Aboriginal Healing, Historical Trauma
"How many times have you heard, 'What is WRONG with that person?' There is nothing wrong with that person, things are HAPPENING or have HAPPENED to that person."
Dr Carlie Atkinson, We Al-li Programs
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this website, and its links, contain images and voices of people who have died.
What is Sharing Culture?
Sharing Culture is an education initiative to help Indigenous peoples heal from historical trauma and its consequences (e.g. mental health problems, addiction), as well as the impact of other adversities, e.g. social and economic disadvantage, experiences of paternalism and racism, and ongoing grief.
Sharing Culture was developed by David Clark, an Emeritus Professor of Psychology, who lives in Perth, Western Australia. It is based on the core values of acceptance, authenticity, connection, courage, creativity and empathy.
We adopt a strengths-based, solution-focused approach that celebrates success and cultivates positivity, acceptance and cultural pride. In addition, we use principles known to facilitate healing.
Sharing Culture aims to build educational and storytelling resources that (1) empower Indigenous people to heal, (2) help people create environments in which healing can flourish, and (3) reduce barriers to healing (e.g. racism, paternalism) in wider society.
The Foundation of Our Approach
Sharing Culture recognises that healing from trauma (and its consequences) requires empowerment and connection, and a culturally safe environment. Indigenous people must connect to their culture, land, spirituality, family, community and history to facilitate healing.
Self-determinism is the central foundation of healing. Indigenous communities, families and individuals must own and control their healing process. An holistic approach to health and wellbeing is key, one which incorporates the physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, social and environmental.
Indigenous and non-Indigenous people must walk alongside each other to facilitate the healing of society as a whole. Indigenous knowledge and understanding is key to helping create a society where people have an improved wellness, are more environmentally aware, and are more respectful, caring and empathic towards their fellow man, no matter what his or her culture.
Why not take a Website Tour? And our Facebook page for links to other important information.
Noongar Smoking Ceremony at Fremantle Round House.
David's Latest Blog
The Carrolup Story: A Storytelling, Education & Healing Resource
On Saturday 10th November, we let people know that our new Storytelling, Education & Healing online resource, The Carrolup Story, was now live.... 'Traumatised Aboriginal children living in the squalor of a 1940s government native settlement in Western Australia create beautiful landscape drawings that gain international acclaim and challenge a government's racist policies.'
Judy Atkinson is an expert in understanding inter-generational healing and recovery from trauma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. At the core of this moving talk, she describes her approach to healing. It’s about listening. In order to heal, the stories behind the trauma must be heard.
The Healing Power of Country
Country is a living being. And it does have the power to heal. I know that now. I felt that healing power. The Kimberley touched me in a way I could not have imagined. I still feel those sights and sounds and the feelings I experienced. They still bring tears to my eyes.
Recovery From Trauma
'The core experiences of psychological trauma are disempowerment and disconnection from others. Recovery, therefore, is based upon the empower-ment of the survivor and the creation of new connections.' Judith Herman
Trauma and its Impact
'We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past: it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, body and brain. This imprint has ongoing consequences for how the human organism manages to survive in the present.' Bessel van der Kolk
Connecting to Culture Facilitates Healing
'We can see that in various families and in various communities and across the land, as healing happens it builds a momentum. It is also contagious. If trauma is contagious, healing is contagious.' Dr Joe Solanto
Recovery Stories: 'sister' website
‘From Trauma to Transformative Recovery’ by Bill White
Women exhibiting the greatest resilience had experienced trauma, but they also possessed high levels of recovery capital – internal and external assets that could be mobilized to initiate and sustain recovery from trauma and its potential progeny of related problems.