The Healing Foundation (THF) commends the QLD Government on being the first state to implement its own Healing Strategy, Leading healing our way, and commit to addressing the intergenerational impacts of trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Strategy (2020-2040), Leading healing our way, was co-designed with THF, the QLD First Nations community, the Department of Child Safety, Seniors and Disability Services and the Queensland Mental Health Commission. This included QLD based Stolen Generations survivors, Elders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisations, Queensland Government staff, and First Nations and non-First Nations frontline workers. The process was overseen by the Queensland First Children and Families Board.
The strategy brings together wisdom, experiences, hopes and solutions for healing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Backed by research and knowledge around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing and trauma, the strategy has healing evidence provided through yarning with over 400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders from 80 different cultural groups, in over 50 locations.
Reoccurring themes were raised from communities across Queensland on what makes healing happen for them.
These themes are now embedded into the Healing Strategy and provide clear direction for the Queensland Government.
The five key themes of healing are:
- tell the truth
- stop the trauma
- heal through culture
- communities decide
- walk alongside
These priorities are backed up the Keeping spirit strong report, which provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led evidence of healing and examples of healing activities already happening in our communities.
While this is an important step, implementation now rests with the Queensland Government in partnership with communities, guided by the actions set out under the ‘Communities decide’ section.
“Healing is not just a strategy, but it’s also a process that enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to overcome trauma, decide the story for the future, bring about long term generational change and restore wellbeing.” Professor Steve Larkin, Chair of The Healing Foundation
The Deputy Director-General, Department of Child Safety, Seniors and Disability Services (DCSSDS), Ms Kate Connors affirmed that the Queensland government is committed to a reframed relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Queensland through a Path to Treaty.
Leading healing our way and Keeping spirit strong will also be used to inform Queensland Government Treaty Readiness planning as it relates to Truth-telling and Healing.
Thank you to the QLD First Nations community and all those involved in establishing this strategy, and may your voices continue to be heard.
We encourage other states and territories to follow Queensland’s lead in pursuing their own healing strategies that are First Nations-led and designed.
.The Healing Strategy and Research Report can be found here: https://www.cyjma.qld.gov.au/campaign/supporting-families/implementing-reforms/strategy-action-plan-aboriginal-torres-strait-islander-children-families