Our Journey, Our Story

locationWhadjuk Nyoongar Boodjar

Our Journey Our Story draws on findings from both Looking Forward Moving Forward and Building Bridges.

Our Journey Our Story works with Aboriginal Elders, Aboriginal young people, headspace centres and their lead agencies across Western Australia.

Through the research, these groups work together to co-design more culturally secure mental health services that better meet the needs of Aboriginal young people and their families.

This project is running from 2019 until 2024.

We are currently working with:

Lead Agency
Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service Ltd
Youth Focus

"I really value young people. I think they're amazing. I think you know that there's always an opportunity to find that hope and way forward."

- Service Provider, 2020

locationYawuru Buru

Significant Learnings

Reflections from our baseline interviews with service and lead agency staff during 2020

For Services
There are many differences across the services that we are working with. Some of these differences have shown us that service models can be adapted to suit the local needs of community whilst still up holding the fidelity of clinical model.

For Researchers
Relationships underpin our work with our service partners. A commitment to “debakarn” and the uncertainty created with Covid-19 led to “check ins” being made a priority at our partner team meetings. People feeling held and valued in the research space has meant productivity has remained high despite new challenges.

For Community
Service staff and senior management are overwhelmingly commited and passionate about doing things better for our communities. Many have personal motivation for being involved in the youth mental health space.

Project Resources

ABC Kimberley Breakfast: A genuine conversation can deliver better health outcomes

"As a co-researcher I feel really proud to be a part of the process of change and to represent and give my side and opinions and input towards youth mental health and ways we can improve youth mental health."

- Aboriginal Youth co-researcher 2020

Chief Investigators

Professor Alex Brown (Deputy Director, Aboriginal Health equity Theme Leader, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute)

Professor Pat Dudgeon (The University of Western Australia and co-chair of the ministerial Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group)

Mr Rob McPhee (CEO, Danila Dilba Health Service and co-chair of the ministerial Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group)

Professor Juli Coffin (Ellison Professor of Aboriginal Research, Telethon Kids Institute)

Mr Glenn Pearson (Research Focus Area Head, Aboriginal Health Institute Leadership Team, Telethon Kids Institute)

Associate Professor Ashleigh Lin (Program Head, Mental Health & Youth, Telethon Kids Institute)

Dr Elizabeth Newnham (Curtin University) Professor Elizabeth Geelhoed (Health Economist, The University of Western Australia)

Ms Kiarnee King Baguley (headspace Broome)

Associate Investigators

Dr Brad Farrant (Senior Research Fellow, Telethon Kids Institute)

Dr Sophie Davidson (Consultant Psychiatrist State Forensic Mental Health Service)

Dr Stuart Shanker

Dr Jonathan Bullen (Curtin Medical School, Curtin University)

Dr Carrington Shepherd (Senior Research Fellow, Co-Head, Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing, Telethon Kids Institute)

Professor Rosa Alati (HoS, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University)

Dr Britta Biedermann (Senior Lecturer Research Development Coordinator School of OTSWSP, Curtin University)

"You can spend how much money you like, it’s still not going to make a difference until the work on the ground and your organisation is more willing to understand the people that they’re servicing that we will see significant change happen"

- Aboriginal staff member, Lead agency

This project is supported by the Australian Government Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) as part of the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission.

Our Journey Our Story has ethical approval from the Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (HREC 955), Kimberley Aboriginal Health Planning Forum, Kimberley Research Subcommittee and the Wheatbelt Regional Aboriginal Health Planning Forum. Reciprocal ethics Curtin University (HRE2020-0023)