The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation Ltd is an Indigenous-run, national not-for-profit organisation. It was established in 2009 to support community-based healing initiatives to address the traumatic historical legacy on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of colonisation, forced removals and other past government policies. It aims to provide practical and innovative healing services, with a particular focus on Stolen Generation members and their families.
The Australian Government is providing funding of $26.6 million over four years to 2013-14 to assist the establishment and operation of the Healing Foundation.
In announcing its support for the establishment of the Healing Foundation on 13 February 2009, the first anniversary of the motion of Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples, the Government acknowledged the need to support concrete actions to address trauma and grief and to aid healing in Indigenous communities.
The Healing Foundation was incorporated on 30 October 2009. Current Board Directors are:
- Mr Charles Passi – Chair
- Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson
- Ms Noeleen Lopes
- Ms Tracey Currie
- Ms Hannah McGlade
- Mr Kevin Cox
- Professor Steve Larkin
The Healing Foundation is focusing on three main areas:
- Capacity building – identifying and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing initiatives, at the community level and in response to community needs, by providing funding and capacity development.
- Healing promotion, education and training – facilitating the promotion and education of healing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities, including skills training in the prevention and treatment of trauma, and fostering a supportive public environment for healing.
- Research and evaluation – contributing to an evidence base for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing through community-driven and culturally-appropriate research and evaluation.
For more information see the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation website at: www.healingfoundation.org.au
To contact the Healing Foundation:
Phone: (02) 6273 0722
Fax: (02) 6273 0431
Postal address: PO Box 4363 Kingston ACT 2604
Voices from the campfires: Establishing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation
The report, Voices from the campfires: Establishing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation was the culmination of four months of consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people during 2009 to develop a model for establishing the Healing Foundation.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Jenny Macklin MP, appointed nine prominent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to conduct a nation-wide consultation process regarding the Foundation’s establishment. The team consulted with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, communities and organisations in a series of national workshops between May and August 2009. Approximately 450 people attended 18 workshops and forums across Australia, and 48 written submissions were received.
The Australian Government thanks all those people who had the courage and faith in the importance of healing to tell their own stories, and acknowledges the hard work and dedication of the members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Development Team and the team's patron, Professor Lowitja O'Donoghue.
Results from this consultation informed the team’s report, Voices from the campfires: Establishing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation. The report was handed to Minister Macklin on 24 September 2009 and its ten recommendations were accepted by the Government in their entirety.
In accepting the report, Minister Macklin announced the formation of an Interim Board to establish the Foundation, including drafting its constitution and arranging its incorporation and conducting a national recruitment process to appoint the Foundation’s Inaugural Board, among myriad other responsibilities.