Women’s Healing Camp in APY Lands

In October 2014 ATT held its first women's healing camp on the traditional country of the APY Lands in northern South Australia. The camp offered women a unique opportunity to visit traditional Anangu lands and experience the culture and traditions of Ngangkari spiritual healing practices which have been in use for over 60,000 years.

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In October 2014 ATT held its first women's healing camp on the traditional country of the APY Lands in northern South Australia. The camp offered women a unique opportunity to visit traditional Anangu lands and experience the culture and traditions of Ngangkari spiritual healing practices which have been in use for over 60,000 years.

Anangu Tjutaku Tjukurpa Aboriginal Corporation (ATT) is a newly established organisation of the Anangu people who aim to share their culture and promote reconciliation through language, art, and healing programs. This year ICV volunteers have been working closely with ATT to develop a business plan and address technology barriers.

ICV's South Australian based staff member Kate attended the camp as a volunteer. It was a unique opportunity for Kate to be able to give back to the community while building stronger relationships with ATT and learning more about Anangu culture.

Kate joined women from a variety of backgrounds to share this very special experience; Aboriginal women, non-Aboriginal women, Ngangkari healers, health care workers, women seeking healing, and members of the local Anangu community.

Activities on the camp included painting, weaving, dancing ‘inma’, collecting bush medicine, visiting sacred sites, learning stories about country, doing group healings, and experiencing individual healings. Inma is a Pitjantjatjara word that loosely translates to stories sung and danced or ceremony.  

Kate said, “To be immersed in Anangu culture, to learn stories on country, and receive a Ngangkari healing was a real privilege.... One that was both a professional and personal enriching experience.”

While there were a few hiccups being the first event of its kind, overall it was very successful. Many new friendships were formed and participants returned home having experienced something very special – a healing of the mind, body and soul.

For ICV, taking part in the camp means that we now have an even better understanding of ATT and the work they undertake. We have stronger relationships and a mutual trust which means we are well placed to help with future projects.