Bianca Stawiarski is a strong Badimia and Ukrainian woman and is passionate about creating change. She is a centred and purpose-driven healer, mental health and Indigenous Healing practitioner, facilitator, coach, international co-author and speaker, as well as a change maker…

 

 

She is founder and Managing Director of Warida Wholistic Wellness, a First Nations international social enterprise based on Kaurna Country. Bianca is also the co-convenor of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia’s (PACFA) College of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Practices.

 

Warida is focused on moving past Western ‘categorisation’ medical models of dysfunction, facilitating healing outside of the office building, and on Country. Part of this approach embraces the ethos of: gudu-guduwa through ngardi guwanda , relationship, and connection. Warida empowers a diversity of women to embrace healing on their own terms, because Warida believes that healed, empowered individuals and families are the basis of healthy community change. This includes the economic empowerment of individuals and community through unique business / entrepreneurial support. Warida also works to change systems that create this imbalance. As part of Bianca’s PhD research, she’s exploring ‘We hold our own Answers’ – Integrating Ngardi Guwanda practices to strengthen community-led women’s empowerment projects for entrepreneurship. Bianca hopes that the outcomes from her research will empower First Nations communities to choose their own paths.

 

My Personal Journey

Upbringing and challenge

During my formative years, I experienced what my child self felt was abandonment by my mother. As an adult, I understand that her absence was her own trauma journey. This loss of closeness with my mother, became a deep disconnection from my source of feminine wisdom and guidance. This would prove to leave a massive impact on me decades going forward.

 

I was fortunate, though, to still feel deep love from my father during those times and throughout my life. My father came from a difficult childhood, being born in a displaced persons camp as part of his Ukrainian parents being taken as forced labor by Germany.. 

 

His endless encouragement, support, and perseverance would put wind under my wings as I moved through these formative years and grew into a woman inspired by sparks of ambition and opportunity for what future laid ahead of me.

 

Leaving my home in my late teens, after difficulty with a step parent, I very quickly learned that some of my choices were not my best.  I got trapped in a relationship in which domestic violence was commonplace, and despite numerous attempts to escape…I was stuck. In my mind, I could only find one way to escape this man, and I attempted suicide. Thankfully I survived and immediately realised that life was truly amazing, golden even. I then unfortunately found myself in an even more violent relationship but can honestly say suicide has never entered my mind again. I had no idea where my life was heading, and I was almost paralysed by fear, in a time where the voices of the broken were too often unheard and misunderstood.

 

Pursuit of success and achievements

But let’s move on to today, because that’s where my life really started to take shape. I embrace the amazingness of life, revelling in living my best life.

 

Why?

 

Because I got to tackle some of the most difficult but rewarding achievements of my life, and now chose to step into my inner fire and live it on my terms in my own way.

 

Two of my greatest achievements are being a mum to my two children, Savannah and Orson, as well as starting Warida Wholistic Wellness, my international social enterprise that is responsible everyday for bringing hope to voiceless and vulnerable people.

 

I’m proud to say, what I do works, and it’s been the light in the dark for so many people who were left no more healed, and far more unheard, by modern Western mental health models.

Experience with Deep Grief and discovery of mindfulness practices

But how did I even get here?

 

Well…

 

I retired from my previous work in the government. Over two decades of my life feeling constricted by a system. Not really sure what I wanted to do, but knowing that I didn’t want to continue on that path.

 

Following a divorce from my husband of almost 16 years and father to my kids, I experienced a deep grieving period. I found myself unable to wake up in the morning with a smile, and constantly in a low state as I looked to the horizon, and saw it was no longer going to look the way I had pictured it 16 years prior when I made this commitment as a young woman teeming with excitement for the future.

Much like many women, I’d lost the zest that I once had for life, and I couldn’t feel the warmth of my inner fire anymore. Looking at my life I was shocked to find that I had shrunk into a ball of what I had formerly been. I was tip-toeing around what I truly aspired to be and do.

 

And during that time I may have appeared confident and smiley on the outside…

 

But when I was alone? I was a lonely comet in space; cold, unsure, and not knowing where I was going.

 

It was only years later after battling through and persisting, despite how I felt, that I discovered my inner fire again. I realised when I looked deep within, that it had always been there but I had locked it behind a door so that I couldn’t find it. When I finally looked it was there roaring away, destroying everything in its path because I had chosen to lock it (me) up rather than set myself free. It was then that I was able to confidently free my inner fire and step into the woman you see today – I had found my way!

