Norma pioneered the concept of marrying best practice in psycho-analytic therapy with Indigenous Australian spirituality in the Dreaming and Dadirri, making significant contributions to improving the lives of Aboriginal parents, infants and children who have suffered trauma. As the founder of Gunawirra, and adding now her important new Organisation Strong Mothers, she has advanced the education of young mothers in and about their Indigenous culture, worked with her professional colleague on healing their traumas present and past, as so positively impacting on the future of the First Peoples, and their role in the future of Australia.
Biggest sense of achievement
Working with Aboriginal mothers and setting up a program that will live long beyond me and so putting a valuable brick in the edifice of life.
Key life lesson?
Humility is the greatest virtue...envy destroys life.
Describe yourself in 3 words
Dedicated, passionate, doer
What inspires you most about your job?
The depth of thinking it requires; the transformation it creates.
Key to success is
Knowing your own skills; knowing your weaknesses; hard work, without counting the cost; the capacity to inspire others to share in the vision and contribute their skills to it.
What motivates you
The desire to give.
Quality you most like to have
A depth of Faith and a humility about achievement.
What you most dream of ...
Achieving something meaningful and useful.
Achieving the respect of the world around me; sustaining the love of those dear to me
Hardest life lesson
Choosing a path for the wrong reasons; then failing because it did not fit.
Values you admire in others
The capacity to think, to search and to be curious.
“All anyone can do in a lifetime is put one small brick in the edifice of life, so make sure it is a good one.”
Best piece of advice
Open your mind, and where there is no path, make one!
Can we have it all?
No! I don't want it all - then there'd be nothing to strive for.
Experience which taught you most?
Failing with a patient, failing in a work choice. Failure creates humility and depth, a searching of the soul, a new growth.
What do you listen to most - head, heart or gut?
Gut. It carries all three of these. Intuition is the greatest inner voice of all.
Most passionate about?
My work is my passion. It keeps me alive and curious in seeking a lasting giving.
Aspect of your work you are most proud of
Working to alleviate the traumas of Aboriginal Mothers and their infants.