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CASSE Aboriginal Australian Relations Program Newsletter


From the Director

Welcome to our very first newsletter dedicated to CASSE's Aboriginal Australian Relations Program!

The goal of this program is to work alongside Aboriginal people in the Australian community to understand and process the emotional experiences of psychic pain, trauma and violence, thereby ‘making my spirit inside me good’, changing minds and thereby saving lives. 

The past six months have been busy with the publication of one new booklet, listening to and documenting the stories of Aboriginal people, developing important projects with our partner organisations, and sharing our thinking with a growing audience. I urge you to read more about our achievements in this newsletter.

Kurunna Mwarre!

Pamela Nathan
CASSE Aboriginal Australian Relations Program


Cultural & Healing Project

Click to hear Anne Marie and Gibson John discuss Cultural & Healing Project

CASSE Aboriginal Australian Relations Program is proud to support the Ltyentye Apurte/Santa Teresa Cultural & Healing Project by funding two Aboriginal elders for the 10 day horse trek to mentor the youth.

CASSE was very privileged to be able to visit Lytentye Purte on one of these Cultural Horse treks in June 2014, and join members of the community and Atyenhenge-Atherre Aboriginal Corporation (AAAC). The Horse Cultural Trek, which has also been supported by Bush Mob, has been an annual community event for the past half a dozen years and is the pride of the community.

The trek was attended by youth from Lytentye Purte and from other parts of Central Australia and Northern Territory. The focus is on learning about culture, learning about law and learning about land. This helps make young people strong in spirit and strong in identity and decreases the problem behaviours.

Click on the above image to hear Anne Marie and Gibson John talk about the importance of the project and the positive effect it has on the youth.

Click here to hear interview on Bush Medicine with Anne Marie

Anne Marie talks to Pamela about traditional 'Bush Medicine'. Click on the above image to hear the full interview - fIrst in traditional language and then in English.

Chris and Peter Wallace speak to Pamela Nathan about the Cultural and Healing Project. Chris says '...this horse cultural trek is about getting young people to come out and learn about the land and learn about their spirit...'. He goes on, 'I really like to encourage the young kids for their culture, tell them stories about the land, where they belong to, what it's worth, what the country means....They have to share the knowledge of what we've been through as young kids. To learn the culture of the country, the dreaming...'. Click on the image to hear more of the interview.


CASSE Booklets endorsed by NT Chief Minister

Written by the Director of CASSE's Aboriginal Australian Relations Program, Pamela Nathan, these booklets are in high demand and have been endorsed by NT's Chief Minister, Adam Giles, who said: “The goals you’ve set out under ‘What we can achieve’ in ‘What? Why? How? point the way to success”.

The most recently published booklet is titled Walk in My Tracks: a booklet for all Australians - Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal – in the hope that we all can find a way to live together.

The previous booklets are about:

Saving Lives, Changing Minds: an introduction to CASSE’s Aboriginal Australian Relations Program and to trauma and violence.

What? Why? How?: telling some of the Aboriginal stories told to CASSE by Aboriginal people about the ‘problem life' and how to change it.

To order hard copies of the booklets ($10 each), email enquiries@casse.org.au. Or to view as flippiing books online, click here.


Ricky Mentha shares his Life Journey

Click to listen to Ricky Mentha sharing his Life Journey with CASSE

Ricky Mentha is a respected Indigenous Research Fellow with the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute. However his life journey hasn't always been easy. He shared his story with CASSE's Pamela Nathan in the hope that it will offer hope and inspiration to other Aboriginal people, particularly men. Click here to listen to his story. 


Men's Shed Research Project gets green light

A pioneering joint research project to develop and evaluate a model of best practice for Aboriginal Men’s Sheds has been given the green light to commence at Ingkintja, the successful male health service of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress), based in Alice Springs/Central Australia.

The research project is the result of a collaborative five year partnership between Congress and CASSE.

The Men’s Shed project seeks to provide support for men to heal from traumatic experiences and support the empowerment of men in their communities in order to create safe and supportive communities for all members and promote emotional well-being.

Congress has a long history of involvement with Men's Shed through Ingkintja (a male only place to get help with health) and has first-hand experience in the delivery of workshop based practice. Extensive community consultations and summits at Ross River, focus groups and workshops have consistently called for Men's Sheds and integrated male initiatives.

