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Joint Approach for Wicked Problems

Funded by a $5 million dollar grant, key Indigenous leaders from across Australia held their inaugural meeting last month in Perth, charged with the task of finding innovative approaches to the complex problem of Indigenous wellbeing.

Lead researcher Professor Pat Dudgeon, from the UWA Poche Centre and School of Indigenous Studies, said:

“This multidisciplinary approach, which will investigate a range of initiatives to solve some of our country’s ‘wicked’ problems, is critical in improving the delivery of mental health services for Australia’s Indigenous population.”

The grant, part of the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Million Minds Mission, follows calls for Indigenous mental health services that promote cultural values and empower service users.

Researchers will work with Indigenous service users to develop clinically and culturally capable Indigenous mental health service models and establish how they can best work within families and communities. They will also look at how services can better prevent mental health difficulties and consider cultural healers’ work with service users.


Back Row: L – R
Angela Ryder, Langford Aboriginal Association, Prof Ian Ring, Kevin Taylor, UWA, Rob McPhee, KAMS, A/Prof Ted Wilkes, Curtin University, Stephen Lawrie, UWA, Prof Jill Milroy, UWA, A/Prof Roz Walker, UWA 

Seated: L-R
Leonie Pickett, Langford Aboriginal Association, Shawana Andrews, University of Melbourne, Jessica Soulsby, UWA, Prof Helen Milroy, UWA, Jessica Styles, NACCHO, Prof Pat Dudgeon, UWA,  Lyn Van Rooy, UWA 

If you or someone you know needs help or support, you can contact your local Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisation or

  • Lifeline: 131 114
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
  • Mensline: 1300 78 99 78
  • Beyondblue 1300 22 46 36
  • Q Life 1800 18 45 27,
  • Open Arms Veterans & Families Counselling 1800 01 10 46
  • The National Indigenous Critical Response Service 1800 80 58 01
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