How an Australian Aboriginal family turned their sister's death into a youth suicide prevention group

How an Australian Aboriginal family turned their sister's death into a youth suicide prevention group

When Dhayirra Yunupingu's sister died by suicide, it plunged his family into "a pothole that is filled with rubbish. We couldn't breathe to come out and get fresh air. It was pushing us down all the time," he said. "Finally, at the end, we had to come up, get fresh air and work with other people around us."As part of their resurfacing, the family launched a suicide prevention group for Indigenous youth.


Galupa Marngarr is named after the traditional word for the Yunupingu's home, Ski Beach on the Northern Territory's Gove Peninsula, and is led by Mr Yunupingu and his sister, Gayili Marika. Now, almost a decade after the death of their sibling, the family is preparing to launch the next stage of Gulupa Marngarr: a traditional healing camp located in a remote piece of bush called Yuduyudu.


"Suicide was unknown to Aboriginal people prior to invasion. Appalling living conditions and past traumas have led to a suicide rate that by far exceeds that of non-Aboriginal people,” writes Jens-Uwe Korff, a German born Australian who runs his “Creative Spirits”, a widely visited and multi-awarded website in Australia.


The article includes sections on selected statistics, “Death is our life" - Aboriginal suicide at crisis levels, Aboriginal suicide epidemic, why do Aboriginal people kill themselves?, effects of suicide and overcoming the suicide crisis.


“In 2006 I added the Aboriginal culture section [to the website]. Traffic rose slowly but constantly, and today this is the most visited area of my site. Many students and teachers have a huge thirst to learn about First Nations people from in-depth quality information. That is what I aim for with Creative Spirits," Korff writes.


"The contributing factors [to indigenous suicide] vary demographically and from people to people - culturally and ‘racially’. For Australia’s First Peoples the contributing factors are linked to extreme poverty and disadvantage from the beginning of life, intergenerational trauma, cultural identity, racialisation and racism, writes Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner and multi-award winning investigative journalist, of Greek extraction.


“Often alcohol and substance abuse are considered by many as underlying causes but these are not underlying causes and rather they are at best contributing factors borne symptomatically of the above."

Crisis support - Talk to someone – 24 hours/day 7 days/week:

Emergency: For immediate assistance when life may be in danger call 000   I   Lifeline's 24/7 hotline Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention services, phone 13 11 14    I   Suicide call back service Twenty-four hours a day seven days a week the Suicide Call Back Service provides free nationwide professional telephone and online counselling for anyone affected by suicide. Phone 1300 659 467   I   Beyond Blue Depression. Anxiety. Talk it through with us, day or night, phone 1300 22 4636    I   Suicide Prevention Crisis Contacts   I   Mens Line is a professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men, phone 1300 78 99 78    I   Kids Help Line, aged 5 - 25 yrs, phone in Australia 1800 55 1800.     


WGAR background to suicide and self-harm in First Nations communities

Subscription to WGAR News is free. It is provided by the Working Group for Aboriginal Right

Zeige Kommentare: ausgeklappt | moderiert

Majority of Australians would vote for Indigenous recognition in a referendum

Survey shows if a poll was held today, three out of four voters would support recognising Indigenous people in the constitution. Conservative voters also strongly support recognising Indigenous people in the constitution, with two-thirds saying they would vote yes in a referendum.

The overwhelming majority of voters, including two-thirds of Coalition voters, would support a referendum on recognising Indigenous Australians if a poll was held today, a survey by advocacy group Recognise reveals. The poll of 750 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and 2,700 non-Indigenous Australians shows the majority of people in the majority of states support recognising Indigenous people in the constitution.

A majority of the population in the majority of states must back the referendum for it to pass. Three out of four Australians overall support recognition, and that figure climbs to 87% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people surveyed

“Proposed constitutional reforms are treasonous and fraudulent!”

This is a treasonous act and proposal against Aboriginal peoples, because it is not representative of Aboriginal interests across the nation. It fails to deal with the central and substantive issue of sovereignty and true land rights.

Nothing in this constitutional amendment proposal offers anything that could effect serious change to the current Aboriginal position. This is not a time to deal with a feel-good arrangement. This is time for serious legal and political change. We must get the government away from thinking about us as a child-like race, who have to be continually 'protected'.

Community consultations around the country cannot and do not reflect Aboriginal interests in this matter. The community consultations in key centralised locations throughout Australia would have an Aboriginal input representing less than one percent of the Aboriginal population.

This proposed constitutional reform constitutes a serious fraud against the nation and Aboriginal nations in particular.

More Aboriginal opposition to constitutional recognition:

·       Finding solidarity in the core of the resistance to 'recognition' in the racist constitution.

·       Aboriginal group challenges constitution

·       Rejecting Constitution Recognition - Reconciliation begins with the truth of history

·       First Nations justice leader rejects constitution recognition

·       Extinguishing Originals claims to sovereignty by collaboration

·       A Sovereign Treaty is the only constitutional reform with the potential of justice for Aboriginal Nations and Peoples

·       The government is asking you to blindly vote for changes in a referendum, without even clarifying the final wording