A breakthrough partnership between Hoops 4 Health and the Center for Healing and Justice through Sport will see some of the Northern Territory's most remote communities benefit from access to trauma-informed and culturally-informed and healing-centred training.
Founder of Hoops4Health, Timmy Duggan OAM, is the man behind the vision to re-empower young people and communities to improved their quality of life.
Mr Duggan has maternal ties with Tennant Creek mob from Warramungu and paternal ties to the Nykinya people of the Kimberley, and has been working with communities across the Northern Territory for two decades.
He said the move to combine First Nations-led healing with trauma-informed care emerged through Hoops 4 Health staff receiving training under Dr Bruce Perry's Neurosequential Network model.
"We have partnered with The Center for Healing and Justice Through Sport (CHJS) who offers training to help folks understand the impact of overwhelming stress, or trauma, on young people and equips them with skills to take action to support these young people," Mr Duggan said.
"This partnership just really solidifies that sometimes you've got to bring in an expert you know, we've got the First Nations knowledge. Blend that with the science around the neuroscience to address trauma in our communities and the places we work and we think we've got something pretty unique."
The sport experience creates space for healing to occur, with a goal of building capacity and connection in communities.
"The big thing about us – we're consistent and we're constant. They're constantly seeing Aboriginal faces, you know walk and giving them knowledge and guidance and mentoring," Mr Duggan said.
First Nations-led Hoops 4 Health has gone from strength to strength since its beginnings in the early 2000s, clocking up over 50,000km of outreach to Northern Territory remote communities and work within the last eight months.
"We've now ventured down to Alice Springs prison as well, where we're following up with these kids that were at Don Dale. We're embedding all this trauma informed coaching through our Hoops 4 Health… Working with local Aboriginal organisations who are on the ground," Mr Duggan said.
Kate Thomas, Australian Lead, Trainer and Consultant for global organisation The Center for Healing and Justice through Sport, said their broader mission is to "make sport healing and accessible for young people everywhere."
"We're huge supporters and advocates of Hoops 4 Health's work and ethos," she said.
"We're really excited by this partnership… which is being led by Timmy's organisation, an organisation that has 20+ years of experience making positive impact across the top end of Australia.
"You know, when we're talking about healing, it's all there. The western science part of it is really just backing up what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people know already and have known for thousands of years."
Mr Duggan said a huge part of this partnership is to value-add to the existing Aboriginal organisations that are already successfully running.