Retreat for Carers of First Nations Children - April 2024

It was so wonderful to see 36 carers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children attend our first retreat of the year at Hotel Bellinzona at Hepburn Springs from Saturday 20 April – Sunday 21 April held on the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung people. Starting with a Smoking Ceremony from Elder Jason Kerr, our first day was filled with connections, shared knowledge and a powerful keynote from AJ Williams-Tchen, a proud Wiradjuri Social Worker, Nurse and Youth Worker discussing the responsibilities and possibilities of caring for First Nations kids and young people.

The second day exploded with energy including a morning of weaving bracelets with artist and former paramedic Cassie Leatham from Wild Blak Arts. She then led carers on an incredible bush walk informing them on bushtukka. In the afternoon, we learnt about dadirri, an ancient mindfulness tradition led by We Al-li facilitator Lee Couch and ended with Wayapa, a relaxing practice combining narrative meditation and physical movement.

Feedback from kinship, permanent and accredited foster carers attending indicated the retreat was a unique and important opportunity to connect with other carers and Aboriginal culture.   

”It was a wonderfully put together retreat with amazing people and it was obvious they genuinely cared about us carers and the challenges of our life being carers.

So much more than I expected! Such a beautiful backdrop, great presenters, an amazing group of carers, great organisation".

“Thank you so much for organising this event you guys were all so helpful, amazing, friendly, hospitable and accepting. I really appreciate being able to attend, I was inspired to learn more about culture and to hear so many people with the same struggles.”

So nice to get away and spend time reflecting and connecting with other like-minded people and experiences."

 “Very relaxed and came away with a lot of new and inspiring information.”

”I feel so honoured to be caring for Aboriginal children and being able to walk this walk, and learn, and grow together with them. That the way forward is together. ”

”Culture is more than just family - it is environment - community - activities and an inner sense of belonging and being part a great extended family community.”

“I feel valued as a foster carer because of this weekend.”

It was great to be amongst people who actually understand what life as a carer is like.”



All Victorian-based carers are welcome to fill in an EOI for the National Conference in August here which close on 12 June.

Don’t forget to sign up to our mailing list to keep up to date with the latest Carer Kafe information, as well as like and follow us on Facebook.

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