Sydney’s 40th Mardi Gras – A Celebration! 15th March 2018

You are beautiful

Your being different doesn’t threaten me

I am open & thankful

Your difference, your contrast

Enriches my world

Our eyes met

I waved & you smiled

I am happier, interested,

engaged & excited

Let’s Celebrate Together!

Australia recently made legal changes that undid the damaging & limiting definition of marriage as only possible between a man and a woman, allowing thousands more diverse couples the right to marry.

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On Saturday, March the 3rd, a contingent of 50 staff members from across Australia, their friends and family members represented Relationships Australia in the 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. It was a celebration of 40 years of pride and protest. A spectacular night we will remember, not only for its nearly 200 incredible floats, outrageous costumes and party vibe, but for what it means to us all.

12,000 adoring souls who know to praise this life we have, came together. Marching with my RA family & held by the wider community of countless happy queer families & so many loyal straight mates, I felt elated.

Even walking towards the start of the parade, the streets were abuzz with excitement & the message became clear. I am okay. You are okay. We are each unique. No need for fear, just celebration here!

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It was simply wonderful to be among so many adults who remember how to play. Play is important for self-esteem & healthy relationships.

Joy spread everywhere as people opened up to celebrate their own unique gorgeousness. This collective energy creates an invitation to each one of us to be bravely who we truly are without shame or fear, without judgement of others.

Cinderella sings “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” The same is true of negative experiences. Despite the challenges of growing up queer, I consider myself very lucky & doing well in life for several years now, but the higher level of acceptance I experienced at Mardi Gras highlighted an undercurrent of slight fear and self-protection, a mode we are often in without realising it. It is a stress we live with and many minorities live with. Celebration of diversity is a panacea to conformity & control. Events like this can have a transformative effect for people’s lives.

The diversity was startling & inspiring. I witnessed you, multifarious, each unique in your beauty. You fluffy wolves, you leather dogs, you bears & butterflies, you women with strong arms & clever minds, you hairy beautiful dress wearing beings, you old wise ones playing music, you fairies, you inflatable dinosaurs, tin man & Wonder Woman you lions & fauns you man-woman, you hairy beautiful…. you love huge – all of you.

Kim and Caela

Being in Mardi Gras was a peak experience. It was exhilarating. It made my year. We wore shining rainbow capes. We skipped & danced along the street together waving & blowing kisses to a loving crowd of over 500,000 people. The lived experience of so much acceptance travels with me now.

On the night all the people who came up and spoke to us were very thankful for the kind support Relationships Australia has pro-actively given so many queer people over the past 40+ years.

THANK YOU Relationships Australia – You Rock!!!!

*Kim Zeneth is a counsellor based in Alice Springs

International Women’s Day 2018 #pressforprogress

Jarrod Kaplan, Darwin Counsellor writes:

Every day, millions of women and their allies are taking steps – sometimes small steps and sometimes strides – towards equality, empowerment and fulfillment of their rights.

For many, International Women’s Day, is just another day along the journey. However, special days like International Women’s Day are an important marker to pause and reflect on all that has been achieved and take stock for the road ahead.

International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on 8th March – it cuts across the divides of ethnicity, language, politics, nationality and class. It is a day of recognition of women’s achievements and a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.

Over the last year, we have witnessed bold, brave and exciting global movements. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have emboldened women to speak up about harassment and abuse and have reminded us of the power of solidarity and the power in numbers. These movements have also reminded us of how far we have to go and how much courage it takes for women to be silence breakers.

 

UN Women are marking this International Women’s Day with the message ‘Leave no woman behind’. It is a critical message in using the success and power of these popular movements to make a real difference to the lives of women who do not have the profile or the power that comes with being a Hollywood actor.

So, how is all of this relevant and what should we do about it?

Well, it is estimated by the World Health Organization that one-third of all women worldwide are affected by sexual violence with even more experiencing harassment. Statistics show that 1 in 6 Australian have been subjected, since the age of 15, to physical and/or sexual violence by a current or previous cohabiting partner (ABS 2017b). Family, domestic and sexual violence happens repeatedly—more than half (54%) of the women who had experienced current partner violence, experienced more than one violent incident (ABS 2017b).

