Milroy, H., Dudgeon, P., & Walker, R. (2014). Community life and development programs: pathways to healing. In P. Dudgeon, H. Milroy and R. Walker (Eds.), Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice, 2nd edition (pp.419-435). Commonwealth of Australia.

This chapter provides an overarching framework for understanding the components of healthy communities through a healing and community life development approach. The chapter explores three major themes covering the nature of the trauma that has occurred over many generations and continues to be experienced in the present. These are:
– the extreme sense of powerlessness and loss of control;
– the profound sense of loss, grief and disconnection; and
– the overwhelming sense of trauma and helplessness.

In turn, there are three pathways to recovery to address each of these areas of trauma that have occurred as a consequence of the history of colonisation and its impacts:
– self-determination and community governance;
– reconnection and community life; and
– restoration and community resilience.

Most significantly we argue that Aboriginal worldviews, developing a comprehensive, holistic approach that focuses on individual, family and community strengths whilst at the same time addressing the needs of the community, is both a more culturally acceptable and effective approach to address these issues.