The Baroona healing program encompasses a number of important aspects including:
  • A Cultural & Spiritual Base
  • Personal Development
  • Education & Training
  • Healthy Lifestyle choices
  • Traditional & Contemporary Healing opportunities
  • Positive mentoring
  • Counselling

Individual counseling sessions are available and group work is compulsory.

Program Outcomes
  • Cultural & Spiritual Understanding
  • Personal Development
  • Education & Employment
  • Healthy Lifestyle Choice
  • Physical Health, and Social and Emotional Wellbeing
Cultural & Spiritual understanding
  • Gain a deeper understanding of Aboriginal history (colonisation, oppression, trans-generational trauma) and the impact of this on their social and emotional wellbeing.
  • Identify links and strengths within their own community, including family connections, supportive networks, etc.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of who they are: family, culture, community, etc.
  • Building cultural knowledge and understanding.
  • Promote behaviour change when back in their own community.
  • Create an interest in art and cultural activities, storytelling, language, and
 spiritual beliefs.
Personal Development
  • Encourage changed attitudes, and a positive outlook on life
  • Build respect for themselves, and others, particularly women and Elders
  • Develop skills to entertain themselves
  • Develop skills for diversion and identifying triggers for avoiding situations that are 
likely to place them at risk
  • Instill basic values including respect and trust
  • Provide education about what a family is all about
  • Develop life skills including confidence, communication, hygiene, cooking and nutrition, and budgeting
  • Develop the ability to reflect on the impact of their behaviours on others
  • Ability to gain more self-control over situations
  • Address legal issues and/or compliance with legal requirements
Education & Employment
  • Build interest in undertaking further education or gaining employment
  • Improve literacy and numeracy skills
  • Link young people to the local school and TAFE, if resident at Baroona for more 
than 4 weeks
  • Develop skills to prepare them for work, including land care, horticultural skills, 
numeracy, etc
  • Provide information about trades and other job opportunities
Healthy Lifestyle Choice
  • Abstain from alcohol and drugs
  • Empower to make informed decisions
  • Develop knowledge of harm minimisation and risk management, such as 
responsible use of A&D and how these can get you into trouble
  • Learnt relapse prevention strategies
  • Encourage behaviour change
  • Develop skills to build and maintain healthy relationships
  • Develop the ability to identify risks and triggers in their lives that lead to 
substance abuse and inappropriate behaviours
Physical health and social and emotional wellbeing
  • A holistic approach to health and wellbeing
  • Develop regular living patterns (sleep, meals, hygiene, etc)
  • Address health issues and linked to services
  • Support smoking cessation (QUIT)
  • Encourage interest in participating in health and fitness activities, including the 
gym in the Warma Fitness Centre
  • Improved management of problematic emotional stress
  • Linked to mental health service
  • Reduced self-harming behaviours
The Residential Program

While residing at Baroona, young people have access to a range of programs and services:

  • Counselling therapy (1:1 and group) including process counselling, manual therapy and D&A Counselling
  • A nutrition program run by the Baroona naturopath
  • Structured programs such as the Bullroarer program, Jekora program, Art 
Therapy program, Smoking Cessation (QUIT), etc.
  • Cultural awareness studies, including connection to country, song and dance, 
ceremonies, etc.
  • Recreational activities such as access to the Warma Fitness Centre gym program, 
participation in local team sports, etc.
  • Mentoring and role modelling of healthy life styles and healthy relationships 
    • Harm minimisation
    • Respectful relationships
    • Sexual health
  • Skills development and education, including:
    • Life skills related to activities of daily living: cleaning, cooking, washing
    • Employment and education readiness skills
    • Short courses to develop work skills e.g. fencing, chain-sawing etc
Traditional & Contemporary Healing Ways

Aboriginal cultural ways, cultural safety and healing are fundamental to the model of care and program design. In particular:

  • Baroona has policy of employing Aboriginal people to work 
at Baroona
  • The Baroona programs include extensive use of ceremony 
and rituals e.g. welcome, leaving and celebration of 
milestones and healing goals
  • Each young person has an individual Healing Plan detailing 
their individual healing and recovery goals, and outlining how the program will support the young person to achieve these goals
  • The weekly program includes information, cultural activities and discussions about cultural artefacts
  • All young people living at Baroona are expected to participate in the Bullroarer and Jekora programs
  • Elders and respected community members are engaged in the weekly program
  • Teaching on Baroona land and learning about ‘country’ are part of the Baroona program
  • Cultural leadership is provided by Baroona staff, the Njernda Cultural Officer, Njernda staff and Board, Elders and respected Tradition Owners
  • Baroona residents are expected to participate in local community events, such as NAIDOC, community BBQs, the Koorie Nite Market, and Football and Netball Carnivals, etc
  • Baroona maintains strong collaborative linkages with the Aboriginal communities across Victoria through Njernda’s involvement on VACCHO and through personal connections with Aboriginal families and communities, etc