Women’s Teachings & Gatherings

Traditional First Nations Women’s Spiritual Teachings consist of many aspects, some of which are; Yarning Cricles, Healing Circles, Smoking Ceremony, Rebirthing Ceremony, Letting Go Ceremony, The Opponents, The Birthing Ceremony, The Lightning Stick, Wanai Ceremony and Song Flags.

These teachings are a beautiful and priceless opportunity to connect with your spirit, the spirit of the land and the heart of creation. Traditionally, being taught with purpose and reason, by story, seasons, deep listening and the elements; these ways are as much a part of us today as they have always been, yet our focus is on a different way, often searching what comes naturally.

The depth of the wisdom that moves through you in connection with this beautiful culture and the ancient teachings that come from this, permeates your entire being. Applying what is taught commences an alchemy within you, creating change, moving you toward more of what you wish to embody. There’s a deep peace and blazing fire that can move simultaneously through you, that enhances and balances through your connection and ongoing focus.

The information on these teachings are given in person, the teachings are not recorded nor are intimate details posted online. Cultural, Physical & Emotional Safety of these events are paramount. Details of workshops and gatherings will be advertised as they approach, exact location will be provided upon the acceptance of the bookings.

Weekend gatherings vary in price and will be advertised accordingly, expression of interest is required prior to accepting bookings.

Mel Armstrong

Mel is a proud Gomeroi Woman living on Awabakal country. Mel’s skillset has many aspects, a Healer, Mentor, Advocate, Facilitator of the Traditional First Nations Women’s Spiritual Teachings, Cultural Awareness Training Facilitator and Author, incorporating more than 17 years in the Mental Health, Health and Wellness industry and spiritual tuition, into the development of holistic practice into her work.

Mel was a single mother raising 2 boys who are now in the 20’s and 30’s. This heightened her passion for advocacy; supporting people to find their voice, to be heard and validated. She employs a strength-based focus on trauma care, cultural safety, inclusive and holistic practice, understanding diversity, wellness, mental health, healing, recovery and the integration of change.

Mel has a strong love for and connection to her culture, her journey has included learning her family’s stories and language of origin, walking their country, sitting with Elders, Aunt’s & Uncles and having the privilege of sitting with and being taught by her Elder, Teacher and Friend Minmia, Wiradjuri Senior Lore/Law Woman, Medicine Woman, Healer, and Teacher.

Annie Bell

 Annie is a proud Wiradjuri woman living on country. Annie is a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Annie has a strong connection to her culture which shines through in her art work and all that she does.

Annie has spent more than 30 years in the Community Services and Wellness industry. Annie’s focus has been on recovery-oriented support, cultural safety, trauma informed practice and inclusive care that supports diversity. Annie has developed multiple training packages in various sectors supporting staff to expand their awareness and enhance their capacity to provide the true meaning of holistic care.

Annie is a Senior Medicine Woman, Cultural Awareness Training Facilitator, Facilitator of Traditional First Nations Women’s Spiritual Teachings and Holistic Wellness Practitioner. Annie has been a student of and later shared teaching space with Senior Lore /Law Woman and Elder Minmia Smith during women’s gatherings.  

Our Elder, Teacher and Friend Minmia, has given permission for these teachings, it’s our privilege to share them with you. Minmia’s words are below.

My name is Minmia, which is ‘the messenger of birds’. If I want to contact anybody or say hello you’ll find yourself being stalked by magpies. Don’t be afraid because that’s my totem.

I am a Wirradjirri woman. Wirradjirri country runs from Dunedoo in New South Wales right down into Victoria, and from the Blue
Mountains to Lake Cargelligo bordering onto Parkingee country. It’s country for the biggest tribe in New South Wales. This is the riverland of the Murrumbidgee, Killara (Lachlan) and Macquarie rivers.

I want to take you on a walk with me, a walk I hope will change the way you see the world and your place in it. My wish is that, in the difficult times in which we live, reading this book will give you a greater understanding of yourself and tolerance of others.
I’m Murdoo’s great-grand-daughter and I was born down a line of women to carry Wirradjirri women’s lore/law. My great-great grandmother comes from the Gurindji line and my great-greatgrandfather from Pitjantjatjara so I have connections there.

I’ve been one of the very fortunate people who have been able to learn some of the lore/law. Some years ago now, one of my old aunties, my great-aunty, was caught doing a ceremony and taken to a mental institution and locked up there for thirty-eight years, where she died. So, the fear of not offending the Christian God has had dreadful consequences for my people. For a long time our teachings went underground and some were lost entirely, breaking the teaching lines. I wasn’t allowed to teach any of this until 1990. For many Indigenous communities this was the time the old people called back the lore/law because so many bad things were happening. This was done through ceremony; one of these ceremonies was the breaking of the sacred stones Biami left behind for the purpose of restoring what is right.

I was born to a Koori mother and a white father. This antagonised some of my old aunties when they were told I would carry the Wirrloo line. But the tradition is the line is carried through the under the quandong tree women; even my cousin Ivan inherited his lore/law line through the same great-grandmother.

Our teachings became almost extinct under a tsunami of Christianity. Many of the remaining stories, songs and teachings were passed on through the paddocks when Kooris were doing all the seasonal fruit picking etc. In many cases this was where the Aboriginal Protection Board and Christian ‘thought police’ never bothered to go. Too hot or too wet and too many flies and kids with snotty noses, I guess. However, it served its purpose in keeping and passing on what little lore/law remained. This is why some of the words I use are not Wirradjirri, but I have tried to maintain the integrity of what I heard many years ago.

I was taught in secret, from the time I was about six years old by my great-grandmother. I was thirteen, just a wanai, when she died. And I was nineteen when Subbina died. Subbina was a wirrloo (powerful healer/teacher) and she was older than the Lachlan River. She had been here many times and Subbina is still around me. Since Subbina I have had many teachers — not only from many places in my country, but also from around the world. I am also guided and rescued by the Tall Ones; these are great beings that have never been born.

Minmia’s book, Under The Quandong Tree is available in hard copy and via kindle.