Dadirri: Ancient Aboriginal Mindfulness Traditions


Tracy Hardy
We Al-li

Danielle Cameron
We Al-li

Monday 15 May 2023

Time: 10am – 5:30pm

Room: Room 2


Pre-Conference Workshop

Dadirri: Ancient Aboriginal Mindfulness Traditions

Dadirri has been called “the Aboriginal gift”. It is inner deep listening and quiet, still awareness-something like what you would call contemplation. This training introduces Dadirri as the core of all We Al-li practices and skill-based learning outcomes. Dadirri provides the foundation for culturally safe practices and establishes a respectful healing environment for skills transference in all We Al-li professional development trainings.

Learning to communicate with ourselves and each other at deep levels is primary to effective practice. Participants are introduced to many key therapeutic approaches used by We Al-li including story mapping, sand-play, music, art therapy, movement and guided imagery.

The main aim of this workshop is to locate the ancient Aboriginal tradition of mindfulness within the work of trauma recovery in Australia and elsewhere.

The workshop objectives are to establish principles of practice, using mindfulness in self-care and in the development of communities of care, and communities of practice in all trauma recovery work.

On completion of this workshop participants should be able to:

  • Utilize the practice of Dadirri as an Ancient Mindfulness tradition essential in all trauma recovery – community healing work.
  • Recognize the importance of cultural fitness in all community work.
  • Use the cultural tradition of mindfulness in self-care and care practice while undertaking trauma recovery work.
  • Identify issues of self-awareness and demonstrate the skills of journaling or story mapping as a conscious and cognitive record of the self-awareness, self-reflective process.
  • Demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary to enable effective communication in trauma recovery work using symbols, art, and music in storytelling and story-mapping.
  • Define and support the development of communities of care.
  • Critically analyse concepts in establishing communities of practice, and be able to respond to trauma recovery – healing across generations.
  • Implement community development processes for building community-healing networks.

This workshop is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous people.

About the artwork: Dadirri represents ‘our people’. We are standing in the middle of the forest and despite everything being upturned, underneath we still have strong roots and the power to be re-born, our relatedness and connectedness to the world. The Black Boy, just like the tree, is not only resilient to the flames but relies on the bush fires for its regrowth and survival. The fire is symbolic of our need to regenerate ourselves. As a people, we need and have been through hardships to identify and find our real strengths.

© Artwork and narration by Christopher Edwards- Haines


We Al-li is an Australian Aboriginal family-owned business that was created in answer to the overwhelming response for programs of healing, sharing and regeneration, created by Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson and then supported by Dr Caroline Atkinson. Representing the outcome of decades of sitting in community, listening to the stories of Aboriginal peoples, the programs offered by We Al-li are unique in that they are informed by the stories of Aboriginal Australians and utilise traditional Indigenous healing work combined with a western trauma informed and trauma specific approach to individual, family and community recovery.

Tracy Hardy is a Gamilaroi descendant and an Accredited Practising Dietitian/Nutritionist, based on Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi Country, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Tracy continually works to deepen her knowledge and understanding of Indigenous Healing Practices. She is an accredited Wayapa® Wuurrk Practitioner and has completed the Dulwich Centre’s intensive training in Narrative Therapy for Aboriginal Workers, Griffith University’s “Trauma Integrated Practice with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples” and We Al-Li’s “Recreating Song lines from Trauma Trails: The Ceremony of Indigenous Facilitation Practice”. Tracy views health and wellbeing through a strengths-based, holistic and cultural lens, focussing on sustainable and healing connections, conversations and actions.

Danielle Cameron is a Yuibera woman from the Yuwi nation in Mackay, with family connections in Meanjin, Wadjuk Noongar country and is now living on the Bundjalung nation with her family. Danielle has spent a lot of her upbringing in various locations around Australia connecting to her Elders and community to ensure her work consistently implements strategies to help support Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Trauma Informed practices for individuals, families, and communities.

Danielle has over 20 years’ experience in working within community, health and education settings with numerous roles including Social and Emotional Wellbeing Co-Ordinator, Case Worker, Child Counsellor, Primary School Teacher, Research Associate, Senior Workforce Development for the Mental Health Commission and Director of her own company. In the last 9 years she has worked in remote, rural, and urban settings across Australia.

Danielle has a BA in Human Services, GDipEd (Primary), GCertCT and is currently completing her GDIHP before starting her journey on her PhD. Danielle has a lived experience of SEWB with her family and ensures this guides her practice. She believes in facilitating an atmosphere of safety that invites conversations for change, strengths based, deep reflection, and creativity.

While having a drive and passion for utilising mixed contemporary delivery methods intrinsically entwined in First Nation practices to enhancing SEWB, community engagement and trauma awareness to have better outcomes for vulnerable populations.