Stories of Hope and Resilience Through New Media ( article CRCAH newsletter ) see links.

Stories of Hope and Resilience Through New Media: Researcher

Digital story telling (DST) by Indigenous people from a remote community in northern Queensland may help their social and emotional wellbeing, according to CRC for Aboriginal Health-sponsored researcher Samia Goudie.

Samia’s research is based on ‘new media’ work created with the Indigenous community in Hope Vale, whose stories portray hope and resilience in their daily lives. ‘The stories were made by people of all ages in the community, generously sharing their lives and Country, from as young as six to Elders, most of whom were making their first digital stories,’ says Samia Goudie. Samia’s digital project forms part of her PhD research at Southern Cross University. Samia also lectures in Indigenous health at the School of Population Health, the University of Queensland.

The story-telling project was carried out as part of the broader Hope Vale – Pelican project run by Pelican Expeditions since 2004. Each year the Tasmania-based catamaran Pelican heads north to work with Hope Vale Indigenous Community. The Pelican crew was first invited to work with them in response to a film documenting its work with troubled youth in Victoria’s Bass Strait. The whole project is managed in close collaboration with Elders from Hope Vale and last year included turtle and dugong research, seagrass monitoring, DST, weaving, dance and music workshops, as well as sail training, visits to sea Country and a recreation of the traditional voyages undertaken in kayaks to Lizard Island.

The stories of the Indigenous community at Hope Vale were told and recorded over a month at the Guuga Yimmithirr Bama community camp at Connies Beach, Cape Flattery, Cape York, and launched in the community late last year. You can view the results of Samia and the community’s innovative, and ongoing, digital work at: https://samiastories.wordpress.com/2008/11/18/premier-launch-of-milbi-hopevale-pelican-dvd\ as well on the Hopevale wikki and Pelican Expeditions website.
‘Indigenous people have always told stories, this is just a new way for youth and Elders to produce living cultural knowledge and to strengthen and empower communities,’ says Samia. ‘It’s linking how Indigenous people perceive their health and wellbeing with their sense of identity, place and caring for country’.

The digital stories are being kept for future generations as part of an archival process for the Hope Vale community, through a partnership with State Library Queensland’s and its Indigenous Knowledge project, ‘Keeping culture strong’. The DST project has archived more than 9,000 images and produced 18 individual stories ranging across literacy, historical, archival and documentary styles.

Samia has worked with th Indigenous community in Australia for more than 15 years but her professional background also straddles research, health, education, and the arts, which she is now making good use of. ‘Social and emotional wellbeing and self-determined actions are critical to improving health outcomes in communities,’ says Samia. ‘It’s important, now more than ever, that positive stories of hope and resilience are documented, especially given poor health and despair in many Aboriginal communities, and the negative portrayals in the media of Aboriginal communities.’

The topic for her PhD, ‘Stories of hope and resilience’, is focused on locating wellness in Indigenous Australian communities and seeks to examine the methodologies involved in representation, especially through old and new ways of telling stories.
Samia had recently returned from a year in the USA on the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship, which allowed her to travel across the USA sharing and learning with Indigenous peoples. Her research and media-based work on the recovery from “Intergenerational Trauma” was shared with academics from the University of Arizona, New York University and California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.
Samia is an inspiration to others through her community development work in HIV and Infectious diseases. She has been the course co-coordinator for Indigenous health degrees at Wollongong University, team leader of Aboriginal health in the Illawarra and worked with both NGOs and governments. She has made three film documentaries and has exhibited art works.
Samia has a Masters in Applied science with a major in Social Ecology (University of Western Sydney), a Counseling Diploma (Australasian College of Sexual Health Physicians) and Diploma in Natural therapies (Queensland Natural Health Society). She also holds a black belt in martial arts and is a surf coach and lifesaver.

The whole digital media project involved the Elders of the Hope Vale community of North Queensland, Pelican Expeditions, the State Library of Queensland, and Arts Queensland, and Speak Out Queensland.

Contact: Samia Goudie, Lecturer, Indigenous Health Unit, School of Population Health, the University of Queensland
T: +61 7 336 55552, E: s.goudie@uq.edu.au


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