CCDE works with families and parents in diverse social settings to understand the circumstances in which children live and grow. We are committed to sensitive engagement and in-depth qualitative research including ethnographic and clinically oriented studies with parents and their children that acknowledges both the cultural context of Aboriginal parenting and the contemporary context of social change and disadvantage.

We have developed culturally appropriate, evidence-informed materials and resources for parenting interventions both in urban and remote communities in Australia and in PNG.

We also conduct formal evaluations of the impact of parenting programs for parents and families, to reduce risks of self-harm, violence and antisocial behaviour and to support children’s development and wellbeing throughout the life course.

Current projects:

Major past projects:

Current publications:
  • Stock, Carolin & Punguatji, Maggie & Cubillo, Carmen & Robinson, Gary. (2021). Narratives and processes – Developing a responsive parent–child program to empower local facilitators in a remote Aboriginal community. Qualitative Social Work. 21. 147332502199241. 10.1177/1473325021992413.
  • Stock, Carolin & Punguatji, Maggie & Tiparui, Aileen & Johnston, Kate & Cubillo, Carmen & Robinson, Gary. (2023). Community-based Aboriginal staff taking the lead in family support: a case study of transforming practices prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Social Work Practice. 1-15. 10.1080/02650533.2023.2234633.
  • Robinson, Gary & Moss, Simon & Jones, Yomei. (2021). Parenting for Child Development: The development and preliminary pilot of a parenting intervention to reduce violence against children in Papua New Guinea. International Social Work. 66. 002087282110089. 10.1177/00208728211008965.
  • Robinson, Gary & Tyler, William. (2020). The Child, Between School, Family and Community: Understanding the Transition to School for Aboriginal Children in Australia’s Northern Territory. 10.1007/978-981-15-3959-6_8.
  • Robinson, Gary & Mares, Sarah & Arney, Fiona & Scott, Dorothy. (2018). Working with Aboriginal families. 10.1017/cbo9781107282155.007.
  • Arney, Fiona & Scott, Dorothy & Vimpani, Graham & Fletcher, Richard & Lewig, Kerry & Salveron, Mary & Barredo, Maria & Robinson, Gary & Mares, Sarah & Chong, Alwin & McGuinness, Kate & Reimer, Elizabeth & Dawe, Sharon & Harnett, Paul & Humphreys, Cathy & Tsantefski, Menka & McLean, Sara & Mildon, Robyn & Shlonsky, Aron & Bromfield, Leah. (2018). Working with Vulnerable Families. 10.1017/cbo9781107282155.
Earlier publications:
  • Stock, C., Mares, S., & Robinson, G. (2017). Working together in a good way: Relationships between local Indigenous and fly-in workers delivering a parent–child programme in remote Aboriginal communities. International Social Work, 62(1), 48-61.
  • Mares, S., & Robinson, G. (2013). Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. ACPARIAN - The e-journal of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association, (7), 26-32.
  • Stock, C., Mares, S., & Robinson, G. (2012). Telling and Re-telling Stories: The use of narrative and drawing in a group intervention with parents and children in a remote Aboriginal community. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 33(2), 157-170.
  • Mares, S., & Robinson, G. (2012). Culture, context and therapeutic processes: delivering a parent-child intervention in a remote Aboriginal community. Australasian Psychiatry, 20(2), 102-7. doi:10.1177/1039856211432484
  • Robinson, G. W., Tyler, B., Silburn, S. R., & Zubrick, S. R. (2013). Gender, Culture and Intervention: Exploring Differences between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Children's Responses to an Early Intervention Programme. Children and Society, 27(6), 459-470.
  • Robinson, G., Tyler, B., Jones, Y., Silburn, S., & Zubrick, S. (2011). Context, Diversity and Engagement: Early intervention with Australian Aboriginal families in urban and remote contexts. Children and Society, 26(5), 343-355.
  • Robinson, G., Mares, S., & Arney, F. (2017). Continuity, engagement and integration: early intervention in remote Australian Aboriginal communities. Australian Social Work, 70(1), 116-124.
  • Mares, S., & Woodgate, S. (2017). The clinical assessment of infants, preschoolers and their families, In Rey JM (ed), IACAPAP e-Textbook of Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Geneva: International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions.
  • Robinson, G., Moss, B., & Leckning, B. (2016). Prevention of unintentional injury in childhood: A selective review of the evidence on unintentional injury, parental supervision and prevention. Darwin: Menzies School of Health Research
  • Robinson, G., & Mares, S. (2013) Working with Aboriginal families, Chapter 6 in Scott, D and Arney F(Eds), Working with Vulnerable Families – A partnership approach (2nd edition) Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.
  • Arney, F., McGuinness, K., & Robinson, G. (2009). In the best interests of the child? Determining the effects of the Northern Territory Emergency Response on child safety and wellbeing. Law in Context, 27(2), 42-57.
  • McTurk, N., Carapetis, J., Lea, T., Robinson, G., & Nutton, G. (2008). The School Readiness of Australian Indigenous Children: A Review of the Literature, Menzies School of Health Research and School for Social Policy Research, Charles Darwin University.
  • Silburn, S., & Walker, R., (2008). Community Learning for Parenthood. Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth.
  • Robinson, G., & Tyler, B. (2006). Ngaripirliga’ajirri: An Early Intervention Program on the Tiwi Islands, Final Evaluation Report. Charles Darwin University.
  • Robinson, G. (2005). Anthropology, Explanation and Intervention: Risk and Resilience in a Parent- and Child-Focused Program. Anthropological Forum, 15(1).
  1. Media Release | Study highlights pathways to school success

    Media Release | Study highlights pathways to school success


    The study offers valuable insights into how foundational skills for life and learning contribute to successful school participation and subsequent academic achievement; and provokes a reset on prioritising social, emotional, and cognitive skills necessary for learning in the complex and dynamic environment of the Northern Territory.

  2. Study highlights dimensions of resilience among remote Aboriginal middle school students

    Study highlights dimensions of resilience among remote Aboriginal middle school students


    More than 1000 students and teachers from remote Northern Territory (NT) schools have assisted in implementing the Skills for Life resilience program with results now published in the highly regarded multidisciplinary journal PLOS ONE.

  3. There are 3 new Closing the Gap education targets: here's what they miss

    There are 3 new Closing the Gap education targets: here's what they miss


    At Menzies and CDU we have been looking at what happens to Indigenous students in the NT as they move through school.

  4. Strengthening family relationships through play

    Strengthening family relationships through play


    Local Aboriginal implementation officers are delivering an innovative variation of the Play to Connect parenting program in Wurrumiyanga, Tiwi Islands to support families through learning and play. The Menzies Play to Connect team works with parents and...

  5. Nine News: Menzies awarded a $1.8m tender

    Nine News: Menzies awarded a $1.8m tender


    To evaluate a nurse home visiting program for mothers to run right across the Territory.

  6. NTG Media Release | Investing in Our Children: MECSH Program Evaluation

    NTG Media Release | Investing in Our Children: MECSH Program Evaluation


    The Menzies School of Health Research won the tender to evaluate the Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-Visiting (MECSH) program.