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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Empowerment, healing and leadership program



This project was a collaboration between the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council (KAMSC) Social Emotional Wellbeing Unit and the Telethon Kids Institute (Formerly Telethon Institute for Child Health Research's Centre for Research Excellence in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing). It stemmed from the high rates of suicide in the Kimberley region in 2010 and involved extensive community and stakeholder consultation.

The aims of the project were to strengthen the capacity of community members to empower themselves and others to change their lives, their communities and the systems that are barriers to good social and emotional wellbeing.

The findings will be used to develop an accredited, innovative program that is culturally appropriate to the empowerment of Aboriginal people in different geographical locations.

Abstract adapted from Centre for Research Excellence in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing


Elizabeth Chester
Telethon Kids Institute
Ph: (08) 9489 7965 or 0409 988530

Michael Sinclair-Jones
Public Affairs
University of Western Australia
Ph: (08) 6488 3229 or 0400 700783

Related publications

Dudgeon P, Cox K, D’Anna D, Dunkley C, Hams K, Kelly K, Scrine C, Walker R (2012)

Hear our voices: community consultations for the development of an empowerment, healing and leadership program for Aboriginal people living in the Kimberley, Western Australia: final research report.

Perth, WA: Telethon Institute for Child Health Research: Aboriginal Health

This report details the methodology and findings of a research project that was undertaken in response to the high number of suicides in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The primary aim of the project was to develop an Aboriginal-led empowerment, healing, and leadership program that would appropriately meet the needs of the local community members. Community consultations were held to seek feedback from members on the development of such a program. Knowledge was also gained through a literature review and an examination of similar programs. The findings demonstrated an apparent need to support people to change their lives, with participants speaking of the need to initially focus on strengthening the individual and rebuilding family. Participants also spoke of the urgent need to focus on young people. The findings also demonstrated that the efficacy of a program was largely dependent on the program being culturally-based and the inclusion of traditional elements.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Last updated: 22 September 2014
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