Gillian Bonser


Gillian Bonser is a cofounder and developer for Winangay Resources. She is a psychologist, consultant and facilitator who specialises in creative lateral thinking and innovative resource development. She has a long history of social justice activism in relation to Aboriginal people and those who are living with trauma.


This workshop will focus on embedding trauma informed (TIC) principles in our daily practice to deliver child centred and safe environments. It explores ways of applying the principles in ways that increase worker confidence and competence and have real outcomes for children and families.
Winangay resources have developed a range of ground breaking visual resources which have delivered a seismic shift in the way workers and organisations engage with Aboriginal, CALD and mainstream clients. These resources acknowledge the high levels of trauma experienced by individuals accessing health and community services, especially marginalised and disadvantaged groups.
While the workshop content is founded on theory and research, it is delivered in practical and interactive ways allowing participants to road test the latest resources. It incorporates stories and feedback from pilots and case studies from implementation in mainstream, Aboriginal and CALD contexts. It will discuss the outcomes achieved in empowering and enabling marginalised families and communities that led to them engaging with Child Protection services in new stronger ways and in many children returning to kin and culture. These empowering respectful and strength based approaches are enabling kids and families to heal, grow and flourish providing strong foundations for their future.


This will be an energising presentation demonstrating and workshopping a range of interactive ground breaking strategies to maximise children and young peoples’ engagement and participation in decision making. This workshop will provide an opportunity to view and use resources including the Winangay “KiDs SAY” visual cards designed to generate children and young people’s participation. They have been road tested across Australia and assist workers in Child Protection, OOHC and Family Support to have purposeful conversations and explore critical issues.
The KiDS SAY cards put children’s voices, their strengths, hopes and concerns front and centre in decision making and empower children and workers alike. The expanded KiDS SAY cards focus on children and young peoples’ strengths and safety. They provide the means by which KiDs strengths, hopes needs and concerns can shape their services, support and outcomes. They provide a clear direction for practice, in relation to safety, permanency, and cultural safety.
Child Protection Inquiries over the last 40 years have stressed the importance of listening to kids (Arney 2016). When children are provided with opportunities to have their say and participate in decision making the outcomes for kids are better with: more stability; a greater chance of securing permanency better maintenance of connections; and developing a strong cultural identity (Bamblett 2012, Blacklock et al.2015). Embedding participatory practices provides choice and control that contributes to the building of child safe organisations and environments and empowers children and young people so they can flourish and take their place in the wider community.


Winangay Resources Inc. have developed resources to assist workers and carers in working with families and children. The resources have been recommended at the highest level by governments, academics, Elders, aboriginal workers and the Healing Foundation. The display provides information and examples of the various resources Winangay Resources has produced.

Share this page