S83: The Mabu Liyan Project

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Chris Scanlan, Raphael Hunter, Glen Dixon

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Community, Culture, Society,Change, Innovation, Reform,Reducing Stigma and Discrimination

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: A partnership project between health and education services was undertaken in Broome to foster cultural safety and destigmatise mental health services.
This innovative venture has culminated in the design and installation of a collaborative mural art-piece on the facia of the Broome Mental Health Services building.
Mental health consumers were engaged in this six month public art project that has transformed the appearance and ambiance of this major regional mental health facility.
The theme for the mural art-piece was “mabu liyan” which in the local Yawuru aboriginal language means “strong spirit”. A core group of artists developed this theme to create a strong and colourful story-line around mabu liyan and how people in the Kimberley keep their spirit strong.
Upon completion of the project participants have reported improved self-esteem and self-efficacy. They have also expressed a higher sense of pride and achievement.
Positive feedback was received from local key organisations and community leaders.
The challenge for Mental Health Services is to continue to foster and promote the organisation as welcoming, understanding and a place of cultural safety for the aboriginal people of the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: People will gain an insight into aboriginal culture, consumer participation, organisational partnerships and the value of collaborative artwork in transforming the aesthetics and ambiance of the KMHDS building in Broome.

Learning Objective 2: This project provides a practical example of destigmatising mental health services and promoting the organisation as welcoming, caring and a place of cultural safety for the aboriginal people of the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia.

1. Binan Goonj: Bridging Cultures in Aboriginal Health. A K Eckermann et al. 2010 Elsevier Australia
2. “Community Wellbeing from the ground up; a Yawuru example.” Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Research Report 3/16 August

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