Suicide prevention a capacity and priority of CDU 


Building the capacity of organisations was critical to implementing successful suicide prevention strategies, said Don Zoellner at a recent Aboriginal Suicide Prevention and Capacity Building Workshop held in Alice Springs.

Mr Zoellner, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Community and Access at Charles Darwin University (CDU) and member of the Commonwealth Government's National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention, was speaking at the workshop, held at the Alice Springs Convention Centre from June12 to 14.

The workshop brought together community leaders, health experts and researchers from around Australia to share information, insights and experience within this area in order to enable more Aboriginal organisations to access funding and other resources to assist in suicide prevention in regional and remote Australia.

‘It’s about strengthening the response of communities to address suicide and self harm amongst the Aboriginal community,’ Mr Zoellner said. ‘It’s our obligation as a University to step forward and tackle this tragedy, with compassion, understanding and most importantly, action.’

He said building capacity at both CDU and other organisations was recognised as a high priority of the University. A number of Charles Darwin University staff and students either presented, ran practical sessions or participated in the workshop.

‘We are already learning a great deal about building the capacity of Indigenous organisations and the University’s reach and resources, both intellectually and on the ground, to provide tools for the wider community to utilise,’ he said.

Speakers at the workshop included Mick Adams, Chairperson, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Heath and Wellbeing Group; Dr Robert Parker, Director of Psychiatry, Top End Mental Health Services of the Northern Territory; and Kate Gilbert, Director, Social Health Section of the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Australian Government.