Group of photo standing with a painting

Nyami Jinda Wellbeing Gathering Committee, Teisha Schirmer, Noelene Skinner, Carol Hart, Ulamila Rokodakunivosa, Simone Smith, Kymberlee Skinner, Kahli Wyatt and Aunty Jenny Skinner.

Making strong connections on Gumbaynggirr Country

Apr 12, 2024

The recent Nyami Jinda Wellbeing Gathering in Coffs Harbour, organised by several Mid North Coast Local Health District women in partnership with Nyami Gawbarri, Galambila Aboriginal Health Service, Primary Health Network and iSistaQuit, highlighted the power of community collaboration in promoting cultural wellbeing and strong connections across the Gumbaynggirr nation.

Over two days, more than 180 local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and youth gathered on Gumbaynggirr Country to participate in an array of culturally enriching activities.

These activities included traditional dancing by the Jalay Jalay Dance Group, Welcome to Country ceremony, guest speeches, including one by Coffs Harbour Health Campus Staff Specialist Dr Marilyn Clarke, a community leaders panel, interactive workshops on dance, weaving, and jewellery making, as well as health check-ups.

There were also yarning circles that provided community consultation for the future delivery of culturally safe services, which will ensure more meaningful outcomes to Aboriginal communities.

Inspired by a similar successful event in Kempsey, the Coffs Harbour gathering aimed to extend the opportunity for cultural learning and health promotion to the Coffs Harbour community.

Committee members from the Mid North Coast Local Health District included Ulamila Rokodakunivosa, Annette Heather, Simone Smith, Carol Hart, Christa-Lee-May Smith, Ro Stirling-Kelly, Kera Ritchie, Elina McQuire, Katie Prince, Belinda Jackson, Teisha Schirmer and Kahli Wyatt, along with Nyami Jinda’s Noelene Skinner.

Healthy Children’s Coordinator Teisha Schirmer said the Wellbeing Gathering had been an amazing experience, surrounded by strong Aboriginal women to connect with, while learning what true meaningful outcomes for community are.

“Events like this cannot be undervalued” Ms Schirmer said.

“Having events like this can form collaborations, and this has really benefitted community.”

Melinda Fajerman from Galambila expressed her appreciation to the committee.

“Thank you again for creating such two heart-filled beautiful days,” Ms Fajerman said.

“It was so wonderful to hear how inspired, supported, connected, and held women felt. They could be open to share, to listen, to learn, celebrate themselves, each other, and community,”

“The committee created something truly amazing.”

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