#DearMe: What would you tell your 15yr old self?

Janelle to heal in Gurehlgam’s garden

TWO years ago Janelle Brown stepped down from a secure, high-paying job to follow her passion for natural healing.

It was a big risk at the time, but she doesn't regret a thing.

Now the indigenous community leader is in the process of further developing a healing centre at Gurehlgam Corporation in Grafton to hopefully empower others to make their own changes.

"To us, healing is anything that's going to improve the quality of life of people," she said.

"We are in the process of planning a healing garden, with bush tucker and bush medicine.

"And we have a women's wellbeing group that runs on Mondays.

"We have parenting programs, grief and loss and trauma programs.

"Reconciliation is a part of it as well."

Ms Brown said she had other plans for her life when she was younger, but was happy now that she was doing what she wanted to.

"I was a manager of a regional Aboriginal service, but I left because I wanted a change in my life," she said.

"I'm very into natural therapies and bush medicine so I became a Bowen therapist, which I still am.

"From there, I undertook the development plan for the centre and the healing foundation has decided to re-fund us until December 2015 based on that plan."

This year's International Women's Day theme, Make it Happen, encourages women to actively pursue their goals and aspirations.

Knowing how rewarding this can be first-hand, Ms Brown said she felt it was an important message.

"It's about recognising the important input that women do have in society," she said.

"Women in Australia do have it better than a lot of women overseas, but we still haven't achieved equality with men when you look at issues around domestic violence, job security and other factors.

"Particularly for Aboriginal women, we get discriminated against because we're Aboriginal as well as women.

"Things are getting better, but there are still issues that we do face," she said.

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