Enhancing Wellbeing, Empowerment, Healing and Leadership

Pat Dudgeon, Rosalyn Walker, Clair Scrine, Kathleen Cox, Divina D'Anna, Cheryl Dunkley, Kerrie Kelly, Katherine Hams

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the relevance of Aboriginal perspectives of empowerment, healing and
leadership, as strategies to address the social inequality and relative powerlessness of Aboriginal
people in contemporary society. These Aboriginal-led strategies are key social determinants that
influence Aboriginal health, mental health and social and emotional wellbeing. Programs that
facilitate Aboriginal understandings of healing, empowerment, and leadership can redress much
of the grief, loss, and trauma experienced by Aboriginal families and communities. The chapter
highlights the need for Aboriginal people to have ownership over the issues and the solutions
to the devastation brought about from a history of social injustices and disadvantage. Based on
the findings from Aboriginal community consultations in the Kimberley, this chapter outlines
community-identified strategies to take charge of their lives, strengthen their families and
address the unacceptable and devastating rates of suicide in their communities. Importantly, the
community proposed solutions are confirmed by the extensive literature and program review
undertaken as part of the Hear Our Voices project led by Dudgeon.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorking Together
Subtitle of host publicationAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice
EditorsPat Dudgeon, Helen Milroy, Roz Walker
Place of PublicationBarton, ACT
PublisherAustralian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9775975-3-6
ISBN (Print)978-0-9579494-4-7
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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