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My name is James Cripps
I am from the Palawa nation; my family (Riley) come from Cape Barren Island & Flinders Island Tasmania. I have lived in South Australia for the past 8 years working in both metropolitan and remote communities. I understand past historical grief & loss and how this continues to impact the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) communities across the country. My observations having worked in various communities at various levels that people need to identify what they have lost to discover why they are grieving. Its only when we identify the grief we can then start the healing process. The loss may be language, cultural practices, land, loss of family / stolen generation and spiritual connectiveness.
In these modern times these losses impact on every day life and the grief spans across all areas of our communities.
- Lack of Housing impacts in a variety of ways, overcrowding, transience, availability affordability and quality. Also issues of neighbourhood feuding and racism
- Health issues include chronic disease, life span, preventative measure/illnesses, services, availability, accessibility, depression and self medicating
- Major social issues affecting ATSI people today include education, employment, incarceration, substance use, culture, family violence, poverty
- Remote communities having poor access to affordable good quality nutritional foods
The way forward is to develop partnerships and share resources. Look at what has been working well and what hasn't. Involve local people in the development of strategies and the decision making process. This creates ownership and leadership opportunities for ATSI communities. Services both Government and non Government need to become the enablers; to ensure that there are opportunities for families and communities to take the lead role in creating healthy choices. Those of us who work in communities need to become the conduits between Government agencies and local communities. Also we need to be responsible in training and mentoring our young leaders; so that they may walk between the two worlds of Western society and their traditional cultural heritage. We must promote, preserve and maintain our languages and cultural practices at every opportunity.
I hold membership and actively participate in various organisations:
- Board member Federation Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Languages Culture (Corp)
- Board Member Turkindi Indigenous Information Network Association SA
- Port Adelaide Enfield City Council Aboriginal Advisory Panel SA
- Aboriginal Health Research Ethics Committee SA
Graduate Diploma Indigenous Health (Substance Use)
Diploma Psychophysical Integration Therapy
Australasian Academy of Natural Science Certified
Business Management Certified 2