The Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP) is Australia’s leading voice on Indigenous suicide and promotes evidence-based suicide prevention practice that empowers individuals, families and communities and respects their culture.


A wide range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations across the nation, including international Indigenous speakers, came together to connect and share in addressing Indigenous suicide prevention, and engaged with other service providers to discuss working collectively towards the healing and empowerment of our peoples and young people.

A Healing Hub was also a major component of the Forum where attendees could retreat for cultural healing sessions and access counsellors if required.

The wealth of knowledge shared at the Forum was of great value and provided opportunities to celebrate programs and work underway. It was also of benefit to aid further development of programs that are being established and being delivered within our communities but also enable growth within the suicide prevention space.

“The youth are our trailblazers. We have incredible programs and examples of this like Culture is Life’s programs. I think our youth will be confident, culturally grounded and community oriented. I’m feeling optimistic about the future.” – Professor Pat Dudgeon AM FAHMS (Bardi)


To highlight the importance of the Forum, the CBPATSISP filmed a series of interviews portraying individual perspectives and insights. These came from a diversity of people and organisations.

On the 5th of March 2024, a panelist of local Elders and Elders that contributed to the Suicide Prevention Forum (ISP Forum) report were invited to speak at the Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum on in Albert Park, Naarm (Melbourne).

Culture is Life hoped this to be an opportunity for the knowledge and experience of Elders to he heard in the forum’s purpose on addressing self-harm and suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

Elders had the opportunity to speak to potential causes of increasing rates of self-harm and youth suicide and what solutions should be implemented to address these causes. In addition to discussing the outcomes and progress made since the publication of the Elders’ Report into Preventing Indigenous Self-harm & Youth Suicide.

“Being on Country is the best for our own healing. And to be with Elders and respected people. That’s our journey to healing.” – Professor Gracelyn Smallwood AM (Biri)


Pictured: Uncle Keith Boney, Professor Pat Dudgeon (Culture is Life Co-Chair), Professor Gracelyn Smallwood (Forum Elder), Aunty Stephanie Armstrong (Culture is Life Senior Consultant) and Manny Williams (Fullaship Program 2022).

Fullaship Program alumni Manny Williams (Kalkadoon, Pitta Pitta and Bundjalung) moderated a yarn with a panel of Elders at the Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum 2024 on BoonWurrung Country. Professor Gracelyn Smallwood (Forum Elder), Professor Pat Dudgeon (Culture is Life Co-Chair), Aunty Stephanie Armstrong (Culture is Life Senior consultant) and Uncle Keith Boney shared their perspectives and lived experience on suicide prevention.

Elders were asked questions from the Elders Report into Suicide Prevention & Self Harm (2018) including why are we experiencing high rates or suicide in our communities and what are the solutions?

The panel shared strong themes are the importance of Country for healing. Prof Pat A question from the audience was “How do we heal a broken spirit?” Aunty Steff responded with the importance of connection to Country and mob. And proposed for the delegates ‘I wonder if we’ve forgotten about how to listen to Country? I’d like to see more work on that.’

Aunty Pat Dudgeon AM FAHMS reflected as a Bardi woman living on Noongar Country the places she finds healing, a reminder we have access to the healing powers of Country everywhere.

Culture is Life recognises the strong stand that so many Elders have for our young mob. We appreciate the ongoing work of the Elders for their work in the socio-emotional wellbeing of young people.


Panel: Caring for Country as an integral aspect of improving mental health outcomes for young people.


Culture is Life presented a the “Caring for Country as an integral aspect of improving health outcomes for young people’ panel as part of the Forum, with a panel of young people addressing the impact of environmental degradation and climate change on the mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to ensure productive outcomes from the UN’s finding that Australia failed to adequately protect Indigenous Torres Islanders against climate change impacts.

The panel included Manny Williams (2022 Fullaship Program), Donny Imberlong (2022 Fullaship Program), Ky-ya Nicholson Ward (Artist), Laniyuk (Writer and Activist) and was hosted by Culture is Life, Program Officer, Madeline Wells.


