Men’s Healing

For thousands of years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have upheld cultural practices that have contributed to the oldest living continuous culture in the world. However, colonisation and the forced removal of children has disrupted First Nations knowledge systems.

Many mainstream services that First Nations peoples interact with do not recognise or understand the impacts of trauma caused by colonisation, or the central role that culture plays in healing. Often issues are presented as chronically entrenched and not easily resolved.

However, The Healing Foundation’s work shows that solutions are not only possible, but readily available in the practices left to First Nations peoples by the ancient knowledge systems that have sustained individuals, families, and communities for the past 60,000 years.

When men’s healing programs are designed and led by First Nations peoples, remarkable things can happen. By reconnecting with cultural values, restoring identity, and building positive family and community relationships, community-led men’s healing programs are recognising the centrality of self-determination and the strengths of First Nations cultures.

Dardi Munwurro Men's Healing report

The Strengthening Spirit and Culture: A cost-benefit analysis of Dardi Munwurro’s men’s healing programs report builds the evidence base for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s healing programs.

It promotes the benefits of men and boys reconnecting with cultural values and shows clearly that government investment in Aboriginal community-led men’s healing and behaviour change programs delivers better healing outcomes and significant economic savings.

The analysis, commissioned by The Healing Foundation and completed by Deloitte Access Economics, found that each dollar invested in Dardi Munwurro is estimated to provide a return on investment of 50-190 per cent.

The largest benefit comes from reduced rates of incarceration: among Dardi Munwurro clients the rate of incarceration decreased from 13 per cent pre-program to 4 per cent post-program. Every avoided case of incarceration represents a saving to government of more than $90,000 each year.

The report provides evidence that governments stand to make significant savings if they invest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-led men’s healing programs.

Download thE REPORT

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