Healing Strategies

One of the stages in realising community healing is to undertake a healing gathering or forum to identify the healing needs and priorities of the community.

Healing forums help communities to identify the issues that are causing disharmony and imbalance in their lives. They provide an opportunity for interested Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to define healing, understand the impacts of colonisation in their local context, discuss their healing needs, share information about healing work in their communities and develop healing strategies.

The contributions from forum participants help the Healing Foundation to better understand healing needs across Australia so we can target programs appropriately.

Over the last seven years we have supported four healing forums in Alice Springs and the Torres Strait. Since 2011 we have supported four healing forums, these can be viewed below.

In 2018, Aboriginal Affairs and the Healing Foundation rolled-out six OCHRE Healing Forums across NSW. Healing Forums are an opportunity for communities to engage directly with government and non-government agencies to:

  • Increase understanding of intergenerational trauma and healing.
  • Identify localised or regional issues and opportunities to improve the way government works with communities.
  • Build local partnerships and support for healing.
  • Inform a principles based policy approach for government to understand why and how agencies can adopt healing informed approaches into their business.

The NSW Healing Forum reports can be found via our resources section.

Torres Strait and Kaurareg Aboriginal Peoples Healing Strategy

If you would like to read the Torres Strait and Kaurareg Aboriginal Peoples Healing Strategy download below.


2011: Alice Springs, NT

Our Healing Our Way

The Our Healing Our Way forum was held on 25 October 2011 with the aim of building the story of healing in Central Australia. More than 150 people attended the forum and the majority of participants were Aboriginal community members. To view the report from the gathering click here.

2012: Horn Island, QLD

Horn Island

Our second healing forum was held on Horn Island in the Torres Strait on 24 May 2012. Thirty participants from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities attended the forum, including government and non-government agencies. To view the report from the gathering click here.

2014: Torres Strait Islands, QLD

Iling Sidaun

The Torres Strait Healing Gathering, Iling Sidaun, was held on Thursday Island from 19 to 21 May 2014. More than 60 community members from across the Torres Strait attended and helped to shape a healing strategy for the entire community. To view the report from the gathering click here.

In recognition of the unique healing needs of Torres Strait Islanders, the Healing Foundation has committed to working with the community there to develop a community healing strategy. Between 2014 and 2016 more than 600 community members from right across the Torres Strait contributed to its development. This is Australia’s first ever community healing strategy. It is important and exciting work.

Following this initial healing gathering on Thursday Island in 2014, three priorities were identified for restoring harmony and balance for Torres Strait Islanders:

A women’s leadership healing strategy to develop better leadership and healing opportunities for women.

A children and young people’s social and emotional wellbeing strategy to increase consultation with young people, create safe and supportive spaces for young people, and build their cultural identity.

A coordinated men’s healing strategy to help men rediscover their roles in the changing society of the Torres Straits.

The Healing Foundation is working in partnership with the community and with all tiers of government in our efforts to create change.

Our Torres Strait Islands project officer, based on Thursday Island, maintains regular engagement with Torres Strait communities about their healing needs and aspirations.

2014: Kununurra, WA

Woorrb Yarrenkoo Yawoorroobtha Ninggooneng Ngoondengig Woonjoo-gerring

The East Kimberley Family Healing Gathering, Woorrb Yarrenkoo Yawoorroobtha Ninggooneng Ngoondengig Woonjoo-gerring, was held from 24 to 26 November 2014.

One hundred people attended the gathering over the three days, including family representatives from the Kununurra, Halls Creek, Wyndam and Kalumburu areas as well as community service providers, local Aboriginal organisations and government agencies.  The report from this gathering will be available soon.

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Check out the Healing Foundation’s collective healing resources or contact us for more information.

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