 

But what to do? I decided to step into who I was. I stopped holding myself back. I felt a calling to help people in a way that was authentic. I felt this deep in my bones, intuitively. Like a dragon rising out from a slumber deep within the earth, or a phoenix rising from the ashes.

 

I started accepting the messages I was getting, that were always there, in every cell of my body. The call of my ancestors, and the downloading of my innate feminine wisdom.

Transformation and path of service

When I felt this, I knew I had to pursue it.

 

So…

 

I studied, I learned, I devoured knowledge; undertaking a Diploma of Life Coaching in 2016, then a Masters Degree at Tabor College in Counselling Practice completing in 2019, coming off of a Bachelors in Aboriginal Studies through UniSA over two decades prior in 1994. I soon realised however, that there is an incongruence between what I’ve learned and what I innately know through my ancestors. I realised that I needed to unlearn everything I had through university and follow a path more intuitively, listening to ancestors.

 

And most recently I’ve been called to research a PhD, with the initial focus to give a voice to Plural Communities – those living with the label of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). I’ve since changed direction, with the focus being: ‘We Hold Our Own Answers’: Integrating Ngardi Guwanda (listening, thinking, feeling strongly) practices to strengthen community-led women’s empowerment projects for entrepreneurship. It is still in the early stages (pre candidature), but I’m hoping that this can add to the volume of research showing that community-led approaches are more successful.

 

I’ve also been writing and publishing works in international anthologies as a way of reaching even more people.

Current Work

Founder and Managing Director of Warida

This research heavily leads into my professional work with Warida Wholistic Wellness, that social enterprise of mine we forgot about! Being the founder and managing director of Warida, I apply what I intuitively know into practice every day, working with people in safe environments, free of labelling and judgement, to explore their communities and create healthier communication.

 

Warida is focused on moving past Western ‘categorisation’ medical models of dysfunction, and conducting healing outside of the office building, and in Country. This means at Warida I’ve abandoned the restrictions of four walls, and returned to connection with Country – a space that First Nations cultures prioritise all over the world.

 

Warida embraces the First Nations Pillars of: gudu-guduwa (Coming Together) through ngardi guwanda (Deep Listening) in our sessions on Country. I know that through adopting this ancient healer approach, we can explore and support those being impacted with poor mental health and help them discover their own tools to lead an empowered life.

 

But what does it mean at Warida to be empowered?

 

Well Warida empowers people to embrace healing on their own terms, because we believe that healed, empowered individuals and families are the basis of healthy community change. This not only supports the mental wellbeing of the people we support, but also the economic wellbeing of individuals through a strong community. This is further strengthened by Warida’s continuous support through unique business and entrepreneurial support.

 

Individuals, families and communities living healthy lives on their own terms.

 

Warida goes one step further, however, because we believe that it isn’t only about supporting people at the grassroots level, we need to change the systems that continue to keep people there. So, we facilitate experiential experiences in creating trauma informed, culturally integrated approaches to changing corporates / organisational operations.

Founder and Managing Director of Warida

This research heavily leads into my professional work with Warida Wholistic Wellness, that social enterprise of mine we forgot about! Being the founder and managing director of Warida, I apply what I intuitively know into practice every day, working with people in safe environments, free of labelling and judgement, to explore their communities and create healthier communication.

 

Warida is focused on moving past Western ‘categorisation’ medical models of dysfunction, and conducting healing outside of the office building, and in Country. This means at Warida I’ve abandoned the restrictions of four walls, and returned to connection with Country – a space that First Nations cultures prioritise all over the world.

 

 

Warida embraces the First Nations Pillars of: gudu-guduwa (coming together) through ngardi guwanda (listening, feeling thinking strongly) in our sessions on Country. I know that through adopting this ancient healer approach, we can explore and support those being impacted with poor mental health and help them discover their own tools to lead an empowered life.

 

But what does it mean at Warida to be empowered?

 

 

Well Warida empowers people to embrace healing on their own terms, because we believe that healed, empowered individuals and families are the basis of healthy community change. This not only supports the mental wellbeing of the people we support, but also the economic wellbeing of individuals through a strong community. This is further strengthened by Warida’s continuous support through unique business and entrepreneurial support.

 

 

Individuals, families and communities living healthy lives on their own terms.

 

 

Warida goes one step further, however, because we believe that it isn’t only about supporting people at the grassroots level, we need to change the systems that continue to keep people there. So, we facilitate experiential experiences in creating trauma informed, culturally integrated approaches to changing corporates / organisational operations.

