Community Life and Development Programs – Pathways to Healing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides an overarching framework for understanding the components of healthy
communities through a healing and community life development approach. The chapter
explores three major themes covering the nature of the trauma that has occurred over many
generations and continues to be experienced in the present. These are:

- the extreme sense of powerlessness and loss of control;
- the profound sense of loss, grief and disconnection; and
- the overwhelming sense of trauma and helplessness.

In turn, there are three pathways to recovery to address each of these areas of trauma that have
occurred as a consequence of the history of colonisation and its impacts:

- self-determination and community governance;
- reconnection and community life; and
- restoration and community resilience.

Most significantly we argue that Aboriginal worldviews, developing a comprehensive, holistic
approach that focuses on individual, family and community strengths whilst at the same time
addressing the needs of the community, is both a more culturally acceptable and effective
approach to address these issues.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorking Together
Subtitle of host publicationAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice
EditorsPat Dudgeon, Helen Milroy, Roz Walker
Place of PublicationBarton, ACT
PublisherAustralian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9775975-3-6
ISBN (Print)978-0-9579494-4-7
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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