Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing

Circle and Dots

About Us

Aboriginal Partnership

Our partners represent an ongoing collaborative of Aboriginal leaders and organisations dedicated to creating long term impact by bringing together their skills across community, academia, professional services and national policy.

Active and ongoing involvement of our dedicated Aboriginal-led collaborative ensures the research is designed, implemented and translated with cultural values and integrity in best responding to the needs of the community.

Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing

Creating Impact

Several partners will focus on the translation of research for impact such as National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit), The Healing Foundation and Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA). Several key partner organisations have dedicated staff members focused on supporting the research and its translation. An ‘impact team’ will design and integrate a translation plan to optimise the sustainable impacts of the research. NACCHO will particularly play a key role in implementing the research in national and policy systems.

Culturally Safe Models of Mental Health Care

Other partners will work with the research team to establish an evidence base around culturally safe models of care including the Kimberly Aboriginal Medical Service (KAMS), Langford Aboriginal Association (LAA) in Perth, Looking Forward Research Grant at Curtin University, the national Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA), Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Service (SAMHS) Metropolitan in Western Australia, and the national Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP).

Research Support

General research support including expertise and support of community-based research will be provided by organisations including Ninti One, Young Lives Matter, and the University of Melbourne Poche Centre.

NACCHO Logo

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Oorganisation (NACCHO)

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia

Ninti One Limited Logo

Ninti One

Kimberly Aboriginal Medical Service (KAMS)

LAA Logo

Landford Aboriginal Association (LAA)

Looking Forward Project

Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project

Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA)

IAHA Logo

Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA)

Healing Foundation Logo

The Healing Foundation

Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Service (SAMHS) Metropolitan in Western Australia

University of Western Australia (UWA) & Young Lives Matter

Aboriginal Leadership

Professor Pat Dudgeon leads this research together with stream leaders Professor Jill Milroy and Professor Helen Milroy.

The research is supported by a team of predominantly Aboriginal leaders and mental health professionals, including Professor Tom Calma, Professor Michael Wright, Rob McPhee, Dr Graham Gee, Thomas Brideson, Professor Shaun Ewen, Angela Ryder, Michael Mitchell, Edward Wilkes, and Kevin Taylor.

Aboriginal Partner Organisations include: NACCHO, KAMS, Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit), AIPA, Healing Foundation, SSAMHS, LAA, Curtin University Looking Forward Project

Non-Aboriginal leadership includes: Professor Sean Hood, Professor Michael Small, Professor Jeneva Ohan, and Associate Professor Roz Walker.

Stream Leaders

Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing

Professor Pat Dudgeon

Professor - School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia
Director - Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention

Professor Pat Dudgeon is a Bardi woman from the Kimberley Western Australia. She is a Research Fellow in the School of Indigenous Studies and the Director of the national Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention at the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at UWA.

She specialises in Indigenous psychology, mental health and education. She led the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University for 19 years, later becoming a Professor at the School of Indigenous Studies at UWA.

A significant researcher across psychology and Indigenous health, CI Dudgeon became a Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission in 2012 to 2017 and was the Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Group now a director.

She is currently the Co-Chair of the national ministerial Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group, since 2013 until now, also a Member of International Group On Indigenous Health Measurement (IGIHM), a member of Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Mental Health And Suicide Prevention Project Reference Group (ATSIMHSPPRG) to the National Fifth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan and a member of the Mental Health Research Advisory Committee for the National Medical Health Research Council since 2017.

She is a member of the Working Party for the Kimberley Suicide Prevention Trial Site and the Chair of Data group for Working Party for the Kimberley Suicide Prevention Trial Site.

She is also an Expert Panel Member for the WA Children and Young People Wellbeing Survey with the WA Commission for Young People.

Other relevant bodies for this grant include co-chair of the Indigenous Psychology Board Advisory Committee to the Australian Psychological Society. Board Member: Marr Mooditj Aboriginal Health Training, Western Australia since 2010. She was the inaugural Chair, Steering Committee and Founding Member of Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA) and now is the Deputy Chair.

