Dudgeon, P., Walker, R., Scrine, C., Cox, K., D’Anna, D., Dunkley, C., Kelly, Ky., & Hams, K. (2014). Enhancing wellbeing, empowerment, healing and leadership. In P. Dudgeon, H. Milroy and R. Walker (Eds.), Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice, 2nd edition (pp.437-448). Commonwealth of Australia. https://www.telethonkids.org.au/globalassets/media/documents/aboriginal-health/working-together-second-edition/wt-part-6-chapt-25-final.pdf

This chapter explores the relevance of Aboriginal perspectives of empowerment, healing and leadership, as strategies to address the social inequality and relative powerlessness of Aboriginal people in contemporary society. These Aboriginal-led strategies are key social determinants that influence Aboriginal health, mental health and social and emotional wellbeing. Programs that facilitate Aboriginal understandings of healing, empowerment, and leadership can redress much of the grief, loss, and trauma experienced by Aboriginal families and communities. The chapter highlights the need for Aboriginal people to have ownership over the issues and the solutions to the devastation brought about from a history of social injustices and disadvantage. Based on the findings from Aboriginal community consultations in the Kimberley, this chapter outlines community-identified strategies to take charge of their lives, strengthen their families and address the unacceptable and devastating rates of suicide in their communities. Importantly, the community proposed solutions are confirmed by the extensive literature and program review undertaken as part of the Hear Our Voices project led by Dudgeon.