From making Damper and crafting yarning sticks, to hearing Dreamtime stories and yarning about Aboriginal culture, Juniper staff, residents and clients marked National Reconciliation Week in a variety of ways.

In Geraldton, residents and staff at our Juniper Hillcrest Residential Aged Care Home kicked off the week with an afternoon of art and craft that pays homage to Aboriginal culture, before sharing some Dreamtime stories.

Led by Juniper Therapy Assistants Allison and Dawn, the activities – which also including making damper with residents – and thought-provoking conversations gave residents the opportunity to immerse themselves in Aboriginal culture and understand the importance of events like National Reconciliation Week.

Residents and staff at our Juniper Trinity Residential Aged Care Home in Bentley came together to create yarning sticks together, but also delved into its meaning in Aboriginal culture, which is to support, respect and empower each individual as they come together to speak.

When someone is holding the yearning stick, they are given the opportunity to talk and share their story, which is then passed along until everyone has used their voice.

The yarning sticks have since been put on display in the home’s activity room, which serves as a colourful reminder of how everyone came together to mark National Reconciliation Week.

The wafting smell of freshly made Damper also filled the home, as residents baked and then sampled the popular ‘bush bread’, which was traditionally made by Aboriginal peoples using ground native seeds and nuts as opposed to flour. The recipe has since been adapted to use white flour in place of the ground native seeds and nuts, and has become a favourite for many Australians, particularly while camping in the bush.

At our neighbouring Juniper Hilltop Residential Aged Care Home in Bentley, staff used their weekly staff meeting as an opportunity to come together and discuss this year’s National Reconciliation Week theme, Voice for the Generations, before engaging in a yarning stick craft activity.

Meanwnile, residents at Juniper John Bryant showcased their artistic talents by creating artwork that reflected the essence of National Reconciliation Week. Their creations served as a powerful expression of unity and understanding.

Staff from Juniper Central head office in Balcatta also came together at the on-site community gardens to honour National Reconciliation Week.

Whadjuk/Ballardong Elder Freda Ogilvie and her daughter Narelle led a heartfelt Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony, where they then shared their wisdom and traditional practices, which brought a deep sense of reverence and acknowledgment to the event.

One of the highlights of the morning was the yarning stick activity, where staff engaged in open dialogue and shared stories. It was a powerful experience that helped to deepen an appreciation for the rich cultures and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Juniper is proud to see how our staff, residents and clients recognised National Reconciliation Week by reflecting on the theme and engaging in activities that pay respects to the cultural traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Check out the video below and see how Juniper recognised the importance of National Reconciliation Week!

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