Contextual factors that influces FD&S violence

The data shows that women are overwhelmingly the main victims of all types of family, domestic and sexual violence. They will most likely know the perpetrator, who is often their current or a previous partner. Indeed, partners pose the greatest risk of violence for women—be it for physical, sexual or emotional abuse. In contrast, men are less likely than women to be the victims of family, domestic and sexual violence, but are much more likely to be the victims of violence from a stranger. (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence in Australia, 2018)

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Family violence occurs at higher rates for Aboriginal Australians than for non-Indigenous Australians. Family violence within Indigenous communities needs to be understood as both a cause and effect of social disadvantage and intergenerational trauma (ABS 2016). Aboriginal women are 32 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence than other women (ABS 2017b), and the Northern Territory has a two and a half to five times higher rate per capita of family violence than other States or Territories (ABS, 2016). Statistically, this suggests that we all know women who have experienced abuse. It also means, that we likely know men who have perpetrated it.*

In fact, the purpose of #MeToo campaign  (by creator Tarana Burke) was to empower all women through empathy, especially young and vulnerable women.

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At Relationships Australia NT, over the last year, we have supported more than 1,000 families, many of who presented with family violence issues. This work is critical in providing safe and secure environments.

There are also things that we can all do every day to progress women’s rights. Here’s a few suggestions:

  1. Be mindful and active about women’s participation – question the lack of women’s participation, for example on speaking panels and for promotion opportunities. Where you see a lack of parity, question it and identify more inclusive alternatives. Think 50/50 as the goal.
  1. Challenge stereotypes – if you hear people talking about women in negative ways (and it is safe to do so) question them and challenge negative attitudes. This is particularly important with people who love and trust you – call your friends out when you hear this.
  1. Celebrate women’s achievements – value women’s individual and collective success in whatever forms you see it and make sure women are credited for their work and their contributions.
  1. Support – seek support, if you, or someone you know, is experiencing harassment, abuse or violence of any kind. Know that there are services out there to support you. Relationships Australia NT is one of many services that are available. Visit our website, call us or drop into our office for support

*It is important to acknowledge that men and boys are also victims of abuse. Given the focus of this post is International Women’s Day, and women are invariably more likely to be the victims of abuse, the focus of this article is the victimisation of women.

Counsellor Rebecca Lowe suggests every day should be Valentine’s Day – 13th February 2018.

Valentine’s Day has become less of a celebration of adoration and more of a way for greeting card companies to sell stuffed bears with heart shaped eyes. If you’re a cynic, or a realist, this arbitrary show of affection once a year feels as fake as the plastic roses that invade supermarkets this time of year. Yet, despite what Hallmark might suggest, the origins of Valentine’s Day are actually less about boxes of chocolate and more about “love”.

As charming as the cards, poems, dinners, flowers, gadgets, jewelry and perfume are, you don’t need to purchase things to show someone that you love them. Your wallet and relationship will feel much healthier if you stop worrying about “what special thing to do on Valentine’s” and start thinking about the little everyday ways to show you care.

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Love experts and relationships scientists, Drs. Julie and John Gottman, have known for years that small gestures – done, noticed, received and thanked – play a huge role in daily connectedness with our partners. Their research with couples tells us that very simple things such as eye contact with our partners, especially when they are talking with us makes our body have a physiological response. This bodily response helps us to be closer emotionally. Being closer emotionally and feeling loved go hand-in-glove (or even Cupid-in-nappy).

And, eye contact isn’t the only easy way to show loved ones that we love, appreciate and enjoy them. Smiling can go a long way and it makes you and your partner feel nice.

Kisses and touching doesn’t have to be reserved for the dim light of the bedroom, an affectionate kiss on the lips – which is defined as more than a dry puckered peck and less than open mouthed wrestling – is a nice way to say “I love you.” Even a brief and simple shoulder, neck or foot rub is nice, and we aren’t talking oils and lit candles here, although that can be very good too.

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From a young age we are taught small niceties; hello, goodbye, please and thank you, but suddenly forget them when we become used to someone’s presence. These little polite gestures can make your loved one feel appreciated.

