'Male Models' Group for Aboriginal Men Inspires Couple to Give Unique and Beautiful Gift

Yarning Circle | 'Male Models' Group for Aboriginal Men Inspires Couple to Give Unique and Beautiful Gift

Posted 5 June 2017 by Catholic Education in Yarning Circle

CatholicCare, celebrating in partnership with Oolong House Aboriginal Rehabilitation Service, hosted a unique Reconciliation Week event at Nowra Showground yesterday.

More than 60 people, including Bishop Peter, witnessed the unveiling of a very special artwork by Jandamara Cadd, an Archibald Prize Finalist.  A generous  (anonymous) philanthropist couple presented the artwork 'The Cycle of Life' as a gift, after hearing how effective the "Male Models" group was for Aboriginal men of all ages, who trying to change their lives and end the cycle of violence in their families and communities.

‘Male Models’ is a peer-reviewed program co-developed by CatholicCare Wollongong and Oolong House.  In the program, participants are encouraged to understand their own strong emotions and histories and focus on the impact of the cycle of violence on children and families. Since participating in the program, the men have provided feedback about the powerful changes they have experienced. Many have said that they feel empowered for the first time to be able to make positive changes in their community. They feel cleansed and healed and ready to be a positive influence as peers, dads, uncles, brothers, grandparents and carers.

Jandamarra, accompanied by his wife and two children, deeply moved his audience as he spoke about what inspires his artwork and the importance of connecting with culture.

The powerful art piece depicting grandfather and baby, will be hung permanently in Oolong House, to inspire those who come to Oolong wanting to turn their lives around.  

This event is a significant highlight in the life of the Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) as it highlights what can be achieved when Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organisations authentically listen to each other and work side by side. 

Michael Austin
Director, CatholicCare Wollongong


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