Link-Up South Australia has been running a pilot healing initiative called “Reunion to Self”. The project assists Stolen Generations members for whom family reunions have not been possible, as well as those who have not been able to establish an ongoing connection with family, community or country.
With the support of local leaders from the Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri and Peramangk language groups, the Link-Up SA project aims to connect clients with Aboriginal people in their local area.
“Elders give permission for clients to connect with the local stories, history and cultures and provide opportunities to visit sites of significance with a high emphasis on acknowledging local cultural protocols and cultural safety for all involved,” said Link-Up SA Team Manager Lou Turner.
“People said they felt really safe and humbled to be accepted by the local mob.”
Link-Up SA developed the Reunion to Self-project in 2014 in response to a gap in their existing service. “Unfortunately sometimes we hit dead ends in tracing peoples’ family history. Records may have been lost or destroyed or do not provide adequate information. The Reunion to Self project offers a way for Link-Up to support these clients,” Lou Turner explained.
Coordinated by counsellors and supported by case workers the project offers an opportunity to overcome isolation and distress, connect with others in a similar position, learn skills to overcome the effects of trauma and grief, and strengthen identity. With the support of the Healing Foundation four groups undertook a series of six day trips and an overnight camp in 2014 and Link-Up SA plans to continue to run the program in 2015 and beyond.
– May 2015