Indigenous children and families: Healing

Healing can have a range of meanings and it means different things to different people. In the context of the Indigenous Australian community, the term healing means Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities healing from trauma, including intergenerational trauma and grief. This healing process is an ongoing physical, spiritual and psychological journey as these communities move through their unique and complex issues.

This web page contains resources on the many Indigenous healing for people working with Indigenous communities and how healing practices can benefit child and adolescent wellbeing in a variety of contexts.

Resources for practitioners

Review of reclaiming the spirit of well being

 126.55 KB pdf

Frankie Shane Merritt, Psychologist
A review and summary of Dr Melisah Feeney's discussion paper on Aboriginal healing practices. You can find the original guide under Other Resources tab.


Other resources

Beyond the Apology: The work of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation

Australian Psychological Association, InPsych February 2010
An interview with Graham Gee, the Steering Committee member of the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA). This interview provides an overview of the work of the Healing Foundation, set up in 2008, following the Apology. 

Developing therapeutic communities for abused Aboriginal children and their families: An Indigenous Practitioners Cooperative inquiry

 2.75 MB pdf

Ministerial Advisory Council on Child Protection, WA
This report outlines the outcomes of a summit looking at how therapeutic communities can best address the needs of Aboriginal children and their families.

Healing our communities, healing ourselves

Jane Harrison
This article discusses the issues in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who have experienced trauma. Her essay is a good resource for those considering healing with Aboriginal people and communities.

Reclaiming the spirit of well being: Promising healing practices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

 278.32 KB pdf

Dr Melisah Feeney
A discussion paper requested by the Stolen Generations Alliance, this paper presents a summary of healing practice options suitable for Australian Indigenous people.

SNAICC Healing Practices Project

Seceratariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care
This initiative is aimed at increasing organisations' and practitioners' understanding of how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing practices contribute to the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, in particular their social and emotional wellbeing.

Yarning up on trauma

 811.69 KB pdf

Berry Street
This 24-page booklet, Yarning Up on Trauma: Healing ourselves, healing our children and families, healing our communities (2008), is based on a training package developed by Aboriginal Service Development staff at Take Two, Berry Street in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Association (VACCA). Topics covered: yarning about trauma, attachment, the impact of abuse and neglect on children, families and yarning about healing, recovery from trauma. Available for purchase from Berry Street in Victoria.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation Australia

This organisation has been established to support community based healing initiatives to address trauma and grief.

Aboriginal Healing Foundation

A website with many resources and research articles regarding Aboriginal healing in Canada.

Yorgum Healing Centre

The website for this WA Healing Centre has some free resources that are able to be downloaded.