The Men’s Shed project is a participatory action or empowerment research program which is culturally informed and community directed and implemented, has been approved by CAHREC – The Central Australian Health and Research Ethics Committee. We look forward to sharing more about this project in the coming months.


Pamela Nathan with Anne Kantor present at NACCHO & PPAA Conferences

Pamela Nathan, Director of CASSE's Aboriginal Australian Relations Program, is a forensic and clinical psychologist and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Anne Kantor is a social worker and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. They presented and chaired at the recent National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Healthy Futures Summit and at the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of Australasia’s (PPAA) 34th Annual Conference. Click here to view extracts from Pamela's PPAA paper: 'The Past is Not History'.


Publication in International Journal - Special Issue on Community Psychoanalysis and Reconciliation in Australia

'Radical Doubt and Radical Hope: The eye of the storm and then alakenhe it rains', a paper written by Pamela Nathan, was chosen for publication in the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies. In this paper, Pamela hopes to demonstrate the potential role of psychoanalysis in experiencing and being present during the emotional storms of a people in traumatic collision, catastrophic change and uncharted territories. Click here to read the full paper. Other contributors to this publication include Lord John Alderdice, Professor Stuart Twemlow and Dr Timothy Keogh, who organised the issue between authors.


CASSE Blog Updates

Recent highlights from the CASSE Blog are below. To view all of CASSE's blogs, and to subscribe to receive updates directly to your inbox, visit the CASSE Blog.

World Suicide Prevention Day
September 10 was World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide causes enormous distress and is a terrible waste of human potential in Aboriginal communities. Find out how CASSE Aboriginal Australian Relations Program partners with other programs to address this profound problem. Read blog

Mental Health Services Funding
Through the CASSE Blog, we reported on proposed funding cuts to remote Mental Health Services in NT, and the debate and protest regarding the cuts. The decision has recently been reversed and the Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Areas (MHSRRA) program is set to continue in the Western Desert region of Central Australia. Read the full debate in the CASSE blog

Justice System Failing Indigenous Women
Aboriginal women are mothers and grandmothers and victims of intergenerational abuse and trauma. Don’t gaol them! Pamela Nathan comments on a recent media article. Read more

Charlie's Country
Charlie’s Country is a very powerful film – The Rolf de Heer film stars David Gulpilil who won best actor in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival. Read review

What to watch this weekend
Not sure what to watch this weekend? Read some CASSE reviews...

Changing culture to stamp out bias
Racial profiling and racial bias have been, and continue to be, issues in the police force. It is imperative to establish a dialogue about racism if we want real change. Read Blog

CASSEtv an new initiative for sharing news and interviews with people who are working towards creating safe supportive environments within communities, people who are working to change minds and save lives. Click here to view CASSEtv.

Noel Pearson - separate the personal from the political
Pamela Nathan comments on a recent media article criticising Aboriginal leader, Noel Pearson. Read post

'Unsettling' comment...
'The Age' newspaper was unsettled over the PM's comments that Australia was 'unsettled' before the British arrived. Pamela Nathan shares these concerns. Read Blog

The aim of the Summit was to demonstrate that “Investing in Aboriginal community controlled health makes economic sense”. It didn't disappoint. Read more

Treatment for Acquired Brain Injury
In the general population about 2 percent of people have an acquired brain injury (ABI), whilst in Victorian male prisons, at least 42 per cent of inmates are affected. ABIs need urgent attention and recognition and treatment. Read Blog

Elders' Report
'The Elders’ Report into Preventing Indigenous Self-harm & Youth Suicide' was developed in response to a massive and unprecedented increase in indigenous youth self-harm and suicide. Cultural ways save lives and change minds. Read report


Keep up to date with CASSE Aborginal Australian Relations Program:

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Or contact Pamela Nathan:
Phone 0417 567 114
Email pamela.nathan@casse.org.au

Donate now: Australia has a proud heritage – one of the oldest continuing cultures on earth. Yet there is a gaping gap between the welfare of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.
CASSE’s Aboriginal Australian Relations Program is working with Aboriginal people and communities to understand and process issues of violence, problem behaviours and underlying trauma to help create safe, supportive environments. It is about changing minds and thereby saving lives.
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