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Jamie leading the dig for ruumiya (goanna) during the Waltja women's camp

Jamie leading the dig for ruumiya (goanna) during the Waltja women's camp

Welcome to 2018!

Happy New Year to you all and hope you managed to have some happy holidays!

CASSE has begun the year with a bang! I spent four HOT days in Alice Springs in late January and, with Jamie Millier Tjupurrula, the Men’s Tjilirra Movement (MTM) Program Manager, spoke to many stakeholders. While roads were closed for ceremony business and talks with the communities were not possible, the talks we did have were deep and wide-ranging, and the potential of future partnerships and collaborations flourished. 

After a year of high profile conferences sharing CASSE's work in  2017, our focus in 2018 is to expand our work with communities and organisations to find new ways forward through our workshops on suicide, violence, mentalisation and tjilirra making as well as cultural camps.

Reflecting on the troubles in Alice Springs, the achingly slow 'progress' in the 'Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s Report 2018', and ongoing stories of pain and suffering as we reach the 10 year anniversary of 'The Apology' to the Stolen Generations ('Justice for us doesn't stop with one day'), the fundamental need for Aboriginal people to have a voice, to have their stories of trauma heard and acknowledged, and to be given the power to determine their own solutions is again brought home.  

Please read on for a brief overview of our recent highlights and coming events.

I want to finish by thanking Michael Gordon for his generous and thoughtful support and time to CASSE over the years. His unexpected death is a tragic loss for many, in particular as a powerfully articulate advocate for Indigenous Australians. A journalist of grit and integrity.

Pamela Nathan
Director, CASSE Aboriginal Australian Relations Program


Ken joins leadership team

We are delighted to announce that Ken Lechleitner Pangarta has joined the CASSE Committee of Management team! In case you missed it, you can read the full story here.


A home for the MTM

The Men's Tjilirra Movement has a new home in the remote communities out west! The Lechleitner family has partnered with CASSE, making a house at Town Bore available. Town Bore is between Papunya and Mt Liebig. Down the track, cultural camps, family camps and even cultural tourism might develop on this site in collaboration with the Lechleitner family, if they so determine. Jamie Millier Tjupurrula, MTM Program Manager, and Nathan Brown, Translator and Cultural Consultant, usually camp out when they are working in communities, so they are very happy to have a home base! Pamela remembers Town Bore from many years ago: "Kwemenje Lechleitner Japanangka lived there and he had beautiful orange and lemon trees, chooks, a vegie garden and all!"


Men’s Shed Research Launch

The ninth of March is a significant date - watch this space!

The Kurunna Mwarre Ingkintja – Good Spirit Men’s Place - research report supported by CASSE in partnership with the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress will be released on this date. The report documents the need for, and the nature of, a best practice Aboriginal men’s shed in the town of Alice Springs.

The report includes a separate publication of interviews with men, the majority are Aboriginal, who participated in the research. It is the first time many of these men have had a voice and certainly a voice in the public arena. The men talk powerfully from the heart and strongly of the need for a place where they can talk, heal together and live in two worlds. They say they have all been victims, witnesses and become perpetrators. They say they hide their feelings that ‘they hurt, they bleed, they have pain’, ‘all suffering’, feel ‘degraded and scorned’, ‘disempowered’, ‘lost’, ‘devalued’ and ‘unrecognised,’ seen as ‘violent losers’ and more. They want a safe place and space to talk together where they can ‘straighten up’ explore, grow, ‘get their minds back on recovery’, ‘give them a voice’, ‘share stories’, ‘support each other’ and heal together ‘straightening out the ones behind us’.

And the men have big plans! With Blokes on Track! More details soon...


Keeping busy on country

The MTM has a busy few months ahead! MacDonnell Shire's MacYouth has three cultural camps planned for the youth, and Waltja is also planning a camp. Kintore is planning a cultural camp with the countrymen and youth and has contributed community development funds to this camp. CASSE and the MTM are also assisting in delivery of a workshop for young people with Waltja Reconnect West at Mt Liebig. 

Walter Jugadai is now part of the team - he has been working alongside the MTM and now plans to join all of the trips. The Royal Flying Doctor Service is also continuing to support Martin Jugadai's work with the MTM. CASSE is applying for grants to obtain regular funding for more Aboriginal men to work with MTM.

And we are excited to be developing plans for an exhibition of Tjilirra to be held mid-year! Stay tuned...


International recognition

CASSE's work has again been recognised in an International Journal. The most recent publication to include CASSE's work is the International Review of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis ISSN 2105-1038 N° 17-2/2017 – Psychoanalysis and Culture: Cultural Diversity in Couple and Family Psychoanalysis. The journal includes a paper by CASSE's Pamela Nathan, 'Psychoanalysis and Australian Aboriginal couples and families in Central Australia: the family storyline'. The paper highlights the important role psychoanalysis might play in the repair of Aboriginal families in central Australia broken by the traumatic legacies of colonisation.

Read paper



Sweet Country

Read the comprehensive review which captures the essence of the film, written by Pip McManus, on the film Sweet Country. It is a powerful film depicting the violence and rape of the Whiteman; the trauma trails of transgenerational trauma are graphically depicted.

Read review



Tracker by Alexis Wright is an epic book about Tracker, an Aboriginal leader, and his life of activism described by the voices of family, friends, colleagues and caretakers. It is also a moving, if not searing, account of the stolen generation and the resilience of the stolen generation who have survived, thrived and become leaders of their people and organisations. A very important book and masterly written.


Vale Michael Gordon

There are so many of us who will forever owe you a debt for speaking from the heart.


How can you support our work?

To make a donation, please contact us: phone 0450 540 366 or email enquiries@cassse.org.au .

CASSE Australia Inc (ABN: 17811 536 315) is registered in Australia as a Deductible Gift Recipient. All donations over $2 made to CASSE Australia are tax deductible and go directly towards supporting our programs.

Check out our MTM T-shirts!