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Record ID: 4543b38c-f4e0-4a09-805a-047970629ce2
Type: Journal Article
Title: A Culturally Responsive Trauma-Informed Public Health Emergency Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities in Australia, Developed during COVID-19
Authors: Heris, Christina L.
Chamberlain, Catherine
Atkinson, Caroline
Mohamed, Janine
Fiolet, Renee
Jones, Kimberley A.
Bennetts, Shannon K
Bright, Tess
Graham, Simon
Kamitsis, Ilias
Keywords: complex trauma
ANRA Topic: Children and young people
Natural disasters and pandemics
ANRA Population: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities
Children and young people population
Categories: ANROWS Completed Register of Active Research projects
Year: 2022
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Volume 19, Issue 23
Abstract:  The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic impacted peoples’ livelihoods and mental wellbeing. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia continue to experience intergenerational trauma associated with colonization and may experience trauma-related distress in response to government responses to public health emergencies. We aimed to develop a culturally responsive trauma-informed public health emergency response framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led study involved: (i) a review of trauma-informed public health emergency responses to develop a draft framework (ii) interviews with 110 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents about how COVID-19 impacted their lives, and (iii) a workshop with 36 stakeholders about pandemic experiences using framework analysis to refine a culturally responsive trauma-informed framework. The framework included: an overarching philosophy (cultural humility, safety and responsiveness); key enablers (local leadership and Eldership); supporting strategies (provision of basic needs and resources, well-functioning social systems, human rights, dignity, choice, justice and ethics, mutuality and collective responsibility, and strengthening of existing systems); interdependent core concepts (safety, transparency, and empowerment, holistic support, connectedness and collaboration, and compassion, protection and caring); and central goals (a sense of security, resilience, wellbeing, self- and collective-efficacy, hope, trust, resilience, and healing from grief and loss).

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Project title

Healing the past by nurturing the future: Learning how to identify and support Indigenous parents who have experienced complex childhood trauma


Complex childhood trauma causes profound and long-lasting effects on physical, social and emotional wellbeing, which can be triggered during the transition to parenthood and impede the capacity of parents to nurture their children. This transition offers a unique opportunity for healing and preventing intergenerational transmission of trauma. This project co-designs and evaluates acceptability and feasibility of screening and support for Indigenous parents experiencing complex trauma.

Funding body

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (GNT1141593)

Funding budget


Project start date

June 2018

Expected completion date

December 2022

Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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