Objectives

The objectives of the WWH PDSMS Program are to:

  1. Enhance the capacity and capability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health, alcohol and other drug, social and emotional wellbeing workforce; 
  2. Increase access by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health, alcohol and other drug, social and emotional wellbeing workforce to Professional Development, Professional Supervision, Mentoring and Self-Care opportunities; and
  3. To enhance the delivery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health, alcohol and other drug, social and emotional wellbeing type services.
Model Design and Program Considerations

Some of the considerations when designing the WWH PDSMS Program and Model included the following; 

  1. The Program/Model needs to enable a Trainee if he or she chooses to transition from Certificate, Diploma to  Tertiary level formal qualifications;
  2. The Program/Model needs to collaborate with already established initiatives such as those which offer Scholarships/Cadetships;
  3. The Program/Model needs to capitalise on already established cost effective professional development opportunities in the sector and also acknowledge the strengths that ‘Trainee’s’ already possess;
  4. The Program/Model needs to focus on developing specialised skill sets for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities while empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service providers;
  5. The Program/Model needs to enhance the employability of Trainees into the future; and
  6. The Program/Model needs to ensure the safety of ‘Trainees’ and consumers ensuring support is undertaken within areas of professional competence, standards and ethical requirements.
Building Capability and Capacity

The WWH PDSMS Program is designed to enhance the capabilities and capacities of Trainee’s to engage in the ‘Practice of the Profession’ as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Workers. The below diagram demonstrates how the interlocking, mutually supporting concepts of Professional Development, Practice Supervision, Selfcare and Mentoring work collaboratively to enhance a Trainee’s ‘Practice of the Profession’.

Competencies

As part of the PDSMS Program all Trainees are to complete a set of specific competencies. Each competency is designed to assess the enhanced capability and capacity of the Trainees across a specific set of technical and professional skills and knowledge components within the profession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health/Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Alcohol and Other drug work.

The program is designed around competency area’s that explore the issues and influences that shape the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Trainee’s are supported through the exploration of relevant practice standards, principles and ethics. In addition, Trainee’s explore the importance of valid and accurate assessment, management techniques and evidence based interventions. The selection of program competency areas acknowledges the importance of families and communities across the ages. Most prominent of the competency areas is the review, reflections and development of Trainee’s ‘toolbox’ skills.

Trainee’s must complete all the Assessment of Competency tasks and meet the competency requirements of the WWH PDSMS Program in order to be considered as completing the program.

Trainee Selection

All Trainee’s that have joined the Wakai Waian Healing (WWH) Professional Development, Supervision, Mentoring, Selfcare (PDSMS) Program have successfully progressed through a specifically designed selection process which could be described as ‘intense’ however appropriate for the selection of Trainee’s who could be considered as ‘ready’.

The WWH PDSMS Program requires Trainee’s to demonstrate a high level of motivation, enthusiasm, maturity and genuineness.

Trainee’s who enter into the WWH PDSMS Program are required to work hard, make a commitment to their studies and practice of the profession and invest in their own growth development and healing.

Trainee’s within the PDSMS Program are selected for qualities that are considered valuable in supporting the healing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Trainee’s with the WWH PDSMS Program who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people are expected to face the challenges that come with supporting others to heal while undertaking their own healing, selfcare, growth and development.

As an organisation Wakai Waian Healing congratulates those ‘Trainees’ who have been selected to undertake the WWH PDSMS Program and wishes them all the best in their unique journey.

Interview with Originators

When Edward Mosby (WWH Principal Psychologist) and Gil Thomsen (WWH Senior Counsellor)were interviewed about the WWH PDSMS Program some of their responses included the following;

‘We have always felt that empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers has been important’

We wanted to design a program that produced a specific type of worker, someone who had enhanced knowledge and skills, was resilient to disfunction and had a desire for ongoing learning.

