My name is AJ Williams. I have been a MHFA Instructor since 2008. MHFA has taken me all over this beautiful country that we now call Australia. These nations make up over 500 different language groups. I am Wiradjuri (NSW) and Wotjobulak (Victoria).
The concept of ‘Country’ is important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. ‘Country’ is where we are from. It is who we are and how we identify. It in itself, is the essence that makes us feel connected, supported and grounded. It ensures that I remain in good health both physically and mentally.
This years’ theme is ‘Heal Country’. It is about making sure that our country is able to spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially and culturally heal. I am a qualified Nurse, Youth Worker and Social Worker. I am a born healer and helper. I am also a Thought Change Agent. I create safe environments where I give people a safe space to think, reflect, listen to others and change how they see and view the world we live in, whether that is through MHFA or through cultural awareness training. People come to workshops thinking one thing – then walking away thinking something different. This is what I do well.
Even after delivering over 560 MHFA courses across this country, I have seen how this course continues to heal people, heal families and heal country. As an Aboriginal man, member of the Stolen Generation and a person who has lived experience with mental illness, it has taken me and my family a long time to heal. In fact we are still healing.
NAIDOC means so much to me. It is a week of celebration. A week where we come together, share culture & ceremony with friends, family & mob, and continue to heal country.
You can connect with AJ Williams on Linkedin here and learn more about his work on his website.