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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

This action plan aims to improve social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and communities.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders are resilient with culture and customs continuing to be a source of strength and pride and the foundation for good social and emotional wellbeing.

Social and emotional wellbeing is a protective factor against adverse life events, suicide, problematic alcohol and other drug use, and some mental illnesses. It also supports those living with mental health problems and mental illness to recover.

Social and emotional wellbeing, based on consultation with Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders, is defined as being resilient, being and feeling culturally safe, having and realising aspirations and being satisfied with life.

About the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Plan

The Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social and Emotional Wellbeing Action Plan 2016-18 ‘Proud and Strong’ aims to improve social and emotional wellbeing. It is an initiative of the 2014-2019 Strategic Plan.

The action plan outlines 62 actions to be taken by government in partnership with non-government organisations in three priority areas:

  • Inclusive communities
  • Thriving and connected families
  • Resilient people

The 2016 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan builds on the 17 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific commitments made in three whole-of-population action plans, namely the Early Action, Suicide Prevention and Alcohol and Other Drugs Action Plans.

Discussion paper

The 2016 Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social and Emotional Wellbeing in Queensland Discussion Paper was developed based on principles outlined in the Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Declaration.

Consultation

The 2016 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Plan was significantly shaped by the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders. The Commission undertook formal consultations in 2016 through:

  • two Strategic Conversations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and government and non-government organisations
  • the release of the Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social and Emotional Wellbeing in Queensland discussion paper seeking the views of targeted stakeholders and the broader public
  • nine community forums held in Thursday Island, Cairns, Mount Isa, Townsville, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Logan, Ipswich and Brisbane.
  • a youth forum held in Brisbane hosted by Headspace attended by nine young people.

Read the 2016 Strategic conversation communique

What we heard

Progress Report was released during NAIDOC Week 2016, summarising what the Commission heard from over 200 community members and stakeholders from across Queensland throughout the consultation process.

The report highlighted suggestions made by community members to support social and emotional wellbeing, including:

  • Cultural identity and connection
  • Acknowledgement and acceptance by the broader community
  • Healing from grief and trauma
  • Community strength and leadership
  • Families and young people
  • Increasing awareness about mental health, alcohol and other drugs and suicide prevention
  • Preventing problematic alcohol and other drug use
  • Increasing education, employment and housing
  • Providing more effective and culturally capable services and supports
  • Improving service integration and coordination.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reference group

A reference group comprised of government and non-government representatives monitors the Action Plan’s implementation, as well as identifying emerging issues and good practice.

Monitoring progress

Annual performance indicator reports of Queensland mental health and wellbeing statistics
Annual implementation reports highlighting implementation achievements
Action plan implementation Dashboard which tracks the progress, status and completion of every action in the Action Plans