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Strong Women Talking - Guided Reflection

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Churches, Multimedia

Now more than ever we need to...

Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. – Romans 12:15 (NRSV)

A guided reflection on the story of two women who have benefited from the healing work of Tearfund’s partner, Strong Women Talking, helps us remember the powerful restoration that can come to us all as we are made new and seek to bless our community.

Strong Women Talking is a grassroots movement of First Nations women who are passionate about breaking the cycle of violence caused by domestic and family violence and sexual abuse.

One way Strong Women Talking supports women and their families is by offering Healing Journeys, a series of culturally safe workshops that help women support each other to learn about healthy relationships. Workshops are trauma-informed and operate within the safety of an Aboriginal cultural framework. Tearfund partners with Strong Women Talking.

In this activity, you have the opportunity to hear from two women, Trudy and Mandy, who have been part of a Healing Journey. As you prepare to watch the women share their experiences, it would be a good idea to let people know that the women talk about their history of experiencing domestic violence and abuse. Some may not wish to participate at this time. Please care for yourself even as you care for others. People who need support are encouraged to phone 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

To host this activity, you will need access to a computer or device connected to the internet in order to play the video. You may also like to provide pens and paper so that participants can take notes during the videos and group discussion, and write a response to the videos if they would like to.

Preparing for the activity

It’s culturally respectful to start your gathering with an Acknowledgment of Country. Common Grace has developed an Acknowledgement of Country Guide to help you prepare your own Acknowledgement of Country, including video examples and frequently asked questions.

Open in prayer

Pray that you will have ears to hear and hearts to receive what God has prepared for you. Ask that God will help you see what his is doing in the lives of the women we are about to hear from.

Scripture reading

Have someone in the group read Romans 12:15. Encourage them to read the verse slowly, and to repeat it:

Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.

Watching the videos

Start by watching the first half of the video, where Trudy shares her story. After you’ve watched it, spend a few minutes reflecting on it on your own.

  • Write down any key words, phrases or ideas that jumped out at you from what Trudy shared.
  • How does Trudy describe the changes she’s experienced in herself since being part of a Healing Journey?

Now watch the second half with Mandy, and again spend some time in quiet reflection.

  • Again, note anything that stood out to you from Mandy’s video.
  • Mandy describes a number of eye-opening aspects of the Healing Journey she was part of. What are some of these?

Discuss the videos as a group.

  • How do you feel after watching these videos? What stood out to you from what each woman shared? Did anything surprise you?
  • How did you hear Trudy and Mandy describing difficult times in their lives? How do you understand the words that they used?
  • Is there someone in your life who reminds you of Trudy or Mandy? In what way/s?
  • If you could talk to either of these women, what would you want to express to them? Is there anything you’d like to ask them?

Play the videos again, listening deeply. This time, you may like to close your eyes.

  • Both Trudy and Mandy talk about wanting to help other women, as a result of what they’ve learned and been through in their own lives. Is this surprising to you?
  • Romans 12:15 says: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.” How can you rejoice and weep with these women and with Strong Women Talking?
  • Trudy says in the video: “I just can’t wait to flourish …”. And Mandy says “I want to be a shoulder to lean on.” How do you feel hearing these words from these two women?

Responding to the videos

Just as Trudy and Mandy talk about wanting to now help others, their reflections in these videos are an invitation to us to be part of the journey of healing from violence and intergenerational trauma. Here are some suggestions

Dig deeper

If you’d like to learn a bit more, you could watch this video in which CEO and founder Sono Leone shares about the work of Strong Women Talking, and describes how Psalm 139:13-16 gives her keys to working with women in her community. Sono is a Butchulla and Garrawa woman, proud of her Tongan and South Sea Islander heritage. Watch the video here.

Share this blessing

Just as Trudy and Mandy want to pass their blessing on to others, try to find an opportunity to share the story of what Strong Women Talking are doing in the lives of these women.

Commit to prayer

As a group or individually for the Healing Journeys (they run during the school terms) and for the women who attend.

Wrapping up and closing in prayer

What are two words that describe how you’re feeling after watching these videos and taking part in this group discussion?

Is there something you’re now planning to do as a way of responding?

Closing prayer

This is a prayer from Strong Women Talking founder Sono Leone:

Father God, Great Creator Spirit, in my language, Biral, we thank you that you have created us all equal. We thank you for the work of Strong Women Talking.

Father I pray that you would bring revelation to the hearts of Australians of just how much organisations like Strong Woman Talking are needed in our communities. Bring a deep revelation of what integer-generational trauma is and how it impacts our women, children and communities today, especially around domestic and family violence.

I pray Father that you would give the church in this country a heart for our people and eyes to really see the injustices around abuse that is happening to us.

Thank you for the partners that have come alongside and sown into Strong Women Talking. I pray for the donors and the people that have contributed to support the work that we need to do in my community to bring about change and to bring about a restored community.

I pray this in the name of Jesus,


Tearfund’s work with the First Peoples of Australia

Tearfund provides support for Australia's First Peoples through programs led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian leaders. Together, we mobilise Australian Christians for a more just and equitable society for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Learn more