Richard Weston, Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation
Richard is a descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait. For the past six years, he has served as CEO of the Healing Foundation. He sits on the Board of Families Australia and is a member of the Commonwealth Government’s Independent Advisory Council on Redress for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. Richard is a member of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander forums and committees.
The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address the ongoing trauma caused by actions such as the forced removal of children from their families and communities. Trauma, and the legacy of past policies and practices, can rob families and communities of hope and purpose. The Healing Foundation works with communities, members of the Stolen Generations and their descendants, to design solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems. The Healing Foundation’s evaluations show amazing outcomes can be achieved when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are supported to lead and develop their own responses.
The Healing Foundation continues to build the national evidence base on healing complex trauma. Drawing on these lessons it is building a theory of change that values both Indigenous cultural knowledge and the international evidence base on trauma. It has supported more than 135 culturally strong, community led Indigenous healing projects around Australia, and over 19,600 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, women and men have participated in healing activities. About 94% of participants have reported improvements in their social and emotional wellbeing.
Prior to being CEO of the Healing Foundation, Richard was CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service and prior to that was CEO of Maari Ma Health in far west NSW based in Broken Hill. Under his leadership, Maari Ma won several health awards, including five NSW awards and a national award.