Capacity Building

Onemda works with many community organisations and members on research projects, teaching and within the Community Development program.

In 2008, our Capacity building achievement was with the Margins to Mainstream Conference that was held in Melbourne. See below for more details.

Sharing Our Stories and Building on Our Strengths 

Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit recently supported Indigenous participation at 'From Margins to Mainstream: The 5th World Conference on the Promotion of Mental Health and the Prevention of Mental and Behavioural Disorders' that was held in Melbourne from 10-12 September 2008. The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation provided Onemda with funding to actively seek input from those community organisations and individuals engaged with health that have an enormous impact on enhancing mental health.

Onemda approached Indigenous professionals working in a diverse range of community programs, and offered workshops in writing abstracts and conference papers, presentation skills and logistical support . Several Onemda and CHS staff acted as mentors to the participants, and supported them through the writing and presentation of their papers. 'The presenters were proud to talk to us about what their health and wellbeing projects are achieving for the communities they work and live in,' says Project Officer Ngarra Murray, who coordinated the workshops and attendance at the conference. Those Indigenous professionals who took part were:

  • Belinda Briggs, Rumbalara Football Netball Club, Shepparton.
  • John Cusack, Family and Youth Services Team, Top End Association for Mental Health, NT.
  • Janelle Hickey, Billabong Barbeque Program for Parkies, Neighbourhood Justice Centre, Victorian Department of Justice.
  • Daniel Mulholland, AIMHI (Australian Integrated Mental Health Initiative) Program, a partnership between Top End GPs and Tiwi Island communities.
  • Gregory Phillips, Abstarr Consulting, with David Dryden and Ross Morgan, Maya Living Free Healing Centre, Thornbury.
  • Marcus Stewart, 'I'm an Aboriginal Dad' project, Child and Parent Services, Mercy Hospital, Melbourne.

There was also an 'Indigenous Social and Emotional Wellbeing: Identity, Culture and Heritage' Forum run by Paul Stewart, Onemda's Research Community Development Officer, with presentations from the following Koori professionals:

  • Troy Austin, President of the Fitzroy Stars Football Club (majority Aboriginal players), Melbourne Northern Football League.
  • Anthony Brown, Mental Health and Wellbeing for Young Indigenous People, Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, Northcote.
  • Helen Kennedy, Health Programs Manager, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Fitzroy.

At the Forum, the speakers talked about specific policies and program activities that enhanced the mental health of their communities. They also discussed the success they had achieved with using sport, in particular football, as a vehicle to address the social and emotional wellbeing of the Koori community in Victoria.

Check out our Sharing our Stories video.