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A report on the gathering

Tracey Piccoli, a member of our Aboriginal Health team, has shared a report on behalf of the staff group who represented UCRH at the Healing our Spirit Worldwide Gathering.

The Gathering – a conference – was held in Vancouver, Canada, in September on the unceded and ancestral territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh People.

This Conference, like the previous one held in Sydney five years ago, is a transformative experience that extends far beyond the program schedule. From day one, the Conference open with a traditional welcome and a walk of nations which sees each nation dressed in their regalia. The atmosphere was electric, setting the tone for all of participants to exchange stories, insights and share knowledge and ideas that would leave profound impacts and perspectives.

The program was jam packed with a melting pot of expertise and diverse background presenters which meant each day made for difficult choices on which presentation to attend. Our own Angela Sheridan, part of the Wellmob team, was one of the presenters. Associate Professor Michelle Dickson from the Sydney School of Public Health presented twice, showcasing some of her work on measurement of well-being for Aboriginal people’s screening tools for adults and children, with a real emphasis on holistic social and emotional wellbeing.

STRIDE team members, Dr Alison Laycock, Dr Vicki Saunders and Danielle Cameron, along with Associate Professor Caroline Atkinson also presented at the Conference. They spoke on trauma stories and community response to the 2022 floods, using a non-clinical approach to connect, hold space and integrate Indigenous ways of being to foster connection and belonging.

This Conference was not merely an event, it’s was an experience that continues to resonate long after the last session and will continue to inspire everyone who attended in our personal and professional journeys.

Photo by Manish Tulaskar on Unsplash