A collection of resources useful for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal counsellors, social workers, psychologists and health workers doing trauma and healing work with Aboriginal folk.  Please acknowledge the original sources in your work where appropriate.

If you have a practice resource to share with others, please let us know about it.

Alcohol and Drugs

The Alcohol and Other Drugs Workers’ Portal at Australian Indigenous InfoNet has comprehensive tips for workers, practical tools for assessment and treatment, health promotion resources, publications and programs.

Assessment Tools

Indigenous Risk Impact Screen and Brief Intervention (IRIS) is is a 13-item screening instrument for alcohol and drug and mental health risk among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Westerman Aboriginal Symptom Checklist – Youth (WASC-Y)  and Westerman Aboriginal Symptom Checklist – Adults (WASC-A) are culturally validated, self-report paper-and-pencil symptom checklist measures to identify Aboriginal people who are at risk of anxiety, depression and suicidal behaviours.

Westerman has developed a number of Cultural Competency tools to assess cultural competence within organisations.

Strong Souls is used for assessment of social and emotional wellbeing in Indigenous youth.

Art Therapy

In my work with Aboriginal children I developed this approach of combining  narrative therapy techniques with mask making to help children externalise the problems in their lives – Using Masks to Incorporate Narrative and Art Therapy ideas by Lucy

I developed this Drawing Activity using metaphors to Build Relationships and Connection for Foster Carers and their children.

Rings of Growth is an activity with parents to help them reflect on the influence of their own childhood in the long term development of their children.

Children and Trauma

HeartFelt – by the ACF –  a collection of children’s experiences and stories of abuse, recovery and hope developed by the Australian Childhood Foundation.

Choosing Positive Paths – A series of 10 easy Tip Sheets for Parents who are concerned about their children who have experienced family or domestic violence.  Simple digestable messages for all stages of child development.  Downloadable from the Berry Street website.

A toolkit for working and walking alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in their healing journey by Emerging Minds, the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health.

Without the support of NAPCAN NT, we would never have been able to produce ‘It Takes a Forest…’.  Their posters and books are beautiful culturally sensitive resources using story to promote safety with children and families.

Domestic and Family Violence

These videos are part of the toolkit “It Takes A Forest to Raise a Tree: Healing Our Children from the Storms in their Lives” I co-developed with women in NE Arnhemland and Tiwi islands at Relationships Australia.
‘The Seed of Life’ tells the story of the impact of witnessing violence on children’s brain development.  My hope is that this story is shared with women who have children at risk of exposure in order to prevent irreversible trauma.  The story is available in Yolngu Matha and Tiwi with English subtitles.
‘One Family Tree’ is a fictional story showing the impact of witnessing violence on children of different ages from the unborn to teenagers.  Written with Elders from Yirrkala and Wurrumiyanga, the whole family is involved in the healing process!

I produced three short videos with Cosi Tipiloura while she was pregnant, with important messages for new mums, aimed at stopping the cycle of trauma.  The main message is No drinking + No violence = No stress to mums or unborn babies.
Safety in Early Pregnancy
Safety in the Second Trimester
Safety in the Last Trimester

For other real stories, direct from Aboriginal people about their experiences of domestic and family violence, check out Our Family Business videos and interactive ebooks.

Environmental Health

The Indigenous environmental health practitioners Portal at Australian Indigenous InfoNet provides quality information and resources about environmental health among Indigenous peoples.


A collection of digital mental health resources including apps, websites and on-line programs designed for First Nations mob put together by eMHprac.

Grief and Loss

‘Coping with Sorrow, Loss and Grief’ – 4 page leaflet, developed by the Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service in conjunction with the Lifeline Information Service.


The Healing portal at Australian Indigenous InfoNet brings together examples of best practice healing initiatives, the latest research from around Australia and tools people can use to develop healing opportunities in their communities.

Caring for Country, Caring for Each Other is one the best resources I’ve come across documenting in visual form an Aboriginal perspective of intergenerational trauma along with resources to support people who have been affected was produced by the Larrakia Healing Group.


Discover useful resources to use with clients on diabetes, smoking, heart health, domestic violence, FASD, ICE and more from the Apunipima Cape York Health Council.

Language tools

In my work, I often use the knowledge of local women to develop language resources to help clients communicate their feelings.  Here are a few lists we put together in Yolŋu Matha and Tiwi.  ARDS have a different set of words for Gupapyngu-Djambarrpuyngu language groups.

