fbpx

Pukatja Life

Community living is simple. I found my time in The Lands to be the most grounding time of my life; landscape absorbs worry, silence deafens the voice in your head and the sense of community is strong - you're never alone! Walking around Pukatja, people give you a friendly nod or a cheerful "Palya", and there are lots of dogs - which is awesome because who doesn't love the constant presence of papas (dogs)? Wild horses make an appearance on North side, sometimes walking down the road in search for water and food scraps, donkeys will let themselves in and wait in the kitchen for food, and cows will stand in the middle of the road staring you down- beeping doesn't scare them all!

Pitjantjatjara is one of the most beautiful languages I've heard and learning how to speak it has helped form an appreciation for grammatical, pronunciation and word definition differences. There are words for sounds, such as the sound of wind in the leaves - walpa. I have been so lucky to go on bush trips, to be shown Country and Dreaming sites, and to have watched sunsets that throw intense red, pink and purple into the sky. Watching the mountains change colour as the sun makes its journey from one mountain to the other, misty hazes after sun-down bring on an atmosphere which can only be experienced.

One of my favourite things has been making friends with Anangu, along with the strong sense of connectivity which comes from this - children waving frantically from cars or little ones running across the shop to give you a hug. These experiences fill your happy cup! After school, children migrate to the shop, stopping in at the Road House before coming into the Skylight for activities. We paint, make masks, have dance-offs, make fruit salad, play softball and create our own body products! A lot happens in the office since families come in with their tjitji (children) and iti (babies), from water play, playing bongo drums to facilitating nap time- Skylight is a well-loved part of the community.

School holiday programs run for children to come and hang out at the office- the boys enjoy break dancing and making masks before a cruise to the shop to get the ingredients for fruit salad and sandwiches. It was awesome to see all the boys wanting to be involved in cooking. Everyone had something to cut up and others enjoyed being in charge of melting the cheese on the ham sandwiches. The girls loved making pizzas and creating Christmas cards for their families, together, the children made their own gingerbread men and worked as a team to decorate their baking.

Being welcomed into community and experiencing life on The Lands has truly been a giant learning opportunity, one I am grateful for and will always carry with me. Working within a team of vibrant people I have grown professionally, found new interests and been able to explore and live with one of the oldest surviving cultures. If you get the opportunity to live within a community- DO IT!

- Lauren



  182 Hits

Trauma-Sensitive Yoga: Healing trauma through embodiment

As a counsellor, it is no surprise that I love words and stories. Being able to express how we feel through words can be an empowering and freeing experience. It can help us understand ourselves better, and can provide a sense of ownership over our thoughts and feelings.

However, sometimes, words are not enough.

In a threatening event, our bodies manage as best they can by activating the "survival mode". The most well-known survival modes are fight, flight, and freeze – intending to get us out of a life-threatening situation by taking down the attacker, by running away, or by being completely still.
Some traumatic experiences are "one-offs", while other trauma takes place over a longer period of time, for example in cases of childhood abuse. This is called "complex trauma". Sometimes, the nervous system of the survivor doesn't quite get the chance to recover, and the body can find itself stuck in a survival state, even when the threat is no longer present. As a result, people might experience a whole range of symptoms. They might feel their emotions like a "rollercoaster", have a dissociative sense of "not being here", or live with unexplained pain.

In addition to this, traumatic memories are often stored as sensory memories. We remember smells or colours, but might not have the ability to recall the full story.

So, what can we do when talk-therapy just doesn't cut it?

Somatic therapies aim to address the trauma that is stored in the body. In this article, I will expand on one somatic approach to trauma healing that we provide at Skylight: Trauma-Sensitive Yoga.
First things first: you do not need to be flexible. You do not need previous yoga experience. Trauma-Sensitive Yoga is available for you regardless of age, body type, physical ability, ethnicity, gender, or race.

This treatment program was developed at the Trauma Center in Massachusetts. Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY for short) is an evidence-based approach, with foundations in Trauma Theory, Attachment Theory, Neuroscience, and Hatha Yoga. It is a program specifically designed to support people living with complex trauma. Trauma-Sensitive Yoga provides an opportunity to reconnect with your body, on your own terms. The practice revolves around choice-making and noticing sensations in your body. 

For example: you can decide if you would like to lift your arms in a certain yoga form, and if so, to what extent you would like to lift them. You might bring your attention to your shoulders and notice what it feels like to lift your arms. Based on what you're noticing, you might decide to adjust the way you are lifting your arms. The TCTSY facilitator verbally guides you through different yoga forms during the session and practices the forms with you. The emphasis is not on "doing it right", so the facilitator does not give you verbal or physical adjustments. This allows you to focus on how you would like to inhabit each yoga shape. 

The next 6-week Trauma-Sensitive Yoga program at Skylight starts on Monday 31st August. 

If you think you'd like to give it a try, feel free to get in touch with our customer relations team to sign up. The facilitator (me) will give you a call to have a brief chat first, which will also provide you with a chance to ask any questions you might have.

Looking forward to connecting with you – with and without words

Merel
  550 Hits

A Note From Skylight CEO - Paul Creedon

Earlier today I received a call from Mrs Lan Le, the wife of SA's Governor Hieu Van Le, who phoned to express her thanks to Skylight Mental Health for its ongoing work to support people living with a mental illness, particularly during the current COVID19 pandemic.


Mrs Le, before her retirement, was a social worker in mental health and she recounted to me several referrals she had made to Skylight and the great outcomes for those people which had always given her a positive view of Skylight and its services.

She congratulated us on our ability to continue providing services and also for creating and building new services and opportunities. She specifically highlighted the Skylight videos that had been created and posted online as evidence of our value and resilience in this difficult time.

We spoke at some length acknowledging that the quality of an organisation like Skylight is demonstrated daily by the actions of its staff and their interactions with participants, and she asked me to pass on her thanks to all of the staff at Skylight for our ongoing work and commitment to people with a mental illness.


I, and the Board, have no difficulty in seconding this and also thanking all of the staff for their commitment, flexibility and creativity.


Paul Creedon
CEO


Click here to view a message from His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia: 
COVID-19: A MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  743 Hits

Together - National Reconciliation Week

The title of my piece is 'Together', this means walking, talking and doing together for a bright hopeful future. Since childhood I have heard of stories from the indigenous communities' and they say that the earth is their mother and they are the custodians of her. 

I wanted to show that I feel the same way.

Together we can walk the path of colours in our beautiful land, from the amazing colours in the sky, flora, land and the beautiful turquoise colour of our seas and ocean. Cherishing the native species of plant life that is left as 90% of the Noarlunga area has been wiped out. The diversity of our country from the scrublands and forests to our magnificent red river gums not to mention our incredible wildlife that is so unique.

There is nowhere in the world like this land.

The two hands coming together are indigenous and non-indigenous peoples both with knowledge and a readiness to work together in projects and group discussions to care for and protect everyone and everything that is this land. Under the night sky, the southern cross is of great significance, when it is low in the sky it indicates that the emu is sitting on his eggs, eggs are is a symbol of new life, fertility and hope it is also a time for foraging. The emu and kangaroo are on the coat of arms and can only move in a forward direction, my hope and dreams are for all of us to move forward together.

Artwork and words by Toni Dallow, 2020
  356 Hits
Skylight Logo
Address: 
5 Cooke Terrace
Wayville SA 5034
Phone: (08) 8378 4100
ABN: 85 595 741 081

Follow Us

Client 1

Sign up to Skylight Updates!

Skylight respectfully acknowledges Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians
of South Australia and celebrates all people who call this land home
Copyright © Skylight 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Search