• Children and Youth Development Research Partnership (CYDRP), a collaboration between Menzies and the NT Government departments Attorney-General and Justice, Education, Health and Territory Families.
  • NT Government, Department of Territory Families
  • NT Government, Reform Management Office
  • Australian Government, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • NT Government, Department of the Chief Minister

The Population Health and Wellbeing research theme undertakes large scale population studies, using statistical and epidemiological methods, to describe the impact of multiple factors on the lives of children and young people. Many of the research projects involve linkage of information on the same individuals from multiple sources. The use of linked data allows a contextual understanding of the complex interactions of the many influences on the development of children and young people, an understanding that breaks down the administrative “silos’ of health, education and community services. For many projects, results based on the “data” are supplemented by qualitative research that provides a community “voice” in the interpretation of information.

At the heart of many projects within the Population Health and Wellbeing stream is the CYDRP data repository which contains de-identified but linked information for all NT children and young people born from 1994 onwards. This repository currently contains information from 14 datasets, across health, education, child protection and youth justice sectors. The repository contains only de-identified information and is held on a secure server with restricted access. Arrangements are now being finalised to expand the repository to include 25 datasets, with the earliest data commencing for those born in 1986. The update of the repository will extend the research capability to allow analysis of life-course development to young adulthood, as well as assessment of the influence of characteristics of mothers and siblings on outcomes.

Separate to research that utilises the CYDRP data repository there is also capability for stand-alone linkage studies and for more general population and service-level research and evaluation.

Developmental pathways to child health and wellbeing in the NT, 2014 – 2018
This research partnership involves a collaboratively developed program of policy relevant research that utilises data-linkage analysis to investigate the population dynamics and causal pathways through which individual- and community-level factors in early life influence outcomes in key areas of policy concern. This program of research established a data repository, which was the template for the ongoing body of research supported under the CYDRP program.

Child and Youth Development Research Partnership (CYDRP), 2017-2019
This collaborative research partnership between CCDE and NT Government departments supports the ongoing management of the data repository as well as selected research projects. Current projects include studies on mental health and self-harm in young people and the impact of anaemia in early childhood on subsequent development. A new partnership is being negotiated for the period from 2020 to 2024.

Hearing Loss in Kids Study (HeLoKids), 2018-2019
The program of research utilises the linked dataset in the CYDRP data repository to describe the effects of diagnosed hearing loss on children’s life course trajectories of development into adulthood. The series of studies will report the impact of hearing loss on early child development, child abuse and neglect, school attendance, academic performance and youth offending.

Department of Territory Families grant, 2018-2022
This grant supports a body of research to inform child and youth services in the Northern Territory, with a particular focus on improving outcomes through prevention and early intervention. Current projects include a descriptive study to understand the high levels of notification for child protection services for adolescent children and understand the overlap of children in contact with child protection and youth justice services. Both of these studies will utilise the CYDRP data repository. An additional project, approved in 2019, will develop a predictive algorithm of risk for children who are a victim of abuse or neglect and subsequently come into contact with youth justice services.

Story of Our Children and Young People, 2019
The “Story” is a report that will contain indicators, at regional level, of the wellbeing of NT children and young people along with examples (stories) of positive activities. The Story responds to a recommendation of the expert panel for the development of the NT Government Starting Early for a Better Future Strategy. The report will provide a platform for ongoing reporting, with updates every two years.

Against the odds: Understanding the factors influencing wellbeing among Indigenous youth in the Northern Territory, 2019-2022
This mixed methods study, funded by the NHMRC, will explore the positive pathways for the development of NT Aboriginal youth using both the linked administrative data held within the CYDRP data repository (Stage 1) along with interviews with community and professional stakeholders including Aboriginal youth (Stage 2).