We wanted Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander workers in this field (Mental Health/Wellbeing/ Alcohol and Other Drugs) to be part of a solution not part of the problem.

The program needed to produce workers that had a high degree of motivation and desire to work hard, but remain compassionate and genuine, while always engaged in self reflection.

We believe formal qualifications are important just as transferring knowledge to practice is essential.

‘We felt the program needed to focus on creating a dynamic worker who can adapt to change, is resilient, and has a desire to demonstrate leadership’

It’s important that participants in the program a prepared to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the highest quality of care and are not willing to accept second rate service delivery.

2021 Trainees

Trainee Name: Zhanae Dodd

Current employer: Darumbal Community Youth Service Inc

Current employment position: Project Officer WBMDS and SPSP
 
Place of birth: Brisbane
 
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas?

●       Young People
●       Lateral Violence – specifically high risk domestic and family violence
●       Trauma responses
●       Intergenerational trauma
●       Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health

What is one thing you love about the world?

I love my deadly family and friends that exist in the world and the sunrises and sunsets. Can’t forget the deadly music we have in the world too. 

What is one thing you would change about the world?

That everyone had the capacity to self-regulate and self-reflect as well as having the ability to empathise with people from diverse backgrounds while always acting from a place of understanding and love. I would want to ensure everyone had access to services to heal any trauma they may carry.

If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?

I would be a Great Dane – I am loyal and won’t give up on those who need a second chance and I always keep pushing forward, no matter what. I am  known for being uncoordinated, a bit goofy and always happy to see people. I would also be a kookaburra because I have a loud laugh.

Trainee Name: Charlene Mann

Current employer: Darumbal Community Youth Service Inc

Current employment position: Case Manager, Regional Youth Support Service
 
Place of birth: Mackay
 
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas?

●       Working with youth
●       Being a leader and being the positive influence so that young people don’t have to be shame all the time
●       Speaking to young people about feeling their emotions

What is one thing you love about the world?

Country (Landscapes)

What is one thing you would change about the world?

No judgement (no shame)

If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?

Eagle – they fly alone and they have the capability of flying above the storm.

Trainee Name: Stephanie Barnham

Current employer: Darumbal Community Youth Service Inc

Current employment position: Project Officer Elders Cautioning
 
Place of birth: Tully
 
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas?

●       Child and Youth Mental Health
●       Depression, self harm and suicide and the cause/effects
●       Domestic Violence
●       Drug & Alcohol

What is one thing you love about the world?

The beautiful creations of the Earth and the how fortunate we are to have that sense of belonging to connection to country

What is one thing you would change about the world?

The negative  perceptions of people’s minds.

If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?

I would describe myself as a butterfly because of its free spirited nature and they looks so peaceful and  when you see them flying around. Also a Lion as well because of how courageous they are, even though I am don’t look fierce on the outside but I am courageous because of the the things in life I’ve had to overcome. 

Trainee Name: Cornwell Pearson

Current employer: Darumbal Community Youth Service Inc

Current employment position: Youth Support Worker
 
Place of birth: Thursday (Waiben) Island
 
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas?

–          Youth and families.
–          Cultural Healing Camps
–          Mentoring
–          Yarning Circles
– Supporting and Strengthening Indigenous families

What is one thing you love about the world?

I love the diversity of the world and how every culture is unique to itself.

What is one thing you would change about the world?

If there is one thing I could change in the world I would end poverty. So looking at ending global currency and looking at living in the old ways of sharing and caring.

If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?

I would describe myself as a Grizzly bear.
Being a husband and a father I take my responsibilities personally in raising my children as future leaders of their generation.
A Bear is a very unique animal as it has two types of personality.
A Bear can be vicious  when provoked and caring  when looking after their cubs..

