Wellways stands in support of the Djab Wurrung and First Nations people who are defending their country and cultural heritage outside of the Victorian town of Ararat right now.
Wellways recognises the importance of culture, identity and connection.
At Wellways, we know that cultural and sacred sites - the land we live on - is paramount to the identity of First Nations people. Destroying this connection has an extreme impact on the emotional and spiritual wellbeing of First Nations people.
It goes without saying, you cannot rebuild sacred sites. The same goes for living, sacred spaces. Once a tree is felled and removed, the connection is severed, and its sacred nature is displaced.
For over 40 years Wellways has sought to build inclusive communities. As we work towards reconciliation, we must seek to preserve the natural and built heritage of First Nations people.
Maintaining connections to culture and identity has been found to increase positive emotions and feelings and positively influence social connections and improve overall mental health.
Denying recognition and refusing to listen to the voices of all First Nations people further harms the mental health, and emotional and spiritual wellbeing of First Nations people.
Practically, Wellways encourages our staff, participants and supporters to learn more about the importance of this sacred site to the Djab Wurrung people and the ongoing campaign to protect it.
Sharing information and encouraging action is a practical step all community members can do to support the protection of this and other sites sacred to First Nations people.
Wellways calls on all levels of government to engage and listen to the voices of all First Nations people.
For comment contact:
Scott Samson, Public Affairs, Wellways Australia
firstname.lastname@example.org | (03) 8486 4200 | 0429 022 248