Join the conversation – Supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children through a collaborative community approach

Join the conversation – Supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children through a collaborative community approach

9 July 2019
A family in the park

This webinar discussed how service organisations can work with Aboriginal communities to increase accessibility for First Nations families.

Please post your comments and questions below.

A full recording of the webinar and related resources, including slides, audio and a transcript, is now available.

The full recording of the webinar is also available on our YouTube Channel.

In Australia, there is a large gap between the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants, children and parents in mandated services (such as child protection) and these families’ use of voluntary community support services.

In this webinar, Bill and Dana discussed their extensive work with non-Aboriginal services and Aboriginal communities to find ways to address this gap. They have worked to increase trust through culturally competent practices that acknowledge the history of social, political and institutional marginalisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Ruth discussed her experience as a non-Aboriginal manager working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in a non-Aboriginal organisation.

The presenters explored the practical implementation of collaboration with Aboriginal communities and how this sits alongside traditional therapeutic approaches in non-Aboriginal services to deliver positive outcomes, particularly for infant and child mental health.

This webinar:

  • explored the challenges for non-Aboriginal organisations and practitioners working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, and how to meet these challenges
  • examined current research underlining the importance of cultural competence in non-Aboriginal services
  • gave examples of organisational and individual practice that have built trust and collaboration within Aboriginal communities and led to positive outcomes for these families
  • outlined what non-Aboriginal organisations should consider in the recruitment, supervision, training and attitudes of staff when developing a culturally intelligent and responsive workforce
  • gave examples of non-Aboriginal staff being genuinely curious about the stories and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, communities, children and families.

This webinar was co-produced by CFCA and Emerging Minds. They are working together as part of the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health under the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program.

Emerging Minds logo

Related resources

Featured image: © GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages


Wow - what an awesome webinar. Possibly the most useful one I have ever taken part in. Thank you to everyone for your insightful, direct, empowering knowledge.
Informative session.
This was one of the most informative, constructive, educational, full of knowledge webinars I’ve sat in on, in a long time. I was focused and wanted to hear more from every speaker. I honestly couldn’t get enough and I’ll listen again once it’s release. I have passed this info onto my work colleagues and have highly recommended that they all watch it. Thankyou. It was honestly amazing
Does Ruth have a specific framework for practice she is working with to ensure her organisation/staff/approaches are culturally safe and appropriate? Is this something she would be able to share?
Aboriginal Community Connect has developed its own Cultural Supervision Framework, alongside Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal workforce, community members and our clients. It isn’t available for sharing as our service is still trialling this cultural support models as well.
Ruth Tulloch
Thank you for sharing so succinctly on your key reflections and learnings. At uniting Ruth what was an important aspect of the executive leadership that supported/ enabled success of the project in a non Aboriginal organisation.
I think at an Executive/Leadership level in any organisation; there should be a responsibility to have your own reflections and learnings about supporting Aboriginal services in your organisations. Ideally, open and transparent conversations need to occur ongoing with key persons in your organisation, community and clients who have the experiences to truly evaluate the effectiveness of your organisation in providing quality services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Ruth Tulloch
Dadirri - aboriginal way of listening, deep listening. Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann explains this beautifully.

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