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Let’s have a yarn about mental health

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WHEN: Friday 3 November

HOW DO I LOG IN?  Go to and follow the prompts to Friday Forum.

As a follow up to Orange NAIDOC week (12-18 Nov), this online forum provides an opportunity to have a chat about issues that can affect Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB).  SEWB encompasses all aspects of health and wellbeing (physical and mental) while also drawing on the importance of culture, connection to land and connection to community in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

We have a diverse and experienced panel made up of Aboriginal leaders in health and community, ready to answer your questions about issues including:

  • Social, cultural and historical factors that impact Social and Emotional Wellbeing
  • How cultural can shape behaviour and influence help-seeking
  • How mental health and mental illness are described in Indigenous communties: words or ideas used to talk about it
  • What support services and help is available
  • What factors help improve health and wellbeing
  • Awareness and confidance in starting a conversation


Marlene Longbottom
Marlene is from the Yuin Nation of the Dharawal and Dhurga language groups of the South Coast of New South Wales. She is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Wollongong. Her area of interest includes violence and trauma in Indigenous communities, gendered studies, public health, race, political studies and critical Indigenous research methodologies. Before research, Marlene worked in numerous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in urban, rural and remote settings in Australia providing direct service delivery in health and human services. She has extensive experience of working with Indigenous Australian communities, translating complex health, policy and research information, to ensure Indigenous communities are active participants of the research process.

Jodie Adams-Brinkley
Jodie has recently begun working with the University of Newcastle as a Lecturer-Indigenous Health, for the School of Medicine. Jodie is a recent graduate of the Newcastle University Medicine program. Her previous work includes Nursing and she was a Paramedic with NSW Ambulance Service for over 17 years. Jodie has many interests in the health field especially mental health, palliative care and also overseas aid work to countries such as Vanuatu and Vietnam.

Gerald Power
Gerald is a South Sea Islander (Kanaka) and Aboriginal (Girudala) from Bowen, Queensland. For the past 28 years Gerald has lived in Orange NSW.  He has been a part of and worked with Aboriginal Community Controlled Corporations, Community Working Parties, and Aboriginal Medical Services across NSW. For 10 years he worked with Family & Community Services (FaCS) as Regional Strategies Officer with Aboriginal Child Youth Family Strategy (ACYFS) for Western NSW. The ACYFS supports Aboriginal Communities, families and their children in Western Region NSW. Gerald has also been Chair Person for FaCS Aboriginal Advisory Council Western NSW.

Donna Stanley
Donna is the clinical leader for Aboriginal mental health at the Western NSW Local Health District, based at Bloomfield Hospital in Orange. She is qualified through Charles Sturt University’s Djirruwang program, a health science (mental health) degree exclusively for Aboriginal students. The program has particular reference to the issues and needs that underpin Aboriginal people’s experience of emotional and social trauma. Donna thinks learning how to engage in conversation, is not just about showing respect and gaining someone’s confidence, but may have a direct bearing on the person’s mental health. Donna is frequently called upon to interpret issues of grief, loss and trauma, common among Aboriginal people arriving at hospital in acute distress, applying her knowledge of how Aboriginal communities’ social structures influence the mental health of individuals.

Interested in catching up on some of our past forums?  Click on the links below.

You can catch up on these discussions and other resources, via Downloadable Resources




There are no upcoming events at this time.


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