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Agenda

Cultural and Healing Activities

9:00am - 1:00pm

Trauma Informed Yoga

Jacqui Jarrett, Chief Executive Officer, Nura Yoga

Cultural and Healing Activities
Day 1

Day 1, March 5

7:30

Registration and Welcome Coffee 

8:00

Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony

8:30

About AIPA and the Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum

  • Outlining the purpose of the Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum

  • Identifying who AIPA is, their history and what they do

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Vanessa Edwige, Chair, AIPA

8:40

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Chairperson’s Introduction

Kim Mulholland, Coach, Consultant and Practitioner, IvolveGen

Shannon McNeair, Psychologist, McNeair Aboriginal Psychological Services 

8:50

Introduction to the Wellbeing Team and Grounding Exercise 

9:00

Forum Elder’s Keynote Address  

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Professor Gracelyn Smallwood, Adjunct Professor, James Cook University, University of Queensland (Forum Elder) 

9:25

Translating research into action, and community concerns into reports for improved access to funding  

  • Ensuring that research is community-led or conducted in genuine collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities  

  • Translating research into meaningful action at both a grassroots and policy level  

  • Translating community concerns into clinical reports for improved chances of accessing funding and grants for community-led SEWB programs and initiatives  

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Pat Dudgeon, Professor of Indigenous Studies and Project Director, Centre for Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention, University of Western Australia

9:50

Reserved Session  

Thirrili  

10:10

Morning Tea

10:50

Panel: The Elder’s Report

  • Looking to the knowledge and experience of Elders to address self-harm and suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia

  • Identifying potential causes of increasing rates of self-harm and youth suicide and what solutions should be implemented to address these causes

  • Discussing the outcomes and progress since publication of the Elders’ Report into Preventing Indigenous Self-harm & Youth Suicide

** Attendees can move between the sessions listed under the two streams **

Translating Research into Practice

11:45

How has Gayaa Dhuwi been working to promote collective excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health care? 

  • Addressing the work and achievements of Gayaa Dhuwi since its establishment in 2020  

  • Identifying the role of Gayaa Dhuwi in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention 

  • Outlining what Gayaa Dhuwi sees as the solutions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide rates and how these can be implemented within communities  

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Rachel Fishlock, Chief Executive Officer, Gayaa Dhuwi 

12:10

Bringing culture back into healing

  • Placing an Indigenous perspective on the Westminster system to identify what is and isn't working and where systems can be changed to work for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

  • Developing relevant resources for Indigenous communities that use visual cues and culturally appropriate language for improved outcomes

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Jane Blunden, Chief Executive Officer, Stepping Black Indigenous Corporation Australia

Supporting our Young People

11:45

Developing a strong sense of identity amongst First Nations young people to reduce challenging behaviour  

  • Working with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged between 5-12 to encourage positive values and behaviours early in life 

  • How can having a positive sense of identity and self reduce substance abuse, poor mental health outcomes and suicide rates? 

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Joe Williams, Chief Executive Officer, The Enemy Within – Suicide Prevention and Mental Health and Wellbeing Education 

12:10

Panel: Caring for Country as an integral aspect of improving mental health outcomes for young people

  • Addressing the impact of environmental degradation and climate change on the mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people

  • Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to ensure productive outcomes from the UN’s finding that Australia failed to adequately protect Indigenous Torres Islanders against climate change impacts

Culture is Life

12:35

Early Learnings: Using EMDR in an ACCHO setting with the goal of improving mental health outcomes and reducing suicide risk 

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Tahnee McBean, Clinical Lead of Family Counselling Services, Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)  
 

Maddie Hudson-Buhagiar, Clinical Psychologist, Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) 

Darcy-Rose Marshall, Psychologist, Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

1:00

Lunch

2:15

Case Study: Yawardani Jan-ga - Preventing suicide among First Nations young people through trauma-informed, on country equine assisted learning 

  • Building healthy coping mechanisms and life skills among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people through equine assisted learning 

  • How does equine assisted learning provide an effective, culturally-secure medium through which to support the social and emotional wellbeing of First Nations young people?  

  • Presenting the research behind Yawardani Jan-ga and sharing some of the positive outcomes of the program

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Juli Coffin, Ellison Professor Aboriginal Young Peoples Social Emotional Wellbeing, Murdoch University 

2:40

Yarning to Reflect
Delegates will break into 5 smaller groups to have a facilitated 45 minute discussion/reflection on the morning’s content

3:25

Afternoon Tea

3:55

Facilitating culturally safe suicide prevention and aftercare in hospital settings and mainstream health facilities

  • Outlining the program funding process from a NSW/ACT PHN perspective

  • Working with schools to build resilience amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and enhance early intervention into suicide

  • Identifying the different programs and initiatives available in NSW/ACT

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Donna Stanley, Executive Manager Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing, Western NSW Primary Health Network

COMMUNITY SUICIDE PREVENTION CASE STUDIES

4:20

Case study: Midwest Postvention Coordination Group- Providing culturally appropriate postvention support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities

  • Working together collaboratively to make a difference in postvention support and suicide prevention awareness.  

