Professional Development

Workforce development and Support

Wakai Waian Healing acknowledges that there are many professionals committed to the promotion of the Mental Health and Social and Emotional Well Being (SEWB) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, the Wakai Waian Healing team believe there is a significant shortage in suitably capable, competent, and qualified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MH/SEWB workforce to meet the current demands for all Aboriginal and Torres Islander Communities. Thus Wakai Waian Healing provides direct support to organisations and communities with a growing and developing dedicated MH/SEWB workforce. The ability for Wakai Waian Healing to support this comes from its commitment to the growth and development of its own internal MH/SEWB work force.

Mental Health Worker Trainee Program

In addition to maintaining its formally qualified professional workforce, Wakai Waian Healing operates a specialised Mental Health Worker Trainee Program which seeks to produce a specialised Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander MH/SEWB professional. This Wakai Waian Healing Program aims to recruit, retain and provide a high standard of motivated, culturally safe, competent and professional Mental Health worker. Our internally designed education provides a mentoring and supervision element, employing techniques focused on self-care, healing and knowledge translation through experiential learning and reflective techniques. The Wakai Waian Healing Trainee Program is enhanced through development of relationships with relevant professional associations, education providers, organisations and communities which provide our trainees with unique experiences and opportunities to develop their professional competencies. Our organisations vision is that our trainee’s develop unique and specialist knowledge, skillsets and attitudes in order to prepare them to support the complex and unique MH/SEWB needs of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

There are many benefits to participation in our Mental Health Worker Trainee Program, in which trainees will

  • Engage in their own healing
  • Become resilient
  • Grow to be professionally competent
  • Understand their own limitations and strengths
  • Develop an ability to negotiate, facilitate, advocate and be leaders, within their professions and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The Wakai Waian Healing Trainee Program provides an opportunity to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers to attain advanced qualifications by strengthening educational pathways, from the Certificate through to Diploma and Tertiary level qualifications.

The expectation of our trainee workforce is that they possess/grow to possess the following characteristics:

  • Humility
  • Compassion
  • Maturity
  • Innovative
  • Humorous
  • Resilience
  • Respect
  • Motivation
  • Flexibility
  • Autonomous
  • Courageous

Self Development

Self-reflection and evaluation can be challenging at times, however at Wakai Waian Healing this is done in a supportive environment. We strongly encourage our staff to undertake their own healing in a productive way.

“As a staff member I can genuinely say to my colleagues and good friends thank you, for the times I have had to lean on you, when you have lent on me and when we have lent on each other.”Ed Mosby

The Wakai Waian Healing work can be a cultural, professional and personal shock at times. Our organisation feels that self-care, mentoring and professional development enhances organisation productivity and effectiveness and supports staff retention/wellbeing. Ultimately this is extended into the serviced communities.

Our experiences in the last 3 years have taught us that developing and prioritising our commitment to self-care’, mentoring, supervision and professional development, is essential and is now a culture within the organisation.

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