The Nar-un-bah and Thou Walla Engaging Aboriginal Fathers Project
The Nar-un-bah and Thou Walla Engaging Aboriginal Fathers Project will enhance the capacity of Aboriginal men who have current or future parenting responsibilities (e.g., fathers, pops, and uncles). The project will engage Aboriginal men in a range of local informal and formal healing activities, events, and workshops with a focus on reconnecting to culture and the role of fathers in growing their children strong. The project will combine the grass roots work of Nar-un-bah School as Community Centre (Fennell Bay) and Thou Walla School as Community Centre (Raymond Terrace), the knowledge and experience of their local Aboriginal communities, and mentoring and support from the Family Action Centre. The project will foster trusting relationships to connect with, engage and build on the strengths and interests of Aboriginal men to help heal some of the damaging intergenerational impacts that invasion and colonisation have had on their role, knowledge, confidence and skill in parenting.
The expected outcomes of the project are:
- The relationship between fathers* and their children will be strengthened.
- Fathers will be more confident in their fathering roles.
- Fathers will be more engaged with Nar-un-bah SACC and Thou Walla SACC and their related schools.
- Other services will learn about strategies for successfully engaging Aboriginal.
* Father refers to any men who have fathering roles (including fathers, pops, uncles and older brothers).
We are currently in the establishment stage of this exciting project.
The project is funded by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation.. The Foundation focuses on
- 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 & Evaluation - contributing to an evidence base for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander healing through community-driven and culturally-appropriate research and evaluation.
It has identified four principles for its healing work:
- Addressing the causes of community dysfunction, not its symptoms.
- Ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ownership, definition, design and evaluation of healing initiatives.
- Adopting an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander worldviews, not western health understandings alone.
- Working from strength-based approaches.