TrainSmart Australia acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The history of one of the oldest peoples on Earth.
Uncle Malcolm walked us through Yagan Mia and told its story. It was a ceremonial place for Noongar men and was once used as a vantage point for ancient First Nation people to be able to see all across the Western Australian landscape.
Pictured above (from left to right): Auntie Gladys, Uncle Malcolm, and their granddaughter. Photo courtesy of Aaron McPolin.
Experiencing the native flora of Western Australia.
The day started with Uncle Malcolm asking the group to see through the eyes of the Wadjuk people. To look at the land as it was hundreds of years ago when the Wadjuk people lived off the land. To help our attendees further delve into the history of the area, each group was assigned a tribe leader and went off in different directions, imagining the land as it was before.
Our groups came back together and we all openly discussed what it was that we saw, what we felt, and what we imagined.
Uncle Malcolm then split the men and women into 2 different groups, with the men going with Uncle Malcolm, and the women going with his wife, Auntie Gladys.
What was discussed in these groups were traditional secrets, handed down among the Wadjuk people.
Pictured above: TrainSmart Australia staff members, Eden Zegeye and Tanya L’Estrelle-Adcock. Photo courtesy of Aaron McPolin.
The importance of mental health among First Nation peoples.
The groups reconvened and Uncle Malcolm led a talk with the group about mental health within the First Nation communities. Mental Health struggles were initially seen as an illness that couldn’t be cured, and these people were shunned from the communities. However, much like the mental health stigma around the world, the First Nation peoples adapted their beliefs and came together to embrace those who have mental health struggles within their communities.
Pictured above: TrainSmart Australia staff and students, listening to Uncle Malcolm talk about mental health. Photo courtesy of Aaron McPolin.
Uncle Malcolm emphasized that the way to help a young First Nation person with mental health struggles is to be their friend and to take care of them. Speak to them as you would anyone else, regardless of their mental health. It was an enlightening experience, with a beautiful discussion from Uncle Malcolm that touched everyone’s hearts.
The day finished with some traditional Wadjuk painting and food preparation.
Pictured above: TrainSmart Australia CEO Surinder Randhawa, contributing to the hand painting. Photo courtesy of Aaron McPolin.
TrainSmart Australia would like to thank Uncle Malcolm and Auntie Gladys for spending a day with our staff and students. We would also like to thank them for sharing the strong and rich history of the Wadjuk people, as well as the importance of Yagan Mia.
Pictured above: Together We Journey – The art piece created by everyone in attendance. Photo courtesy of Aaron McPolin.