Annette Dudley stumbled her way into the therapy world after being supported by her foster carers to pursue her passion for education and having a number of mentors, supervisors and children cheering her on from the sidelines. A significant milestone was the completion of her Masters of Narrative Therapy and Community Work in 2015. In this interview, Annette reflects on her project ‘Unspoken Words’: Creative Letters to Elders of my Past and Present’ utilising the narrative practice of therapeutic letter writing.
Annette is a descendent of the Bailai Nation from the Gladstone area in Central Queensland, Tanna Island in Vanuatu and Murray Island in the Torres Strait Islands. Annette has held a variety of therapeutic and support roles within mental health, Aboriginal health, family violence legal services, criminal justice, sexual assault and youth services. She currently supports youth and families as a Project Officer for Indigenous Wellbeing at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton.
This is what we explore in episode 32 of ‘Talk the Walk’:
- How Annette came to study narrative therapy and community work, and why she thinks it is a culturally sensitive approach to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people
- What led to Annette undertaking her ‘Unspoken Word’ letter writing project with Elders of her community, and the impact it had on her work and life
- Reflections on her work on Healing Camps with the Woorabinda community and the Taroom to Woorabinda Trek
- The impact narrative letter writing honouring people’s legacies can have on recipients and their families
- The significance of writing a letter from an oral culture perspective
- How the ‘Unspoken Words’ project shaped Annette’s therapeutic practice with clients
- Exploring the fit of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Indigenous clients
- What Annette loves about using the Tree of Life methodology with clients
- Reflections on Annette’s journey from foster child to therapist
- Rolemodels, motivators and admirers
- Annette’s career highlight – a sparkling moment!
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Things to follow up after the episode:
Contact Annette at dlzmmettswplsg(at)gmail(dot)com