Collaborative spirit will lead to meaningful outcomes for Indigenous Australians

The Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences is pleased to announce our new partnership with Dardi Munwurro.

Dardi Munwurro is an organisation that supports Aboriginal families and communities with a focus on mental health and in particular, working with men. In 2020 Dardi Munwurro launched the ‘Brother to Brother’ 24/7 helpline to provide support to Aboriginal men during the COVID crisis. Operated by Dardi Munwurro staff and Elders, the helpline has been embraced by the community and is tapping a previously unmet need.

The partnership has been forged through the School’s ‘Telehealth and Stigma Lab,’ led by Dr Chris Groot. The Lab has recently extended its branding to recognise its telephone-based survey research centre and expanding work in the area of telehealth mental health service research and training.

The Telehealth and Stigma Lab will provide research and evaluation support to the Brother to Brother helpline. The Lab will work closely and be guided by with Dardi Munwurro staff and Elders to develop culturally appropriate approaches to research, providing ongoing research and evaluation of the counselling line and outcomes for users of the service.

“I have been humbled to meet with the Dardi Munwurro Elders and leaders to form this alliance. It’s a special privilege to be guided by the Elders in developing culturally appropriate approaches to research and evaluation for the Brother to Brother helpline.  It’s already clear that our growing relationship is built on a strong collaborative spirit and we’re looking forward to doing some meaningful work together,” says Dr Chris Groot, Director of the Telehealth and Stigma Lab.

As well as this, the lab has created a new Indigenous Student Internship Program, which will be central in providing research support to Dardi Munwurro. The intent is to facilitate opportunities for interested Indigenous MSPS students to grow professionally by developing unique research knowledge, skills and experience. We expect that a range of opportunities may flow from this partnership over time.

Alan Thorpe, CEO Dardi Munwurro says,

"We’re really excited to be working with the University of Melbourne’s School of Psychological Sciences on this unique and ground breaking project. To be able to work with Indigenous interns on the Brother to Brother Aboriginal Men’s Referral and Crisis phone service gives us an amazing opportunity to build this important community resource that is also based on the important principles of self-determination."

Dr Chris Groot is thrilled about the potential benefits for our students through this partnership.