ADM was privileged to host 13 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women for a two-day Master Trainer Workshop on understanding the Aboriginal experience of loss, grief and trauma, on 18–19 November 2017.
Christian Aboriginal women from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria came together to be trained by clinical counsellor Keren Masters (from Perth) and artist Ngardarb Francine Riches (from Melbourne).
The participants learned how to deliver a program that will enable Aboriginal women to understand their historical and personal losses, learn about psychological and emotional responses to those losses, and to develop healthy coping strategies for managing loss and grief. The program is grounded in a biblical framework for understanding loss and grief, and the joy of healing found in Christ.
The participants, who have been trained in pairs, will now deliver the program in their own communities across Queensland, NSW and Victoria in the first half of 2018. There was much enthusiasm and excitement for the difference the training might make in their home communities. Several of the women shared how the training had already been significant in helping to understand their own experiences of grief and trauma. By the end of the workshop, all participants expressed greater confidence to deliver a workshop in their communities.
The weekend was a wonderful time of making new connections, or reconnecting for some, with many of the participants linked through kinship or church fellowship ties. There was a celebration of the numerous First Nations represented. There was deep encouragement in coming together as Aboriginal women with a sense of shared purpose and mutual support. There was joy in depending on God for the task ahead of bringing his healing to Aboriginal women and their families. Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship (AEF) Women’s Fellowship and Anglican Deaconess Ministries (ADM) partnered together to design and implement a Loss, Grief and Trauma Care Pilot Project for Aboriginal Women, titled ‘Our Story: Finding Hope Beyond Grief’. The 11-month pilot project is now halfway through implementation.
It is a privilege and blessing for ADM, through our Mercy & Justice Ministries, to walk in partnership with our Aboriginal sisters in Christ.
Click here for more information about the Loss, Grief and Trauma Care Pilot Project for Aboriginal Women.