Inaugural Board Of The Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation

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4th January 2010, 07:50pm - Views: 1929

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4 January 2010

Inaugural board of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing


On 13 February 2009, the first anniversary of the Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples,

the Australian Government announced its intention to establish a Healing Foundation.  The

Foundation will address trauma and aid healing in Indigenous communities, with a particular

focus on the Stolen Generations.  The government has committed $26.6 million over four

years to the Foundation.

The Inaugural Board was recently appointed and held their first meeting on 14 December

2009.  The Directors of the Inaugural Board bring to the table, diverse expertise, experience,

professionalism and integrity and have made a commitment to assist in the healing of the

nation.  Once operational the Foundation will provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

people support to help them overcome the cycle of trauma and grief arising from forced

removals and the impact of past government policies.  

The Foundation is the outcome of a consultation process with Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Islander communities throughout Australia, which was conducted between May to August

2009. The Board of Directors were appointed as a response to the Voices from the

campfires: Establishing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Healing Foundation report.

The Chairperson of the Healing Foundation, Florence Onus, states “While the Apology to

Australia’s Indigenous peoples and its acknowledgment of the legacy of colonisation, forced

removals and other past government polices was an important first step on the road to

healing, it must now be followed by concrete policy responses. This includes the provisions of

culturally appropriate healing services to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

to begin the process of recovering from trans-generational trauma.  We the inaugural Board

of Directors are committed to assist in the healing of our people, the Aboriginal and Torres

Strait islander people of this nation”.  

There was consistent support for the establishment of the Foundation, which participants

agreed should have three broad roles:  

Supporting grassroots healing initiatives by providing funding and workforce


Health promotion, education and training in the prevention and treatment of

trauma and 

Evaluating and documenting best practice in healing. 


The overwhelming preference of participants was for the Foundation to operate

independently of government, with a goal to become self sustaining through 

partnerships with philanthropic organisations, universities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Islander organisations and other bodies.

The Board of Directors will conduct a press conference to announce the Foundation launch

date and provide photo opportunity to media.  Details are:

Date: Friday 8 January 2010

Time: 10.30 AM

Place: Stamford Plaza Adelaide, 150 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000

Further information contact Brenda Campe – Foundation Secretariat on 0451148380  

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