"Storytelling and Personal Stories will be key cornerstones of our whole initiative. We will develop a library of Healing Stories (written, graphical, film and audio), packed with important culturally relevant information that will educate, connect and empower people to forgive, heal and thrive."
Storytelling and Personal Stories
Storytelling is and always has been an important part of Indigenous culture, being used in many communities to assist individuals learn the many complexities of their culture. The telling of Stories is also a powerful way to communicate knowledge about dealing with life issues in a positive and thoughtful way.
Healing Stories are of particular value, since they provide hope and show that healing is possible via a multitude of different pathways. They help people understand the nature of their problem and how it can be overcome. People in the early stages of healing identify with and trust the experiences of someone who is further along in their journey. People can relate to Stories and use the educational content they contain to help them overcome their problem(s) and help them in their day-to-day living.
Insights into the lived experience of people who overcome addiction and mental health problems, and other forms of adversity, can help society improve the way it helps people. This form of information has been neglected by a large tranche of our care system, which is a terrible state of affairs. Who better to help a person get better than someone who has already taken the journey?
For many people, telling their Story plays an important part in the healing process. Their Story helps other people, providing the storyteller with an important feeling of 'giving back', which is of therapeutic value in its own right.
Storytelling and Personal Stories will be key cornerstones of our whole initiative. We will develop a library of Healing Stories (written, graphical, film and audio), packed with important culturally relevant information that will educate, connect and empower people to forgive, heal and thrive.
These Stories will celebrate Indigenous people, culture and success. They will ensure a historical record pertaining to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people, as well as to their culture.
The development of such an archive is all the more important, given the advancing age of many of The Stolen Generation. Their Stories must be told to highlight the impact of this part of our history on the passing on of trauma across the generations and the resulting effect on Indigenous health and wellbeing.
We have extensive knowledge of recovery and recovery-based care in addiction and mental health settings in Western culture. Many Indigenous people access western world treatment and related services for addiction and mental health problems.
Sadly, these treatment systems have shortcomings, not least the fact that the majority of services are focused on symptom management rather than addressing core underlying problems. Services tend to provide acute care (for potentially chronic problems), and are deficit-focused and crisis-oriented. Many services are not culturally-responsive.
Some of this care system is lacking in hope and disempowering, which is ironic given that empowerment is key to recovery, i.e. recovery comes from the person. The system (and many people working within it) sometimes blame the person in need of help when they relapse, rather than accept its (or their own) shortcomings.
Sharing Culture is about learning the best of what each culture has to offer. It is about disseminating this information in a readily accessible and easy-to-read format.
Indigenous people must have the opportunity to learn what western culture knows about how people can recover from addiction, mental health problems and trauma. They must be able to read about what they should expect from treatment and other support services, and what makes a high quality recovery-based service and system.
We envisage a wide-ranging audience in Australia and further afield. The background of our audience will vary greatly, which in some cases will necessitate the preparation of the same content in different forms and styles (e.g. school children).
Our audience types will include the following:
Sharing Culture is a multi-platform project, which means we will be delivering our content in a variety of ways. In addition to this website, our content will be delivered via YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, radio, commercial television and film festivals worldwide.
A direct distribution strategy will be applied within Australia and sales agents will be appointed for distribution into overseas film markets.
We will develop and distribute ibooks (with full multimedia content), ebooks and normal books, as well as regular newsletters. We will organise for community events and road-shows, so that our work is taken out into the community. To us, word-of-mouth is as valuable as social media.
> Our Way Forward, Part 1