Trainee Name:
Thomas Gower
Current employer:
Refocus
Current employment position:
Child and Family Wellbeing Officer 
Place of birth:
Nambour, Sunshine Coast QLD  
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas?
Child and Youth Mental Health, Anger and Violence Drugs and Alcohol Youth Counselling
What is one thing you love about the world?
The fact we still know so little about this beautiful place we call home
What is one thing you would change about the world?
That no person would ever feel unheard or not wanted
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
KOOKABURRA – Because no matter the situation I’ll fine a way to laugh it off.

Trainee Name:
Simone Giles
Current employer:
Wakai Waian Healing
Current employment position:
Mental Health Worker
Place of birth:
Bundaberg, Qld
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas? 
·       Children and youth
·       Grief and Loss
·       Counselling
What is one thing you love about the world?
The Great Barrier Reef
What is one thing you would change about the world?
The negative impact human beings have on the earth
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
A brolga, they seem graceful, loyal and love to dance.

Trainee Name:
Diane Adams
Current employer:
Gumbi Gumbi
Current employment position:
Support Worker
Place of birth:
Mareeba
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus area’s?
I would prefer to learn and deal with Women’s issues
What is one thing you love about the world?
Our aboriginal culture
What is one thing you would change about the world?
Narrow minded people
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
An eagle
I like to spread my wings

Trainee Name:
Jack Kepa
Current employer:
Wakai Waian Healing
Current employment position:
Mental Health Worker
Place of birth:
Thursday Island
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas?
I have a big interest in working closely with mens groups. I believe they are the core group in the community that can really make a big difference finding solutions to tackle Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing, especially from a cultural approach and perspective.
What is one thing you love about the world?
I love the culture and history of the world. I have a big interest in studying our history and culture which I find that I have gained more respect for my people and the environment.
What is one thing you would change about the world?
I would change racism and spread the love and respect to everyone in the world and teach them to understand that there is only one race in the universe and that is the human race.
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
CRAYFISH Because it teaches us to move forward in life, to overcome our fears by shedding our old skin. The skin shedding is part of the crayfish natural cycle of growth and maturity. Similarly, spiritual growth is a forward moving process and involves shedding old limiting beliefs, issues and habits.

Trainee Name:
Jayranni Ryan
Current employer:
Palm Island Community Company
Current employment position:
Mental Health Support
Place of birth:
Townsville
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas?
Throughout education I love to help people become a better version of themselves no matter how many relapse one may have.
What is one thing you love about the world?
Multiculturalism and different views of the world throughout different cultures.
What is one thing you would change about the world?
Less technology and digging up the earth for wealth! Give back to mother nature for the generations to come.
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
My totem is the Turtle representing common sense and love.

Trainee Name:
Shanna Nai
Current employer:
Wakai Waian Healing
Current employment position:
Team Leader
Place of birth:
Thursday Island
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas? 
Trauma
Families/Relationships
Safe and Healthy Communities
What is one thing you love about the world?
At the core of every culture is hospitality and when you are greeted as a friend, the host puts on an array of dishes that boasts about who they are through the food they present.  The guest walks away with an amazing experience and they will always remember the hospitality and the food they’ve eaten.
What is one thing you would change about the world?
I would change the fear people have towards one another because of differences in what they see, hear, and think.  Muslims teach their children to judge a person’s character – are they good or bad, not on their appearance, beliefs, status or nationality.  But on their character traits. A person’s character – (not their ethnicity, education, appearance, accent, or anything physical) should determine how people interact with the person. Is their character good or bad?
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
A wolf, because I’m loyal, I’m protective and care for family and people I hold close.  There are times where I am not afraid to work alone. I believe a good leader, leads from the back, controlling everything from the rear.  In this position I can see everything and decide the direction. The pack moves according to the elders pace, helps each other and watches each other.

