Bernard Leckning

Research officer


PhD Candidate, Charles Darwin University, 2017; Bachelor of Arts Honours (First Class), University of New South Wales, 2006; Bachelor of Computing Science Honours, University of Technology Sydney, 2001


Darwin – Charles Darwin University, Casuarina campus


Bernard’s work has focused on the mental health and health service outcomes for vulnerable young people and adults, including those at risk of suicidal behaviour.

He has expertise in epidemiological, evaluative and health services research using community surveys and administrative data.

Much of Bernard’s work has focused on improving the evidence base for Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing and enhancing capacity for prevention in community and clinical settings.

This has also involved numerous commissioned projects to inform policy at all levels of government, including the consultations led by Menzies School of Health Research to develop the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy launched by the Commonwealth Government in 2012.





  • Understanding the links between self-harm, substance use, and poor mental health in children and adolescents admitted to hospital in the Northern Territory, led by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (CI: 2017-2018)
  • An examination of risks and service pathways associated with children and young people who self-harm and suicide, part of the Child and Youth Development and Education Research Project, NT Government (CI: 2017-2019)
  • The Skills for Life evaluation study: Investigating the impact of a skills-based social and emotional learning program for remote Indigenous middle school students designed to improve resilience and reduce risks associated with suicidal behaviours, NHMRC (CI: 2015-2019)




  1. Midford, R., Cahill, H., Geng, G., Leckning, B., Robinson, G., & Te, A. (2017). Social and emotional education with Australian Year 7 and 8 middle school students: A pilot study. Health Education Journal, 76(3), 362–372.

  2. Leckning, B. A., Li, S. Q., Cunningham, T., Guthridge, S., Robinson, G., Nagel, T., & Silburn, S. (2016). Trends in hospital admissions involving suicidal behaviour in the Northern Territory, 2001-2013. Australasian Psychiatry, 24(3), 300–304.

  3. Robinson, G., Leckning, B., Midford, R., Harper, H., Silburn, S., Gannaway, J., … Hayes, C. (2016). Developing a school-based preventive life skills program for youth in a remote Indigenous community in North Australia. Health Education, 116(5), 510–523.

  4. Robinson, G., Silburn, S., & Leckning, B. (2012). Suicide of Children and Youth in the NT, 2006-2010: Public Release Report for the Child Deaths Review and Prevention Committee. Darwin: Centre for Child Development and Education, Menzies School of Health Research.

  1. Intergenerational trauma and Indigenous suicides in WA

    Intergenerational trauma and Indigenous suicides in WA


    Experts claim the government is not only misdiagnosing the problem but is also unable to come up with productive solutions. By Karen Middleton.

  2. $630,000 Injected into Suicide Prevention PhD Research

    $630,000 Injected into Suicide Prevention PhD Research


    Six PhD candidates from five Australian universities in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory will each receive $105,000 in funding to undertake new research into suicide prevention over three years.

  3. The Australian | Attendance at pre-school key to literacy, numeracy

    The Australian | Attendance at pre-school key to literacy, numeracy


    A study of more than 60,000 children born in the Northern Territory since 1994 has found that boosting remote preschool attendance could increase their chances of meeting Year 3 minimum standards for writing and numeracy by up to 70 per cent.

  4. Specialist supports the role of culture in communities to keep kids safe this National ATSI Children’s Day

    Specialist supports the role of culture in communities to keep kids safe this National ATSI Children’s Day


    To mark National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children's Day 2014 (Monday, 4 August), one of Australia’s leading child development specialists has emphasised the importance of culture in the education and development of Indigenous children.