The Jalngangurru Health project has been running since 2019 to develop a model of service delivery for traditional healing practices in the Kimberley and a trial of that model. The model has been developed in consultation with healers, cultural law bosses and through guidance provided by existing cultural healing services in Central Australia. The service currently has 19 healers registered. The model will enable the healers to be compensated for their work, with cultural safety and security embedded in the model, and will enable the safe keeping of knowledge for future generations.
Cultural Healing Practices
Cultural healing practices from the Kimberley can be used to address a variety of issues including physical ailments, social and emotional well being, mental health issues, drug dependence and culture bound syndromes (e.g. being sung). There are varied forms of cultural healing practices in the Kimberley, with roles for men and women, sometimes separately and sometimes working together, including (but not exclusively) mabarn, the use of bush medicinal products, the smoking of various woods and leaves, the use of ochre and ceremonial songs, palliative care and child and maternal health. Mabarn is a widely recognised name in the Kimberley used to describe traditional healers, who have been practicing their craft for millennia.
The Yiriman Project in partnership with the Emama Nguda Aboriginal Corporation and auspiced by the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre (KALACC) is running an exciting trial in Derby and Fitzroy Crossing, which will provide access to cultural (traditional) healing practices from the Kimberley of Western Australia. The project is funded by the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), supported by the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS) and is being evaluated by Notre Dame University’s Nulungu Research Institute.
The trial is open until mid December 2022. During the trial period the costs of the healing will be covered by Jalngangurru Healing.
- Clients must be based in Derby, Fitzroy Crossing or any of their surrounding
communities. Clients from outside these areas will be considered on a case by case
basis and may be asked to cover travel and accommodation costs.
- Children are permitted to be referred, but parental or guardian consent is required.
- Clients must be willing to complete a referral form and a confidentiality agreement.
Online Referral Form
If you are not able to use the online form, please contact:
- the Healing Coordinator Petrine McCrohan on firstname.lastname@example.org / 0457 209 306 or
- KALACC in Fitzroy Crossing on 08 9191 5317 or
- Emama Nguda in Derby on 08 9193 1600.
Once the form is received the Healing Coordinator will acknowledge the application and may call the client for clarity before meeting with the Cultural Advisors to determine who can do the healing, where and when. The team will be in contact once this meeting has occurred. We ask clients to be patient while the process is followed.
If the client has given permission, some time after the healing activities have occurred they may be contacted by an evaluator from the Nulungu Research Institute to confidentially discuss their experience. No identifying information will be recorded in the evaluation. You can also provide feedback about the project at any time to the evaluator Gillian Kennedy on email@example.com or 08 9192 0651.