Graduated, past cohort of Trainee’s

Trainee Name:
Mervyn Saunders
Current employer:
Gumbi Gumbi ATSI Corporation
Current employment position:
Support Worker
Place of birth:
Rockhampton  
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas?
●      Adults
●      Alcoholism
●      Spirituality
●      Giving back to Community
What is one thing you love about the world?
Nature – Mountains, Hills and Plains – especially the Outback; as well as the beauty and vastness of space – the sun, moon and stars. The sound of wind and rain – storms.
What is one thing you would change about the world?
I would change the classes of people – lower, middle and upper – a world where all would be equal – no monetary currency – a world where everybody is caring and sharing. Promotion of ProLife choices.
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
A guide dog – because I like to work independently such as an independent motivator working tirelessly to ensure that the one that I’m providing unconditional support to is in a good space and lacking for nothing.

Trainee Name:
Florria Mosby
Current employer:
Wakai Waian Healing
Current employment position:
Administration Officer
Place of birth:
Brisbane
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas?
·       Adults supporting those that need support to better understand their circumstances. To give reassurance even if it’s the smallest things that bother them and they can’t seem to understand how to address the matter.
·       Youth, encourage and inspire and give these young hearts hope. Those that suffer mental health matters and need clarity of identity or support with their life experiences.
·       Supporting the elders and youth that are trying to make a change within our society of our people for the better. Encourage to enhance cultural practices and families to learn more about their family history. Passing on knowledge and wisdom and way of being as islanders. Bringing cultural practices in place to better find inner peace. Understanding your identity which enhances the beauty of your characteristics of being.
Although it’s a lengthy healing matter, being a part of making progress to better our people and circumstances would be an accomplishment.
What is one thing you love about the world?
The diversity in culture and mixed race of humans, how the many different cultures can relate and connect with one another, sharing similar ways of life. Sharing culture, history and the many matters they have overcome as individuals and becoming one.
What is one thing you would change about the world?
More consideration, understanding and kindness in the world. More open hearts and minds in this world as judgment has arisen and have become freedom of expression in many situations, many expressions have become more racial.
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
I describe myself as many, as I can be both introvert and extrovert.
My spirit when I am around people and friends is like a dolphin, light heartedness, joyful (playful, socialising amongst peers/friends) smile, be happy, kindness, harmony, co-operation and communication skills, go with the flow, balance, inner strength, protective, trust, freedom, higher wisdom, consciousness & awareness. Use breath to release emotions, act with love in relationships. Meditate to connect with higher self & high spiritual realms.
For myself my spirit can be of an elephant I overcome any obstacles that might be coming my way. I have the persistence and determination needed. I don’t let anything get in my way of any goals, especially in relation to my life purpose. Be of service to someone in need and trust my senses.
As somebody who has overcome some intense health circumstances and healing, I consider being an extrovert like a bear power and healing. Solitude, hibernation spending time on my own. Introspection go within and seek answers within myself. Get grounded, centre myself, physical and emotional healing. Be gentle with and loving others.

Trainee Name:
Josephine Sabatino
Current employer:
Wakai Waian Healing
Current employment position:
Mental Health Trainee
Place of birth:
Cairns QLD
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas? 
Advocating for youths
Inform and educate  parents about child mental health
Empowering young ones to express themselves and embrace who they are
Educate youths about the importance of mental health
What is one thing you love about the world?
I love how complex everything in the world is; from every unique human being, animal or object and the energy that everything has.
What is one thing you would change about the world?
Homelessness and hunger.
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
A caterpillar, I take one step at a time and embrace every stage and phase of my journey as it is important to my transformation. I believe that everything happens for a reason and every experience has a purpose and a lesson behind it, to learn from so that I can evolve and emerge into a butterfly with wings that will eventually take flight into the unknown. 

Trainee Name:
Kristina House
Current employer:
Wakai Waian Healing
Current employment position:
Administration Officer
Place of birth:
Rockhampton
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus area’s?
·       Substance Misuse
·       Trauma  
What is one thing you love about the world?
The one thing that I love about the world is the spectacular land and waterways.
What is one thing you would change about the world?
I would like to change the negative views the world has.
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
A Butterfly because I believe everyone grows and becomes beautiful in their own way.

