Our People to Live Stronger & Longer

Keeping spirit strong through a holistic approach at Waminda

Imagine receiving a care package from your local health provider with food, sanitiser and art and craft materials for your children. Your Elders getting their medical supplies and toiletries. And everyone being reminded to keep active and nurture their body through eating healthy food. That was Waminda’s response to lockdown earlier this year in order to ensure the safety of their mob.

Waminda, an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service for women’s health and welfare, has a strong cultural governance and is guided by the community in which it operates. Their programs are rooted in connection to country and culture, with a particular focus on healing and keeping spirit strong.

The Baalang Healing program is a key program for Waminda. It was developed in response to the social and emotional wellbeing, spiritual, cultural and physical health needs of our community. “It has been designed and led by Aboriginal women under the guidance of Elders. Their voices are powerful in the design of our healing processes. There is a commitment to pass on cultural knowledge, identity and healing,” said Kristine Falzon.

Self-determination is a key focus of this program. Participants are encouraged to recognise and value themselves as their own healers. Throughout the healing program, the team at Waminda also created resources for the community specific to their needs. This includes free hotlines and additional support to increase accessibility to assistance. The health professionals working in the program include therapists, counsellors, case managers, cultural mentors and after hours support.

Waminda staff are widely admired and proud of their achievements in their own communities and the broader Shoalhaven. ‘The driving vision of Waminda is to provide culturally safe service. We offer women and their Aboriginal families an opportunity to belong and receive quality health and well-being support.’ said Waminda’s executive manager Kristine Falzon.

This story was written and published by the Australian Government Department of Health. For more stories on keeping your spirit strong visit the Department of Health website.