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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Red dust healing program



Red dust healing is a cultural healing program that was developed for Indigenous men and their families. Originally designed by Tom Powell, and further developed in partnership with Randal Ross, the goal of the program is to heal and rehabilitate Indigenous offenders and those at risk of offending. The program is designed to examine the intergenerational effects of colonisation on the mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing of Indigenous families. It also encourages individuals to confront and deal with the problems, hurt, and anger in their lives. Though written from Indigenous perspectives, Red dust healing also accommodates non-Indigenous people.

Red dust healing uses a multifaceted approach covering four main areas:

The program is delivered to groups in two separate sessions per group: the first session allows participants to heal and deal with their own issues; and the second gives them the skills to pass on the information and tools to family members and community. Delivery of the content is facilitated by trainers to a group of participants over several days, with the second round of training completed within a four to six week period after the initial training block. The program has been delivered to groups in both New South Wales and Queensland, and over 1,700 people have been through the program, plus 2,100 through information sessions and workshops.

Abstract adapted from Red Dust Healing


Randal Ross
Mobile: 0407 739 685

Tom Powell
Mobile: 0419 489 275

Related publications

Ross R, Nicks R, Drysdale R (2008)

Red dust healing.

Paper presented at the Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Forum. 14 may 2008, Mackay, Qld


Last updated: 31 August 2015
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