Located in Rozelle, Gunawirra house provides services to vulnerable and disadvantaged people both locally and in rural communities.
With culture at the heart of everything they do, this charity delivers a unique method of healing by integrating culture and traditional therapies.
Gunawirra was formed in 2008 in a karawee karawee, a gathering of concerned people. Aboriginal representatives and elders had identified the need for an early intervention, multi- disciplinary approach that empowered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities to intervene in their own lives.
Gunawirra focuses on supporting child development in the first five years of life and aims to break the cycle of hardship.
Their programs focus on healing intergenerational trauma and grief through the influence of cultural identity, knowledge, and creativity.
“Gunawirra is a dreaming word meaning the invisible seed of all creation.”
Clinic On Country
This newest program addresses lack of available therapeutic services across rural and remote NSW by working within preschools and communities. The provision of these services assists the little ones with their communication difficulties, motor and cognitive abilities and ensures school readiness is on-par with their peers.
Young Aboriginal Mothers Program (YAMP)
Gunawirra takes pride in providing a culturally safe place for mothers and their children to grow, experience and learn. The program is run by professionals who aim to assist women and their children in a holistic way, and a cultural elder advises on and facilitates cultural activities for both mothers and children.
Five big ideas program
The program assists pre-schoolers in learning about personal hygiene, nutrition, basic health care, healing and resilience, identity and culture. Every year, Gunawirra provides children from rural and remote preschools with new school bags filled with hygiene essentials, activity books and much more. At Christmas each child receives three books and a toy. For many of these children this may be the only toy they receive each year the smile on the children’s faces is a joy to behold.
Journey to learning
Working alongside some inspiring elders, community days are held within the preschools to connect children with their Aboriginal cultural heritage and knowledge. The program also utilises a culture box and the training allows educators to confidently include culturally appropriate activities in the classroom and encourage children to develop creativity in their thinking.
Gunawirra provides a clinical professional to facilitate regular private sessions for preschool educators. These sessions give educators a space to confide and support each other and develop skills to better support children who have experienced trauma. This work assists educators to understand the powerful relationship between culture, identity, and healing.
19A Quirk St, Rozelle