  • Responding to the postvention needs of the community within a reasonable timeframe  

  • Ensuring that the cultural needs of the community are met  

  • Highlighting the importance of self-care and the healing needs of the Aboriginal workforce in suicide prevention and postvention 

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Maxine Ryder, Suicide Prevention Officer, Geraldton Aboriginal Medical Services (GRAMS)

Gwen Rakabula, SEWB Manager and Cultural Lead, Geraldton Aboriginal Medical Services (GRAMS) 

4:45

Grounding exercise  

4:50

Chairperson's Closing Address and End of Day One

Day 2

Day 2, March 6

8:50

Chairperson's Opening Address

9:00

Grounding exercise

UPSKILLING AND SUPPORTING THE ABORIGINAL SUICIDE PREVENTION WORKFORCE

9:20

What does the Victorian Royal Commission into Mental Health mean for SEWB models in ACCHOs?  

  • What is the status of the Victorian Royal Commission into mental health and how has it impacted suicide prevention initiatives in Victoria?  

  • What could the Royal Commission mean for SEWB models in ACCHOs across Australia? 

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Sheree Lowe, Executive Director, Balit Durn Durn Centre, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO)  

9:50

International Keynote: The Sweetgrass Method - Developing a strengths-based, individualised approach to working with Indigenous communities to prevent suicide

  • Building trust with Indigenous communities as a clinician by always showing cultural humility, being adaptable and responsive 

  • Tailoring approaches to working with First Nations communities as a doctor taught through a Western lens

  • Drawing parallels between Indigenous suicide prevention in the United States and in Australia

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Dr. Mark Standing Eagle Baez, Assistant Professor of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Bemidji State University

10:20

Lived Experience Session: Reducing rates of suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through connection to culture, Country and spirituality 

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 Jeffrey Morgan, Leadership and Mindset Coach, The Lifestyle Program 

10:50

Morning Tea

RESOURCES FOR COMMUNITIES AND PRACTITIONERS

11:30

Growing the skills and capacity of local mental health workforces in regional/remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

  • Facilitating opportunities for further training and education for SEWB workers in rural/remote parts of Australia 

  • Retaining an Indigenous mental health workforce in regional/remote communities for improved trust and relationships with communities 

  • Improving the availability and accessibility of mental health services in regional/remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

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Tegan Schefe, Managing Director, TLS Indigenous Consultancy

12:00

Panel: Creating safe spaces and resources for LGBTQIASB+ communities for improved mental health outcomes and reduced suicide rates

  • Increasing the visibility of LGBTQIASB+ people and communities to improve the number and quality of accessible and appropriate mental health services and resources

  • Making your practice a safe space for LGBTQIASB+ people

  • Creating effective suicide prevention resources for LGBTQIASB+ people with measurable results

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Rebecca Johnson OAM, Special Advisor, Yarns Heal Suicide Prevention; Indigenous LGBTQ+ Leader and Advocate (Moderator) 

Rocky Byrne, Acting Executive Officer 2Spirits, Queensland Council for LGBTI Health

Mark Nannup, Community Engagement Facilitator

Tarriaki Duncan, Indigenous Student Experience Coordinator, RMIT University

12:45

Lunch

2:00

Ensuring Cultural Safety in Trauma-Informed Practice from a First Nations Perspective

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Kelleigh Ryan, Director, The Seedling Group

2:30

Case Study: Lifeline’s 13Yarn

  • How has 13Yarn created a culturally safe space as the first national crisis support line?

  • Building capacity and resilience and facilitating opportunities in First Nations communities through a 24/7 helpline

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Marjorie Anderson, National Manager, 13Yarn

3:00

Case Study: The Black Dog Institute Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre – Assessing organisational readiness when working with First Nations lived experience

  • Outlining the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre’s criteria to screen organisations looking to collaborate  

  • What makes an organisation culturally safe and trauma informed?  

  • Summarising the Lived Experience Centre’s takeaways from their experiences in utilising this criteria 

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Vicki McKenna, Head of Centre, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre 


Nathan Meteoro, Program Manager, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre

SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF MENTAL HEALTH & SUICIDE RATES

3:30

Afternoon Tea

4:00

Reconnecting with family and community to reduce incarceration and recidivism rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and men for suicide prevention

  • Creating strong family and community support systems to improve mental health outcomes and reduce incarceration rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people

  • How does Warrigunya support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men to re-connect to culture and community post-release from prison?

  • Rebuilding strong family dynamics and including Aboriginal fathers in the conversation to support the development and self-esteem of young people

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Uncle Alan Coe, Director, Warrigunya

4:30

Yarning to Reflect
Delegates will break into 4 smaller groups to have a facilitated 45 minute discussion/reflection on their takeaways from the forum, what they can take back to their communities, and what they hope to achieve with these takeaways.

5:15

Grounding Exercise

5:20

Chairperson's Closing Address and End of Day Two

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