by Babu Sajjad
The Jilya Institute led by proud Indigenous woman Dr Tracy Westerman is thrilled to present the annual Jilya Fundraising Gala for the prevention of Indigenous suicide and the establishment of a nationwide clinic, scheduled for October 21, 2023, at Winthrop Hall, University of Western Australia. This event has become a significant highlight on the fundraising calendar, with proceeds contributing towards the establishment of a National Indigenous Clinical Psychology Treatment and Assessment Centre. This undertaking aims to bolster the assistance available at the grassroots level, where the provision of culturally and clinically intricate services for high-risk individuals and communities are either not met or faced with challenges.
Within two years of its launch, the program now supports 41 Indigenous psychology students across the country, making a substantial contribution to the most vulnerable communities in need of mental health services. This event will announce a further 13 scholarships for Indigenous Psychology students and for the first time, include three recipients from the Alice Springs region; consistent with the program’s ethos — to develop permanent skills capacity in our highest risk communities. Because locals never leave!
Jilya is undertaking the formidable task of establishing a permanent workforce in every high-risk community. This relentless pursuit of a better future for these communities aims to alleviate the burden of generational suicides, child removals, and incarceration. Join Jilya on its inspiring journey as it leads the charge toward transforming mental health services for Indigenous communities across Australia.
The initiative has received a generous $50,000 contribution from the Wheeler Foundation and limited sponsorship packages are still available. To ensure that community are front and centre of this incredible event, Jilya allocates tickets to bereaved Aboriginal families and frontline mental health workers. As well as attending themselves, organisations and individuals can also donate to underwrite the costs of a bereaved family member’s ticket to the gala.