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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Healing space



Healing space is a collaborative initiative between the South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) and Oxfam Australia. The program seeks to enhance the strength and capacity of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to deal with the impacts of trauma, grief, and loss. The Healing space program offers a safe and private place for women, men, and children to begin the healing process through self-care, improved self-esteem, nurturing, healthy relationships, and cultural reconnection.

The program emerged following a series of suicides that occurred in the Noongar community in the Western Australia town of Narrogin in 2008. Devastated by these events, the local community sought to address the crisis by advocating for culturally appropriate mental health services in the area. Oxfam Australia provided emergency funding and this was followed by a $1.5 million federal government grant (over three years) in 2010. This funding led to a collaborative venture between Oxfam and SWAMS to provide healing programs to members of the Noongar community in this region - one such example is the Healing space program.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


South West Aboriginal Medical Service
Narrogin Social and Emotional Wellbeing Team
107b Federal Street
Narrrogin WA 6312
Ph: (08) 9881 6487
Fax: (08) 9881 6061

South West Aboriginal Medical Service
Unit 3/30 Wellington St
Bunbury WA 6230
Ph: (08) 9791 1166
Toll free: 1800 008 860
Fax: (08) 9791 6474

Oxfam Australia
Head Office
132 Leicester Street
Carlton Vic 3053
Ph: (03) 9289 9444
Fax: (03) 9347 1983


Last updated: 2 September 2015
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