Mindful movement brings healing on Country for Purnululu School
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Mindful movement brings healing on Country for Purnululu School

Mindful movement brings healing on Country for Purnululu School

by Freya Lucas

May 29, 2023
Sitting in mindfulness

Wanyanyagem and Welyenggem students and educators from Purnululu School have been exploring how mindful movement education can bring healing on Country.


Project Mindful Hearts is a community driven pilot Mindful Movement Education program supported by Healthway and Lotterywest in partnership with Act Belong Commit and Fair Game.


“Project Mindful Hearts and the unique approach demonstrated all the effective and necessary elements required to make a difference to the children’s state of being and ultimately, wellbeing, through the researched and evidence based vehicle of Yoga. It was lovely to see.” Jo MacLachlan, Early Childhood Consultant from the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia said.


Purnululu Mindful Education resources were developed in collaboration and consultation with the Gija community, Elders, Linguists and Yogazeit, and beautifully illustrated by school students. 


The landscape and animals on Gija Country were connected with feelings and emotions for health and healing. Incorporating Gija language, mindful stories and powerful yoga and relaxation techniques support a customised, culturally relevant and unique approach and delivery.


Evidence of how the program has become part of everyday schooling for one of the communities has been apparent this week with Purnululu showcasing how they incorporate the professional learning on Country. 


“We saw students spending time thinking about their surroundings, practicing shapes to stretch and ground their bodies and relaxing with guided meditation. They engaged their senses mindfully, immersing themselves in the environment and discussing the aromas, sounds, and various textures they could feel beneath them. A deadly way to bring healing On Country and incorporate Social and Emotional education in remote communities,” an observer said.


Sharnell Avery,Yogazeit Indigenous Outreach Lead outlined the way in which the Mindful Hearts Pilot project supported four communities in the Kimberley region saying “ it’s encouraging to see teachers and children implementing yoga and mindfulness tools on Country long after we have left the classroom.”


“Integrating these skills into daily learning will empower individuals to establish meaningful connections with their emotions and equips them with invaluable tools for self-support during crucial moments.We’re hoping to see this project continue over many years to further capacity building and healing.” 

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