Authors: Michelle Elwell
Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference
Subject: The Healing Portal - A culturally appropriate, world first healing online resource hub for workers involved in providing services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Michelle Elwell is a Central Arrernte Aboriginal woman from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Michelle works as a Senior Research Officer for the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet. The HealthInfoNet is a free to access web resource that contributes to ‘closing the gap’ in health between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians by developing and maintaining the evidence base to inform practice and policy. Michelle joined the team in 2012 and has research responsibility for several health areas including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers, healing, cultural ways, diabetes, nutrition and physical activity. Michelle’s involvement in these areas of health is based on her tertiary qualifications which include a Masters in Public Health and a Certificate in Diabetes Education.
Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have unresolved trauma that has been passed down from generation to generation following colonisation and subsequent policies in Australia. This trauma contributes significantly to their social and health disadvantage and therefore there is a need for a well-informed workforce to address their healing needs.
In 2015 the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet and The Healing Foundation collaborated to develop a Healing portal to support people working in healing, health, justice, child protection, education and family violence.
This paper highlights and showcases the innovative and unique resources available on the portal, including the latest research and best practice healing initiatives in Australia. Resources are at the fingertips of health professionals ensuring they are well informed and up to date. For example the Stolen Generations resource kit for teachers and students and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s studies on the Stolen Generations and their descendants.
Learning Objective 1: Audience members will gain an understanding of the depth of information available on the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet’s Healing Portal. The audience will take away an understanding of how to access the most up to date and relevant key resources, policies and reports, health promotion and health practice resources to assist them in their daily work practice.
Learning Objective 2: This topic is most relevant to those workers who are working to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have been impacted by trauma from colonisation and past government policies. This trauma still impacts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today and having a well-informed workforce is essential so they are supporting in their healing journey. The Portal aims to support workers working in healing, health, justice, child protection, and education and family violence.
Adams, M., & Mataira, PJ., Walker, S., Hart, M., Drew, N., Fleay, JJ. (2017). Cultural Identity and Practices Associated with the Health and Well-Being of Indigenous Males. ab-Original Journal of Indigenous Studies and First Nations and First Peoples’ Cultures. vol. 1 no. 1. The Pennsylvania State University.
Drew, N., & Adams, M. (2019). Community Based Mental Health in Cultural Contexts: From deinstitutionalisation to engaged and authentic community based care. The Sage Handbook of Applied Social Psychology - Edited K. O’Doherty and D. Hodgetts.