Training for the Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing workforce


30 June 2021 - October 2022

Funding Amount:




Melbourne Macedon Ranges Yarra Moonee Valley Darebin Maribyrnong Hobsons Bay Wyndham Brimbank Moorabool Melton Hume Merri-bek


North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) commissioned the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) to provide training for the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) workforce, and non-Aboriginal workers who support the SEWB of Aboriginal people.

Training included 3 programs:

The Marumali Program

The Marumali Program is a nationally accredited training program developed by an Aboriginal survivor of forced removal policies. Based on the Marumali Journey of Healing Model, it aims to empower Aboriginal service providers to deliver safe, appropriate, and effective support to survivors of removal and assimilation policies.  

Workshops last 4 days. Participants learn strategies to deal with the complex trauma issues associated with removal practices in a variety of settings. Respecting the rights of survivors to control the direction and outcome of their own healing is paramount.

Face-to-face workshops were delivered in Healesville, Wyndham, Melbourne and Melton.

Intensive introduction to narrative therapy

Provided by the Dulwich Centre, these narrative therapy workshops are 5-day programs that promote a respectful, non-blaming approach to counselling, and community work that centers people as experts in their own lives. The approach views problems as separate from people. They assume people have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, commitments, and abilities that will assist them to reduce the influence of problems in their lives.

Narrative therapy has synergies with Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing, in that it places yarning, storytelling and curiosity at the centre of the counselling approach. A goal is to assist participants in “telling our stories in ways that make us stronger”.

2 narrative therapy sessions were delivered online.

Aboriginal mental health first aid

Delivered by Girraway Ganyi, this 2-day course provides skills to assist Aboriginal adults developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Topics include social and emotional wellbeing, mental health problems in communities, and strategies for working with communities.

2 workshops were delivered using a hybrid face-to-face and online model.


Through this commissioned activity, approximately 180 hours of intensive training was delivered to 112 participants.

Outcomes include improved capability and capacity of the workforce to provide culturally safe and responsive social and emotional wellbeing support to Aboriginal people in the NWMPHN region.

Services involved