Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference

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Welcome from the Conference Organising Committee

The inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference gathered together experts and members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the wider community from across the country to Alice Springs, the heart of the Aboriginal nations. Over two days those gathered exchanged learnings, share lived experiences, built knowledge and inspired one another as to how we can best strengthen communities to tackle this entrenched tragedy.

Conference report

Conference highlights

Social Media Report

The conference highlights report includes photos, quotes and social media snippets. With the sponsorship of OneVision we utilised Croakey Conference News Service to provide comprehensive social media reporting. Summer May Finlay, a Yorta Yorta woman, attended the conference and reported directly, and Melissa Sweet coordinated and edited the process.

Photo album


Along with professional photographs by Lisa Hatzimihail, we are pleased to include photos taken by conference delegates. If you have great shots you would like added, please contact Jan Burrows ([email protected]).

How to download images from Flickr
One photo at a time
  1. Go to the ATSISPEP flickr page
  2. Select album required
  3. Click the required photo to open it.
  4. Click the download icon .
  5. .
  6. Click the size that you want to download it and it downloads to your downloads folder.
An album of photos
  1. Go to the ATSISPEP flickr page
  2. Mouse over an album or open it.
  3. Click the download icon
  4. Click 'Download zip' and it will download to your downloads folder.

Stan Grant interviews for The Point

The importance of the conference was recognised by a large media presence. This included NITV who broadcast material for a dedicated program of The Point.


Interviews with Ernie Dingo

We were keen to record the voices of the people attending the conference, and who better to do this than the iconic Ernie Dingo. We thank everyone who generously shared their stories.


Conference Room – Talks and Presentations

Participants deeply valued the opportunity to hear about projects from across the country driven by community and embedded in culture.


Bus of Hope

Bus of Hope is a documentary which follows a group of people from Leonora as they embark on a journey to Alice Springs to attend the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference. In this video they share their personal stories of how suicide has impacted their lives and their tight-knit community.

Bus of Hope – Leonora to Alice Springs


Two Aboriginal leaders inspired delegates with their strong and honest speeches.

Keynote address by Stan Grant

Keynote address by Rosalie Kunoth-Monks

About the keynote speakers

Stan Grant
Stan Grant

Stan Grant is a Wiradjuri man whose latest book Talking to My Country is a powerful and personal meditation on race, culture and national identity. A journalist since 1987, Stan has covered some of the world’s biggest news events and has received a string of prestigious international and Australian awards. He published his memoir, The Tears of Strangers in 2002 and in 2015, he won a Walkley award for his coverage of indigenous affairs.  He is Managing Editor of National Indigenous Television, Indigenous Affairs Editor at The Guardian and International Editor at Skynews. He is currently hosting a nightly news bulletin on NITV titled The Point with Stan Grant.

Rosalie Kunoth-Monks
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks

Rosalie Kunoth was born in 1937 at Utopia Cattle Station (Arapunya) in the Northern Territory of Australia to parents of the Amatjere people. Her paternal grandfather was German, hence her German surname. In 1951, Kunoth was 14 years old and staying at St Mary's Hostel in Alice Springs when the filmmakers Charles and Elsa Chauvel recruited her to play the title role in their 1955 Jedda. Her nickname was Rosie, but the Chauvels changed her name for the screen to Ngarla Kunoth. Kunoth was the first Indigenous female lead. The ground breaking film was played for audiences at the Cannes Film Festival 60 years later in 2015. In 1970 she married Bill Monks, settled in Alice Springs and had a daughter – Ngarla.


Abstracts presented to the conference were assessed based on the following criteria:

  • Experience working in the field
  • Lived experience of people who are delivering programs or services in the community
  • Preference was given to presentations from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or teams of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people


The themes for the conference were:

  • Community Based Solutions
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Partnership
  • Clinical Factors
  • Sharing Knowledge

Conference program


Yiriman Project [PPT, 8.3 MB]
Updated 29 Jul 2016



Partners and sponsors

The University of Western Australia
Healing Foundation
Telethon Kids Institute
  • Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT)
  • Alice Springs Convention Centre
  • Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA)
  • BeyondBlue
  • Black Dog Institute
  • Black Rainbow
  • Healthy Matters
  • Helping Minds Mental Health Services Australia
  • Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA)
  • Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council (KAMSC)
  • LifeLine
  • National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)
  • OneVision
  • Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC)
  • Rotary International
  • Suicide Prevention Australia
  • The Healing Foundation
  • The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health
  • The Telethon Kids Institute
  • University of Western Australia School of Indigenous Studies
  • Vesna Trajanoska
  • WA Mental Health Commission
  • West Australian Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA)

* Sponsors and partners are listed in alphabetical order

Proudly funded by the Australian Government

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