Jalngangurru Healing

KALACC’s Jalngangurru Healing has been running since 2019 to develop a model of service delivery for traditional healing practices in the Kimberley and trial that model. The word ‘jalngangurru’ means healer in Walmajarri language and is inclusive of men and women healers. The word was chosen for the healing service by participants at a Healers’ camp held in May 2022.

Jalngangurru Cultural Healing Practices

Cultural healing practices from the Kimberley can be used to address a variety of issues including physical ailments, social and emotional well being, mental health issues and culture bound syndromes (e.g. being sung). There are varied forms of cultural healing practices in the Kimberley, with roles for men and women, sometimes separately and sometimes working together, including (but not exclusively):

  • mabarn healing performed the men
  • parnany parnany warnti is a group of women healers
  • the use of bush medicinal products
  • the smoking of various woods and leaves
  • the use of ochre and ceremonial songs
  • palliative care and child and maternal health

Project Partners

Jalngangurru Healing is a service provided by KALACC in partnership with the Emama Nguda Aboriginal Corporation. Since 2019, the project has been funded by the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) and supported by the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS) and the Aboriginal Regional Governance Group (ARGG). A developmental evaluation was undertaken into the model’s development by Notre Dame University’s Nulungu Research Institute between 2019 and 2023.

Model of Service Delivery

Between 2019 and 2023 the model of service delivery was developed in consultation with healers, cultural law bosses and through guidance provided by existing cultural healing services in Central Australia. The model enables cultural healers from the Kimberley to be compensated for their work, with cultural safety and security embedded in the model, and is working towards the safe-keeping of knowledge for future generations.

The model provides for a coordination team, cultural advisors and healers. There are currently two staff members (a Project Coordinator and a Healing Support Officer), six cultural advisors and 14 healers. The Cultural Advisors guide the healing practices, and decisions about the service are made by the larger group of advisors, staff and healers at Healers’ camps, which are held annually.

The service is generally provided in the form of clinics every few months. The clinics allow us to bring together the male and female healers so that clients can be seen by men and women healers, at the one time. For more acute matters, clients may be seen outside of the clinics on a case by case basis.

How to access the service

This service does not seek to override existing family obligations and structures. If you have healers in your family – please go through your usual networks to access these practices and healers as chosen by your family.

The service is primarily for Aboriginal people who have had little or no connection with Aboriginal cultural healing practices due to policies like the stolen generations. We also provide support for those working with Aboriginal people from the Kimberley in an organisational capacity, this can be Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal people. We will see children, but only with written consent by the child’s guardian.

To access the service, please complete this Online Referral Form

If you are not able to use the online form, please contact:

Healing Support Officer
Petrine McCrohan
Email: healing@kalacc.org.au
Mobile: 0457 209 306

Alternatively, you can also contact KALACC in Fitzroy Crossing on 08 9191 5317 or Emama Nguda in Derby on 08 9193 1600.

Please note that the service only currently services the West Kimberley in Derby and Fitzroy Crossing. Clients from outside these areas must be prepared to cover their own costs to get to Derby or Fitzroy Crossing for healing.

Once the form is received the Healing Support Officer will acknowledge the application and may call the client for clarity before meeting with the Cultural Advisors to determine who can do the healing, where and when. The team will be in contact once this meeting has occurred. We ask clients to be patient while the process is followed.

Clients are asked to sign a confidentiality agreement which includes keeping the identities of the healers confidential.

The Trial

The trial of the model of service delivery occurred between August 2022 and August 2023. During the trial the following guidelines were applied:

  • Clients must be based in Derby, Fitzroy Crossing or any of their surrounding communities. Clients from outside these areas will be considered on a case by case basis and may be asked to cover travel and accommodation costs
  • Children are permitted to be referred, but parental or guardian consent is required
  • Clients must be willing to complete a referral form and a confidentiality agreement

If the client gave permission, some time after the healing activities occurred they may have been contacted by an evaluator from the Nulungu Research Institute to confidentially discuss their experience. No identifying information was recorded in the evaluation.

More information

For more information about the project including the evaluation, contact:

Project Coordinator
Tammy Solonec
Email: thpp@kalacc.org.au

We’ve been mentioned

Australian Indigenous Health Info Net

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services

Western Australia Primary Health Alliance

On NITV Television Station

On ABC News





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