Helen Milroy who leads the reseach for Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing

Professor Helen Milroy

Professor - School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

Professor Helen  Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia but was born and educated in Perth. She studied Medicine at the University of Western Australia, worked as a General Practitioner and Consultant in Childhood Sexual Abuse at Princess Margaret Hospital for children for several years before completing specialist training in Child and Adolescent psychiatry.

She holds a Fellowship with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry, FRANZCP and a Certificate of Advanced Training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, CATCAP.

Over the past 5 years she served as a Commissioner with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Jill Milroy who leads the reseach for Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing

Professor Jill Milroy

Professor - School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

Professor Jill Milroy is a Palyku woman, whose country is in WA’s Pilbara. She has 30 years’ experience in Indigenous higher education developing innovative, highly successful programs for Indigenous students, particularly in professional degrees, for which she has won 2 national university teaching awards.

She was inaugural Director of UWA’s Centre for Aboriginal Programs, Dean and Head of School Indigenous Studies 2010-16, and Executive Director of the UWA’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, since 2014.

She was appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education in 2017, the senior Indigenous leadership role at UWA, which provides cultural and academic leadership, strategic planning and high-level advice to the Vice Chancellor, Executive and the University on Indigenous matters across the full spectrum of education, research and community engagement.

She sits on key committees including Planning and Resources, Academic Council and Board; chaired the Inclusion and Diversity Committee and represents UWA on the Go8 Equity Working Group. In 2011, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her services to the community through the promotion and development of Aboriginal education.

Leadership Team

Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing

Professor Tom Calma

Chancellor - University of Canberra & Chair - Poche Indigenous Health Network

Professor Calma is an Aboriginal Elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja tribal group whose traditional lands are south west of Darwin and on the Cobourg Peninsula in the Northern Territory, respectively.

He is the sixth chancellor of the University of Canberra, assuming office in 2014. Professor Calma has been the Federal Government appointed National Coordinator since March 2010, leading the fight against tobacco use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. He served as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner from 2004 to 2010 and the Race Discrimination Commissioner from 2004 until 2009 at the Australian Human Rights Commission.

For over 40 years, Professor Calma has been a prominent advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. He has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, community, state, national and international level focusing on rural and remote Australia, health, education, justice reinvestment, research, reconciliation and economic development. Calma’s 2005 Social Justice Report – focusing on Indigenous health equality – was the catalyst for the Close the Gap campaign.

Professor Shaun Ewen

Pro Vice-Chancellor - University of Melbourne

Professor Ewen is an Aboriginal academic who has spent the past two decades living on Wurundjeri country, and has family connections to Gunditjmara country in Victoria’s Western District. He holds to role of  Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous) at the University of Melbourne, and is also the Foundation Director of the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Professor Ewen has a clinical background in physiotherapy, and holds postgraduate qualifications in international relations and education. His area of research expertise relates to Indigenous health and health professional education. Professor Ewen provides the academic and Indigenous leadership for the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) project, a bi-national project of Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand. In 2005, he was awarded the School of Population Health Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. In 2011, he was the recipient of the Rio Tinto Award for Excellence and Innovation in Indigenous Higher Education.

M Wright

Associate Professor Michael Wright

Senior Research Fellow - Curtin University

Michael Wright is a Yuat Nyoongar man from the Moora and New Norcia area of Western Australia, north of Perth, and Associate Professor at Curtin University in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

He has worked as a hospital-based social worker and mental health service manager. In 2010, Dr Wright graduated with a PhD that investigated issues of access to services by Aboriginal families whose lives are affected by mental illness. Through several large research projects, he has worked in partnership with Nyoongar (Aboriginal) Elders, community members (including young people) and service staff to address the disconnect between Nyoongar peoples and mental health services in the Metropolitan Perth.

Associate Professor Wright also held positions as the Head of Aboriginal Health Research at KARDU, Telethon Kids Institute, and was a member of the Mental Health Advisory Council Member (Ministerial appointment). His experience, understandings, and expertise are highly regarded, and recognised in the Aboriginal community, with Government and non-Government agencies, and policy-makers.