Make meeting at the end of the day a big deal, just for a few minutes stop what you are doing and hug, kiss, ask each other how you are and then give each other space if you then need it. Connect during the day, every day, no matter how busy you each are. Make sure you respond if your partner reaches out to connect with you – text or email back. Even if you feel you have nothing to say.

Sometimes one partner can feel like they are always left to do a certain job. Let your partner know that you can help out by doing a job when it needs doing, as well thanking your partner when they have done a job.

Share special memories and spend some quiet time flicking through photos together, making nice comments. Pass on compliments from other people, as well as complimenting your partner. Notice them and appreciate being noticed. Be considerate.

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You might be thinking “yeah all that stuff is easy but I don’t want to do it when they’re not putting in any effort”… how do you know your partner isn’t feeling the exact same way?

It can be really helpful when people’s thinking just shifts a little. It is important to recognise that what we put in to our relationships helps to create what the relationship is, so if you are “putting in” something that is negative you need to take note of this. Remember, no two people are going to have the same experience as any other two. A “relationship” is what two individuals bring when they come together and the dynamic between them is “their relationship”.

Philosopher and relationship commentator, Alain de Botton in a School of Life YouTube clip highlights that a marriage or committed couple relationship is very much like a business agreement. In the business of love there is much to do; tasks, accomplishments, goals (daily, monthly, yearly), growth, cut back and ongoing effort, along with communication, negotiation and celebration.

Our Couple Connect course helps couples at all stages of their relationship to “fine tune” their connection and communication in their relationship. Many couples find attending one of our couple courses particularly beneficial in setting aside time for the relationship, focusing on it, putting effort in and being assisted to do this with structure.

Couple Connect will be offered four times throughout this year with the first course starting next week on 21 February. In the second half of the year we will be running our very popular six week course, Building Better Relationships which goes further into couple relationship dynamics.

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Playground Politics & Bullying Awareness – January 29th 2018

RANT Counsellor, Dagmara Rowlands, sheds some light on how to recognise bullying and steps to take if your child is being bullied. 

The holidays are coming to an end and while back to school may be a sigh of relief for parents, who have been juggling child care and entertainment for weeks, it can be a difficult time for kids. School can be stressful, for any number of reasons, other than the dreaded homework. Back to school could mean starting a new school, making friends and negotiating ever present playground politics.

Bullying is a serious issue in schools, and while many principals and teachers assure a zero tolerance policy, it can sometimes be hard to recognise and manage.

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Relationships Australia NT recognises the impact that bullying can have not only on the child themselves but also the parents and family. As the bullying beast takes many forms there is no hard or fast rule for defeat, but it can be helpful for parents to recognise some signs and not underestimate the lasting effects of schoolyard taunting.

While we could endlessly talk about the varied signs and symptoms of bullying, RANT counsellor, Dagmara Rowlands, briefly sheds some light on behaviours to be aware of and some steps to take in the presence of bullying.

“When a child is verbalising a desire to not go to school or has a noticeable decline in school performance, these are obvious warning signals, especially when coupled with lost or destroyed property and unexplained injuries.”

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However, signs of difficulties at school are not always so plain.

“Parents should be alert to changes in mood, behaviour and physical appearance of their children.” Whilst some signs may be difficult to register, especially in teenagers whom are known for their unpredictable emotions, “moodiness, irritability and withdrawal, along with difficulties getting out of bed” may be something other than just teen angst. “Being aware of changes in eating habits, frequent stomach or headaches and faking illnesses is important as these may indicate anxiety.”

It is also important to take note of how your child is socialising. While kids are known to chop and change groups as they mature, sudden social withdrawal and loss of friends may indicate more than the natural transience of childhood friendships.

So what is to be done? Firstly, even acknowledging bullying can seem daunting for both children and parents. Naming the issue might make it seem bigger than you want it to be, or a real problem for which you don’t have a tangible solution or parental wisdom.

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“Finding out that your child is being bullied can be upsetting. The most important first step for parents is to stay calm and positive and listen to your child. Do not dismiss their concerns or encourage them to sort it out themselves.”

Dagmara’s second piece of advice is to talk to the school.

“You are not alone in this issue; the school doesn’t want your child to feel ostracised or uncomfortable. Find out what supports are in place and how they can assist your child in the school domain.”

