The Grail’s involvement in Gunawirra
GUNAWIRRA was formed in 2008 in a Karawee karawee, (a gathering of concerned people ) at the Grail Centre in North Sydney. Aboriginal representatives and elders from around NSW and Sydney, as well as 22 professionals from psychiatry, psychology, social work and psychoanalytic therapy pooled their ideas on how to prevent and reduce harm to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children, their families and their communities. The group identified the need for a coordinated and multi-faceted approach to:
a) Break the cycle of physical, emotional, alcohol, substance abuse and domestic violence linked to poor mental health;
b) Involve parents and children together as a crucial strategy for well-being within Aboriginal families.
c) To facilitate more understanding of the importance of early intervention in relation to intergenerational Trauma in Aboriginal families.
The group focused on the importance of child development in the first five years and the value of providing intensive, purposeful, high-quality child-focused services because research shows that these can promote significant changes in children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development and decrease both illness and criminality in adult life.
Norma Tracey and Ruth Crowe, both Grail women, worked closely together to move the project forward over the following years and Gunawirra has gone ahead in leaps and bounds, due mainly to the vision, energy, philosophy, inspiration, efforts and awesome fund raising ability its indefatigable founder – Norma Tracey.
Lots of other people volunteer in many ways, especially for child minding on Wednesdays, so the mothers can engage is art and crafts and learn new skills e.g. cooking. Volunteers are always welcome!