The Roadmap Project

Expressions of interest are now open to join our National Governance group!

The Governance group will play a central role in the development and translation of the Roadmap, working alongside the project team and key stakeholders to ensure actions are meaningful, responsive and sustainable. The group will include Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander young people (from each state/territory) and be supported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and the project team. Members of the Governance group will receive financial reimbursement for their time and have access to professional development opportunities.

If you, or a young persons you know, has a passion for health and wellbeing and would like to join our National Governance group please download and complete the Expression of Interest application form below!

DOWNLOAD: Expression of Interest Form (PDF 278 KB)

Please forward all completed applications to seth.westhead@sahmri.com


Developing a Roadmap

The Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Program is partnering with young people to develop the first national Roadmap to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescent health. This Roadmap will identify the health needs and priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and define evidence-based actions to address these needs.

We strongly believe that young people must be central to any effort to improve young people's health. To ensure this roadmap is meaningful, effective and sustainable, its development will be governed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. The research team will work closely with young people, key stakeholders and experts to ensure this Roadmap captures the needs of young people and translates to meaningful real-world change.

DOWNLOAD: Roadmap Project Summary (PDF 268 KB)

About the Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Program

One third of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population are adolescents and young people, aged 10-24 years. Yet existing policies and services focus mostly on children and adults and, as a result, many young people can’t access the services and supports they need or want. This comes at a time of life when people are forming their identity, transitioning through education and employment and perhaps starting a family. As a result, unmet health needs for adolescents can impact on future wellbeing as well as the health of the next generation.

The Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Program works in partnership with young people to understand their needs and the best ways to address these. This includes informing evidence-based policies and co-designing accessible and responsive health services. We have established extensive partnerships with policy makers and implementation partners in Australia and globally, ensuring new knowledge is translated into action.

An underlying principle of our work is ensuring meaningful partnership with young people. In our Roadmap project we are establishing a national governance group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to direct an improved way of responding to adolescent health needs and priorities. The group will document what is required to enable true youth governance and measure impacts on young people, the research team and project outcomes. These learnings will hopefully inform youth governance in other settings. The group sees this as fundamental to any approach that is meaningful and sustainable.

Meet the team

Associate Professor Pete Azzopardi

Pete originally trained as a paediatrician and worked with Aboriginal communities across Victoria and the Northern Territory. Recognising that the needs of adolescents were largely overlooked, he undertook a PhD to better understand health needs to better inform effective actions. Pete also leads a research group at the Burnet Institute in Melbourne, where his work focusses on improving adolescent health in the Asia Pacific region.

Seth Westhead

Seth is a Research Associate with family connections to the Awabakal and Wiradjuri nations of New South Wales. Through his work, Seth strives to better understand how social and cultural determinants drive health and social inequities within society. He seeks to better equip communities with tools and evidence for public health advocacy and to assist communities in translating health research into meaningful action.

In addition to his research work, Seth has 10 years’ experience as a youth mentor across various government and non-government programs, focusing on the cultural development and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. His experience working with young people has allowed him to build a large national and international network across government and non-government organisations including grass-roots youth organisations.

Seth also holds a current position as Co-Chair of the First Nations Youth Health & Wellbeing Committee, a group focused on national and international collaboration and strengthening the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

Dr Rachel Reilly

Rachel is a health psychologist and researcher who has been working in collaborative, community-based research on preventative health with Aboriginal communities for almost 20 years while also working clinically in a range of settings. Most recently, she has worked to implement a large NHMRC-funded project seeking to support Aboriginal health services to develop prevention and treatment approaches for people who use methamphetamine and their families. This work has highlighted the importance of strengthening the way health systems respond to the needs of young people, particularly in relation to social and emotional wellbeing.

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SAHMRI is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna Nation.

The SAHMRI community acknowledges and respects the traditional owners, the family clans who are the Kaurna Nation from the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia. We acknowledge the clans of the Kaurna Nation and the sacred knowledge they hold for their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna Nation, their ancestors and the descendants of these living family clans today.