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Record ID: 5c343796-6fed-4ff2-9e05-55bd3cfd9f8e
Type: Journal Article
Title: “You Can’t Replace That Feeling of Connection to Culture and Country”: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Parents’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Authors: Heris, Christina L.
Chamberlain, Catherine
Atkinson, Caroline
Mohamed, Janine
Jones, Kimberley A.
Davis, Elise
Fiolet, Renee
Bennetts, Shannon K
Kennedy, Michelle
Bright, Tess
Keywords: complex trauma
ANRA Topic: Natural disasters and pandemics
Children and young people
ANRA Population: Children and young people population
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities
Categories: ANROWS Completed Register of Active Research projects
Year: 2022
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Volume 19, Issue 24
Abstract:  This Aboriginal-led study explores Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents’ experiences of COVID-19. 110 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents were interviewed between October 2020 and March 2022. Participants were recruited through community networks and partner health services in South Australia, Victoria, and Northern Territory, Australia. Participants were predominantly female (89%) and based in Victoria (47%) or South Australia (45%). Inductive thematic analysis identified three themes: (1) Changes to daily living; (2) Impact on social and emotional wellbeing; and (3) Disconnection from family, community, and culture. COVID-19 impacted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. Disruption to cultural practice, and disconnection from country, family, and community was detrimental to wellbeing. These impacts aggravated pre-existing inequalities and may continue to have greater impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents and communities due to intergenerational trauma, stemming from colonisation, violence and dispossession and ongoing systemic racism. We advocate for the development of a framework that ensures an equitable approach to future public health responses for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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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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