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.