Rob McPhee

Rob McPhee

Chief Operating Officer - Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS)

Rob McPhee is the Chief Operating Officer at Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS) based in Broome WA.  His people hail from Derby in the West Kimberley and the Pilbara region of Western Australia. He has held a number of roles including teaching positions at Curtin University and the University of Western Australia, and has worked as a senior adviser in community relations and Indigenous affairs to the oil and gas industry. He is passionate about social justice for Indigenous people and currently co-chairs the Commonwealth funded Kimberley Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Trial Site Working Group.

Dr Graham Gee

Dr Graham Gee

Senior Research Fellow - Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Dr Graham Gee is an Aboriginal man, also with Celtic heritage, from Darwin. His great-grandmother was originally from the Barkly Tablelands. Graham is a clinical psychologist and Senior Research Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. He is also an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne. 

Graham worked as a psychologist at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service from 2008-2018.  He was a founding board member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation and currently sits on the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission National Advisory Panel, and the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Expert Advisory Panel. His research focuses on improving models of mental health care, and investigating healing and recovery from complex trauma among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the lifespan.

Thomas Brideson

Chief Executive Officer - Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia

Tom Brideson is a Kamilaroi/Gomeroi man born in Gunnedah north-west NSW and a member of the Red Chief Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Between 2007 and 2020, Tom was the State-wide Coordinator for the NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program, a ground-breaking program that has embedded a new discipline into the mental health space in NSW. He sits on multiple committees under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to improve the health and mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Mr Brideson has published many articles regarding the mental health and related area workforces and advocates for the broad emerging mental health professional workforces across all health and human services. In 2020 Tom was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia.

Angela Ryder

Angela Ryder

Researcher - Langford Aboriginal Association

Angela Ryder is a Wilman/Goreng Noongar woman originally from Katanning and has lived in metropolitan Perth her adult life.

Angela has worked relentlessly in the Aboriginal community for more than 30 years, with particular focus on empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through the promotion of cultural, social and emotional wellbeing. Part of her work has included the delivery of the National Empowerment Project (NEP), Grief and Loss workshops, Cultural Awareness training and women’s leadership initiatives.

Kevin Taylor

Lecturer & Researcher - School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

Kevin Taylor is a Yamatji-Nyungar man and an experienced University Lecturer in Aboriginal health. Kevin specialises in Indigenous education development and Indigenous curriculum with a demonstrated history of working in the community health sector. He is skilled in Indigenous health, communication, cultural heritage, education, and public speaking. Currently obtaining a Master’s degree focused in Business Administration and Management from Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University.

Michael Mitchell

Community Cultural Expert, Perth WA
Ted Wilkes

Ted Wilkes

Nyoongar Cultural Expert. Perth WA

Associate Professor Ted Wilkes is a Nyungar man, with connections to the metropolitan area and the South West of Western Australia.

Associate Professor Wilkes is a former Ambassador for the Commissioner for Children and Young People. He has worked in public health for much of his working life and is currently the co-Program Leader of the Indigenous Australian Research Program at the National Drug Research Institute, based at Curtin University. His current research includes projects to develop culturally appropriate resources to assist health professionals working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to address issues of alcohol and pregnancy, and culturally relevant programs to support Aboriginal parents to promote their children’s behavioural and social competence and readiness for school.

He is also the Chair of the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee; a member of the Australian National Council on Drugs; President of the Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service; and was the former Chair of the Aboriginal Reference Group of the Department of Child Protection.

Professor Ian Ring

Senior Research Advisor - Tropical Health & Medicine, James Cook University

Professor Ring AO, Division of Tropical Health & Medicine, James Cook University, was previously Principal Medical Epidemiologist and Executive Director, Health Information Branch, at Queensland Health, Head of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at James Cook University, and Foundation Director of the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute at the Australian National University. He has been a Member of the Board of the Australian Institute of Health, Member of the Council of the Public Health Association and the Australian Epidemiological Association. He was the Elkington Orator for the Qld Branch of PHA in 1992 and was awarded the Sidney Sax medal by JCU in 2001. 

He is a Honorary Professorial Fellow at Wollongong University and Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales. He is an Expert Advisor to the Close the Gap Steering Committee and is a member of the International Indigenous Health Measurement Group, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Demographic Statistics Expert Advisory Group, Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Advisory Board, AMA Taskforce on Indigenous Health, and previously. RACP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Expert Advisory Group, and the National Advisory Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Information and Data.

