In episode 20 of ‘Talk the Walk’, my guest today captures the essence of what it takes to move from a big city to a remote community in the heart of Arnhemland. Social Worker, Anne Carrick spent three years immersed in community life and working in a social and emotional well-being program alongside 13 language groups and clans, each with their similar but different traditions living on Kunibidji land. Anne says “This is one of the most multi-lingual communities in the world.”
If you’ve ever considered working remote or wondered what it is like, Anne’s stories, memories and lessons learned are pure gold.
In this episode we explore:
- Anne’s early learnings working with Aboriginal people as a young social worker in Adelaide and Ceduna
- The thinking and motivation behind Anne’s move to the Northern Territory
- One article every Balanda (whitefella) needs to read before working in Aboriginal communities
- A typical day working in the social and emotional wellbeing program in a remote Aboriginal community
- The effects of daily life being exposed to frequent domestic violence and suicide attempts
- The role Elders and leaders took in responding to domestic and family violence
- The outcomes Anne was able to achieve assisting women, children and families
- How a social work assessment process differs in a remote community compared to a more urban settling, and the role of Aboriginal workers
- How the community shaped new understandings of mental health using the positive concept of living a life ‘worried well’
- Anne’s experience of supervising social work students; what students can do to prepare themselves for a remote placement; and good advice for anyone thinking of working remote
- Anne’s challenges and struggles; and what sustained her
- The vision, principles and values inherent in Anne’s social work practice framework and how she advocated for this in a system which had different ideas about tackling social issues
- Tracing Anne’s ethics and values back to early childhood
- The wake up call that may help you prevent burnout
- Accessing good supervision and support
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Things to follow up after the episode
‘Kartiya are like Toyotas’ by Kim Mahood
“National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s Mental Health and Social and Emotional Well-Being 2017-2023“, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (October 2017)
Social and Emotional Wellbeing Portal, Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Contact Anne Carrick on anne475esp(at)hotmail(dot)com