It was a joy to meet Miliwanga’s daughters and her grandchildren. When her young granddaughter Asha kept prodding me, Miliwanga told me she was checking out my spirit! Asha, like her mother and grandmother, has strong healing abilities.
I travelled to Katherine on late afternoon on Sunday with Pip and Jonathan Gordon and their children Caleb and Erin. I stayed in their caravan outside their home for six nights. I had a great stay. What a lovely family!
I met up with Miliwanga Wurrben on Monday morning and began what promises to be a special relationship. Whilst having a cuppa, we met a legal acquaintance of hers, who described some of the matters she comes across in Katherine in relation to Indigenous people.
I was deeply disturbed to hear some of the stories of Indigenous children being taken away from their parents. Whilst I accept this must occur at times for the safety of the child, we must ask ourselves why record levels of removals of Indigenous children are now occurring. I was horrified to hear of one child being unnecessarily removed after his parents went to access some help for his disability!
I spent time talking to Miliwanga about Aboriginal culture and spirituality whilst she was weaving me a basket. It made fascinating listening. Mel has given me a copy of a special painting which illustrates her culture. It contains a very informative written section on the back and I’d love to develop some web pages around this.
It was a joy to meet Mel’s daughters and her grandchildren. When her young granddaughter Asha kept prodding me, Miliwanga told me she was checking out my spirit! Asha, like her mother and grandmother, has strong healing abilities.
I visited the Djilpin Aboriginal Arts Centre and had a long and interesting discussion with the manager, Fleur Parry.
Fleur is the wife of the actor/musician Tom E Lewis, one of our Advisors, and together they are doing some great cultural and healing work in the Katherine and Beswick areas. [Tom was away in the UK, ready to play at the Glastonbury festival]
I hear some fascinating stories from Fleur and the atmosphere in and just outside the gallery was very special. It has so many beautiful pieces of art set in a special atmosphere. Well worth a visit.
Have no idea of why we were so excited, but here is Nicole Kinnaird, Jonathan Gordon, Judy Atkinson and me.
Another special person I saw in Katherine was Judy Atkinson, one of the key people to inspire me into this field. Whilst we were in Nauiyu, Pip had heard that Judy was coming to Darwin to run a healing workshop with Ash Dargan.
Pip called Judy and asked if she would come to Katherine to give a talk if it could all be set up. Judy immediately said ‘yes’, and after some phone calls and behind the scenes work all was set.
I had never previously met Judy, so our meeting that Friday morning was very special to me. It was made even better by the smoking ceremony that Miliwanga performed on us in Pip’s garden prior to us attending Judy’s workshop.
Listening to Judy talking about her work and experiences was just brilliant. She really is an amazing presenter, so vibrant and full of energy and passion. So driven and intelligent. We are very lucky to have such a talented person working in our field.
The day closed with a relaxing drink and some food at Pip and Jonathan's. Nearly forgot...
On Thursday, Miliwanga's nan Nelly came to the house so that Jonathan could do some massage on her. She was really suffering and hobbled into his treatment room with a pained expression.
An hour later, she strode out purposefully with a wide grin on her face and her thumbs stuck up in the air. She sat down with ease, shook her body and said, "I'm 83 next week, but... yes, all the body parts are working well. What a miracle worker that man Jonathan is, better than anyone else who has worked with me."
And I have to say, after watching Jonathan - who is from Northern Ireland - for nearly two weeks, I realised that he has something about him. He is a special healer, no doubts!