Ensuring that the child has a confidant at school and encouraging them to report incidents and understand that it is OK to do so, can also help inspire security.

“Parents must explain to their children that bullying is not their fault.”

According to Dagmara confidence is key, as body language can speak volumes. “Parents can work out strategies with their children, such as appearing confident even if they feel insecure on the inside.” Just practicing saying No firmly can create confidence as well as acting unimpressed or unaffected.

“Don’t let bullying dominate your child’s life, focus on developing new skills and encourage healthy outlets outside of school where they can form meaningful bonds and develop new skills.”

Relationships Australia NT offers individual, couple and family counselling, relationship education and skill-building courses including Parenting courses. For more information please call us on (08) 8923 4999.

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Gratitidue – Nov 28th 2017

As the countdown to Christmas begins, this time of year can change very quickly from a time of giving, sharing, reflecting and gratitude, to a rushed and stressful time where its easy to forget the importance of well-being.

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Robert A. Emmons from the University of California, Davis and Michael E. McCullough from the University of Miami conducted a research project in 2003, Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life, where the effect of a grateful outlook on psychological and physical well-being was examined. The results suggested that a conscious focus on counting one’s blessings can have emotional and interpersonal benefits.

The results suggested that a conscious focus on counting one’s blessings can have emotional

Keeping a gratitude journal can be an effective way of enhancing positive thought and wellbeing. Recording weekly entries can help you to pay attention to the good things in life and brings to the fore the stuff you might take for granted. Emmons & McCullough’s research revealed that those who kept gratitude journals reported fewer negative physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week, in comparison with people who wrote about their stresses or generic life events.

When keeping a gratitude journal, it’s important to read back over those entries to remind yourself of the good in your days and what you have to look forward to. Try to record moments that were surprising or unexpected to savour that surprise. Record the positive remarks people say about you. When you’re feeling unappreciated or undervalued by yourself or those around you, those records will remind you that you are valued, appreciated and important. Emmons & McCullough’s research revealed that participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to achieve or make progress toward their personal goals, be they academic, interpersonal or health-based.

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Continuing practice of maintaining gratitude for happy thoughts, moments, feedback, goals and possessions can enhance well being and allow for positive thoughts making positive lives, particularly in this busy festive season.

If you are interested in learning more about how to increase your well being and implement positive reflection in your life, we can help. Get in touch with us on (08) 8923 4999 to make an appointment.

A small difference can make a big difference when trying to reduce stress – 8th September 2017

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom” – Victor E. Frankl.

A great quote from an incredible existential psychotherapist/ author on reducing stress by widening the space space between stimulus and response.

When you say ‘I am stressed’ – you are identifying all of you with being stressed. When you say ‘I’m noticing that I am feeling stressed’ – you are noticing a current state rather than your identity.

This small difference can help to widen the space between the impact and how we choose to respond.

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Steps to ease stress – September 2017

When clients ask about what steps they can take to ease stress, we tell them that it’s as easy as ABC…

  1. Adjust your daily routine
  2. Be Kind
  3. Connect

Adjust your daily routine

Plan your day to ease the chaos by knowing when you are most productive and least productive. Write down your basic daily tasks and then map your daily schedule to match your energy levels.

For example, arrange your most challenging tasks to be done with your morning coffee and your easier, mindless tasks for later in the afternoon when you feel like you could do with a nap.

 

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Be Kind

Even when we are feeling irritable – if we can treat ourselves and others with kindness rather than judgement and criticism – and transform how we feel.

We can then put our experiences in perspective rather than letting them overwhelm us.   When we are having a bad day we orientate towards the negative and forget the good – this negative bias can be reversed but this requires practice.  Each of us has good qualities and remembering these qualities can improve our relationships and remind us what we liked about ourselves and others.

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Connect

Take a moment during the day to notice your landscape –

  • look out the window
  • walk barefoot on grass
  • close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you
  • go for a walk and take up to see and hear your surroundings

Connecting to others also helps us to ease stress.  This could be simply to spend time with your colleagues to ask them how they are, to share lunch with someone who is important to you, to share a joke together. Sometimes we also need to connect with others who can support us with our stressors of work and life.

