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
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
Forced Removal of Native American Children From Parents Exposed in 13 Minutes
For hundreds of years, Federal and state governments wrested Native American children from their parents and placed them in institutions of one kind or another or in the homes of white families in an effort to “civilize the savage born”.
'Indigenous Knowledge Has Value' by Curtis Bristowe at TEDxRuakura. An awesome talk!
Blog of the Month
The Impact of Colonisation
The removal of Aboriginal children from their families and their placement on missions, or with white families, not only caused immense distress, but also facilitated the destruction of Aboriginal cultural beliefs and practices. It split up Aboriginal families and left many individuals looking for their children, or their parents, for many years in the future.
Recovery From Trauma
'The core experiences of psychological trauma are disempowerment and disconnection from others. Recovery, therefore, is based upon the empowerment 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
Sharing Culture Story
Aboriginal Child Artists of Carrolup
A white schoolteacher inspires traumatised Aboriginal children to create beautiful art that gains international acclaim and challenges a government’s racist policies. Sharing Culture Founder David Clark, social anthropologist John Stanton and award-winning Cinematographer Simon Akkerman are developing an innovative new project to tell this inspiring Story.
Recovery Stories: 'sister' website
‘A personal and social model of recovery’ by David Best
Social identity and social contagion: At the heart of recovery capital is the idea of social capital and the importance of a strong sense of belonging and a supportive social network of people who encourage and support the recovery journey.