The extent to which the R U OK? National Day of Action has struck a chord with the Australian community is a clear reflection of how prevalent, relevant and important the topic mental wellbeing has become. With 1 in 5 Australians aged 16-85 experiencing mental health issues every year, it's a reality that's touching the lives of most of us.
As part of Commonwealth Bank's week-long campaign around the R U OK? National Day of Action, Gone Bush Adventures was invited to run a series of mindfulness workshops and deliver a keynote presentation to refocus the organisation on wellbeing, mental health and connection.
Gone Bush approach
Bringing our unique bush approach to life in the great indoors, we respectfully enlisted the help of local Aboriginal Elders and focused our workshops and keynote presentation around sharing traditional wisdom and practices that can support wellbeing in an every day context.
First up, intimate mindfulness workshops were delivered as 'drop-in' sessions for staff across CommBank's Sydney offices. Led by local Aboriginal cultural man, Stuart McMinn, and author, Alan Riva. The sessions provided stillness, space and grounding while exploring health, wellbeing and connection from the perspective of traditional cultures and practices.
The main event of the week was a keynote presentation led by author and Worimi Elder, Uncle Paul Callaghan, which provided a rare opportunity to explore the pursuit of health, wellbeing and purpose through traditional Aboriginal knowledge, culture and spirituality.
Uncle Paul's presentation was hard-hitting and focused on wellbeing by drawing both upon his extensive traditional wisdom as well as his personal journey of healing after suffering from corporate burnout as a high-flying executive. He provided a unique and touching perspective on wellbeing as well as giving plenty of practical methods to enhance wellbeing in everyday life.
Copies of Uncle Paul's book, Iridescence: Finding your colours and living your story, were also distributed to attendees providing further insights into improving wellbeing through the lens of traditional Aboriginal culture and philosophy. We highly recommend ordering a copy of his book on this link.
As pictured, there was a strong sense of appreciation, gratitude and connection between the Gone Bush team, Uncle Paul and our new partners at CommBank upon completion of the week of wellbeing sessions. Staff feedback emphasized feeling re-engaged and inspired around their pursuit of wellbeing as a result of the unique perspectives explored in the sessions.
"Thank you again for what was an fantastic keynote from Paul Callaghan and the amazing mindfulness workshops. The feedback for the workshops and keynote has been great and really positive, especially the opportunity to see wellbeing and mindfulness through a different lens"
Prathima P., Risk Management Diversity & Inclusion, Commonwealth Bank of Australia