What does "Heal Country" mean? This year's NAIDOC Week theme can be interpreted in multiple ways: healing the environment, healing Aboriginal health, healing from the impact of trauma, healing culture. The hope contained in this one word—"heal"—is a philosophy many not-for-profits and initiatives have embraced while facing the future; whether that's young people banding together to tackle the climate crisis or empowering the Indigenous community to tackle intergenerational trauma.
Climate change is the biggest threat to our world, but during this crisis, we've seen young people stand up more than ever. Seed Mob is Australia's first Indigenous youth-led climate network, joining forces with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition to create a sustainable future. The group takes on campaigns like land right breaches, stopping fracking in the Northern Territory, climate justice, and more.
Did you know 66% of deaths occur before the age of 65 in Indigenous people? Red Dust is promoting healing in a literal sense across multiple programs where they bring health education to remote Indigenous areas. The organisation uses sport, art, music, and dance to teach healthy living in schools, and supports the development of young Aboriginal men and women in hands-on interactive activities, all the while reducing the risk of chronic disease in Aboriginal communities.
WOMEN RANGERS NETWorK
You've probably heard of the WWF before, but have you heard of their Indigenous Women's Rangers Environmental Network (WREN)? Rangers are crucial to protecting our wildlife, and who better to take on these roles than Aboriginal women, who have been caring for country for thousands of years. Through the network, WWF provides training, resources, mentoring, and professional development to help these rangers continue to succeed in their roles.
Healing is in the name! The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that supports the voices and experiences of the Stolen Generation and their families. Hosting workshops that encourage collective healing, school programs that address intergenerational trauma, and even royal commissions, the Healing Foundation also offers an incredible amount of resources that anyone can access at any time.
ABORIGINAL CARBON FOUNDATION
Carbon farming is a type of farming that greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation is encouraging the growth of this sector to protect the environment. Trading carbon credits (one carbon credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions stored or avoided) for revenue for Traditional Owners, ranger programs, and savanna burning are just a few of the ways they do this.