NGALAWA WINGARA – “To sit and think”
Aboriginal Women’s Healing Space

This garden was created with Aboriginal women as a place to reflect, sit, laugh and sometimes cry.  We wanted a safe calm space for all women but especially something that Aboriginal women would feel comfortable in.

The overall project was funded through by South Western Sydney Area Health Service through a Mental Health NGO Partnerships Grant.

The original work on the design, amazing mosaics and the gardens was largely done by the local elders group assisted by Aboriginal workers and community artist Susan Grant. The project took 9 months from start to finish and we were happy to attract support from local businesses who made various donations.

A beaut day was had by all at the launch of the space in September 2001.  Now, some years down the track we have installed a pergola over the garden to provide shade in summer and rain protection.

We are now working with young Aboriginal women to paint the pergola poles and continue the earlier work of the elders. We hope these young women will add their own special work to the healing space through the use of stencils. We want to improve the seating and add some cane blinds to build privacy. New bush plants will be added to top up those that have not survived the drought.

This work on the space will be finished in October 2007 keeping our Aboriginal women’s healing garden a very beautiful peaceful place that we all can share - to sit and think.

Wendy – Aboriginal Health Worker.

Ngalawa Wingara: Developing an Aboriginal Women’s Healing Space Briefing Paper     (1.4MB pdf)