The indigenous art depicted here is by Graham Toomey an artist and Aboriginal staff person at Gunawirra, headquartered in Red Fern, Sydney, Australia.
Gunawirra is a not-for-profit, member-based organisation made up of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal professionals and specialists working side by side for Aboriginal young women, men and their children from the ages of 0 to 5.
The Aboriginal people are fundamental to the Australian nation. They provide us with rich gifts of an ancient spiritual culture with links to the earth and country. Their power to survive is born out of a remarkable resilience through an interwoven sense of community that defies all efforts to destroy it. We know that a space to grow with a mother freed from anxiety is the best and most nurturing place for any child of any culture or race to develop and that secure attachment and bonding is the essential core from which later adult health is born.
In a spirit of empathic understanding and reconciliation, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal professionals from Gunawirra, each supporting the other, work in companionship and harmony seeking a better and fuller life for Aboriginal and other marginalised peoples in Australia.
Gunawirra offers projects and programs that encourage young Aboriginal mothers and fathers to avoid the dangers of alcohol, substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse through every encouragement, self empowerment in the community, group activities and individual psychotherapy.
- In targeted areas of Sydney inner and outer suburbs Gunawirra provides highly specialised programs that have the immediate purposes of prevention and early intervention for the protection of the infant, child and family unit.
- Gunawirra creates projects, programs, booklets across 30 NSW preschools. It provides training, consultation and emotional support to Aboriginal and non aboriginal preschool teachers and workers in Aboriginal community Areas.
My role: I work as consultant on trauma and cultural diversity issues to the therapeutic staff of Gunawirra, in collaboration with my friend and colleague Norma Tracey, CEO of Gunawirra. I was involved in training work at Gunawirra in Summer 2012, and I will be working there again in Summer 2013.