Associate Professor Jeneva Ohan

Research Fellow - School of Psychological Science, University of Western Australia

Jeneva Ohan was born in Canada and raised by a Canadian mother and Palestinian father. She has been living and working on Whadjuk Noongar land since 2012. She is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at UWA, where she is also Director of the Clinical Psychology Program and of the Postgraduate Education in the School of Psychological Science.

Through some of her work in the School of Psychological Science at UWA, Jeneva has chaired working groups with the goal of achieving better engagement with and outcomes for Aboriginal students who pursue psychology studies, such as by establishing a mentor program. Jeneva’s research specialises in child and parenting mental health and wellbeing, with a focal interest in understanding why some children and parents come to services to support their mental health and wellbeing, whereas others do not or drop out of services early on. She hopes to use this information to better access to programs for children and families who need them, and to contribute towards health policy development that will benefit children and young family wellbeing.

Jeneva is especially keen to work towards better wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal families and communities, and is excited to be working on this project.

Associate Professor Dawn Darlaston-Jones

Director, Percy Jones & Associates

Dawn is a Critical Community Psychologist with extensive experience in the higher education sector. She was Associate Professor of Behavioural Science at the University of Notre Dame, Fremantle campus, and the former course coordinator. During her tenure, she developed the curriculum for the Bachelor of Behavioural Science and oversaw its evolution over a period of 11 years. Her research interests lie in the areas of critical psychology, decolonisation, resistance and emancipation and education as a vehicle for social justice and change. She is especially interested in decolonising whiteness and her current work explores the importance of embedding Indigenous knowledges and Indigenous psychologies into the psychology curriculum. This approach challenges hegemonic constructions of knowledge and contributes to a decolonisation approach to psychology education. She was a Chief Investigator on the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP), led by Professor Pat Dudgeon and funded through the Australian Government’s Office of Learning and Teaching. 

Associate Professor Roz Walker

Senior Principal Research Fellow - School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

Roz Walker is an Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow at the UWA, School of Indigenous Studies Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing. She has been involved in research, evaluation and education with Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal controlled organisations for over thirty five years. Her key areas of interest include developing transformative and decolonising strategies to enhance maternal, child and adolescent health, mental health  and social and emotional wellbeing at individual, organisational and community levels as well as promoting system level change and individual and organisational cultural competence. 

As a senior researcher at the Telethon Kids Institute, Roz co-led the development of the Evaluation Framework for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP) in partnership with Professor Pat Dudgeon. She has extensive experience in applying Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) methods and Indigenous decolonising and ethical approaches in translating research into policy and practice to achieve health and wellbeing outcomes. She also led a research team in identifying the Health Service Needs of Young People in Western Australia which has informed a Position Statement for the Commissioner for Children and Young People and the development of the first WA Youth Health Policy in 2018. 

Roz is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Population and Global Health, UWA and at Ngangk Yira Centre for Indigenous Health and Social Equity, Murdoch University. She is a member of the AIHW Steering Committee for Indigenous Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Clearinghouse.

Professor Michael Small

CSIRO-UWA Chair of Complex Engineering Systems - Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Science, University of Western Australia

Professor Michael Small completed his PhD in applied mathematics using nonlinear time series methods to quantify and describe children’s breathing patterns. Professor Small worked closely with Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, researching sudden infant death syndrome and measuring infant respiration while babies slept.

He went on to complete a postdoctoral research fellowship at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, where he researched cardiac dynamics on patients in the Coronary Care Unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Later he lived and worked in Hong Kong during the SARS outbreak in 2003, where he used his mathematical expertise at Hong Kong Polytechnic University to work with the Hong Kong Health department to research ways to contain the disease. In 2012 he received an ARC Future Fellowship and returned to UWA.  Through the Young Lives Matter Foundation Professor Small is currently working on developing a mathematical understanding of the causes and risks of suicide among young people.

Professor Small is also an Adjunct Professor at Curtin University and Deputy Editor in Chief of the journal Chaos.