 

Accreditation

I think by now, you’ve gathered that I like balancing experiential learning with structured learning, with an ever growing list of accreditations to support people on their journey of Gudu-Guduwa, as listed below:

 

The People I support and impact of my work

I always prefer to let the people I support explain their experiences rather than me waffling on about what it is a do. One of the people that I support with explained their experiences of the difference my approach makes compared to modern Western mental health models:

“We haven’t ever experienced anything like what you’ve worked to intentionally create for the therapeutic space… It actually helps us trust when there is no pressure from the therapist or agenda or assessment of everything we say into their framework of understanding that they then put onto us to define who we are and what our dysfunction is that requires fixing… Yet no therapy has ever considered this… then our ‘failure’ to think ourselves ‘better’ got us rejected and shamed by the very people who were supposed to be helping us…”

Focus on First Nations Principles in healing

This particular testimonial shows the difficulties people are experiencing with western mental health solutions that focus on treatment of the ‘problem’ rather than supporting the person to discover their own internal healing strengths.

 

It also highlights a solution we always had available to us, that existed for thousands upon thousands of years, that have been forgotten through the generations and impact of colonisation across the globe – The three pillars of Warida

 

  1. Gudu-Guduwa (Coming Together), 
  2. Ngardi Guwanda (Deep Listening), and
  3. Ngalimi Yunggudya (Giving To Each Other – Reciprocity)

Accolades

Awards

  • 2023 Stevie Award for Women in Business (international): Social Change Maker of the Year – Race SILVER; Maverick of the Year BRONZE.
  • 2023 Women Changing the World Awards (International): Social Enterprise Award GOLD.
  • 2022 Ausmumpreneur Awards: Indigenous Business Excellence BRONZE, Women will Change the World BRONZE, and Wellness and Wellbeing GOLD
  • 2021 South Australian finalist in the Telstra Best of Business in the Indigenous Excellence category
  • 2021 Global Business Mothers Awards: Women will change the World Award GOLD; and Oceania Business Excellence Award GOLD

Books: Co-Authored / Authored

2024: NGARDI GUWANDA

Self-Care Sips: Reconnecting with your Inner Fire

(authored)

2023: Gami Winda and Dyindi-Dyindi

(authored)

2023 Hear Us Roar

2023: Ubuntu: On Whose Shoulders We Stand

(Anthology – co-authored)

2023: Horse Sense Business Sense: Hints and Hurdles to Starting your own Equine-Assisted Program

(co-authored)

2023: Ecotherapy: A Field Guide

(co-authored)

2023: Ignite - The New Business Guide: Everything you need to know to create your dream business

(Anthology – co-authored)

2022: Goodbye Busy Hello Happy

(Anthology – co-authored)

2022: Courage and Confidence

(Anthology – co-authored)

Roles on AU boards

  • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) – Director
  • PACFA Leadership Group Co-Convenor of the College for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Practices (CATSIHP)

Professional Associations

Academic Information

SCAN THE QR CODE or click the button below to access further details about Bianca’s academic information.

Academic Information

SCAN THE QR CODE or click the button below to access further details about Bianca’s academic information.

My Personal Journey

Upbringing and challenge

During my formative years, I experienced what my child self felt was abandonment by my mother. As an adult, I understand that her absence was her own trauma journey. This loss of closeness with my mother, became a deep disconnection from my source of feminine wisdom and guidance. This would prove to leave a massive impact on me decades going forward.

 

I was fortunate, though, to still feel deep love from my father during those times and throughout my life. My father came from a difficult childhood, being born in a displaced persons camp as part of his Ukrainian parents being taken as forced labor by Germany.. 

 

His endless encouragement, support, and perseverance would put wind under my wings as I moved through these formative years and grew into a woman inspired by sparks of ambition and opportunity for what future laid ahead of me.

 

Leaving my home in my late teens, after difficulty with a step parent, I very quickly learned that some of my choices were not my best.  I got trapped in a relationship in which domestic violence was commonplace, and despite numerous attempts to escape…I was stuck. In my mind, I could only find one way to escape this man, and I attempted suicide. Thankfully I survived and immediately realised that life was truly amazing, golden even. I then unfortunately found myself in an even more violent relationship but can honestly say suicide has never entered my mind again. I had no idea where my life was heading, and I was almost paralysed by fear, in a time where the voices of the broken were too often unheard and misunderstood.

 

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