Healing workshop for Central West Indigenous men

A two-day Indigenous
men’s healing workshop held in Wagga Wagga in April attracted more than 25 men
from the central west of NSW.

The Redfern-based
Gamarada project, a healing and life skills program, ran the workshop with
sponsorship from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and its Mental
Health Legal Services

Gamarada leader and
PIAC’s Indigenous Men’s Access to Justice worker, Ken Zulumovski, led the two-day
pilot. He said the program benefitted from knowledge shared by community
leaders including Uncle Chicka Madden and Aunties Rhoda Dixon Grovenor, Marlene
Cummins and Tucky Cooley.

‘The workshop also
benefitted from the contribution of clinical psychologist Kerrie Kelly and
Gamarada leaders David Leha, Peter Briggs and Dr Josef McDonald,’ Mr Zulumovski

Participants who
evaluated the workshop said they learnt practical skills and found it ‘healing’
to spend two days together, sharing some of the challenges faced as Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander men.

‘The men said they valued
learning strategies to strengthen their social and emotional wellbeing and
coping skills. They identified the workshop’s strengths as providing an
opportunity to spend time together as ‘brothers’; to talk about spirituality;
to listen to each other’s stories; and to learn from each other,’ Mr Zulumovski

The Gamarada team
extends a special thanks to the Aboriginal Medical Service Wagga Wagga, the
Wagga Wagga City Council, the NSW Department of Education, Aboriginal Legal
Service, Peppers Rehabilitation Centre, Gateway community health, Cooee Cottage
TRFS, Griffith Youth off the Streets, Waggan Waggan Men’s Group and Gannambarra
function centre.

‘Extra special thanks
to participants, the courageous warriors that are, and will be, our next
generation of leaders,’ Mr Zulumovski said.

Contact Ken
Zulumovski for more information or visit the Gamarada website.

Photo: Participants in the Wagga Wagga workshop

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