How healing retreat is helping empower Butchulla women
A HEALING retreat for Butchulla women has been hailed a success by one of the elders who attended the week-long event on Fraser Island.
Joyce Bonner, communication and education officer for the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation, said the retreat was special for all involved.
"It was about empowering a future generation of Butchulla women," she said.
The retreat focused on healing the past and reconciling the future.
The women drew on their culture for inspiration including the three Butchulla laws: What is good for the land comes first; Do not touch or take anything that does not belong to you, and If you have plenty you must share.
Ms Bonner said the location of the retreat was very special to the women as they celebrated their connection to K'gari.
During the week, there were opportunities for the women to connect with elders, a smoking ceremony to welcome in good spirits, traditional weaving crafts, sand art, an introduction to song and dance and much more.
The women also created their own grass skirts and headbands and talked about the traditional management of the land as well as learning how to identify bush tucker and natural medicine.
Two Butchulla women who are now rangers on Fraser Island also spoke to those gathered.
"It was a really wonderful experience," Ms Bonner said.
She said the women had never done anything like it before and felt a strong connection to their culture and identity.
"It was a celebration of Butchulla women's culture," Ms Bonner said.
"It was really powerful."