Professor Sean Hood

Associate Dean (Community & Engagement) & Head of Division of Psychiatry - Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Western Australia

Professor Sean Hood is Head of the UWA Division of Psychiatry in the Medical School, and Associate Dean (Community and Engagement) with the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

Professor Hood’s primary research focus is in clinical psychopharmacology of anxiety disorders, which involves the investigation of medication effects and mechanisms in populations with clinical anxiety disorders.

Professor Hood undertook his undergraduate medical degree at UWA before completing formal postgraduate training in psychiatry in Perth and Bristol in the United Kingdom.

Subsequently, he returned to Perth and set up a Clinical Psychopharmacology laboratory as a clinical academic with UWA’s Division of Psychiatry.

Professor Hood is past Chair of the Australian Pristiq Advisory Board and a member of the Australian Cymbalta, Vortioxetine and Lurasidone Advisory Boards. He is the Australian Board member for the European Masters in Affective Neuroscience degree and Summer Course on Mood, Aggression & Attraction, run jointly by the Universities of Florence and Maastricht. He is also a Director of the Young Lives Matter Foundation, a large-scale interdisciplinary research initiative at UWA focused on combating the issue of youth suicide. 

He is a psychiatrist in public and private practice, and his public practice includes Headship of the SCGH MHU Treatment Resistant Anxiety and Mood Disorder Unit (TRAMD).

Professor Hood maintains an active engagement in medical student education, chairing the Systems’ Committee of the new UWA Doctor of Medicine program prior to implementation in 2014.

Research Team

Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing

Carolyn Mascall

Researcher - Langford Aboriginal Association

Carolyn has been working with Aboriginal people for many years in metropolitan Perth.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion, a Graduate Diploma in Policy Studies and a Post Grad Diploma in Secondary Education.

Carolyn joined Pat’s team at UWA in 2013, working on the development, implementation and evaluation of the National Empowerment Project – Cultural, Social and Emotional Wellbeing program and has since worked with Angela on the delivery of the program in Perth.

TBA

Researcher - The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

Emma Carlin

Senior Research Officer - Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service (KAMS)

Emma works for KAMS managing a small, vibrant, interdisciplinary research team with a focus on improving primary health and social and emotional wellbeing for Aboriginal people across the region. She has held this role alongside being a Research Fellow with University of Western Australia for four years and has resided in Kimberley for nine years. Emma is experienced in participatory action and yarning based methodologies alongside more traditional mixed methods approaches. Emma is motivated to work alongside Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to improve outcomes in healthcare equity and access. Emma sees this as one means of supporting community empowerment, resilience and flourishing.

Dr Kate Derry

Research Associate - School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

Kate was born, lives, and works on Noongar Boodja. Her father migrated to Australia in 1963 during the Burmese coup d’état and is a descendant of the Shan people of Myanmar. Her mother was born and raised on Gnaraloo Station, north of Carnarvon on Yamaji Country. She completed her PhD in social and developmental psychology at the University of Western Australia in 2019. Her thesis investigated the development of self in children, adolescents, and adults. Using her understanding of self-concept, personality, emotions, and psychometrics, she has worked in the areas of organisational psychology, human factors, education, and adolescent suicide prevention. During her PhD, she was encouraged to explore her own racial-ethnic identity and became interested in the relationship between culture and health and the role of culture and identity in suicide prevention. Kate started working with Pat in late 2019, and is excited to use evidence-based approaches and strengths-focused solutions to empower Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and other Indigenous peoples.

Dr Shraddha Kashyap

Research Associate - School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

Shraddha was born in Kenya, she has Indian heritage, and migrated to Australia with her family in 2002.  Her professional background is in Clinical Psychology, and she completed her Masters and PhD at UWA. Her PhD investigated self-harm and suicide risk among a psychiatric inpatient population.  In 2016, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research with survivors of torture and trauma at the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture in New York City.  Following this, she worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Refugee Trauma and Recovery Program at the University of New South Wales, Sydney (2017 to 2020).  Shraddha is experienced in community participatory based research and is passionate about working alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to help build an evidence base to promote culturally safe mental health care services.  She also currently works as a Clinical Psychology Registrar at a private mental health care practice on beautiful Noongar land.

