Poster Presentation Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016

Wellness dreaming CIRCLE–Explore and harness individual and community strengths to enact change for wellbeing. (#231)

Karen Ingram 1 , Nazaree Dickerson 1
  1. Cohealth, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Wellness Dreaming Circles aim to flip the thinking of participants and provide opportunities in collaboration founded upon the strengths of the community as opposed to needs of the community. It may challenge perceptions of outcomes and how we celebrate the unexpected.

cohealth’s Koolin Balit initiative, the Wellness Dreaming Project commenced in 2015 as cohealth’s Koolin Balit initiative to encourage an alternative approach by agencies, one that focuses on the strengths of individuals, families, groups and the community, affecting achievable and sustainable change to improve wellbeing. Using strength-based facilitation to build workforce capacity and cross-sectoral collaborative partnerships in agencies invested in the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community was the main aim of the project.

Training was delivered to 44 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff from 27 agencies; Aboriginal-controlled, mainstream, government and non-government to encourage the leadership of Wellness Dreaming Messengers to deliver strength-based conversations, Dreaming Circles, in safe and supported existing groups across Melbourne’s north-west.

Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Wellness Dreaming Messengers utilise activities developed under the guidance of the Wellness Dreaming Advisory Group which consisted of ten Aboriginal women, including two community members, and seven non-Aboriginal people from health, education and government sectors. The Wellness Dreaming activities explore and harness individual and community strengths in a creative supported environment using visual and tactile mediums.

Rapid dreaming–will demonstrate how creative we can be when we tap into our passions, helping us to discover ideas we can act upon.

What does community wellness look like? Discovering your common dreams and passions can motivate you to join with others to create change.

One commitment–going public with a commitment helps us be accountable to each other.

Our poster will provide a visual representation of co-design principles which respects cultural values and expectations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who participate in a Dreaming Circle. Viewers will be encouraged to reflect on ways strength-based approaches can be incorporated into individual/agency practice. (Also see poster presentation on Wellness Dreaming Project).