Community, Conversation and Ongoing Healing: working alongside the Zenadth Kes communities

The Healing Foundation (THF) Board and staff visited Waibene (Thursday Island) in early March. Board Director Ivy Trevallion hosted the Board while on Waibene, and in an interview with the local Torres News*, Board Chair Professor Larkin expressed the Board’s, “deepest gratitude” to the community for their hospitality and conversations about healing.

“The Healing Foundation Board were pleased to visit Zenadth Kes, to reconnect with leaders on our work together for collective healing,” Professor Larkin said.

The Board spent time learning about the local pearling history in the region and hosted a dinner, featuring local cuisine, with community leaders and partners. During the dinner, the local Island Star Dancers performed. “It was a joy to see the young ones carrying on culture with strength,” commented Professor Larkin.

THF have worked in partnership for 10 years with the Zenadth Kes community and during that time have supported the development of a strategy which included holding healing sidauns to discuss needs and priorities for the island communities.

Professor Larkin said THF were excited to continue their partnership with Mura Kosker Sorority and all the communities. “[They] have made known their healing priorities and expect a response,” he said.

The Healing Foundation is making known to policy makers, program designers, services providers, and organisations who work in the region that governments – and service providers – have a critical role to play in healing. Their action is needed now to end trauma cycles for new generations.  THF will continue to highlight the needs raised in healing ‘sidauns’ with the Zendath Kes community, jointly hosted with Mura Kosker Sorority.

“Safety and wellness are clearly visible in cultural teachings of this place. This reflection is contained in each of the healing forum reports. There is expert guidance gifted to all service providers and policy and program designers, now is the time for the guidance to be embraced”. – Fiona Cornforth

A clear message emerged from discussions that there must be appropriate and urgent responses announced and committed to by governments and their agents.

THF looks forward to continuing this important work with the Zenadth Kes community. Professor Larkin said, “We won’t stop work until we’ve had full commitment from service providers and policy makers about meeting healing needs.”

*with reference to the article, ‘Healing Foundation board enjoys Waibene hospitality,’ Torres News, Thursday Island, 9 Mar, 2023

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