Hi! I’m new to Bonnie’s and this is my first blog, so I thought I’d write a bit about me:
I have always worked in therapeutic environments with women, as a counsellor, a friend and a wife. Now I wanted to work with women in a different setting, I wanted to work at Bonnie’s. So I applied for the job as a family worker.
On my first day it felt like I had been working there for many years. Starting a new job is always daunting and comes with many challenges; learning new systems, new skills and meeting new people so it took awhile for me to learn everything – but the team were so supportive and encouraging and the feminist energy was palpable. It’s this multicultural and feminist energy that I want to highlight in my first ever blog.
Something particularly special has been being invited to co-facilitate our Aunty Bonnie’s program alongside Peta. Peta is a Gooreng Gooreng/Kabi Kabi woman, artist and Family worker who began this group as a way for Bonnie’s women to come together, make art, learn about Aboriginal culture, share each other’s culture, yarn and most importantly, heal.
Our activities range from working with clay, making dolls, weaving and going on excursions into nature. Just last week, on the first day of Spring, we all headed out onto Darug Country. The idea was to collect pieces of wood, plants and natural materials to make our artworks while also enjoying the sun, nature and this beautiful place. But before we began walking through, Peta suggested I host a mindfulness breathing exercise. This created a beautiful sense of calm before we began walking through and listening to Peta’s stories of the land.
What I love most about this group is the diversity and judgement free zone we create. Between the group of 8 of us, we make up 7 different countries and cultural backgrounds. And when we come together there is a real powerful but calm female energy where everyone feels supported and accepted. For many women in the group English is a second language, and many are still learning, but that doesn’t discourage them from coming. I recently drove one of the participants home the other day and she doesn’t speak much English at all, but what she did say was “I love this group! I am happy! So Happy!” and I felt the same.
Working here, and working in this group has demonstrated to me the incredible benefits of being a multicultural and feminist organisation.
Blog by Nora*
Images sourced by Nora from the Aunty Bonnie’s field trip.
*Name has been changed for privacy purposes.