“Get yourself well, coz it’s a marathon. We just opened the doors and you’s have 40 more years of work.’ – Aunty Stephanie Armstrong (Gamilaraay)








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Garambi Baanj (Laughing Waters) on Wurundjeri Country for the first intensive of the 2024 #FullashipProgram. 💛
Happy International Environment Day! 🌱 Spending time in nature has many health benefits, for ourselves and for Country. ❤️‍🩹

We believe in the importance of teaching Australian First Nations knowledges and perspectives on connecting to and caring for Country. 👣

If you're a teacher interested in doing this in your classroom check out our 'Teaching First Nations Knowledges & Perspectives' Guide and the Back to Nature education resources. 🧑🏽‍🏫 #LinkInBio

#EnvironmentDay #Education #Sustainability
Today is National Sorry Day, a day to remember and reflect on the painful history of forced child removal and the Stolen Generations.

We acknowledge and honour the resilience of our Elders, families and communities, and recognise the importance of truth-telling for healing and reconciliation.

“Today we pause to pay our respects to those who have gone before us. Our mothers. Our fathers. Our uncles, aunts, our grandparents. Our old people, our Ancestors, who we are of...” - Belinda Duarte (Wotjobaluk and Dja Dja Wurrung) CEO of Culture is Life.

#SorryDay #StolenGenerations #Healing
"Racism, you're not born with it. You've been told it..." - Uncle Leigh Ridgeway (Worimi)

Leigh reflects on Part 1 of #HealOurHistory where Leyla shared her lived experience of Racism in school.👩‍🎓

Racism is learned, but so is empathy. It starts with education, dialogue, and compassion. ❤️

Find out more ☝🏽 #Linkinbio

#TheAustralianWars #HealOurHistory #Education 

🎬 Series by @blackfellafilms 
📺 Watch #TheAustralianWars on @sbs_australia 
❤️ In partnership with @blackfellafilms and @sharkislandinstitute
⚠️ CW: Discussions of suicide. ⚠️

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), a day to bring attention to the discrimination faced by LGBTQIA+ folk. ✊🏽

The suicide rates in young LGBTQIA+ identifying mob are dire. Nearly one in two young Indigenous LGBTIQA+ Australians have attempted suicide at some point in their life. 💔

Today and every day, we are committed to creating a safe, loving and inclusive environments for all young mob to thrive. ✨

#IDAHOBIT #LGBTQIA #Discrimination

"The Frontier Wars is a term often used to describe the more than 100 years of violent conflicts between colonial settlers and the Indigenous peoples that occurred during the British settlement of Australia. Even though Australia honours its involvement in wars fought overseas, it is yet to acknowledge the struggle that made it the country it is today."

Rachel Perkins explains the reasoning behind the title of 'The Australian Wars' series and the tactics used by the British to avoid officially declaring war in the colonisation of Australia.

🎬 Series by @blackfellafilms 
📺 Watch #TheAustralianWars on SBS Australia
❤️ In partnership with @blackfellafilms and @sharkislandinstitute 

#TheAustralianWars #FrontierWars #Australia
"There is no force equal to the power of the First Nations Matriarchy." - Teela Reid (Wiradjuri and Wailwan), Co-Founder of @blackfulla_bookclub 📚

This Mother's Day we recognise the Matriarchs, who lead us by example, showing us how to take each step with purpose. 👣 

#MothersDay #Aboriginal #Matriarch

Source: Griffith Review (
📸 Bobbi Lockyer
We've had a deadly few days in Gimuy (Cairns) for the Common Threads Summit. Connecting with mob from all over and yarning Treaty, protecting Country, justice, culture, advocacy and so much more. ✊🏽

Creating pathways into spaces like this for young mob is critical, for their own leadership and development, but also to have their voices heard in these important conversations happening in our communities. 💬

Thank you to Common Threads for having us, including their steering committee Dr Jackie Huggins AM, Larissa Baldwin-Roberts and Millie Telford, along with their partners @getup_australia and @ausprogress. 💛

📸 Donny Imberlong (2022 Fellow), Belinda Duarte (CEO), Leyla Quartermaine (2022 Fellow), Thara Brown (General Manager - Programs), Anna-Rita Fauid (2023 Fellow) and Madeline Wells (Program Officer).

Books have a profound impact in shaping young minds and fostering inclusive, safe spaces where everyone's voice is heard and valued. 📖

“I am reminded of the Native American saying 'When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realise that we cannot eat money.' It's from the elders that you get wisdom. But it all feels different to me now - there is a dislocation of spirit, a disconnect from the old story. Not just for blackfellas, but all of us.” - Uncle Archie Roach (Gunditjmara and Bundjalung)

Source: 'Tell Me Why' by Archie Roach