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Self-guided historical walking tours: These walking tours are accessed via the Sydney Culture Walks app and highlight Aboriginal history, heritage & culture: https://www.sydneyculturewalksapp.com/barani-redfern 
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Monday, September 16 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Opening plenary: Welcome to Country, followed by Tracy Westerman "Without measurability there is no accountability. Why we are failing to gather evidence of what works"

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Welcome to Country: Uncle Charles Madden, Gadigal Elder
Opening address: John Stoney, President, Australian Evaluation Society

Keynote address: "Without measurability there is no accountability. Why we are failing to gather evidence of what works"

Tracy Westerman (A/Prof, Managing Director Indigenous Psychological Services, 2018 WA Australian of the Year)

We are currently amid a spate of Indigenous child suicides and are now considered to have one of the highest rates of child suicide in the world. Despite this, and as a country facing this growing tragedy, we still have no nationally accepted evidence-based programs across the spectrum of early intervention and prevention activities. Staggeringly, funded programs are not required to demonstrate evidence of impact, nor are they required to demonstrate a measurable reduction in suicide and mental health risk factors. So, given this, can governments truly claim they are funding prevention. If you aren’t measuring risk, you can’t claim prevention. It is that simple.

In an area as complex as Indigenous suicide, it is crucial that funding decisions unsupported by clinical and cultural expertise are challenged and redirected in the best way possible. Toward the evidence. Report after report has pointed to the need for ‘evidence-based approaches’ but has anyone questioned why this continues to remain elusive?

Perhaps we need to start with what constitutes evidence. It doesn’t mean attendance. This is output. Not evidence of impact. It means measurable, outcome-based evidence – a reduction in risk factors attributable to the intervention provided. Without measurability there is no accountability. Without measurability we are failing to gather crucial evidence of what works to better inform current and future practitioners struggling to halt the intergenerational transmission of suicide risk.

A/Professor Westerman will discuss the impacts of determining evidence based approaches to the complexity of Indigenous suicide and mental health. Her body of work includes the development of nine unique psychometric tests, the value of which has been to address significant gaps in this vital area. It provides an opportunity to discuss how we can take Indigenous suicide and mental health to cutting edge.

avatar for Uncle Charles (Chicka) Madden

Uncle Charles (Chicka) Madden

Gadigal Elder
Uncle Chicka is a respected Sydney Elder. He has lived in and around the Redfern and inner city area most of his life serving the Aboriginal community as Director or the Aboriginal Medical Service, member & representative of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Director... Read More →
avatar for Tracy Westerman

Tracy Westerman

“Never let go of yourA/Professoreams” – Let’s cultivate environments which encourage expectations of success rather than failure.A/Professor Tracy Westerman is a trailblazer in Aboriginal mental health, having been named the 2018 Australian of the Year (WA); Inducted into... Read More →

Monday September 16, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am AEST
Pyrmont Theatre