Mental Health

Wellmob provide a digital library of over 260 resources including stories of lived experience, to promote hope, and break down shame or stigma about mental health and wellbeing issues.

A range of mental health assessment tools are available for download at the Menzies School of Health Research.

headspace has lots of practical resources on mental health, stress and pressure, relationships, alchol and drugs as well as stories in their Yarn Safe archive.

‘Hope, when you’re feeling down’ – a handy 2 page leaflet, for those suffering from depression, produced by the Lifeline Information Service as a public service for the Shoalhaven and Illawarra Aboriginal communities.

‘Healing Our Way – Self Harm’ – leaflet featuring visual graphics of Risk Factors, Warning Signs and Protective Factors, produced by the Yarrabah community.

A toolkit for working and walking alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in their healing journey by Emerging Minds, the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health.

Ngawurramamgajirri Project – a language resource to help Tiwi people understand mental health terminology and access help they need.


The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service with assistance of the Healing Foundation has created a suite of downloadable Koori parenting resources, called ‘Breaking the Cycle of Trauma, Koori Parenting, What Works for Us’.

Podcast Episodes

Culturally informed trauma-integrated healing practice – the first in a two part series, Judy and Caroline Atkinson share information, concepts, practical skills and suggestions that can support mainstream professionals working with First Nations children, young people and their families/communities.

A story of two-way learning and healingNancy Jeffery, a Woolwonga woman from the Northern Territory, shares how two-way learning has supported practitioners in their engagements and support to First Nations children and families.

A Story From CommunityClyde and Rose Rigney of Raukken community reflect on their personal and communities’ experiences of contact with mainstream services and practitioners, including some that have been helpful, and some that have not.

A Story of Resilience – A member of the Stolen Generation, Darryl Bingapore shares his experience of adversity and the things that have helped him heal.

Social and Emotional Wellbeing

Menzies School of Health Research have a huge range of resources.  Some of the more relevant, downloadable ones are

One of the most comprehensive collections of resources on all aspects of mental health is the Social and Emotional Wellbeing portal at Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet.

Strengths cards and Narrative tools

Talking Up Our Strengths – there are a thousand different ways you can use these cards featuring beautiful, strong Aboriginal images in groupwork or individual sessions.

I’ve had great success using the ‘Yarnabout’ conversation cards on Family Healing Bush Camps, inviting women to use a photo to identify a key strength, goal or hope they hold.

DSC_0095 (2)‘Recipe of Life’ is a culturally inclusive methodology developed by Natalie Rudland-Wood that focuses on the strengths, skills and knowledge of group participants.  We trialed this methodology with a group of asylum seekers and refugees living in Darwin in 2014.  You can download their collective narrative document here – Recipes Book.

This blog explores the power of narrative through one child’s experience of standing up to the effects of violence. There’s an opportunity for you and your clients to respond to his story.

“Mens Talk” is a collection of videos and web resources developed by and for Aboriginal men.  In these videos, men from North Queensland talk about Aboriginal ways of being uncles, mentors, dads, grandfathers and friends.  Topics include lessons learned from hard times, keeping links with children when you’re not living with them, being a mentor, working with young people, racism and carrying on our culture.

Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention Toolkit – handy 4 page leaflet for families, produced by the Lifeline Information Service as a public service for the Shoalhaven and Illawarra Aboriginal communities.
Suicide Prevention Information – This tool kit was developed with content input and advice from the Aboriginal and Islander Mental Heath Initiative at Menzies School of Health Research for Lifeline Information Service.

Traditional Healing

In Nov 2013, using the methods of collage and storytelling, I co-facilitated a conversation about the role of traditional healing in recovery from trauma.  The women of Bathurst island openly expressed what keeps them strong in the face of hard times, and hope it inspires other communities to reconnect with their healing cultural traditions.  After watching Messages of Hope, be sure to keep the conversation going by making a comment on the YouTube site.


Larrakia Healing Group have developed a wonderful traditional and trauma informed healing resource titled Caring for Country, Caring for Each Other to support Aboriginal people affected by intergenerational trauma.

Journey of Healing and Wellbeing is a great video explaining the history of dispossession and the impact of intergenerational trauma and internalised oppression on health and well-being, produced by Dept of Health, WA.

The Healing Foundation produced this short video exploring the Stolen Generations and its impact on parenting.

Emotional First Aid gives you information on how to help yourself, your family and friends in response to witnessing, hearing or living through the traumatic events.