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Perfect mix of health and culture

Friday, 28th February, 2020

Maari Ma board member and Menindee Director Cheryl Blore in front of the organisation’s Kiila Laana Program design. Ms Blore planted an Emu Bush as part of yesterday’s launch of the program, with a leaf from the bush serving as the program’s design symbol. PICTURE: Callum Marshall Maari Ma board member and Menindee Director Cheryl Blore in front of the organisation’s Kiila Laana Program design. Ms Blore planted an Emu Bush as part of yesterday’s launch of the program, with a leaf from the bush serving as the program’s design symbol. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

Maari Ma launched their Kiila Laana Program yesterday, a rebrand of their Tackling Indigenous Smoking program.

The program, which was discussed in detail by visiting Associate Professor Renee Bittoun in Wednesday’s BDT, is named after the Barkindji word for growing.

At yesterday’s event, locals and members of the Maari Ma board came out to see the unveiling of the program’s name and design at the Old Silver King Service Station.  

“It’s really about looking at what people can do to change some lifestyle choices and practices that they do,” said Maari Ma’s Executive Manager of Social and Community Programs Justin Files.

“And that’s what we’d like to support our community with as opposed to harping on to community about quitting smoking and the like.”

The symbol displayed within the Kiila Laana rebrand was significant as well, added Mr Files.

“The image that we’ve used is the leaf of one of our bush medicine trees which is the Emu Bush,” he said.

“That’s the image that we’re sharing now in terms of looking at strengths but also cultural competence.

“Reflecting back to community that we are culturally respectful and we understand that there are traditional medicines that are still available and people still use.”

He said the event marked a great opportunity for Maari Ma, as an Aboriginal community-controlled health organisation, to promote Aboriginal culture.

“But also some of that important knowledge base that our Aboriginal community have,” said Mr Files.

“It’s an opportunity to promote this with the whole community and share with them the Barkindji language, but also the bush medicines that are part of Aboriginal culture.”

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