A NEW service will soon be available for Armidale’s Indigenous people to receive assistance in education and escaping domestic violence.
The Dawguway Aboriginal Healing Service is the brainchild of a group of local women who say current services do not address all the issues the Indigenous community faces.
“All of us are born and raised here, we have come to realise that the services that are available here are not meeting all of our needs,” organiser Laurel McKenzie said.
“We’ve lost sisters and brothers because they didn’t come in and access our services; that is what has started this up … they died from drugs and alcohol.”
While the service will initially mainly focus on Indigenous women, there are plans to expand services to young people and men.
“It’s based on trauma and healing people with trauma, we will do workshops based on domestic violence, child sexual assaults, we will have a women’s group and a men’s group and hopefully down the track we will have a youth group,” organiser Nullamehi Nurrakai Chatfield said.
The next stage will be to find a property to house services. “Our bigger plan is to soon be able to purchase a property around the Armidale area and to have a healing centre there,” Ms Chatfield said.
“Hopefully we get an office that we can work out of and have open three days a week and we are aiming for next year.”
While the healing service will be based at the property a major part of the women’s work will be acting “outside the box” and reaching out to the Aboriginal community. Ms McKenzie said.