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FIRDA was established in 2000 by three First Nations women from Queensland who saw a need for advocacy, development and recovery services for First Nations people alongside cultural education and competency training for non-First Nations people in service delivery to First Nations people.  

  • We worked in mental health, drug and alcohol services management, and therapeutic recovery programs in mainstream government services.  

  • We discovered the lack of cultural knowledge, engagement and understanding of Indigenous peoples by health professionals was endemic and affected outcomes

  • We saw the need for competent education, inquiry and research into the shared recovery work for Indigenous peoples with the dominant culture in families, children, adult and community programs for abuse, dependency, addiction, emotional, physical, psychological and sexual violence.  

  • We work with all mainstream services to enhance the competency and capability of all service provider individuals in their engagements and interactions with First Nations peoples 


Our Vision

The recovery and transformation of our communities so that all children grow up in healthy functional families that support their emotional, cultural, social and intellectual development with strong parents committed to breaking the cycles of dysfunction.


  • Provision of evidence through research

  • Provision of competent cultural education training to all professionals

  • Cultural services for First Nations peoples to revive and sustain cultural traditions

  • Advocacy to governments and policy makers

  • Encouraging the use of Traditional medicine and cultural knowledge in recovery

  • Therapeutic recovery services for those who have experience childhood abuse, violence or dysfunction in their families as children

  • Workshops on Aboriginal Women's Business, Story Circles, Working with Us Mob

  • Sacred Ceremonials for those wishing to create Birthing, Naming, Relationships ceremonies in the First Nations traditions 



​CONTACT​  Dr Tjanara Goreng Goreng

National Convenor




Phone:  0458239480



FIRDA exists to provide recovery and development services for families and communities to sustain cultural self determination and cultural traditions.

We work with individuals, families and groups to transform the impacts of generational trauma, violence and acculturation to ensure happy and health living. 


Healing and Recovery from Chemical and process Dependencies e.g. alcohol and other drugs, gambling, love, sex and romance addictions, Healing Adult Children, Toxic Shame, Recovery from Trauma, PTSD and other Dissociative Mental Health issues




Tj BIO photo 2020.jpg


Are First Nations public policy, psychotherapy, social work and government administrative experts with 50+ years experience in the public and community sectors working in mental health, abuse and addiction recovery and in relationships and family healing.


Tjanara Goreng Goreng   

Traditional Custodian Wakka Wakka/Wulli Wulli Clans of the Djwan Djambe Nation

Ms Debra Bennett & Ms Marj Droste Malanjarli and Wakka Wakka Nations


Ms Kerrie Shepherd Wyappa Practitioner - Movement Kamilaroi NSW

Dr Paul Collis - Storyteller and Cultural leader for men Barkindji NSW


Aunty Mary Graham Koombemerri Elders Gold Coast Queensland

First Nations ways of Knowing Being and Doing

We are governed by a Circle of Elders and our Core Circle of Workers and Volunteers undertake our work of our mission, vision according to our values and within the knowledge systems of First Nations clans that we come from.

We teach and inspire others to follow their own cultural traditions and to engage in cultural and ceremonial spiritual life as a way of gaining strength and decolonising ourselves from the last 235 years of continued occupation and oppression of our ways of being.  We believe in the sovereignty of all First Nations people. 

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