All Northern Territory Government employees and their families are eligible for  Employee Assistance Program counselling sessions to assist with work and life issues.  These include but not limited to:

  • stress and anxiety
  • workplace relationships
  • conflict and harassment
  • work life balance
  • couple, family and parenting issues

Relationships Australia NT work with individuals, couples, children and families.  Please note – all individuals are eligible for 3 counselling sessions; couples –are eligible for 6 counselling sessions.

All our counsellors are suitably trained and qualified from our Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs office – via face-to-face and electronic devices (audio and visual).

We are able to provide an appointment within 5 working days.

Facing Father’s Day as a separated parent – 1st September 2017

Some Thoughts for Separated Dads on Father’s Day.

Regardless of your individual circumstances, significant days such as Father’s Day can be difficult for separated dads.  Our feelings and reactions as a dad who may not see his children, or who may have to share the care of his children with their mother, on Father’s Day can quickly become negative if we let them.  A little preparation prior to Father’s Day can make a big difference in helping separated dads not only get through the day but in enjoying it as well.

So, depending on your circumstances this Father’s Day, here are a few tips in helping to plan for the day.

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For those dads who may not be able to see their kids on Father’s Day you may consider the following:

  • Prepare yourself mentally – a major part of being without your kids on Father’s Day and getting through it has to do with preparation.  As far as you can, predict what thoughts and feelings you may have on Father’s Day and prepare an ‘escape route’ if that is useful.  This can take the form of planning to be busy with enjoyable activities on the day – think about engaging distracting activities you could plan and fill your day with those.
  • If possible plan to telephone or Skype your kids and plan this with the kids beforehand so they are prepared.  Depending on ages of your kids and their interests there are a range of activities and games that can be shared over Skype and similar technologies.  Again, depending on their ages, you may plan a story to tell them or prepare a list of things to talk about – they will appreciate your special interest in them and what’s happening in their lives.
  • Write a special Father’s Day letter or email to your kids. Tell them how much you love them and about your best memories with them. Talk about your hopes for the future for them and how committed you are to your relationship with them.  Even though you can’t be together, you can still share your feelings with them.  If you have more than one child write to each individually so that they can feel special.

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 If you will see your kids part of the day the following may help:

  • Have a plan for the day – plan for the time with the kids as well as for the time without them.  For the time with the kids, plan activities that will allow you maximum interaction to make the most of any limited time you have: don’t just sit down in front of the tv or go to a movie.  For that part of the day when you are not with the kids, plan some things to do on your own that are enjoyable and distracting.

Whatever your situation if you are a separated father on Father’s Day, it can take an emotional and mental toll so remember:

  • Plan ahead – this is by far the most important thing a dad can do to make sure you get the most of your time with the kids.  Alternately, planning the day if you won’t be seeing your kids will give you some strategies to ‘get through it’ in good shape.
  • Use technology where you can to help you have contact with your kids on Father’s Day and other days as well.

And don’t forget to:

  • Listen to your self-talk – be alert to signs of self-pity or hopelessness and be prepared to act on these signals to change the self-talk
  • Be prepared to talk to others about your concerns, including speaking with a professional (counsellor or psychologist) if you feel that would be of benefit
  • Be clear about where you have choices and where you don’t, and don’t get stuck ruminating over things you can’t change
  • Commit to looking after yourself – both on Father’s Day and for the longer-term
  • Think about getting fit – being physically fit can really help how we think and feel about things
  • Go easy on the alcohol and/or drugs – they are not the answer
  • Eat well – maintaining a healthy diet benefits us both physically and mentally
  • And remember to speak with your GP if you have concerns about your physical or mental health

Our Languages Matter – Staff NAIDOC Exhibition in Darwin 7th July 2017

On Friday 7th July 2017, Relationships Australia Northern Territory Darwin Aboriginal and Islander Cultural Advisers (AICAs) – Kathy, Eddie, Valarie, Jeff & Ruth – created an exhibition entitled Our Languages Matter for Darwin staff in the Barramundi Room to mark NAIDOC week.

This exhibition allowed the AICAs to share different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories and music, as well as their culture with staff members.

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Our Languages Matter featured Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island artefacts including baskets woven from Pandanus from Arnhem land.