Current publications:
  • Leckning, B., Robinson, G., Guthridge, S., & He, V. (2019). Exploring risk profiles of young people with self-harm hospital admissions in the Northern Territory
  • Vincent, H., Guthridge, S., & Leckning, S. (2019). From Birth to Five: A multiagency data-linkage study to inform a public health response to child protection in the Northern Territory. 
  • Vincent, H., Guthridge, S., & Leckning, S. (2019). Protection and Justice: A study of the crossover of Northern Territory children between two services. 
  • Silburn, S.R., McKenzie, J., Guthridge, S., & Li, Q.S. (2014). Unpacking educational inequality in the Northern Territory. Australian Council for Education Research Conference Proceedings.
  • Guthridge, S., Li, L., Silburn, S., Li, S.Q., McKenzie, J., & Lynch, J. (2015). The impact of perinatal health and socio-demographic factors on educational outcomes: a population study of children attending government schools in the Northern Territory. Journal of Paediatric Child Health; 51(8),778-86.
  • Guthridge, S.,  Li, L., Silburn, S., et al.  (2016). "Early influences on developmental outcomes among children, at age 5, in Australia’s Northern Territory." Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 35, 124-134.  
  • Cobb-Clark , D., Kettlewell , N., Schurer, S., & Silburn, S. (2017). The effect of quarantining welfare on school attendance in Indigenous communities. (pp. 1-54). (LCC Working Paper Series: 2017-22). Life Course Centre.
  • Doyle , M., Schurer, S., & Silburn, S. (2017). Do welfare restrictions improve child health? Estimating the causal impact of income management in the Northern Territory. (pp. 1-72). (LCC Working Paper Series: 2017-23). Life Course Centre.
  • Guthridge, S., He, V., & Silburn, S.  (2017). ‘A statistical overview of children’s involvement with the NT child protection system’, Royal Commission into Protection and Detention of Northern Territory Children Exh 512.00 2017 
  • McEwen, E.C., Guthridge, S.L., He, V.Y.F., et al. (2017) What birthweight percentile is associated with optimal perinatal mortality and childhood education outcomes? American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 218(2), S7121-S724. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2017.11.574.
  • Silburn, S., Guthridge, S., McKenzie, J. et al. (eds) (2018). Early Pathways to School Learning: Lessons from the Northern Territory Data-Linkage Study. Darwin: Menzies School of Health Research. (Summary)
  • McHugh, L., Andrews, R.M., Leckning, B., Snelling, T., & Binks, M.J. (2019). Baseline incidence of adverse birth outcomes and infant influenza and pertussis hospitalisations prior to the introduction of influenza and pertussis vaccination in pregnancy: a data linkage study of 78 382 mother-infant pairs, Northern Territory, Australia, 1994-2015. Epidemiology and Infection, 147, e233. doi:10.1017/S0950268819001171.
Earlier publications:
  • Silburn, S., Zubrick, S., & Lawrence, D. (2006). The intergenerational effects of forced separation on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people. Family Matters, (75).
  • Robinson, G., Rivalland, J., Tyler, W., & Lea, T. (2009). The National Accelerated Literacy Program in the Northern Territory, 2004-2008, Implementation and Outcomes: Final Evaluation Report, Volume 1, School for Social and Policy Research, Institute of Advanced Studies, Charles Darwin University, Darwin
  • Robinson, G., Rivalland, J., Tyler, W., & Lea, T. (2009). The National Accelerated Literacy Program in the Northern Territory, 2004-2008, Implementation and Outcomes: Final Evaluation Report. Volume 2, Appendices, School for Social and Policy Research, Institute of Advanced Studies, Charles Darwin University, Darwin.
  • Silburn, S., Brinkman, S., Ferguson-Hill, S., Styles, I., Walker, R., & Shepherd, C. (2009). The Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) Indigenous Adaption Study, Curtin University of Technology and Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Perth.
  • Robinson, G., Silburn, S.R., & Arney, F. (2011). A population approach to early childhood services: Implementation for outcomes. Early Childhood Series No. 3. 2011. Northern Territory Government, Darwin.
  • Robinson, G., Silburn, S.R., & Arney, F. (2011). The value of investment in the early years: Balancing the costs of childhood services. Early Childhood Series No. 4. 2011. Northern Territory Government, Darwin.
  • Silburn, S.R., Robinson, G., Arney, F., Johnstone, K., & McGuinness, K. (2011). Early Childhood Development in the NT: Issues to be addressed. Early Childhood Series No. 1. 2011. Northern Territory Government, Darwin.
  • Silburn, S.R., Nutton, G., Arney, F., & Moss, B. (2011). The first five years: Starting early. Early Childhood Series No. 2. 2011. Northern Territory Government, Darwin.
  • Silburn, S.R., Nutton, G., McKenzie, J.W., & Landrigan, M. (2011). Early years English language acquisition and instructional approaches for Aboriginal students with home languages other than English: A systematic review. Darwin: Menzies School of Health Research.
  • D'Aprano, A., Silburn, S., Johnston, V., Bailie, R., Mensah, F., Oberklaid, F., & Robinson, G. (2016). Challenges in monitoring the development of young children in remote Aboriginal health services: clinical audit findings and recommendations for improving practice. Rural and Remote Health, 16, 3852
  • Guthridge S., Li, L., Silburn, S., Li, S., McKenzie, J., & Lynch, J.(2016). Early influences on developmental outcomes among children, at age 5, in Australia's Northern Territory. Early Childhood Research Quarterly (35)124-134.
  • Silburn, S. (2017). Strengthening the Foundations of Learning: Investing in Early Childhood Development. In A Lian, K Yew Lie & P Kell (Eds) Challenges in Global Learning: international contexts and cross-disciplinary responses. Newcastle-on-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing 192-213.
  • Simpson, S., D'Aprano, A., Tayler, C., Toon Khoo S., & Highfold R. (2016). Validation of a culturally adapted developmental screening tool for Australian Aboriginal children: Early findings and next steps. Early Human Development, 103:91-95.
  • McEwen, E.C., Guthridge, S.L., He, V.Y.F., McKenzie, J.W., Boulton, T.J., & Smith, R. (2018). What birthweight percentile is associated with optimal perinatal mortality and childhood education outcomes? American Journal of Obstetric Gynecology, 218(2S):S712-S724.
  • Cobb-Clark, D., KettlewellL, N., Schurer, S., & Silburn, S. (2017). The effect of quarantining welfare on school attendance in Indigenous communities. Life Course Centre Working Paper Nr. 2017-22.
  • Doyle, M., Schurer, S., & Silburn, S. (2017). Do welfare restrictions improve child health? Estimating the causal impact of income management in the Northern Territory. Life Course Centre Working Paper Nr. 2017-23.