“Healing can be described as a journey of self-discovery as people engage together in educating themselves about themselves… Storytelling is both a strong cultural and educational tool and a healing ritual among Indigenous people.” Professor Judy Atkinson, leading expert on Aboriginal healing
Empowerment is key to healing, since healing comes from the person. Neither practitioners, nor the treatment system, heal people or make them recover from their problem. Rather, a good practitioner acts as a guide, coach or mentor.
Empowerment involves a person gaining hope, understanding (of the nature of their problem and how it can be overcome) and a sense of belonging. Education therefore plays a key role in helping someone heal, or recover, by enhancing understanding and providing hope.
People who are on a healing journey become role models for those people who are less advanced in their journey – their voice is trusted, identified with and can be inspiring because they have ‘been there’. Role models and their personal narratives (Stories) exert a powerful impact on healing.
Education is not just important for Aboriginal people trying to overcome a problem (and their families), but also for people trying to help Aboriginal people. People working in health, social care and criminal justice systems need to be educated so they can work to their full potential.
Whilst KCWA knows the importance – and urgency – of developing an educational program focused on Aboriginal healing, we have recognised that we have neither the expertise nor manpower to do so to date.
However, Professor David Clark has written several introductory education pages for our website, which you can link to from here: