Purro Birik - 37

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Purro Birik - (Healthy Spirit)



The health and welfare officer Karen Wood then introduced the Moroponuk officer to the community. Karen facilitated access to various community groups and the project officer worked and consulted closely with all the officers of the Co-Operative.

The following is a list of the specific groups consulted within the Wathaurong Koori community, specific experiences of the Moroponuk officer during this process, and a list of the letters received confirming the community's satisfaction with the consultation process.


The Wathaurong Elders Group: Karen Wood facilitated access to the Elders group on several occasions and the Moroponuk officer was able to consult extensively with the elders. The feedback received indicated that the elders were pleased with the consultation process and were happy with the proposals put forward.


A representative from the Elders council was invited to attend a conference With the Moroponuk Officer. The conference was titled "Myth, Culture, and Psychotherapy" held at Uluru. The conference was invaluable for the Moroponuk Officer in that it provided enormous insight into the culture and spirituality of the indigenous people of Australia, created opportunities for extensive networking with other health professionals working in the area of indigenous mental health, and facilitated the growth of a positive relationship between the Moroponuk Officer and the community representatives present.


The Men's Business Group: The Moroponuk Officer was invited to address the Wathaurong Men's business group to discuss the consultation process and to give the men an opportunity to express their views on the mental health needs within their community. This relationship has developed extensively with the Moroponuk Officer being invited to attend all future meetings and participate in the ongoing development and growth of this group. The Officer was also invited to attend the inaugural Victorian Indigenous Men's Conference at Warrakoo station. This was an enormous privilege as there were no other non-indigenous people present and the Moroponuk officer was accepted by the men present and allowed to participate in the entire process.


Furthermore the Officer has been invited to attend the next conference at Phillip Island later this year. Feedback received at the time was that the men were pleased to have had the Officer present and were very pleased to hear that a non-indigenous man understood the issues confronting indigenous men.


Milla MilIa Play-Group: The Moroponuk Officer attended several of the playgroup days to talk with the mothers about the Social, Emotional, and Spiritual Wellbeing needs of their community and their own needs as young mothers specifically.


Health and Welfare Officer: The Health and Welfare Officer (Karen Wood) has worked closely with the Moroponuk officer throughout the consultation process. Karen has facilitated access to many members of the community and in turn has utilised the skills and experience of the officer to gain access to the mental health services.


There have been multiple consultation meetings both of a formal and informal nature between Karen and the Moroponuk officer, which have been invaluable in enabling the officer to become known to the community, to gain an understanding of the Social, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-being issues within the community, and to experience first hand the difficulties Koori people have in accessing appropriate medical and psychiatric services.


During this process Karen was able to form relationships with some key personnel within the service and also to gain an understanding of the manner in which the Mental Health Services operate in this region. There is a letter of support from Karen describing this process from her perspective included in the appendix section of the full report.



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