These baskets are made when young pandanus leaves are harvested and sliced into fine strips. This is followed by a colouring process, in which the strips are placed in drums of bush dyes, roots and leaves from different plants sourced in the area. Dye is extracted through bashing and crushing techniques, and then added to the water with the pandanus to create vivid colour. After dying, the strips must hang and dried out for at least three to four hours before preparing it to start the weaving process.  These strips are then woven into intricate baskets and mats or rolled into ropes for other designs.

Dilli bags are prepared slightly differently however.  Vines from Banyan trees are gathered and rolled into long thin threads and woven to make the bags. These bags would have been used to carry items for everyday use or for long journeys depending on the size. Sometimes the same colouring as baskets is used.

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Coral and turtles, which represented Torres Strait culture, were also featured. The Torres Strait Islands have the world’s largest population of green, hawksbill and flatback turtles.

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Murray Island is a small island, to the east of the Torres Strait, just north of the Great Barrier Reef and is where Eddie Mabo was born.

The contribution of Eddie Mabo in campaigning for Indigenous land rights and for his role in a landmark decision of the High Court of Australia which overturned the legal doctrine of terra nullius (“nobody’s land”) which characterised Australian law with regard to land and title was also recognised.

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The exhibition also featured information about The Barunga Statement. This statement of national Aboriginal political objectives issued to the federal government in June 1988. Written on bark and presented to Prime Minister RJL Hawke at that year’s Barunga festival, it called for Aboriginal self-management, a national system of land rights, compensation for loss of lands, respect for Aboriginal identity, an end to discrimination, and the granting of full civil, economic, social and cultural rights.

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Another display featured spears from the Tiwi Islands. These spears were designed for close combat and would be thrusted into the enemy and this twisted and pulled out. Female spears are smooth on one side and serrated on the other. The male spears are serrated on both sides. Thankfully, these days, the spears are used for art.

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Relationships Australia NT staff who visited the exhibition heard a mix of both traditional and contemporary Aboriginal music.

The exhibition also featured a collection of books including Stan Grant’s book, Talking to my Country, a powerful and personal meditation on race, culture and national identity.  Another book on display was Why Warriors Lie Down and Die. This book gives readers an understanding of why the Aboriginal people of Arnhem Land face the greatest crisis in health and education since European contact.

A book on the history of the Kahlin Compound in Darwin and the experiences of the children who grew up there was also on display

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Feedback from the staff was overwhelmingly positive with the majority of visitors saying how much they enjoyed it and how sorry they were that the exhibition was on display for such a short time.

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9th Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations – Feb 13th 2017

A genetic study has found that Australia has the oldest living culture in the world passed down from generation to generation for the past 40,000, confirming they may have the oldest continuous culture on the planet.

By 1911, every mainland State and Territory had introduced protection policies that subjected Indigenous people to near-total control and denied them basic human rights such as freedom of movement and labour, custody of their children, and control over their personal property.

Between 1910 and 1970 many children were forcibly taken from their families when the Australian Government initiated the removal of Aboriginal children under these protection policies. These children were taught to reject their heritage and forced to adopt the non-indigenous culture. Their names were changed and they were forbidden to speak their traditional language.

PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 13: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) Rhonda Randall and Sharon Mumbler stand proud with their "Sorry" scarf as Kevin Rudd's Broadcast apology to Aboriginal Peoples of Australia at Penrith Council on February 13, 2008 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by David Hill/Newspix/Getty Images)

PENRITH, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 13: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) Rhonda Randall and Sharon Mumbler stand proud with their “Sorry” scarf as Kevin Rudd’s Broadcast apology to Aboriginal Peoples of Australia at Penrith Council on February 13, 2008 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by David Hill/Newspix/Getty Images)

Almost every Aboriginal family has been affected by the forcible removal of one or more children across generations. For many Aboriginal people; their family and community are still coming to terms with the trauma which has caused suffering, loss and heartache.

On the 13th February 2008, Australia’s then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tabled a motion in parliament to apologise to the Indigenous people of Australia and in particular to the Stolen Generations for these laws and policies.

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The apology included a proposal of “closing the gap” between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians over a range of issues including life expectancy, education and economic opportunities.

“We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country. For the pain, suffering and hurt of these stolen generations, their descendant and for their families left behind”

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