Dr Joanna Alexi

Research Associate - School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

Joanna was born in Darwin on Larrakia Country. Her mother and father migrated from Cyprus to Australia in the early 1970s and 1980s, respectively. Joanna lived in Darwin for most of her childhood, before moving to Perth, Whadjuk Country, with her family, as a young teenager. Joanna completed her PhD in psychology at the University of Western Australia in 2020. Her thesis was in the area of body image disturbances, perception and eating disorders. She has also gained experience in the area of FASD research and other neurodevelopmental conditions, and has a strong interest in Indigenous health and cross-cultural research. Joanna is passionate about promoting health and wellbeing outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, through research, collaboration and teamwork.

Dr Monique Platell

Research Associate - School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

Monique was born, lives, and works on Noongar Boodja. She comes from a public health background completing her PhD at the School of Population and Global Health at the University of Western Australia in 2020. Her thesis explored the factors influencing adolescents’ mental health service access and use in Perth. Monique’s expertise lies in qualitative research and central to her doctoral research were the perspectives of adolescent mental health consumers and mental health professionals to identify gaps and barriers in the mental health system. Leading this research Monique developed her passion for mental health advocacy, ensuring that all in our community have equitable access to mental health services to promote happy and healthy lives.

Dr Ee Pin Chang

Research Associate - School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

Ee Pin and her parents were born and raised in Singapore.  Her parents migrated from China to Singapore in the early 1930s. Ee Pin obtained a Bachelor of Accountancy Degree at the National University of Singapore and worked in the finance industry in Singapore and Hong Kong. She moved to Perth in 2010 to fulfill her childhood dream of studying psychology and completed her PhD in psychology at The University of Western Australia (UWA) in 2019. Her thesis is at the intersection of cognition and emotion, exploring memory updating in depressive rumination. She has also gained experience in the area of suicide prediction, exploring the interpersonal risk factors of suicide in her honours thesis, and the biological risk factors of suicide as a Postdoc with the School of Psychological Science at UWA before joining the School of Indigenous Studies.  Ee Pin is passionate about justice and equity, and promoting health and wellbeing outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, with a focus on suicide prevention efforts.

Julie Robotham

Consultant

Julie Robotham is a specialist in strategic policy and community engagement, focusing on health and human services.

She joined the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention in 2019, working with community, clinical and government stakeholders to promote culturally-safe, empowering suicide prevention responses. Based in Sydney, she also represents the Centre where appropriate in East Coast-based policy processes.

As a Director of the NSW Mental Health Commission from 2013 to 2018, Julie led its successful advocacy for a strong consumer and carer voice in the reform of the state mental health system, through the delivery of impactful publications, campaigns and events.

She is a board director of Jannawi Connections, which supports inner west Sydney children and families who have experienced domestic abuse, and of Connect: Inner West Community Transport Group.

Julie has a media background and was previously Health Editor at the Sydney Morning Herald. She was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in 2007-8, and is a graduate of Oxford University. 

Admin Team

Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing

Sabrina Swift

School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

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School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

Nerry Nichols

School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

denisse Franks

School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia
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Teresa Ratana

School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

Governance Committee

Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing

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Governance Committee

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Advisory Committee

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Artwork Acknowledgement

The Artwork used in the TIMHWB website has been drawn from a larger work. Following is the story and acknowledgment:

Beautiful Healing in Wildflower Banksia Country describes a story about the life-affirming inter-connections between people, land, oceans, waterways, sky and all living things. The painting began in the Sister Kate’s Home Kid’s Aboriginal Corporation Healing (SKHKAC) Hub, at the second National and World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference held in Perth, Western Australia in 2018.

During the conference participants came together in the Healing Hub to collaborate on the triptych which was then respectfully completed by the SKHKAC team. The Sister Kate’s Childrens Home began in 1934 and closed in 1975, and was an institution for Aboriginal children who are now known as the Stolen Generations – where the Home Kids of SKHKAC are planning to build an all accessible Place of Healing on the Bush Block adjacent to the old Home, and will run Back to Country Bush Camps and other cultural healing activities.

Wau-jin Bura-Quopp Mun’jyte Boodjah © Joint Copyright: Sister Kate’s Home Kids Aboroginal Corporation and the School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia 2018