The Journey

The Journey – Tom Powell.
Tom Powell is the Founder of Red Dust Healing.
A proud Warramunga Man from within the Wiradjuri Nation,
born and bred in a little town called Narromine in the Central West of NSW.

Red Dust Healing for me begins with my earliest memory of my dad, Noel Powell Snr. I must have been about four and I remember him driving home on the grader to a caravan on the side of a road out near Ivanhoe and the red dust swirling behind him. He swallowed a lot of Red Dust in his time.

Tom finished school after year 10 and worked with his father in the family business of earthmoving and road construction. Tom’s father established this business in 1973. A mean feat for an Aboriginal man given the times. Tom and his brothers worked with him until his death in 1985. After his father’s passing Tom continued in the business purchasing his own grader in 1987.

In 1994 Tom enrolled in a community welfare course at night at Dubbo TAFE. Tom feels he has had a fortunate upbringing and has always wanted to help his people especially the Aboriginal young people. Tom Spent 12 years with the NSW Department of Juvenile Justice as an Aboriginal Programs Officer both in Taree and Coffs Harbour on the mid north coast of NSW. After leaving the Department Tom has been busy facilitating Red Dust Healing.

Originally designed by Tom and further enhanced with the model of oppression with Randal Ross whom he first met in October 1996 while working for the Department of Juvenile Justice in Taree, NSW.

The Red Dust Healing program addresses significant areas such as: Identity, family roles and structure, relationships, Elders, Men’s business, Indigenous history and the impacts of colonialism, drug and alcohol issues, family violence, grievance and loss, anxiety and fear, stress and mental health issues, anger management, Incarceration and Juvenile justice, education and employment housing issues, meetings and community contribution and governance.

Over 18,500 people have now officially completed different stages of the program with some outstanding results. Another 3,000 attending information sessions and 1 Day workshops. Numerous interviews have been conducted with program participants to collect valuable feedback around understanding and personal use of the Tools of Red Dust Healing. This direct feedback has added to and enabled further expansion of the program and the Tools involved.

The Red Dust Healing program allows for numeracy and literacy issues, it caters for all ATSI men, women, young and old, Cultural Awareness modules for non-ATSI people. Workshops have been run with a mixed group of ATSI and non-ATSI people. Red Dust Healing creates an environment that allows for confidentiality to be kept and a safe space for participants to feel free to express their emotions. The main reason behind the success of this program is that it is designed to target the heart and not the head.

When the dust is settled on our lives, all we get to keep and take with us is our dignity, our integrity and the love and respect we shared with people.

Red Dust Healing is About People.