The Story of Wakai Waian
Wakai Waian Healing was established in 2014 by Mr Edward Mosby, as a single privately-run Psychology and Counselling clinic in Rockhampton, and its creation was a response to the high levels of grief, loss and trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
In the last four years, Wakai Waian Healing has transformed into a multisite company delivering
- Psychological and Counselling services
- Organisation/staff development,
- Organisation/staff self-care
- Community capacity and safety development initiatives.
The name ‘Wakai Waian Healing’ was kindly given to Edward by family members. The traditional language of the Masigalgal people (Kalaw Lagaw Ya) does not have a word for Psychologist or Counsellor. Thus they proposed ‘Wakai Waian’, which when translated from Kalaw Lagaw Ya, means ‘straightening yarn’, and ‘the guidance we provide and receive along life’s journey, from young ones into adulthood’.
The Symbol for Wakai Waian Healing, is a young coconut palm sapling sprouting from an old coconut. This references the work of Steve Mam, McRose Elu, Ivy Trevallion and Allen Reid in their published article (Family Matters, Number, 35 August 1993) titled, The coconut palm tree: a metaphor for Island family life. This article utilises the coconut palm tree as a metaphor for Torres Strait Island family life, where the roots represent Heritage, the trunk represents Tradition, and the growth of leaves & maturing of coconuts/fruit, represent Culture.
For Wakai Waian Healing the represented coconut has fallen from a mature tree and is a representation of the offspring and a new generation. It represents the perpetuation of tradition, custom, culture and practice. In addition, the coconut was chosen for its significant importance for many cultures and peoples, as the coconut palm tree and its fruits are a significant resource used for nutrition, medicine, shelter and ceremony.