16th Reintegration Puzzle Conference

Perth Convention Centre
24th - 26th March 2021

Rosemary Wanganeen

Australian Institute for Loss & Grief

Rosemary is a proud South Australian Aboriginal woman! Her traditional heritage on her paternal side is Kaurna of the Adelaide Plains and her maternal side, Koog-a-tha and Wir-rang-gu both on the west coast of SA, equally she has a proud English heritage. Rosemary is the founding CEO of the Sacred Site Within Healing Centre in 1993 and in 2005 the Australian Institute for Loss and Grief.

Rosemary applied her personal ‘lived experiences’ to research and develop the Seven Phases to Integrating Loss and Grief© framework and as a Griefologist she’s an educator, presenter, facilitator, assessor, loss & grief counsellor. The Institute provides counselling and programs to all Australians because loss and grief is a human experience. In 2018 Rosemary was accepted into Adelaide University to the Master in Philosophy course, under industry experience. Rosemary has extensive experience of working with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people on management committees, in communities and groups; government organisations and NGO’s supporting them in the realm of health, welfare and social justice issues for Aboriginal people spanning 30 years. Rosemary became involved with Aboriginal people across the justice system when she worked as an advocate and full-time research officer in the Committee to Defend Black Rights Sydney office (CDBR 1986-1987) to campaign vigorously for a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody to investigate why Aboriginal people were dying in police custody, youth detention centres and adult prisons across the nation. CDBR became instrumental in forcing the Hawke government into calling the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC 1988-1991). As an Aboriginal research officer, she worked in the Adelaide office of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1988-1991) and at the same time grieving and healing her personal lived experiences of major losses and intergenerational suppressed, unresolved grief. Combining her work with CDBR, RCIADIC and her personal lived experiences, she developed a holistic and culturally safe and appropriate framework called the Seven Phases to Integrating Loss and Grief©.

ABSTRACT - Reintegration Puzzle Conference 2021

This presentation will focus on how loss and grief can act as the driving force into crime and imprisonment and prevent the reintegration of those leaving prison. The Seven Phases to Integrating Loss and Grief© framework suggests that we have a right, a role and a responsibility to ask to what extent ancestral losses and their suppressed unresolved grief have compounded and complicated their descendant’s contemporary losses and whether suppressed unresolved grief may be a missing link to how we understand the way in which people respond to the criminal justice system and how we can work to transform ‘Aboriginal disadvantage’ into ‘Aboriginal’ prosperity for all Aboriginal Australians.

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