Dardi Munwurro is a not-for-profit organisation that supports First Nations families and communities with a focus on mental health. The organisation recently launched its ‘Brother to Brother’ 24/7 helpline to increase access to psychological support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men during the COVID crisis. This free helpline is staffed by First Nations Community Elders who have received additional mental health training. Dardi Munwurro’s basic evaluative data shows that callers are predominantly young Indigenous men and that common presenting issues include experiences of the correction system, family violence, stigma and discrimination, and relationships.
The Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences and MISTLab have partnered with Dardi Munwurro to provide research and evaluation support to the Brother to Brother Helpline. MISTLab has co-created an internship program for First Nations undergraduate students who are undertaking the MSPS psychology major. This internship program will be central in providing evaluation and research support to Dardi Munwurro. Student interns will be supported to build unique research and evaluation skills both by Dr Groot and Dardi Munwurro staff and Community Elders. MISTLab’s First Nations student internships commence in Semester 1, 2023, and students will receive course credit in return for their participation. Student interns will collaborate with Dr Groot and Dardi Munwurro to produce an evaluation report, which will support the continued growth and funding of the Brother to Brother helpline.
Alan Thorpe, Dardi Munwurro CEO, 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, MISTLab Director, said,
“I have been humbled to meet with the Dardi Munwurro Community 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 thrilled to undertake this very important work together.”
Dr Groot has extensive experience in the clinical governance, evaluation, design and development of large-scale Australian telehealth services including but not limited to the BeyondBlue Infoline, MensLine Australia, Suicide Call Back Service, SuicideLine Victoria, All Hours Suicide Support Service, Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service, and services for the Australian Defence Force. He also has an ongoing and broader partnership with Dardi Munwurro.
How to apply
If you are interested to apply for an internship position in Semester 1, 2023, and:
- you are a First Nations student undertaking the psychology major;
- you have completed both Mind, Brain and Behaviour 1 and 2;
- you fulfill the eligibility requirements of one of the internship subjects linked above,
then please submit a brief written application letter of no more than one page in length to Dr Groot by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). In your application letter, please tell Dr Groot about yourself and why you would like to be a part of the internship program.
Places are limited and applications must be lodged no later than Monday, February 6, 2023.