a new co-authored book of the same name. Winfrey and Dr. Perry focus on understanding how shifting the approach to trauma and allowing understanding of the past allows for an opening of the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way.

‘What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing’

Recently, I read one of the best books I have read relevant to my work. The book, What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, is written by Bruce D. Perry M.D., Ph.D. and Oprah Winfrey. The book is essential reading for anyone interested in trauma and the healing of trauma. Many people who become addicted to drugs have experienced childhood trauma.

The book was informative, inspirational and deeply-moving. Bruce has put together so well what he has learnt throughout his career (including a great deal from the young people he has worked alongside), and has described his theories of how we function as human beings, and how trauma can have such a devastating impact on us. He describes the many ways we can facilitate the healing of trauma. The use of storytelling—Bruce’s clinical experiences and Oprah’s personal experiences—is very powerful.

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Welcome Home, Adam

As I write this, my good friend Adam Brookes, he of Adam’s Story, is just two hours away from arriving back in Australia. I will post this blog after I hear that he has landed in Darwin, en route for a two-week stay in Howard Springs Quarantine Facility. Then he’s heading back home to Dapto in New South Wales.

For those of us who know Adam, his arrival will be the most wonderful news. In fact, I was absolutely over-the-moon with joy when I heard he had passed through into the departure lounge at Heathrow Airport yesterday afternoon my time here in Perth. Why, you might ask?

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Fulfilling Trauma’s Hidden Promise

Psychiatrist, author, advisor to the White House, and professor at Georgetown Medical School, James Gordon is a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression, anxiety, and psychological trauma. James shares how he has witnessed the healing power of mind-body medicine for traumatised children and families in areas such as Bosnia, Gaza, and Israel. TEDMED. [23’21”]

“We Shall Remain”

WE SHALL REMAIN was created to address the effects of historical trauma in our tribal communities. Many times, these untended wounds are at the core of much of the self-inflicted pain experienced in Native America. Much like fire, this pain can either be devastatingly destructive or wisely harnessed to become fuel that helps us to rise up and move forward in life with joy, purpose and dignity. The StyleHorse Collective. [6’16”]

Classic Blog: ‘Teach Compassion’ by Dan Siegel

“Instead of just Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic, we need to have a new 3 Rs, which is reflection, relationships and resilience.”

Now here is a really interesting talk about us as human beings and a way forward to help improve our education system, society and planet. Though-provoking stuff!

‘Dan Siegel emphasizes compassion as a key component of a healthy mind. Presented as part of the TEDxGoldenGateED event on June 11, 2011.’

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‘7 Ways to Practice Positivity and Optimism Every Day’ by Faisal Hoque

n-HAPPINESS-large570Helpful blog from the Huffington Post which links to some other very good blogs.

By now the benefits of positive thinking are well established. Sages, psychologists, neuroscientists, researchers and doctors all have been espousing the benefits of positive thinking for hundreds of years.

Positive thinking helps us to be healthier, more productive and ultimately happier. Yet for most of us it is hard to practice optimism on a regular basis.

‘Relieving the states that make life miserable… has made building the states that make life worth living less of a priority. The time has finally arrived for a science that seeks to understand positive emotion, build strength and virtue, and provide guideposts for finding what Aristotle called the ‘good life.’ Dr. Martin Seligman

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Teach Compassion: Don Siegel

“Instead of just Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic, we need to have a new 3 Rs, which is reflection, relationships and resilience.”

Now here is a really interesting talk about us as human beings and a way forward to help improve our education system, society and planet. Though-provoking stuff!

“Dan Siegel emphasizes compassion as a key component of a healthy mind. Presented as part of the TEDxGoldenGateED event on June 11, 2011.’

Why not check out Don Siegel’s website?

‘Five Things Resilient People Do’ by Jennifer Mattson

resilientCame across this excellent piece on Thrive – the Kripalu blog on yoga, health and wellness.

‘Why do some people bounce back after a major tragedy or illness, while others seem derailed by life’s daily challenges? The answer, in a word, is resilience.

At its core, resilience is the capacity to handle difficult moments. That could be a major trauma such as post-traumatic stress after a military deployment; a chronic source of tension, such as parenting a sick child; or a sudden loss—of a loved one, a job, a marriage, or a home, to fire or flood.

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Marion’s Story: Introduction

Dr. Marion Kickett tells her Story, to help the reader understand her background and why she undertook her PhD research on resilience.

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Marion’s Story: My Culture

Marion believes her culture is changing and she has learned to adapt when changes occur.

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Marion’s Story: Conclusion

Marion’s family have faced adversities, risen above them, and taught Marion to be the resilient person she is today.

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Surviving What?

Marion’s research findings provide insights into the following question: In what context do Aboriginal people need to be resilient?

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Surviving What?: Experience Surviving Racism

Most of Marion’s study participants talked about having to survive racism, with some experiencing racism every day.

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Surviving What?: Too Many Funerals

Attendance at too many funerals affects the physical, spiritual, social and cultural wellbeing of Aboriginal people.

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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: Learning

Many study participants expressed that learning about their culture was an important part of survival as an Aboriginal person in today’s Aboriginal society.

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