MEDIA RELEASE – Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia stands for Voice, Treaty, and Truth in Australia
02/11/2023 – MEDIA RELEASE
Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia stands for Voice, Treaty, and Truth in Australia as called for by the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
In solidarity with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bodies across the country, Gayaa Dhuwi has taken a week of silence, solace and reflection to consider the results of the referendum on The Voice to Parliament.
In July this year, Gayaa Dhuwi released a statement outlining support for The Voice. Reflecting on our statement, we acknowledged the devastating impact that colonisation, dispossession, and discrimination have had on the mental health and wellbeing of Indigenous people, including experiences of trauma, grief, loss, and intergenerational trauma. We also recognised the resilience, strength, and wisdom of Indigenous cultures and knowledge systems that can support intergenerational healing and wellbeing.
The Voice was an opportunity to ensure that the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health needs of Indigenous people are given proper attention, resources, and expertise. The hope was a more holistic, culturally safe, and community-led approach to mental health and wellbeing, which respects Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing, and we will continue to work towards this outcome.
In light of the results of the referendum, Gayaa Dhuwi maintains the organisations support of The Uluru Statement from the Heart. Gayaa Dhuwi works across the Australian mental health system including both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisation Sector and public health system to improve integration and delivery of culturally appropriate social emotional wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention services.
In the aftermath of the referendum result we want to acknowledge the multitude of strong emotions people may be feeling. This may be causing distress and difficulties in understanding the way forward. We acknowledge there is a long way to go, and we encourage people to build their resilience for the long journey ahead.
Gayaa Dhuwi will continue to work to achieve the interests of the Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia Declaration and encourages any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing discomfort or distress as a result of the referendum to reach out to 13YARN and resources will continue to be available via our website.
Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia is the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing, mental health, and suicide prevention. Our vision is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership, excellence, and presence across all parts of the Australian mental health system, and the achievement of the highest attainable standard of social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.