The aim of the Resilient Youth Program is to develop and evaluate programs and resources to promote social-emotional development youth, to build resilience and wellbeing and to prevent self-harm, antisocial behaviour and other adverse outcomes. Our focus is work with youth in diverse contexts, from towns to very remote Aboriginal communities. In our work, we recognise that there are few resources that are culturally and socially appropriate for the NT context, and that there is very little evidence for the effectiveness of programs and interventions developed elsewhere in Australia or overseas.

Our research uses exploratory ethnographic and formal mixed methods including collaborative projects based on principles of participatory action research. We have worked together with knowledgeable elders, parents and members of communities, experienced educators, youth workers and other practitioners to develop and pilot social-emotional programs for youth in remote settings. Our preventative programs aim to strengthen young peoples’ social and emotional skills to help young people cope, make positive life choices and avoid self-destructive behaviours.

  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Northern Territory Public Health Network
  • Headspace
  • Anglicare NT
  • Commonwealth Department of Health
  • Northern Territory Government Department of Health
Current publications:
  • Robinson, Gary & Lee, Eunro & Leckning, Bernard & Silburn, Sven & Nagel, Tricia & Midford, Richard. (2022). Validity and reliability of resiliency measures trialled for the evaluation of a preventative Resilience-promoting social-emotional curriculum for remote Aboriginal school students. PLOS ONE. 17. e0262406. 10.1371/journal.pone.0262406.
  • Franck, Linel & Midford, Richard & Cahill, Helen & Buergelt, Petra & Robinson, Gary & Leckning, Bernard & Paton, Douglas. (2020). Enhancing Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Aboriginal Boarding Students: Evaluation of a Social and Emotional Learning Pilot Program. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 17. 771. 10.3390/ijerph17030771.
  • Robinson, Gary & Lee, Eunro & Silburn, Sven & Nagel, Patricia & Leckning, Bernard & Midford, Richard. (2020). School-Based Prevention in Very Remote Settings: A Feasibility Trial of Methods and Measures for the Evaluation of a Social Emotional Learning Program for Indigenous Students in Remote Northern Australia. Frontiers in Public Health. 8. 552878. 10.3389/fpubh.2020.552878.
Earlier publications:
  • Midford, R., Cahill, H., Lester, L., Ramsen, R., Foxcroft, D., Venning, L. (2017) Alcohol prevention for school students: Results from a 1-year follow up of a cluster-randomised controlled trial of harm minimisation school drug education, Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy 25(1) 88-96
  • Robinson, G., Leckning, B., Midford, R., Harper, H., Silburn, S., Gannaway, J., ... Delphine, T. (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.
  • Robinson, G., Leckning, B., Midford, R., Harper, H., Silburn, S., Gannaway, J., Dolan, K., Delphine, T., 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
  • Midford, R., Cahill, H., Geng, G., Leckning, B., Robinson, G.W., Te Ava, A. (2016) Social and emotional education with Australian Year 7 and 8 middle school students: A pilot study. Health Education Journal 76(3) 362-372
  • O'Sullivan, T. A., Robinson, M., Kendall, G. E., Miller, M., Jacoby, P., Silburn, S. R., & Oddy, W. H. (2009) A good-quality breakfast is associated with better mental health in adolescence, Public Health Nutrition, 12(2), 249-258.
  • Robinson, M., Oddy, W., Li, J. (2008). Pre- and postnatal influences on preschool mental health: a large-scale cohort study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 49(10) 1118–1128
  • Oddy, W. H., Robinson, M., Ambrosini, G. L., O'Sullivan TA, de Klerk, N. H., Beilin, L. J., Silburn, S. R., Zubrick, S. R., & Stanley, F. J. 2009, The association between dietary patterns and mental health in early adolescence, Preventive Medicine, 49(1) 39-44.

Trakz: a resource designed to address the impact of teasing and bullying experienced by remote Aboriginal youth.