Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) works closely to support Baabayn, an Aboriginal Corporation that connects with individuals and families and provides them support and links to services that help them heal from the past and nurture their sense of confidence and pride in the future.
One Baabayn initiative, Baabayn Mums and Bubs Group, helps young people in western Sydney grow and contribute to an Aboriginal-led movement for better outcomes for First Nations women and children.
Mercy Works supports the “bubs” component of the group which engages Aboriginal children in cultural, educational, health-promoting and healing activities in weekly three-hour sessions. This includes storytelling, learning culture, native gardening projects, motor skills activities and pre-school literacy and learning sessions.
The mums also participate in programs such as WSLHD’s Public Health Unit ‘Bedazzled Bras’ breast cancer initiative and Real Futures Job Training ‘Bring Your Bills Day’ with Legal Aid designed to empower, promote healthy lifestyles, and enhance life skills.
In May, nine of the mums of Baabayn were invited to showcase their artworks in an immersive display of art projections as the centrepiece of Crown Sydney’s inaugural Vivid Sydney activation, The Gallery.
The spectacular lighting projections created a 11km walk-through experience along the landmark Wulugul Walk at Barangaroo, bringing to life the works of the talented Baabayn mums and other First Nations students from Blacktown and Redfern. This was part of the Solid Ground program for western Sydney’s emerging artists.
Mum of three, Alycia Nicholson, said the opportunity to show her artwork has been a “highlight” of her time at Baabayn.
Having an art piece has made me so proud of myself and now my children are participating in more programs that Baabayn have to offer,” said Alycia.
“The program gives me confidence to be able to teach my children about their heritage, it also gives me the opportunity to meet other mums who have the same or similar situations to my own.
“Being a part of an Aboriginal community has helped me explain so many more things to my children, things they didn’t know and helped them with their identity and to be proud of their Aboriginality.”
Story published with collaboration from Mercy Works.