Please note that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons.

Ngadhuri-nya (To care for): Intergenerational and educational influences on social, mental and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people

With half of all First Peoples under 21 years old, we have a pressing responsibility to implement preventative interventions to reverse worsening rates of wellbeing. This project will provide a rare intergenerational perspective on children’s social and emotional wellbeing, educational outcomes and criminal justice system involvement.

Following the Lowitja Institute’s Facilitated Development Approach, this mixed-methods project brings together experienced Aboriginal health researchers with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members and child development researchers. We will analyse data from a large, existing data linkage study, the NSW Child Development Study (NSW-CDS), to better understand connections between parental health and criminal justice system involvement on the wellbeing of children and young people in NSW. The NSW-CDS is a longitudinal study of child mental health and wellbeing for which the record linkage spans a period from birth to age 13 years, for 91,000 children, including approximately 5,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

The Ngadhuri-nya will a host a key roundtable discussion in greater Western Sydney in early 2018, with participants invited to join a working group and subsequent working group meetings. In addition to the interactive discussion about data, meetings will include time dedicated to discussing research concepts, skills and ethics, building confidence with collaborative research, and the use of big data sets together with qualitative processes.  

The working group will also collaborate to devise knowledge translation activities. Activities may include research capacity building workshops, policy briefs, further research design, peer-reviewed publication writing, online articles, and planning for a Family Wellbeing Program or other collective healing program/s in Sydney. To support research capacity building, we will also provide relevant documents, and we will use a Twitter hashtag and weblinks to convey information and reflections on the Ngadhuri-nya process, cross-linked to other social media and the NSW-CDS website for wide-ranging accessibility. We will develop information sheets and connections to training and university pathways, as well as develop a network of researchers trained to supervise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in research training.

Expected outcomes

  • An Aboriginal-led model for collaborating with community members and health science researchers to analyse large linked-data sets and for knowledge exchange
  • Strengthened research networks and capacity among collaborators
  • Population-level evidence on intergenerational impacts of health and criminal justice involvement on children
  • Evidence for prevention and intervention opportunities, providing leverage for further collaborations and research.

Project team

  • Dr Megan Williams
    University of Technology Sydney
  • Dr Stacy Tzoumakis
    University of New South Wales
  • Associate Professor Melissa Green
    University of New South Wales
  • Professor Vaughan Carr
    UNSW and Monash University
  • Ms Ellen Karimanovic
    University of Technology Sydney
  • Mr Jack Bulman
    University of Technology Sydney
  • Ms Cynthia Ceissman


Created: 29 January 2018 - Updated: 27 July 2018