Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ministry (ATSIM) leaders from across Australia gathered for workshops in leadership development training, followed by community presentations in collaboration with Messages of Hope International (MOHIM) from November 1 to 9.
MOHIM is a non-denominational ministry organisation from the United States dedicated to offering support through various initiatives, including health and community-building projects worldwide. Dr Andrew Harewood, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor and US Defence Force Chaplain, is the CEO of MOHIM.
The MOHIM team, comprising 11 professionals, including health specialists, counsellors, chaplains and a Bible worker, started with an induction and cultural awareness overview from Pastor Leo Wright, Dhungutti Elders Council chairperson. Over the week, valuable community relationships were established, and presentations on crucial health topics for the community, such as mental health and wellbeing and diabetes, were well received by those in attendance.
This collaborative effort resulted in the establishment of meaningful relationships with numerous community leaders holding key positions in diverse organisations. Notably, connections were forged with Durri Aboriginal Medical Service, Dalaigur Preschool, the Bellbrook Aboriginal Community and the Dhungutti Elders Council, fostering plans for future collaborations to implement targeted initiatives benefiting the community, which contributes to improved health and wellbeing outcomes.
Australian Union Conference (AUC) ATSIM director Pastor Darren Garlett said, “This partnership with MOHIM is special. We are on the same page in terms of implementing sustainable initiatives that will target closing the gap in Indigenous health and education.”
“The MOHIM team is made up of professionals with a heart for mission; this is key to creating change in the Indigenous community,” added Pastor Garlett.
Dr Harewood will to return in January 2024 as the guest speaker for the National ATSIM Camp. In addition, the MOHIM team has commenced planning to return next year with an expanded group. AUC ATSIM is enthusiastic about the potential impact and positive outcomes these collaborations can bring to the Kempsey community toward making a real difference.