TERESA Miller is building mooditj kaart (strong minds) for a strong future in Armadale.
She is currently the manager of the Mooditj Kaart program at Muggin Aboriginal Corporation, based at the Champion Centre in Seville Grove.
“We set the program up because we were concerned about the kind of things that were impacting on the social and emotional wellbeing of our Armadale Noongars.
“We looked at our social disconnect and isolation, things like inter-generational trauma, institutionalised racism, the loss the family communication and connection.
“We looked at suicide and we looked at substance use and abuse. Those were our priority areas,” Ms Miller said.
“We recognise that spiritual healing and a strong social and emotional foundation are the keys in addressing the mental and physical health and wellbeing of our community.”
Ms Miller has lived in Armadale for over 40 years and said there are problems with the community not accessing services because of a lack of trust, confidence and knowledge.
“A lot of our mob don’t know what services are out there and what’s available to them. And because of that, they can’t engage with those services,” she said.
“At the moment, the services are here, the Noongar are there, and there’s no bridge. That’s why we want to be that bridge.”
Ms Miller said keeping a spiritual connection to culture and family was vital.
“If you walk down that street and you see those mobs in the park, nine times out of 10, they usually come from families who were taken away through stolen generations. So they lost their mum and their dad, that love.
“Instead of growing up with love, they grew up with hate. Innocent kids.
“That’s why some of them are so angry, they still carry it for a lifetime. They’ll never get over that sort of stuff,” she said.
“We would be part of their extended family by what we have at Muggin.
“A lot of the mob who come here and work with me, they become my sisters and my brothers.”
Muggin Aboriginal Corporation has always been a family affair.
Muggin was one of the Noongar names Ms Miller’s grandfather, a medicine man, went by.
“Through my family we’ve got this generational, strong connection with healing,” she said.
“Over the years I’ve seen women that I’ve worked with keep their children. We provide that extra support for them if they’re feeling isolated or left out of things.”
“It’s a safe place to talk and have a yarn. The sort of conversations we have sitting down and yarning, they’re the stories of their lives they share with us.
“We provide a safe place for them to do that, and that support. A lot of our mob hold it in but we draw it out and that healing process can start.”