Artwork Title: Yura Nura – People on Country (Dharug language) by Melissa Barton (Alkiira Indigenous Art). This creation represents mobs across our continent, all on different Country. We can move between Nations and clans and still feel connected. We all belong here, so we can all share in this nation’s beauty.
dreamtime word; the invisible seed of all creation
Gunawirra is a community-led organisation that works closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families, children and communities to reach their full potential. Our focus is operating programs that build capacity and confidence towards healing, resilience and self-reliance. Our commitment is operating programs that are initiated and informed by the community we serve. These practical grassroots programs advocate healing through culture, and improvements in health and educational outcomes.
Gunawirra was formed in 2008 in a karawee karawee, a gathering of concerned people at the Grail Centre in North Sydney. Aboriginal representatives and elders pooled their ideas with professionals from psychiatry, psychology, social work and psychoanalytic therapy on how to address inequality among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and communities.
The group identified the need for an early intervention, multi-disciplinary approach that empowered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities to intervene in their own lives. Gunawirra focused on supporting child development in the first five years of life.
Gunawirra is a community-led organisation with 13 years of experience supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers, children and communities. We are Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people working side-by-side and culture is at the heart of our organisation and all of our programs. The effectiveness of many of our programs have been evaluated by the University of Western Sydney and the University of Sydney. Our cultural advisors and professionals work together to ensure we provide authentic, community-led services that celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and healing.
The Gunawirra multidisciplinary team primarily works in two parts. One being our Young Aboriginal Mothers Group and the other working closely with 26 preschool communities to provide speech therapy, art therapy, occupational therapy and social work services. Gunawirra has extended its operations to support preschool teachers at predominantly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander schools to manage trauma within the classroom and teach in a culturally appropriate way.
Working at the interface of healing trauma and developing a capacity to learn is central to all of Gunawirra’s work. Gunawirra will continue listening to the community to understand how we can empower children, families and communities to heal intergenerational trauma and provide them a connection to their heritage, Country and culture.
Gunawirra has partnered with ACU and Newcastle University in ongoing efforts towards designing and implementing small models of excellence that are fully evaluated, culturally competent and can be replicated in widening circles of effectiveness. Our research programs will focus primarily on the Young Aboriginal Mothers Program and Clinic on Country.
Your donation will help us to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island mothers and children.
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Gunawirra is a public benevolent institution and all donations are tax deductible.
Gunawirra wishes to acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities of Australia, and we respect and recognise that they still have a strong continuing connection to their culture, land, water and community.
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