Families Australia Oration

Dreaming our children’s future

Richard Weston
Chief Executive Officer, Healing Foundation

Richard is a descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait. He has worked in Indigenous affairs for more than 20 years. His current role is CEO of The Healing Foundation, a post he has held for 9 years.

The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to lead responses to ongoing trauma caused by actions such as the forced removal of children from their families and communities.

The Healing Foundation’s work has demonstrated that life changing outcomes can be achieved when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are supported to lead and develop their own solutions to long standing, seemingly unsolvable problems that rob communities of hope and a sense of purpose.

Richard leads the organisation which has supported more than 175 culturally strong, community led Indigenous healing projects around Australia. 45,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, women and men have participated in healing activities delivered by these projects, including members of the Stolen Generations and their descendants.

The Healing Foundation has a specific focus on building the capacity of our communities to heal from trauma by providing funding for Indigenous community organisations to design, develop and deliver their own healing projects.

In 2009-10 he worked in Brisbane as CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service and prior to that between 2000 – 2009 he was CEO of Maari Ma Health in far west NSW based in Broken Hill.

In Broken Hill Richard led the development and delivery of high quality health care and improved health outcomes for adults and children alike in a remote region known for the poor health status of its population. Key to this success was the upskilling and mentoring of Aboriginal health workers who played a pivotal role in the organisation’s success, the involvement of GPs, nurses and visiting specialists, and partnerships with NSW Health, small hospitals in the region, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and the University of Sydney.

Richard also sits on the Board of Families Australia and a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander forums and committees.



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