Giving Back: Gunawirra
In Aboriginal mythology, 'gunawirra' means the invisible seed of all creation. Founded in 2008, Gunawirra is a not-for-profit organisation that offers programs for Indigenous parents and young children. The programs are designed to help support health and education, and seek to break the cycle of suffering and inter-generational trauma caused by loss of country, community, culture and family.
Gunawirra's vision is to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, families and communities to develop to their full potential. "The animating spirit of all Gunawirra projects is creating a space in which to listen, a space where the voices of traumatised children, parents and teachers can be heard, in a way that gives those voices relevance."
Prevention Through Early Intervention
Gunawirra's many programs help support Aboriginal women from pregnancy through to their child starting school. They offer preschool programs that assist children five years and younger in learning about Aboriginal culture, nutrition, their family and Elders, with projects and activities often delivered using storytelling and art to provide a gentle and holistic learning approach.
Gunawirra also have teacher training programs that equip educators with the tools and knowledge they need to support children who have experienced trauma, by understanding the relationship between culture and healing.
Gunawirra Care Packs
In acknowledgement of National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week, the P.E Nation team spent time together creating Care Packs as part of Gunawirra's 'Five Big Ideas' program, to gift to preschool aged children living in remote regions across New South Wales.
Gunnawirra's Five Big Ideas is a program taught using audio visual mediums, art, puppets, dreamtime stories and games for children to play. Five one-hour programs focus on key learning areas: My Health & Hygiene; Healing & Resistance; My Land, Our Environment; My Culture, My Identity, and; Nutrition.
The care packs are donated by organisations, businesses and schools across NSW annually, and include items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, hats, sunscreen, towels and other small essentials to gift to children as they learn about each of the five pillars. The P.E Nation team also wrote small caring notes to pack into each bag, for the children to find.
Our Community Program
The Gunawirra care packing opportunity was organised as part of P.E Nation's Our Community Program, an initiative set up to facilitate regular occasions for the team to give back.
"Gunawirra and our member preschools acknowledge our Aboriginal people and we give expression to their ancient wisdom and culture in acknowledging them as the traditional owners of this land. We also acknowledge all those who have come from many countries later, bringing their cultural richness to be spiritually grafted onto this ancient culture. We want to create a program that is useful for all of us, creating a reconciliation of which we can all be truly proud for our children in the future."
To learn more about Gunawirra, to get involved in their initiatives or to donate, visit the Gunawirra website.