The RMH was proud to unveil the men’s possum skin cloak recently, alongside First Nations staff and patients, together with our colleagues at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Possum skin cloaks are a sacred tradition in First Nations culture and symbolise connection, healing and strength.

They are often given to babies at birth to make them feel warm and secure.

The hope is that this comfort can now be emulated in hospital, when patients are vulnerable or undergoing treatment.

The cloak features artwork by male First Nations patients and a painting of Bundjil by facilitator Natashia Ellis-Corrigan.

It was unveiled today at a special ceremony on Wurundjeri land that included a Welcome to Country by Johnny Terrick and a performance by his dance group, Bandok Tati.

A collaboration with Peter Mac, kindly funded by VACCHO, the cloak will now be available for use by patients at both hospital sites. It will be housed at Peter Mac, next to the existing women's possum skin cloak.

Lani Wilson, the Project Lead Officer and Senior First Nation Hospital Liaison at the RMH, co-led the project and said it was great to see it come together today.

“We know that if our Aboriginal community feel safe and accepted and have the right supports in place this improves their experience and therefore their health outcomes as they feel safe enough to stay in hospital to receive care to its completion without fear of judgement or shame,” Ms Wilson said.

She said the cloak was created by community, for community - with men who have been impacted by cancer playing a major role in its development.

“Knowing the cloak has been made by Aboriginal men who walked similar journeys… holds the power and strength of each individual to help guide and protect other Aboriginal men who are new to this healing journey to feel less alone and better connected to community and culture," Ms Wilson said.

Pictured left to right: Co-leads, Jay and Andrea from Peter Mac and Lani from RMH.

The RMH and Peter Mac possum skin cloak
The RMH and Peter Mac unveiled the new men's possum skin cloak today.
Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
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