Indigenous Postgraduate and Research Seminar 

Carmen Cubillo

The Gurinbey Indigenous Academic Support Centre invites you to attend a Charles Darwin University Indigenous Postgraduate and Research Seminar by PhD candidate, Carmen Cubillo.

Ms Cubillo will present, Working well together: an examination of the interactive group of the Let’s Start Exploring Together Preschool Program in Darwin, Palmerston and the Tiwi Islands, on Thursday, 1 November.

Carmen Cubillo is a Larrakia woman, born in Darwin and raised in Canberra.  Carmen is a fully registered clinical psychologist, and has memberships with the Australian college of Clinical Psychologists and the Australian Psychological Society.

Carmen is also on the executive of the Australian Psychology Society special interest group – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Psychology.  Carmen is an Australian Research Council (ARC) scholar and carrying out research on the Lets Start Program.

The ARC Linkage PhD project that Carmen is involved in is focussed on evaluating the impact of a component of the Let’s Start Exploring Together Preschool Program has on the parent-child relationship.

The Let’s Start Exploring Together Preschool Program is an early intervention family support program targeted at families with pre-school children aged between three and six years old.  The program aims to develop children’s social skills, reduce any problematic behaviour, and enhance parenting practices and strengthening family units.  Families attend a structured program over one school term, approximately between 8-10 weeks.

The Let’s Start Exploring Together PhD project is focussed on evaluating the impact of the first interactive group has on the relationship between parent and child.  The specific aims of the first interactive group are: to develop age-appropriate expectations of children's behaviour, enhance communication, manage separation issues, develop strategies to deal with difficult behaviour, facilitate cooperative relationships, improve problem-solving skills, experience play and mutual enjoyment, and work on relationship issues as they arise.

It is proposed that these items foster the ‘beginning’ of a process resulting in behavioural and emotional exemplars of secure attachment, the core component being increased responsiveness between parents and children.  This secure attachment is believed to guide the parent into a style of parenting which is high in responsiveness and high in parental control.  The positive outcomes of this parenting style are increased positive behaviours between parent and child, decreased problematic behaviours and increased prosocial behaviours which will assist in the transition from preschool to primary school.

There is scope within the PhD to make a major contribution to the development of measures to assess dimensions of the parent-child relationship, especially for indigenous participants.  This includes: parenting/attachment styles of parents in Darwin, Palmerston and the Tiwi Islands through the use of a newly developed style of cartoon vignettes, an adaptation of an observation protocol for the comparison of the parent-child relationship from beginning to end of program through the use of video, a number of case studies and a survey measure to capture the possible change in parent well-being, and parenting style/behaviour management, at pre, post and 6 month follow up.

The project will focus on measuring changes in the parent-child relationship, parenting style and children’s social competencies.

Date:  Thursday, 1 November 2007

Time:  12.00 to 1.30 pm

Venue: Seminar room (Building 30) at the School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Charles Darwin University, Casuarina Campus

Contact Cynthia Coyne (Seminar Coordinator)
Tel:  (08) 8946 6339 or