Panel Presentation Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016

Sharing our stories of healing–collective healing for stolen generations  (#60)

Lisa Hillan 1
  1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation, Kingston, ACT, Australia

The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation with a focus on building culturally strong, community led healing solutions. We support organisations around the country to design and deliver healing programs that work for their communities and collate and share evidence of our knowledge in action.

The removal of Stolen Generations members from their families, identities, lands, languages and cultures by past governments continues to have a profound impact on individuals, families and communities. Those children placed in institutions often experienced collective traumatisation and could only turn to each other for comfort. As a result, Stolen Generations members have specific healing needs.

One of the key recommendations of Bringing Them Home, the final report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families, was that members of the Stolen Generations be supported to lead and develop their own healing responses to overcome the trauma of removal and be assisted to limit the intergenerational transfer of trauma to their descendants.

The Healing Foundation Stolen Generations Initiative led by our Stolen Generations reference group was designed to meet the unique healing needs and aspirations of Stolen Generations survivors, with a focus on collective healing. Since its establishment in mid-2012, 39 projects have been funded under the Stolen Generations Initiative.

In that time, the Healing Foundation has benefited from hearing the stories of hope, renewal and rejuvenation that can occur for people by participating in collective healing activities.

This panel discussion will be led by members of the Healing Foundation Stolen Generations Reference Group who are survivors and descendants and will:

  • Outline what collective healing is and how it supports our Stolen Generations members to strengthen themselves and each other
  • The importance of Stolen Generations members leading and directing the development of their healing and provide key messages for organisations supporting Stolen Generations members and descendants
  • How collective healing is addressing intergenerational trauma
  • How Collective healing is privileging and supporting the integration of Indigenous Knowledge in healing.