Emerging Minds
1hr 30mins

Honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices in healing family violence

About the course

This course has been co-designed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners and Community members. It approaches the issue of family violence through a positive, trauma-informed, hope-inspired lens, with a focus on reinforcing connections, strengths and skills in the support provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The course will help you to think about the whole family – their hopes, aspirations, strengths and stories of connections to family, kinship, Country and culture – as well as family histories of problems, challenges and trauma.

Content warning

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this course may contain images or names of people who have passed away.

Who is this course for?

This course will benefit non-Indigenous practitioners in mainstream health, education and social and community services working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families experiencing family violence.

Learning aims

This course will help you to understand that:

  • strategies to end violence will not work if they are imposed on families. Therefore, any intervention must be Community led, Community developed, Community driven, strengths-based and hope-driven
  • taking an intersectional approach when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experiencing family violence is essential to effective practice
  • the impact of colonisation directly relates to issues of family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
  • each Community is unique, with its own norms, practices and healing strategies. Practitioners need to engage local cultural specialists and organisations for guidance and direction in their work with families experiencing family violence
  • the ability to be reflective of your own position/values and biases is critical when supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families; and
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples come with great strength, skills and resilience. Creating space for families to share these stories of hope is integral to healing.


It is estimated that this course will take you approximately one-and-a-half hours to complete, including reading material and watching videos.

You can undertake the course across multiple sessions at your own pace. The last screen you visit before logging off will be bookmarked and you will have the option of returning to that screen when you next log in.


As you work through the course, it is important to be aware of your own emotional responses. Please follow the self-care tips below and seek help if needed.

  • We do not recommend undertaking the entire course in one sitting. Give yourself some breaks. Even if you don’t feel that you need a break, it’s a good idea to take one anyway and come back later.
  • Be aware of your emotions as you progress through the course, and take action if you are starting to feel stressed or upset. For example, consider taking a break and doing something for yourself that you enjoy.
  • Be aware of your emotional responses after you complete the course.

If at any point you find you are struggling, please talk with your supervisor, seek help, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or SANE Australia on 1800 18 7263.


For the purposes of this course, the term parent encompasses the biological and adoptive parents of a child, as well as individuals who have chosen to take up a primary or shared responsibility in raising a child.

Social and emotional wellbeing refers to the way a person thinks and feels about themselves and others. It incorporates behavioural and emotional strengths and is a facet of child development.1

In broad terms, social and emotional wellbeing is the foundation for physical and mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is a holistic concept which results from a network of relationships between individuals, family, kin and Community. It also recognises the importance of connection to Land, culture, spirituality and ancestry, and how these affect the individual.2

‘Social and emotional wellbeing’ is also used by some people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, who may have differing concepts of mental health and mental illness.3

Social and emotional development involves the development of skills required to:

  • identify and understand one’s feelings
  • read and understand the emotional states of other people
  • manage strong emotions and how they are expressed
  • regulate behaviour
  • develop empathy
  • establish and maintain relationships.4


This course draws on the latest research, clinical insights, and the lived experience of our child and family partners. We’d like to thank the professionals and families who played an integral role in shaping this course, generously offering their time, wisdom and unique perspectives.

A quick guide to Emerging Minds Learning

Watch the following video for a quick guide on how to navigate Emerging Minds Learning courses.


  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2012). Social and emotional wellbeing: development of a Children’s Headline Indicator. Cat. no. PHE 158. Canberra: AIHW.
  2. Commonwealth of Australia. (2017). National strategic framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ mental health and social and emotional wellbeing. Canberra: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, p.6.
  3. Everymind. (2020). Understanding mental health, mental ill-health and suicide. Newcastle: Everymind.
  4. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2009). A picture of Australia’s children. Cat. no. PHE 112. Canberra: AIHW.

Ready to start learning?

Register today to access.