Aboriginal Careers in Mental Health Initiative

MHCC is delighted to have received the 'Education, Training or Workforce Development Award' at TheMHS Conference 2015, for this highly successful project. The award reflects the significant personal and organisational commitment of all the project partners and participants, including the 10 community managed organisations that hosted trainees, the 46 trainees who participated, the partnership between MHCC and DEC (Dept Education & Communities) as well as staff, trainers, mentors and funders.

See the full article on page 3 in MHCCs October Edition of View from the Peak, and for the Paper presented at TheMHS on the ACIMH Project click here.

TheMHS - ACIMH Project Award


The Aboriginal Careers in Mental Health Initiative concluded with a stunning graduation ceremony on 29 August 2014 at Redfern Town Hall. Thirty two trainees and four existing workers graduated with their Certificate IV in Mental Health. This was a 70% retention rate for the project, which is testament to the dedication and persistence of the trainees, the host organisations, and the trainers.

Dancer Matthew Doyle opened with Welcome to Country, Dr Robyn Shield AM offered the keynote address, trainee representatives Colin McDonald, Jessica Stanley and Trent Kilby spoke on behalf of the three block groups, and MC and Comedian Sean Choolburra kept us entertained for the whole afternoon.

Aunt Sue Blacklock, Nucoorilma Elder and Ambassador for the Australian Centre for Child Protection, had made beautiful scarves which she presented to each graduate on behalf of MHCC.  The ceremony concluded with the cutting of a magnificent cake, and a standing ovation for all the graduates.  See YarnUp for some photos and highlights. Further photos will be made available soon.

Graduates were also provided with a hard copy of the recently published book, Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice (2014) 2nd edition (eds) Pat Dudgeon, Helen Milroy and Roz Walker. This book is for anyone working in areas that support Indigenous mental health and wellbeing. It comprehensively examines the issues and strategies influencing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and social and emotional wellbeing.


MHCC engaged in partnership with 10 community mental health organisations to offer 46 traineeships across NSW. Trainees worked full or part time, and studied the Certificate IV in Mental Health.  The Certificate IV was customised specifically for Aboriginal people, and was delivered in four lots of one week blocks.  Trainees and host organisations were supported by Aboriginal mentors, as well as by MHCC staff around assessments and recruitment. 

The Aboriginal Careers in Mental Health Initiative was co-ordinated by the Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) and funded by the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC). The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC) also funded incentives that support the trainees and host organisations.

The external evaluation report of the project was very affirming of the value and achievements of the project. All stakeholders were invited to participate, including trainees, host organisation staff, mentors, MHCC staff etc. This report is now available on the right hand side of this page, or click here.

Please see below for copies of our regular trainee newsletter; the Final Project Report; and resources for organisations. 

General Resources

Claiming Resources

ACIMH Newsletter


Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that the YarnUp newsletter may contain images or names of deceased persons.