Aboriginal Program

The Fathering Project in collaboration with Prof Len Collard has undertaken a project to create an Aboriginal fathering program. Others to collaborate with Prof Len included Dr Mick Adams, Dr Dave Palmer and Dr John McMullan. Funded by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the project was called QUOP MAAMAN: ABORIGINAL FATHERING PROJECT.

A foundation of the project was to develop an Aboriginal fathering program by Aboriginal men. Noongar men were asked to explain what Noongar maaman (fathering) looked like to them. A rich source of information was provided by these wise men to create a program. Read the full report and literature review.

The final outcome was a workshop and video series, focusing on key Noongar concepts and themes. The aim is to introduce the program to boys and young men by conducting workshops on country. The program can easily be adapted to other mens groups locally and internationally.

To assist in the process of the design and testing of resources for an Aboriginal fathering workshop series, multiple separate meetings were held with groups of Aboriginal men.  The discussion of the session was filmed and included men talking about:

  • Stories of Aboriginal men who have acted as strong fathers
  • The differences between Aboriginal fathering and non-Aboriginal fathering
  • The main challenges and difficulties facing Aboriginal fathers
  • Programs, activities and supports that help Aboriginal men become stronger fathers
  • The things young Aboriginal men need in order to learn how to become good fathers
  • The qualities of a strong Aboriginal father.

The key themes that emerged included:

  • Quop boodjar, quop maaman: Healthy country is central for healthy men
  • Moort karnyiny gnulla quop: Family and respectful values keeps us good
  • Boola Nyungar wangkiny yarn: Noongar language and talking is critical
  • Ni ngarlang katatjiny wangkiny boondo: Listening to and practicing culture and language is central
  • Ngulla deman wer dembart boorda baranginy koorlangka ngulla koorlangka quop karnya minniny wangkiny katatjiny boorda: Old people carrying young people respectfully through knowledge (informing them by and by)
  • Buranginy katatjiny moordtij boordier maaman kura, yeye: learning from the successful lessons of strong male leaders from yesterday and today.

The feedback was then carefully incorporated into the design and writing of the final set of resources. The workshop series includes the following themes, ACTIVITIES and videos.

Workshop Noongar concepts and themes
1 Wanjoo wanjoo – welcome and introductions
Activity: Ngeern nguny – Who am I?
Activity: Maaman wangkiny – Words for fathering and what they do
Video: ‘Wangka – The importance of Noongar language’
A gift for maaman (men)
2 Moortaluniny ngeern nguny doorndookaniny nguny moort – Who is my family and how do I connect to my relations?
Video: ‘Moort – The importance of family and connections’
Activity: Moortaluniny – who is my family and community?
Activity: Bulla maaman – many fathers or dads
Video: ‘Boola Maaman – many fathers’
3 Nyinniny boodjar darboort – sitting quietly on country
Video: ‘Boodjar – the importance of Noongar country’
Activity: Maia wangkiny nitja boodjar – singing out and communicating to country
Activity: Nyinniny boodjar darboort – sitting quietly on country
4 Katatjiny yarn koorl quop wangkiny ngulluck maaman – telling stories about our good fathers
Activity: Katatjiny koorl woorlbininy – making things and going along together
Video: ‘Katatjiny – learning and fathering’
Activity: Daabakarn katatjiny quop maaman – steady stories about good healing men
5 Maia wangkiny quop maaman – singing and talking up good fathering
Activity: Maia wangkiny maaman – singing up good fathering
Video: ‘Gina Williams – Maambart’
Activity: Milli milli benanginy quop maaman – picturing good fathering using drawings
6 Ngulluckiny boorda koorliny – We are going together into the future
Activity: Koorliny koodjal bidi – going two pathways
Activity: Quop maaman – elements of good fathering
Activity: Boordawan nguny djinanginy noonar – I will see you later on
Video: ‘Boorda djinanginy – looking forward into the future’
Activity: Ngarniny damper, meriny dartj – having a feed of bread, fruit, vegatables and meat