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 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 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.
Yorgum is committed to upholding the following values in the way we work.
Our Mob First
We put Aboriginal people first in our priorities
We believe in the dignity and worth of all people, and this underpins our behaviour
We base our work around Aboriginal culture and practices
We are honest, do what we believe is right, are transparent and reliable
We provide safe, welcoming, culturally secure, trauma-informed services
We value knowledge and seek to build up our understanding
Our Strategic Themes
Provide community-based healing services to Aboriginal people that work within an Aboriginal Family Worldview
Drive evidence-based policy and systemic reform that benefits the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people
Partner with other organisations to develop culturally secure, trauma-informed services that address the underlying drivers of social challenges for Aboriginal people
Yorgum grows in a sustainable way into an Australian leader in delivering healing services to Aboriginal people