AAIMH Vic proudly presents

 HEALING THE PAST BY NURTURING THE FUTURE AND REPLANTING THE BIRTHING TREES: Learning from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities to Foster Early Connectedness and Healing

with Professor Cath Chamberlain

DATE:             16th March, 2024
TIME:              10.00am - 11.30am (Vic local time)
WHERE:         Online Webinar
Registration: Visit Website

Cost: $20 (AAIMH Members) $40 (Non-Members) 

Please ensure you register once only.
A zoom link to join the seminar will be provided to registered participants on Friday 15th March (please remember to check your junk mail if you have not received the link).


Professor Catherine Chamberlain is a Palawa Trawlwoolway woman (Tasmania), Director of Onemda Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing and Head of the Indigenous Health Equity Unit at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne.  A Registered Midwife and Public Health researcher, her research aims to identify perinatal opportunities to improve health equity across the lifecourse. She is inaugural Editor-In-Chief of First Nations Health and Wellbeing Lowitja Journal and Principal Investigator for two large multi-disciplinary projects – Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future – which aims to co-design support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents experiencing complex trauma; and Replanting the Birthing Trees, which aims to transform intergenerational cycles of trauma to cycles of nurturing and recovery.  


Family and extended kinship systems have always been central to the functioning of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies as the social fabric and cultural attachment systems for nurturing healthy, happy children. These systems have been underpinned by cultural knowledge, governance structures and lore, supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to adapt and thrive for at least 2000 generations. Since colonization a mere 200 years ago, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have been impacted by colonial violence, genocidal policies, and discrimination, including the forced removal of children from their families - resulting in intergenerational trauma and concurrent oppression, suppression and destruction of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges that would enable recovery.  

We will briefly contextualise the important life course opportunity for healing the past by nurturing the future as we emerge from these ‘colonial dark ages’ and share some insights into cultural practices that foster connectedness, and belonging from four years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led community-based participatory action research and co-design.  We will also discuss effective Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander strategies to safely hold discussions about trauma with parents, including deep listening (Dadirri), storytelling, circling into cultural through creative arts and yarning; to help transform cycles of intergenerational trauma and harm to intergenerational cycles of nurturing and recovery so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families can, once again, live health happy lives in our abundant land we now share. 

This will be a great opportunity for our Infant Mental Health Community to gather together, to connect and support one another.