I am free

1 Jun 2015   |   Blog   |   Australia   |   Long-term Development


On National Sorry Day,
26 May, our supporters prayed for reconciliation.
Read our prayer.

For many years, Karimah was bullied, and struggled with anxiety, depression and low self esteem. After participating in the Red Dust Healing program, which is supported by Caritas Australia, she has become a confident and inspiring leader for young people in the Derby region of Western Australia. Karimah tells her story.

I went through this bad stage in my life where I let other people’s views of me affect me. I thought I wasn’t good enough.

I would go to the shops; I was thinking that everybody was judging me. One memory I have is bursting into tears because I could not get myself out of the car, my body just froze.

It got to the point where I’d really isolated myself from people, I’d be too scared to go anywhere by myself…my mum had to do a lot for me, and it wasn’t fair on her. 

Healing for life

Red Dust has taught me to love and accept myself the way I am.

Before Red Dust, I had this negative talk in my head stopping me from trying to move forward; there was fear, hurt, and resentment inside of me. It was non-stop chat, like a radio. But after Red Dust, it switched off.

During the workshop, you confront everything that you have been through. They taught us about history, and we learnt the tools to use in everyday life. I still use the tools to this day.

I am free. I am confident. I have a great job that I love. And now, I just want to go further."

A big moment for me during the workshop was when I realised who was there for me: it was my mum! I got really emotional. I said to Uncle Tom [Tom Powell, Red Dust Healing founder] that I really needed to see my mum. And then I did. I gave her a big hug. To this day our relationship is perfect.

On the third day of Red Dust, everything washed away. And the very next day, I woke up thinking, “yeah, I can take on the world.” So I said to myself, “I’m going to jump in the car by myself, I’m going to go down to the Jetty Trail by myself. And I’m going to walk that Trail - nothing is going to stop me.”

When I got on the trail, I had my headphones on. I was bopping away dancing and singing really loud. I was just so happy, I felt so free that I could finally do this for myself. That’s the confidence that Red Dust has given me. And now I am on the trail every day. I’m actually bike riding it!

Now, I can see myself for the first time through my eyes and not other people’s. I am so much stronger, more independent, and I’m not scared any more. There’s nothing stopping me from living my life.

A bright future


My family have noticed the difference in me. They were blown away that I went for a walk down to the Jetty by myself. Now I’m always talking about Red Dust to them.

I still use the Red Dust Healing tools. I have a poster in my office, I have one up on my fridge, in the house. Now I am meeting new people, I am enjoying life, I am really happy at work, I have become more sociable.

I work for the Remote School Attendance Strategy as the acting Program Manager. Our job is to help families get kids back to school. It’s a pretty big responsibility. I still thank Red Dust Healing for giving me the courage and confidence to take on such a big role.

I am free. I am confident. I have a great job that I love. And now, I just want to go further. I now think, “I can achieve this now, I can do that. I have got a bright future”.

Red Dust Healing

Based on Aboriginal culture, history and philosophy, the Red Dust Healing program takes participants on a journey of personal healing. The program makes use of visual holistic learning modules and is about the whole person, which is part of Integral Human Development.

Learn more about Red Dust Healing

National Sorry Day Prayer

Sorry Day prayer

Artwork: All one country, Chern'ee Sutton

Back to blog