We acknowledge the Aboriginal Custodians (past and present) of the land, where we meet today. The Cannalgal Clan of the Garigal Nation.
As a newly formed team within NTAHC the ATSI team wanted to introduce themselves to the Sistergirls and begin to build positive relationships. It was a collaborative approach drawing on the experience of other organisations like Danila Dilba, Wurli, NT Sexual Health and BBV staff and Red Cross.
The retreat is about time out from community life where people can be faced with discrimination based on sexuality.Provide appropriate services for participants to enhance their social and emotional wellbeing in a safe environment. Give time for healing to take place as part of sorry business.
We were competing against Sydney Mardi Gras (parade weekend) and also the Tiwi Islands Football Grand Final. The weather was extremely bad with monsoonal rain in Darwin and this was a deciding factor in some of the participants not getting on the plane from Nguiu. Flights were delayed a few hours.Alcohol and drug free event. For some this can be difficult.
Seven out of the fifteen confirmations, attended. They came from from Alice Springs, Katherine, Darwin and Tiwi Islands. This meant that we had good representation from across the NT. It was great to see those that hadn’t meet before become good friends by the end of Retreat.
Both nights had cooking demonstrations conducted by Nutritionists with some yummy food being prepared. Participants were encouraged to assist and the focus was on healthy eating with what food is available on communities. Shellie Morris attended and ran a music expression workshop on the SaturdayAlexis from Danila Dilba facilitated an art space which was very popular
The NTAHC Counseller was available at all times for private sessions and also assisted in group discussionsAlexis is employed by Danila Dilba as an emotional and wellbeing councilor. He was available for formal counseling and lots of informal yarningThis provided lots of opportunity to heal
Poor weather created a problem with outdoor activities. So horse riding, visits to the local water falls etc were off the listSolutionSet up a music space An art space A recording studio A sexual health and BBV information space
The Saturday night was the big night of the retreat – Mt Bundy Drag Show – an event to rival any Mardi Gras!Next a guitar came out and various people sang some great songs for the group and some traditional dancing and songs were also performed. It was a great night enjoyed by all.A dry spell on Sunday allowed horse riding to go ahead (until the rain kicked in again!)
At this Retreat we provided a lot of time for the participants to relax and interact with each other. The conference room and all its resources were available during this time. We had some very positive feedback about this.
There were a couple of occasions to make this a focus for the Sistergirls who were dealing with a death in their own community. On Friday night we had a candle light ceremony to remember this person and those who have passed and the strength we can all take from their powerful lives. Prayers were made, songs sung and tears spilled.
The retreat is important for the rural and remote LGBT community to meet and learn from each other. It also links the participants to organisations who can assist them learn skills to cope in day 2 day situations. It also provides a link to professional counselling that they can then access by phone should the need arise.
2010 Retreat Mt Bundy
2010 Retreat Mt Bundy<br />Presentation by Tess Presswell<br />Program Manager <br />Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council<br />
Introduction<br />The Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council is a non-profit organisation providing a diverse range of services to the community<br />Our vision is for a community free of BBVs in the NT and supporting those living with BBVs to lead healthy and fulfilling lives<br />
Introduction<br />The ATSI team consists of:<br />Coordinator / research<br />Education officer<br />Project officer<br />Known to us as Verity, Daniel and Emily<br />
Why a retreat?<br />Build positive relationships with the Sistergirls <br />Collaborate with other organisations like Danila Dilba, Wurli Wurlinjang, NT Sexual Health and BBV staff and Red Cross. <br />
AIMS<br />The retreat is about time out from community life<br />A safe environment with appropriate services for participants to enhance their social and emotional wellbeing <br />Give time for healing<br />
Invitations<br />Invitations were sent all over the NT.<br />Posted on our website.<br />Advertised in the Katherine Times.<br />Word of mouth – previous attendees.<br />15 people confirmed <br />
CHALLENGES<br />The Retreat was held the 26-28th February<br />Hector<br />Alcohol and drug free event<br />
First hurdle<br />The first obvious issue was personal space<br />Solutions<br />Some staff left<br />Designated Sistergirl space<br />
GUESTS<br />Past attendees from Danila Dilba were invaluable with their insight. <br />Nutritionists from Wurli <br />Counsellor from NTAHC and Danila Dilba<br />Shellie Morris<br />
Workshops<br />Both nights had cooking demonstrations conducted by Nutritionists<br />Shellie Morris attended and ran a music expression workshop on the Saturday<br />Danila Dilba facilitated an art space<br />
COUNSELLING<br />The NTAHC counsellor<br />Danila Dilba provided an emotional and wellbeing counsellor<br />This provided lots of opportunity to heal<br />
RECREATION ACTIVITIES<br />Poor weather created a problem with outdoor activities. <br />Solution<br />Set up a music space <br />An art space <br />A recording studio <br />A sexual health and BBV information space<br />
RECREATION ACTIVITIES<br />The Saturday night was the big night of the retreat – Mt Bundy Drag Show!<br />Informal sing-a-long and traditional dancing<br />A dry spell on Sunday allowed horse riding to go ahead (until the rain kicked in again!)<br />
FREE TIME<br />Very important component of any retreat<br />
HEALING TIME<br />A recent death in the community lead to the utilisation of this time by the group for reflection. <br />A candle light ceremony was held on the Friday night<br />
HEALING TIME<br />Shellie Morris conducted a music expression workshop. This provided another opportunity for the Sistergirls to express the grief. <br />The resulting song ‘I could be me’ is about loss and how we can learn from others. <br />
CONCLUSION<br />The retreat is important to promote connectedness among a very isolated group who live in rural and remote locations<br />Learning<br />Dry season<br />What worked <br />Balance of staff, activities and space<br />