Our Story

The name “Yorgum” is a Noongar name for a large red flowering gum tree which has healing properties. Aboriginal people have used the gum for many years in the treatment of numerous ailments, including diseases of the eyes.

The name is an expression of the life-sustaining image of the living tree. The deep roots, rising sap, branches reaching to the sky, the shelter given and the home provided to the many forms of life-insects, reptiles, birds and other animals. It is a symbol of connectedness and inter-dependence in the diversity of living beings. 

Yorgum was established in 1991 by a group of Aboriginal women, some of whom worked in women’s refuges, who were concerned about the lack of appropriate counselling support for Aboriginal people experiencing spiritual, emotional and psychological pain. They founded a service with a ‘healing’ approach rather than an ongoing, crisis-driven ‘patch-up’ approach.

Over the years Yorgum has grown in size and scope of its services, to become a well-respected Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation.

Our Vision

Our Vision is that Aboriginal people, their families and communities are empowered, and have the skills and supports, to improve and maintain their social and emotional wellbeing.

The social challenges faced by Aboriginal communities are complex and interwoven. We understand the significant inter-generational trauma that Aboriginal people have experienced arising from colonial history and adverse policies that have eroded their cultural identity, spirituality, kinship, knowledge, practices and cultural connections. Many Aboriginal Australians continue to be traumatised by racism, incarceration, identity issues, exploitation and abuse.

The effects of trauma experienced by many Aboriginal people impact on their social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) in areas such as their health, relationships, education, lifestyle, finances, livelihood, involvement with the justice system and identity. Aboriginal concepts of SEWB also highlight the importance of country, language, culture, spirituality and ancestors.

Our Mission

Our Mission is to provide all Aboriginal people and their families with a wide range of culturally secure, community-based healing services that utilise a trauma-informed approach to positively impact their social and emotional wellbeing

Yorgum provides all Aboriginal people and their families autonomous, community-based healing, counselling, support and advocacy services that are culturally secure, trauma-informed and work within an Aboriginal Family Worldview.

We support Aboriginal people to rebuild connections that have been ruptured within their lives, with a view to enhancing their SEWB. We strive to offer a holistic service that supports the whole person in the context of their family and community.

Our Values

Yorgum is committed to upholding the following values in the way we work.

Our Strategic Themes

Healing Services

Provide community-based healing services to Aboriginal people that work within an Aboriginal Family Worldview

Evidence-Based Reform

Drive evidence-based policy and systemic reform that benefits the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people​

Partnerships

Partner with other organisations to develop culturally secure, trauma-informed services that address the underlying drivers of social challenges for Aboriginal people

Sustainable Organisation​

Yorgum grows in a sustainable way into an Australian leader in delivering healing services to Aboriginal people

Our Partners

Our story so far...

1991

Vision established by group of Aboriginal women at a meeting at Anawim Women's Refuge.

Two year Aboriginal counselling course began, funded by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

1991
1993
Yorgum Aboriginal Corporation for Women is incorporated.
1993
1994
Yorgum Aboriginal Counselling Service established at Sister Kate’s with volunteers who graduated from the counselling course.
1994
1996
Name change to Yorgum Aboriginal Corporation to enable support for men.
1996
1997
Department of Children and Families funding for sexual abuse counselling.
1997
2000

Yorgum moved 
to a property in Aberdeen Street, Northbridge.

Rapid growth in demand for counselling after the move.

2000
2002
Jade Maddox commences as Yorgum's first CEO.
2002
2005
Yorgum relocated to Wittenoom Street, East Perth.
2005
2006
Link-Up Service begins, funded by Office of Aboriginal Health.
2006
2006
Building refurbished to allow for clinical rooms and service delivery for clients.
2006
2008
Workforce Support Unit established across Australia funded by the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.
2008
2011
Yorgum celebrates its 20th Anniversary.
2011
2014
Laurel Sellers joins as CEO.
2014
2015
Yorgum secures Indigenous Advancement Strategy funding through the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for Link-Up, Workforce Support Unit and Indigenous Family Safety.
2015
2018

Yorgum begins Intensive Family Support Services funded by the Department of Communities.

Yorgum commences Redress Support Service for Indigenous Australians in WA, funded by the Department of Social Services.

2018
2019
Yorgum changes it name to Yorgum Healing Services.
2019
2019
Yorgum secures Disability Royal Commission funding through Department of Social Services.
2019