Image 1: Mental health researcher and recipient of the 2023 Harry Christian Giese Research into Action Award, Dr Josie Povey with Tiwi Elder and Co-Lead of the Ngawurramangajirri (we care for each other) project, Cathy Pumuralimawu Stassi.

Collaboratively developing digital mental health resources to support Tiwi people will be the aim of 2023 Harry Christian Giese Research into Action Award recipient and Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) mental health researcher, Dr Josie Povey, over the next 12 months. 

Funds from the award will assist Dr Povey and her team to continue the Ngawurramangajirri (we care for each other) project, which saw 15 Tiwi Elders, 8 Tiwi young people and 4 health professionals co-create the first Tiwi to English phrasebook for mental health and wellbeing in 2019.

Since its launch in 2020, this project has reached over 500 people, with the resources distributed to numerous health, education and support services on the Tiwi Islands and in Darwin.
Led by the established Ngawurramangajirri Elders group, the team will build on this work and co-create, develop and disseminate a community led digital resource in Tiwi language about mental health and wellbeing. 

Commencing this month, this work seeks to strengthen connection to language and culture, mental health literacy, self-awareness, self-management, and provide help for those looking for support for mental health concerns.

Tiwi Elder and Co-Lead of the Ngawurramangajirri (we care for each other) project, Cathy Pumuralimawu Stassi, said they’re proud of the work being done.  

"We are helping our people to keep our culture strong, respect each other and look after ourselves and others, our land and our creators, Purrukupali and his mother, Muntakala.”

Dr Povey said it’s important to support communities to achieve their health goals. 

“We want to give people ways of recognising and talking about the challenges they face, such as caring for families, bereavement, grief and shame.

“For this next stage of the project, we’ll collaboratively come up with resources that are strengths-based, engaging and relevant, that explore worries and goals for change, and incorporate best practice approaches to design and treatment.”

Menzies Director, Professor Alan Cass, said Menzies is pleased to assist communities to address the health concerns that matter most to them.  

“Mental health and wellbeing issues have a major impact on the lives of many Territorians,” he said. 

“Creating culturally safe, interactive resources that are accessible and meaningful for users goes a long way towards improving health outcomes.”

The Harry Christian Giese – Research into Action Award commenced in 2013, in acknowledgement of the important legacy of the late Harry Giese AM MBE (1913-2000) who was a pioneer of health and education in North Australia and a key founder and long-term supporter of Menzies. This annual prize is awarded to a Menzies researcher to support them in translating their research into action, to result in benefits for the community they work with. 

Read more about this award and previous award recipients, via the Harry Christian Giese Research into Action Award webpage