International acclaim received for healing our way

Posted on Jan 15, 2012

International acclaim received for healing our way

A major international award for contributions to the field of psychotherapy has been presented to a group of outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health professionals at the 6th World Congress for Psychotherapy, “World Dreaming”, held in Sydney from 24-28 August 2011.

The World Council for Psychotherapy’s Sigmund Freud Award recognises the life work of individuals and groups that have made original contributions to the field of psychotherapy. The award recipients are: Kamilaroi Elder, Aunty Lorraine Peeters; the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjtara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council Project represented by traditional healers (Ngangkari) Mr Peters (dec) and Mr Ginger Toby; and Winthrop Professor Helen Milroy.

‘The acknowledgement of the traditional healers and the significant contributions they make to our spiritual, emotional and social wellbeing is an important step towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing being recognised as a major contributor to addressing trauma related issues in our communities and creating a hopeful future for our children’ said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation CEO Mr Richard Weston.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation is an independent organisation with a focus on healing our community. The Healing Foundation funds community driven healing iniatives such as the NPY Women’s Council Ngankari project and Marumali Healing Program.

Lorraine Peeters, former NSW Senior Australian of the Year (2009), has developed the Marumali Healing Program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffering the effects of trauma, specifically in relation to the Stolen Generations. As a ground breaker in trauma recovery and healing Aunty Lorraine Peeters’ program has been supported as one of 21 projects funded by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation paving the way for the future of our healing.  The Ngangkari, Mr Ginger Toby and Mr Peters (dec), work in association with numerous groups including the NPY Women’s Council.

The final recipient, Professor Helen Milroy, is the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Psychiatrist in Australia and recipient of numerous Australian awards including the Limelight Award for National Leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical Education (2009) and the Suicide Prevention Australia Award, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Category (2008).

‘I congratulate our award recipients and look forward to their continuing work to build strong spirit, strong culture, strong people in our communities’ said Mr Weston.