Uniting the sector to build outcome-based suicide prevention programs that are accountable to Indigenous communities

Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum | Melbourne | 4-6 December

Pre-forum workshop 4th December | Forum 5th - 6th December  
In 2019, there’s been an increase in efforts to reduce Indigenous suicide prevention through programs, initiatives, government prioritisation, and resourcing. Yet today, Indigenous Australians still have some of the highest rates of self-harm and suicide in the world, especially among those aged between 5-17. There are continued challenges and sometimes confusion about who and what is being responded to in the suicide prevention sector. Robust conversation and dialogue must be had about what the challenges and opportunities are. We need to talk, we need to plan, and we need to act. 
Join us at the Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum (Melbourne, December 4-6) to discuss how we can holistically address this human tragedy. Bringing together speakers from across Australia and from all corners of the suicide prevention space, the Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum will showcase lived experience stories, evidence-based findings, culturally safe programs, community empowerment efforts, and national action plans. Integral to this discussion will be your participation, your ideas, and your teamwork, resulting in a written statement of intent that can be used to benchmark your work. 
Adele Cox
Chief Executive, Thirrili
Forum Convenor, Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum  


4 December | Melbourne
08:30 am - 05:00 pm 
Community and Lived Experience - Workshop A  
Jonathan Link, Rural and Remote Mental Health  
  • Discover ways that lived experience can be utilised to empower individuals experiencing suicidal ideation
  • Learn how to best involve community in your Indigenous suicide prevention efforts
Indigenous Youth - Workshop B
Indi Clark, Koorie Youth Council 
  • Understand the challenges facing Indigenous youth today
  • Develop strategies to help Indigenous youth build resilience, access support, and improve wellbeing
National Suicide Prevention Taskforce - Workshop C
Jaelea Skehan, National Suicide Prevention Taskforce
  • Join the Prime Minister’s National Suicide Prevention Taskforce to workshop ways you can help Indigenous communities achieve holistic wellbeing



Indi Clarke

Executive Officer

Koorie Youth Council

Indi Clarke has ties to Muthi Muthi on his father’s side and the Boonwurrung on his mother’s. 
A Lardil man, Indi is and has always been passionate about his culture and believes that awareness of, and education surrounding culture is vital. For him, both education and communication are the key to strong communities. 
Indi is an Executive Member of the Koorie Youth Council and has played a central role in the Koorie Youth Summit. The Koorie Youth Council (KYC) is a body of young people who work to ensure the voice of Aboriginal people in Victoria are heard. KYC has led extensive work in consulting with young people across the state around issues that relevant for young people and produced a range of supports. 

Jonathan Link

Workshop Facilitator

Rural and Remote Mental Health

Johnathan Link is a proud Aboriginal man with geographic connections to the Pilbara, Stradbroke and Mossman Gorge Regions. His extensive work history has contributed to making a change in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander “Mental Health”.
Working in the field of Indigenous mental health and social and emotional wellbeing has taken him across Australia and to Papua New Guinea. A secondment to the Australasian Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health in 2011 enabled a collaboration that led to the design and formulation of a successful Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing program. The program has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on Indigenous wellbeing. 
Jonathan is a Principal Master Instructor of the Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid program and has facilitated over 75 workshops across Australia. In 2017, he was involved with the Project Reference Group NHMRC (Indigenous Suicide Prevention) as an expert panellist. More recently he was among 30 other Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander expert panellists who contributed to the new guidelines to improve assessments for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people presenting to hospital with self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
Jonathan also sits on the Gold Coast PHN Clinical Council Committee as the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health worker representative and feels more could be done within the three tiers of Government regarding suicide prevention.

Jaelea Skehan

Taskforce Lead

National Suicide Prevention Taskforce

Jaelea Skehan works nationally in the prevention of mental illness and the prevention of suicide. She is passionate about translating evidence into practice and building the capacity of individuals, families, organisations and communities to be involved in mental health and suicide prevention.
Jaelea is an advocate for finding better connections between research and practice and for ensuring a national focus on the prevention of mental ill-health and suicide and strives to always lead by example and be committed to change on a local and national level.
She has worked at Everymind since 2001 and became the Director in 2012. In addition Jaelea is a registered psychologist and holds a conjoint appointment with the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. She is currently on extended leave from Everymind until December 2020 to lead the national suicide prevention taskforce supporting the first suicide prevention adviser to the Prime Minister.
In 2014 Jaelea was announced as one of Australia's 100 Women of Influence, a national honour sponsored by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac highlighting the important contribution women make in creating bold and diverse future for Australia.


Adele Cox

Chief Executive Officer & Project Director NICRS


Pat Dudgeon

Professor of Indigenous Studies & Project Director

University of Western Australia / CBPATSISP

Christine Morgan


National Mental Health Commission

Hon.Gavin Jennings MLC

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

Victoria State Government

Prof.Judy Atkinson

Emeritus Professor

Southern Cross University

Belinda Duarte


Culture is Life

Joe Williams

Former Professional Athlete and Mental Health Advocate

The Enemy Within

Dr. Vanessa Lee

Senior Researcher

University of Sydney

View all speakers

WHY ATTEND          

  • Learn how to embed cultural safety within your community/organisation
  • Workshop ways to implement empowering community led programs 
  • Discover how to engage youth in wellbeing activities and leadership
  • Build skills to identify Indigenous Australians at-risk of self-harm
  • Develop wellbeing programs that resonate with and employ Indigenous peoples
  • Explore how to secure partnerships with key stakeholders 
  • Hear from Indigenous Australians with lived-experience stories 
  • Share ideas on the best ways to prevent Indigenous suicide 


Those working to prevent suicide and improve wellbeing in Indigenous communities, including:
  • Government Health Departments
  • NFPs
  • PHNs
  • Emergency and Correctional Services
  • Local Councils
  • Community Members
  • Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations
  • Universities
  • Indigenous Youth Leaders



Supported by: Aventedge
The Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum will take place at a premium hotel in the Melbourne CBD. Delegates will be updated 4 weeks prior to the event.