Working with Aboriginal communities in NSW
This section contains practical tools for professionals working with Aboriginal communities in New South Wales (NSW), to help support conversations about suicide. The resource covers different types of conversations for individuals, families and communities.
Working with Aboriginal communities in NSW - a resource for professionals
Conversations Matter is a resource for professionals working with Aboriginal community members in NSW, Australia. The resource provides professionals with tools to talk about suicide in safe and supportive ways. It includes a range of information depending on whether professionals are talking generally in the community, to someone they are worried about, or are wondering how they could have a conversation with someone who has lost a loved one to suicide.
The resource has been developed by a team of people including representatives from the Awabakal, Wonnarua, Gomeroi and Biripi Nations, Aboriginal health and community workers, Wiyiliin ta Aboriginal Child and Young Persons Counselling Service HNELHD, the Healing Foundation, the National Torres Strait Islander Health Workers Association, the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council NSW, Nikita Ridgeway of Boss Lady Creative Design Agency, Mental Health Commission of NSW and the Hunter Institute of Mental Health.
Given the diversity of beliefs, customs and practices across Aboriginal communities, the project team has developed these resources based on a set of core principles. The core principles may be useful to consider alongside the separate fact sheets and podcasts - located in the left hand navigation menu.
Welcome video message from Todd Heard, Aboriginal psychologist from the Wonnarua Nation
The following fact sheets have been developed for professionals working with Aboriginal communities in NSW to help support conversations if you are worried that someone is thinking about suicide, how to have a conversation with someone after a suicide and how to talk about suicide prevention in your community.
These fact sheets have been designed by Nikita Ridgeway, Boss Lady Creative Design Agency. The story behind the artwork is also available to download below.
Fact sheet: Yarning after a suicide (129339 KB)
Poster: The story behind the artwork (47578 KB)
To complement the resources, you can download a range of podcasts recorded by Luke Pearson, Indigenous X featuring:
- Dr Jackie Huggins AM, Co-chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, Birri-Gubba Juru and Bidjara woman from Queensland
- Aunty Lorraine Peeters, Managing Director and Facilitator of Winangali-Marumali from the Gamilaroi and Wailwun Nations
- Richard Weston, CEO of the Healing Foundation, descendant from Meriam People of Torres Strait
- Jaelea Skehan, Director of the Hunter Institute of Mental Health
Conversations about suicide - Richard Weston (15105 KB)
Supporting discussions - Jaelea Skehan (6833 KB)
Supporting discussions - Richard Weston (17580 KB)
Resources - Dr Jackie Huggins (10552 KB)
Resources - Jaelea Skehan (9997 KB)
Resources - Aunty Lorraine Peeters (20982 KB)
Resources - Richard Weston (7642 KB)
Background research and consultations that have informed the development of
Conversations Matter resources for working with Aboriginal communities are provided below:
Report: Aboriginal Exec Summary (1008 KB)
Report: Aboriginal focus group (1117 KB)
Report: Aboriginal stakeholder forums (1327 KB)