In a significant recognition, Maari Ma’s Healing Program, known as Kalypi Paaka Mirika, has been honoured with an award at the WayAhead Mental Health Association NSW’s 2023 Mental Health Matters Awards. The accolade underscores Maari Ma’s commitment to improving the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal communities in New South Wales.
Maari Ma was named a finalist in the highly competitive Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing category. The announcement was made at a grand ceremony held at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney.
The organisers of the WayAhead Awards commented on the exceptional quality of this year’s nominations and added the judging panel found Maari Ma’s nomination to be one of the standouts in the Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing Award category.
Richard Weston, CEO of Maari Ma, expressed his gratitude to the dedicated staff behind the Kalypi Paaka Mirika program. He emphasised that the program was carefully developed over years of consultations with local Aboriginal communities. “We know that when solutions are developed and driven by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the local level their chances for success are the strongest,” said Weston.
Mr Weston further detailed the holistic approach of the program, stating, “Healing is a holistic process and for healing to occur it must meet mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs and importantly involve those connections to culture, family and land that we feel so strongly.”
The program uniquely combines cultural knowledge with Western methodologies. “The program blends both these cultural strengths and western methodologies to help our people to begin their healing journey and move forward,” Mr Weston continued.
The Kalypi Paaka Mirika program supplements other health services offered by Maari Ma. “Together with Maari Ma’s other health services and programs, the Kalypi Paaka Mirika program is an important part of Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing in far west NSW,” concluded Mr. Weston.