Shining example of Closing the Gap

On the eve of Close the Gap Day, we celebrated the achievements of a joint Healing Foundation and Murri School program which is improving students’ social and emotional wellbeing and educational outcomes, and seeing more parents seek support early.

Developed four years ago, the program brings together family support workers, psychologists, medical and allied health professionals and trauma-informed teachers to create a culturally appropriate, supportive environment.

It has been so successful that elements of the program are now being rolled out within the NSW State school system, at Bourke High School and Brewarrina Central School.

Throughout the project, 70% of participating students have reported improvements in their ability to manage difficult situations at home and at school, 80% have reported increased help-seeking behaviours at home and at school, and 90% say they have a stronger connection with their families.

Year 7 student Harmony said “When I came to the Murri School it changed my life. I love the Murri School!”

The success of the program underlines the importance of healing to Closing the Gap, according to Healing Foundation CEO Richard Weston.

“The Murri School program addresses the intergenerational trauma experienced by so many Indigenous children and young people by creating a safe environment where students feel comfortable seeking support, and adopting a trauma-informed, holistic approach.

“It has also been building strong relationships with students’ families, including through family camps. This has resulted in more parents referring their children for support, and more families engaging with the school due to positive word of mouth.”

Stay tuned for more information about the Bourke and Brewarrina projects.

– March 2015

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