Understanding and appreciate the impact of trauma
Trauma affects many people. It can be described as an event or process that overwhelms a person, family or community’s capacity to cope. Trauma can be physical, psychological or spiritual.
It is important to recognise that grief, trauma and inter-generational trauma weigh heavily on First Nation Peoples. Colonisation, dispossession of land, violence, theft of wages and policies that punished the use of language, forbade cultural expression and led to the atrocities such as the stolen generation degrade us all. This trauma has impacted the formation of our Australian identity and has an inter-generational impact on all Australians in our relationship with each other (Paulo Freire writes about the de-humanising impact of colonisation on the oppressor as well as the oppressed – link Pedagogy of The Oppressed, Chapter 1).
To practice Deep Collaboration well, we need to have an understanding and appreciation that the trauma inflicted in Australia’s history, has a lasting impact on the relationship between First Nations and other Australians.