Aboriginal teachers and psychologists are working to heal their community from past traumas following a two-day training course with Heal For Life founder Liz Mullinar.
It is the first in a series of steps towards establishing a Heal For Life centre in Armidale, which would provide a safe place for survivors of child abuse.
Nioka Chatfield, who credits attending a Heal For Life healing week three years ago with saving her life, will coordinate the establishment of the new Armidale centre.
Ms Mullinar said the training sessions were very inspirational and she believed the group was committed to making a difference in their community.
“An awful lot of them were really excited about healing, training and working with Nioka,” she said.
The group will continue their training in the coming months and once ready, will deliver the services in Armidale.
“I can train Aboriginal people but then they have to take it into their own communities,” Ms Mullinar said.
“It would be culturally inappropriate for white people to deliver services to Aboriginal people when it's about empowerment.
“It has to be by Aboriginal people, for Aboriginal people.”
Heal for Life services are run across Australian, the Philippines and the UK for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
Two years ago, juvenile justice in Western Australian invited Ms Mullinar to run healing week for 12 to 14-year-old girls most at risk of being permanent incarceration.
After delivering the service to eight girls, two years later only one of them had re-offended, with the others completely changing their lives.
“Healing programs are about providing a safe place so people are able to access their pain and the trauma and fear they have suppressed over the years,” Ms Mullinar said.
“And it is that trauma that impacts on the way they behave, the way they exist.”
Childhood trauma often contributes to drug and alcohol addiction.
Ninety-two per cent of drug addicts and 94 per cent of heroin users have suffered from trauma.
The new centre will take more than a year to establish but Ms Mullinar encourages people who need help to contact them.
“It’s about empowering people to help themselves and know they can change.”
Instead of giving a person a fish, it's teaching them how to fishHeal For Life founder Liz Mullinar