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First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


This resource contains information about suicide which may be upsetting to some people.


In June 2018, the Centre of Best Practce in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Preventon (CBPATSISP) facilitated a workshop to investgate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lived experiences of suicide. The aims of the workshop were to ensure the meaningful inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in an overall Lived Experience Project (the Project). Informaton was sought about possible diferences regarding the lived experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to that of the non-Indigenous populaton. Another aim was to examine the need for a specifc Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lived experience defniton and network.

Key Findings:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander understandings and practices of wellbeing and healing must be prioritsed.
  • Partcipants strongly advocated for the need to challenge the assumpton that Western approaches are superior to Indigenous methods, and instead prioritse culturally responsive approaches.
  • The lack of capacity and understanding by mainstream organisatons of the unique experiences of Indigenous LGBTIQ+SB peoples contribute to further compounding trauma and a lack of support for self-determinaton.
  • Mandatory cultural responsiveness training and awareness for mainstream organisatons was advocated as a means of reducing the impact of this additonal grief and loss felt by partcipants, their families, and their communites.
  • Without appropriate funding and culturally responsive leadership, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and therefore, their families and communites will contnue to be disadvantaged. Funding must be tailored appropriately for each individual program or service, and ensure adequate tme for efcient program design, delivery, and evaluaton.

Many partcipants expressed frustratons of providing informaton that is similar to advice provided over the years with litle or no change. Governments have not appropriately responded to previous reports. Partcipants spoke of feeling ignored and discriminated against by governments and government agencies. Despite this, all partcipants dedicated their tme, energy, and expertse to the Project. It is intended that this report and its associated publicatons will provide informaton to enable governments to initate and support positve and empowering change. Partcipants all highlighted the strengths of culture and emphasise the resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communites as the most important issue in suicide preventon.

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