In 2018, the Gift of Gallang was implemented in a local primary school in Inala for the first time. This represented the culmination of a three-year journey of ongoing community engagement and collaboration, which included the formation of the Committee of Hope and the development of community engagement activities such as cultural nights. The need for creating hope, resilience and wellbeing in the community of Inala was evident after a cluster of youth suicides occurred in 2016. Creating a community where children had a strong sense of culture and connection framed the Gift of Gallang activities with the long-term aim of reducing risk of suicide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.
This work was supported by partnership between Mission Australia, and several other key stakeholders, including Inala Wangarra, local Elders, other Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander community and health organisations, and a local primary school. Mission Australia also funded evaluation of the processes involved throughout this work in order to document key learnings. Data was collected from members of the Committee of Hope, facilitators, educators, parents and carers. Before data collection Ethics approval was obtained through the Mission Australia research team as well as the Queensland Department of Education for data relating to school staff, children and families
The evaluation findings focused on three key areas of partnerships, community engagement and ownership, the implementation of the school-based program and program outcomes. A comprehensive outline of key findings is provided in Section 4 of this report.