The Intercultural Trauma Healing Gatherings

For the Sixth Anniversary of the Small Island

Coastal and Estuarine People Gathering Celebration

(Funded by the UN Human Rights Commission)


17 June - 12 July 2000

Atherton Tablelands

Far North Queensland, Australia.



A Month of Gathering Celebrations in Support of the UN Peace Week

and the 26th June UN Day in Support of Survivors of Torture &Trauma



Report to the UN Human Rights Commissioner

An Overview of Gatherings & Events




Written 2000. Updated: April 2014.


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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Anglo, Australian South Sea Islanders, Bougainvillians, East Timorese, Anglo-German, Hmong, Irish, Japanese, North American Indian, and Papua New Guinea people.


Healing Way Themes:


Healing Ways Experiential Learning

Laceweb - Trauma Healing Program

Healing Ways Encyclopaedia



Cultural Healing Action


o   Art

o   Drama

o   Drawing

o   Sculpture

o   Rhythm

o   Singing and chanting

o   Local Cultural Ceremonies


Somatic (body) healing processes:


o   Feldenkrais functional Integration

o   Awareness through movement

o   Wellbeing physiology

o   Linking awareness of moving, Milton Erikson’s language patterns, and neuropsychobiology


Sensory healing processes


o   Sensory submodalities

o   Sensory awareness processes


Everyday healing language approaches


o   Therapeutic Storytelling

o   Healing metaphor

o   Embedded suggestions, inferences, reframing


Evolving Self-help Healing Networks





o   East Timorese Youth dancing, singing and poetry

o   Hmong traditional music and dancing

o   Traditional North American Indian song, drumming and dance

o   Showing of the film, ‘Death and the Maiden’

o   Welcoming ceremony for Spirit Runners

o   Didgeridoo playing

o   World Music Peace Concert and Community Market

o   Acapella Concert

o   Peace Poetry Night

o   Multicultural Performances

o   Peace week song competition

o   Australian Aboriginal Didgeridoo playing and Dance

o   Intercultural Songs and dances:

o   Samoan

o   Chilean

o   East Timorese





Return visit to Rainforest Healing Place by delegates who were present at the 1994 UN funded Small Island Coastal and Estuarine People Gathering Celebration


A meeting with a Torres Strait Islander sharing healing ways and outcomes in a community renewal program in the region.


East Timorese gathering celebration - Photo Journalism display - the Aftermath


Small gatherings with Aboriginal, Bougainvillian, East Timorese, Hmong, Papuan, and Torres Strait Islander nurturer/enablers regarding enabling self help healing networks.


17 JUNE – 2 JULY 2000


Gatherings with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander socio-emotion-spiritual healers sharing healing ways – including self help wellbeing action in Lotus Glen Prison and Aboriginal and Islander prison diversion programs.


ON 26 JUNE 2000

A celebration Reunion Supporting the UN Day in Support of Torture and Trauma Survivors; the reunion brought together a number of the 1994 Hosting and Supporting Group for the 1994, ‘Small Island Coastal and Estuarine People Gathering Celebration’, as well as some of the Hosting and Supporting Group for ‘1992 Preparatory Gathering’ for the 1994 Gathering. This 1992 themes-based open agenda Gathering was held at Petford Aboriginal Therapeutic Community Farm, approximately 150Km inland from Cairns. Around 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders attended that ten day gathering with the following three themes as approaches to soften substance abuse, and stopping violence, self harm, and criminal acts leading to secure custody, psychiatric incarceration and suicide among Aboriginal and Islander youth. (Refer Developing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Drug and Substance Abuse Therapeutic Communities.




o   Experiencing Geoff Guest (Old Man), an Aboriginal elder, working with 25 troubled Aboriginal and Islander youth using therapeutic community self help processes. (Youths typically stay with Geoff around six weeks, with some staying a number of months. Geoff has been successfully working with youth for over twenty years, with over 2,000 youths passing through the community during 1987 - 97).


o   Exploring the evolving and sustaining of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander therapeutic communities.


o   Experiencing using Permaculture and Keyline processes



27 – 30 JUNE 2000


A Stay at Petford Aboriginal Therapeutic Community Farm observing, and researching Geoff’s processes in working with 15 indigenous youths.  Geoff’s healing ways were modelled so that they may be passed on to other Laceweb nurturers (refer page 79 on the link Developing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Drug and Substance Abuse Therapeutic Communities.



Geoff on Emu Creek at Petford


24 – 26 JUNE 2000


A series of energizing meetings towards evolving the 22st Anniversary of the Cooktown Arts Festival in the coming months. These meetings were attended by the enabler/hosts of the first and only Cooktown Arts Festival in 1979.


cooktown road.jpg


Road to Cooktown – Now Sealed


Dr Neville Yeomans, the founder of the Laceweb, was also involved in the energising of the first Festival. In 1979, around 2,500 attended from a vast area around the very remote Far North town of Cooktown. The Festival included a number of plays, a wide range of music, youth orchestras, puppetry and aboriginal ceremonial dance. A trip was planned to travel up to Cooktown to survey potential festival sites, energise a hosting group and set up seed funding processes.


A series of meetings with a participant in Fraser House, the pioneering first Therapeutic Community in the Laceweb (1959-69); researched healing ways used at Fraser House – (refer Community Ways for Healing the World).



Fraser House Therapeutic Community - North Ryde NSW (1959-1968)


27 JUNE - 2 JULY 2000


A series of meetings with hosts and enablers of a network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Camps


3 - 7 JULY 2000


Townsville - a series of gatherings exploring action research; meetings with a Fraser House outpatient; gatherings with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Australian South Sea Islander and Papua New Guinea people on evolving self help wellbeing networks.


8 - 9 JULY 2000


Atherton Tablelands: Further preparatory gatherings energising the 2001 Cooktown Arts Festival. Exploring archival material on the evolving Laceweb. Further discussions with an Aboriginal enabler regarding evolving the Laceweb in the Cape York and Torres Strait Islands region.


10 -12 JULY 2000


Reunion and discussion/research between ex-Fraser House staffers (anthropologist/ psychologist, senior charge nurse and psychologist). Discussions were held with Dr Yeoman’s family on early Laceweb action. Discussion with Aboriginal person on Laceweb action around ten years ago and exploring implications for the future. Beginning write-up of the co-learning/sharing of healing ways experienced during the month.


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Links to other Laceweb sites:


Laceweb Home Page

Rapid Creek Project



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