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First Nations people urged to have a say in Queensland’s first ever Healing Strategy

Fiona Petersen - CEO of the Healing Foundation Source: Supplpied

The Healing Foundation is calling on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations to have their say in the first ever Queensland Healing Strategy.

Individuals are encouraged to complete a short online survey or call the Healing Foundation to have a yarn about healing.

People can also submit a creative piece such as poetry, art or song to communicate what aspects of healing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities need to achieve real change.

Fiona Petersen, CEO of the Healing Foundation, says her organisation has been engaged by the Queensland government to co-design the strategy.

"We’ve brought together individuals and community leaders in a bid to elevate and amplify community voices on what true healing looks like," Fiona Petersen said.

Yarning circle
Yarning Circle

“We’ve been traveling around Queensland talking to community elders, young people, families and community organizations asking what healing looks like for individuals, their families and their communities.”

Because of COVID-19 related social distancing and other restrictions, individuals and communities can stay connected with the strategy using technology and other means detailed on the Foundation's website.

Virtual yarning circles have been held  in St George, Inala and the Gold Coast to hear from Elders, young people, families and community organisations about what is working in their communities successfully.

The next round of online yarning circles is scheduled for Rockhampton, Cairns and Yarrabah communities.


Young people - Bond University
Young people - Bond University

The CEO of the Healing Foundation also clarified that the Queensland Healing Strategy is informed by Our Way, a strategy developed jointly by the Queensland government and Family Matters Queensland.

"The purpose of Our Way is to close the gap in life outcomes for our children and families and eliminate the disproportionate representation of our children in the child protection system by 2037,” Fiona Petersen said.

The overall goal is to build strategies to break the cycle of inter-generational trauma for future generations.

Despite having the lowest rate of removal, Queensland has the highest population of Stolen Generations survivors, all of whom will be eligible for aged care in 2023.

Fiona Petersen also outlined some of the processes of colonisation including the forced removal of children from their families, the suppression of language and culture, the dispossession from country, the disruption of keen networks and the destruction of an independent economic basis.

These processes have led to profoundly negative effects on Indigenous well-being and socio economic outcomes.

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