Trainee Name:
Alannah Ahmat
Current employer:
Refocus
Current employment position:
Medical Receptionist
Place of birth:
Brisbane
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas?
Supporting children with challenging behaviours and individuals with disabilities.
What is one thing you love about the world?
Everyone is unique
What is one thing you would change about the world?
Injustices
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
Any animal that is loyal, hard-working and selfless.

Trainee Name:
Michael Kaigey
Current employer:
Bidgerdii Community Health, Binbi Meta Program
Current employment position:
Community Development Program
Place of birth:
Thursday Island, Torres Strait
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus area’s?
●      Anger & Violence
●      Issues & Challenges for Aboriginals, Torres Strait Island
●      Trauma
What is one thing you love about the world?
Seeing the different cultures in the World.
What is one thing you would change about the world?
Stop the war and make world peace.
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
Wolf, because they run in packs and loyalty is their code. I am a man that was raised around a big family. We go everywhere together, loyalty means a lot to me.

Trainee Name
Shane Leo
Current employer:
Bidgerdii  (  CFC )
Current employment position:
Transport officer
Place of birth:
Proserpine Australia
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas?
* Supporting those that care for young people.
 *Adults and young people
*Supporting and helping adults and young people about drug and alcohol misuse and the effects on their well being.
What is one thing you love about the world?
The world is amazing place where you learn new things every day and see how the planet can supply us with the tools 
What is one thing you would change about the world?
An end to global warming, crime, war, racism, terrorism, cancer, pollution, poverty, climate change.
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
I’m a wolf I’m loyal and I bring balance between family and individual needs.

Learning Facilitator/Supervisor:
Belle Hartnell
Current employer:
Refocus Child & Family Wellbeing Service – Gunyah of Wellness
Current employment position:
Senior Identified Practitioner
Place of birth:
Cairns
If or when working as a Mental Health/ Social and Emotional Wellbeing Health Worker do you have any specific interest or focus areas?
·       Trauma – women and children / supporting
·       Domestic and Family violence – impacts & presentations
·       Perpetrators of Domestic and Family violence – mental health presentation /
trauma – supporting, identifying & advocating
·       Women – Postpartum Depression
·       Sexual Abuse – mental health presentations
·       Suicide – young people and women
  What is one thing you love about the world?
I love people, I love children, free and uninhibited, nature and how people interact with nature, nature can heal & relieve mental health conditions
What is one thing you would change about the world?
People would treat each other and view each other as equal, racism does not exist – having complete freedom to be yourself without the impacts of other people’s thinking and being effecting the freedom of others.
If you were to describe yourself as an animal which one would this be and why?
I see myself as a chameleon, I am adaptable and can change to suit any environment I work in, I change to suite the persons needs and move slower with intention.

Resources
Questions or Further Information

Questions or requests for further information regarding this program can be sent to Edward Mosby (Principal Psychologist- Wakai Waian Healing) edwardmosby@wakai-waian.com.au Mobile: 0477 012 836 or Chris James (PDSMS Program Lead) chrisjames@wakai-waian.com.au Mobile: 0488 061 015 or WWH General Enquiries, enquiries@wakai-waian.com.au, Freecall: 1800 732 850.

Feedback/Compliments/

Complaints

Wakai Waian Healing is committed to providing an effective, responsive, safe, culturally respectful service. If you have any feedback you wish to provide our service this can be done by contacting us.

Further Information or Questions

Freecall: 1800 732 850 or Email: enquiries@wakai-waian.com.au

You contact with us is treated as confidential and we respect your rights to private, confidential and  safe service. Further information on our Privacy and confidentiality and Information Management Policies can be request via the above details.

Funding Support

WWH would like to acknowledge the funding support provided by the Central Queensland Wide Bay Sunshine Coast PHN for the facilitation and running of the WWH PDSMS Program in Central Queensland.

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