Mia, T., Dudgeon, P., Mascall, C., Grogan, G., Murray, B. & Walker, R. (2017). An Evaluation of the National Empowerment Project Cultural, Social, and Emotional Wellbeing Program. Journal of Indigenous Wellbeing: Te Mauri – Pimatisiwin, 2(2), 33-48.

An array of cumulative risk and stress factors, and social inequities, have contributed to high suicides and family and community dysfunction, in two communities in Queensland. An independent, post-program evaluation of the National Empowerment Project (NEP) Cultural, Social and Emotional Wellbeing (CSEWB) Program specifically developed to address these issues was conducted in Kuranda and Cherbourg communities, Queensland in early 2017. Summaries of 153 stories of most significant change (SMSC) and 30 interviews undertaken with participants who completed the CSEWB program informed the evaluation. The evaluation assessed if, and how, the CSEWB program contributed to strengthening the cultural, social, and emotional wellbeing of participants, their families and communities. Participant’s interviews describe how the CSEWB Program significantly changed their lives and their families’ lives in various constructive and affirming ways to bring about positive outcomes. The extent of significant changes reported are compelling, and they highlight the need for greater government commitment to services and programs which address the social determinants influencing social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) within Indigenous communities around Australia. Keywords: Empowerment, self-determination, social determinants, Indigenous health and cultural, social and emotional wellbeing, suicide prevention, qualitative program evaluation