The Nandjimadji Art Group and Yarning Circle

We aim to provide a safe environment where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with a disability, and their carers, can come together and connect culturally, share stories and build resilience through art and yarning. 

One of the group’s members is a Sunshine Coast man who paints what he feels day to day with different colours depicting his moods, emotions and passions. He suffered a severe brain injury in a car accident when he was two, resulting in cerebral palsy-type impairments. He turned to the Nandjimadji Art Group where he now creates contemporary pieces of art.

"He will paint whatever he’s feeling on the day," his mum says. "It’s just amazing what he’s achieved.  It’s really helped him in so many ways.  He is now holding his own exhibitions."

Check out the Nandjiamadji Art Group Digital Story on our Social Hub page here.

The Chillin' Program

The Chillin’ program is a collaborative effort between Suncare Community Services via the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre and Impact Make your Mark in the Bundaberg region.
The Chillin’ program is for children aged 11-17 living with parents or family members where mental illness is part of their daily life. The members of the Chillin’ group enjoy days out doing fun activities, such as surfing and visiting the park with peers as well as educational programs to get a better understanding of mental illness. The group  offers the opportunity to build relationships with supportive adults and peers, and to know that they are not alone.

"I was asked , what is so good about the Chillin' group? I thought hard about that, and I think what I like the most is that it gives me the opportunity to be me, a kid. I get to do fun things that if I was home I would never get to do, like hanging out with kids who are in a similar situation.

I get the chance to talk about things that are going on at home, some of the things mum does because of her mental health, and the worker is able to explain to me some of the reasons mum does what she does. I feel better when I know that sort of thing.

The best thing I've done in the group though was the chance to try surfing. I'd seen famous surfers on TV and wondered how hard it would be. We had a surfing instructor give us a lesson and tips to do it better, and I loved it! I caught my first wave and the feeling was unreal. I felt free and forgot my life for a moment.

My birthday wasn't much later after that awesome experience and I got a secondhand surfboard - the best present ever! I don't really know what I will be when I get older but I will never forget the first time I stood up on that board - I owe that to the Chillin' group."