By healing trauma, this tackles the source of social and health problems that are far more prevalent for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including family violence, substance abuse, incarceration and children in out-of-home care.

The Healing Foundation's Theory of Change draws on a process of outcome mapping, which considers how their work can achieve long term changes in behaviours and relationships. It conveys how change is expected to occur and how we communicate that change. This enables a shared understanding among staff, funding bodies, communities and partner agencies about what is required to achieve success.

Key Findings:

  • Healing Foundation's emerging evidence indicates that strategies to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage will continue to fail unless they are underpinned by trauma-informed healing approaches that recognise the devastating impacts of colonisation and subsequent government policies.
  • It is also important to understand the impacts of collective trauma as opposed to individual trauma. Research demonstrates that significant events that impact whole communities can lead to community breakdown.
  • Healing activities can include yarning circles, gatherings, healing camps, counselling, art, dance, song, weaving, cultural ceremony and culturally safe referral pathways. Family and community healing is recognised as ‘integral to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ wellbeing’.
  • Healing outcomes can only be sustained when they are supported by policies that strengthen the capacity of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing workforce and the broader professional healinginformed service system.
  • Sustainable, quality healing requires healing networks, champions and organisations that communicate the impacts of trauma on individuals, families and communities.
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