Tree of Life

Tree of Life – A Collaboration between
Sudbury House, Wadjak Northside Aboriginal Centre and The Smith Family
The Tree of Life Program is a collaboration between Sudbury House, Wadjak Northside Aboriginal Centre, and The Smith Family.  The weekly workshops are run by Aboriginal teachers and mentors at the Wadjak Northside Resource Centre for primary school-aged Aboriginal children who are not living with their immediate family.  The main focus of the workshops is to help maintain cultural connections for the kids and to keep them strong and resilient. Sudbury House auspices the grant for the Tree of Life Program and helps to build capacity of the staff at Wadjak and ensure policiesw and procedures are up to date. We also assist with data collection and reporting with the view to strengthening the capacity of the Wadjak Resource Centre.  Originally funded from July 2017 to June 2019, the Tree of Life program is currently being evaluated for a potential fundning extension to June 2020.

Tree of Life Festival of Learning’s Child Protection & Family Services and Wadjak

In term 4 of 2015, the program moved to the Wadjak Resource Centre. 
This Centre is open-plan, and looks out to a big backyard. The numbers of children attending began to increase.

Conversation with Shane
and a child on camp
led to the idea of the
 Tree of Life

‘but we don’t have what you have,
we are foster kids’

Those agencies were Mirrabooka CPFS, Sudbury Community House, and Wadjak Northside Aboriginal Resource Centre.  At first, these agencies were working hard by themselves, doing what they could with their own resources and skills and ideas: 

Today the Tree of Life is flourishing.  There are over 30 children registered in the program, over 10 Aboriginal mentors working with the children each week.   It is an innovative new program that has been running since 2015.  It works with Aboriginal Children who are in out of home care, and those who are at risk, and connects them to their culture, and their community. 

There are great relationships with the children, connections with Case Workers, Mentors being trained, records being kept, good policies and procedures, and evaluations trialled.
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