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2018 Indigenous Out of the Shadows 

Mental Health Conference

                                  1st – 3rd August 2018 




In Australia, the protocol is to recognise the Traditional Owners of the land to which we are gathering. Therefore

, all presentations must begin with an acknowledgment to country and to local Traditional Elders: “We wish

to acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians whose ancestral lands we are to meet upon. We

acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and relationship of Aboriginal peoples to Country. We also pay

respects to the cultural authority of Aboriginal peoples visiting / attending from other areas of Australia who are present here”.


Indigenous Conference Services acknowledges and pay our respect to the Traditional people of the Country. "Welcome to Country" ceremony and "acknowledging the traditional custodians" of the land shows respect for Aboriginal people as Australia's First Peoples. Ceremonies and protocols are a fundamental part of Aboriginal cultures.



The 2018 National Indigenous Mental Health: Out of the Shadows Conference aims to bring together mental health workers and Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander Emotional and Social Wellbeing workers from Indigenous and Non-Indigenous organisations throughout Australia and presents unique opportunities for Mental Health workers to meet and discuss issues specifically centred on Indigenous Mental Health. 


The increasing frequency and severity of mental health and well being issues throughout Indigenous Communities has reached a crisis level through the length and breadth of this country. However this is not news to Indigenous peoples. Communities have proclaimed the need for action to address the needs of the many First Nations peoples with mental health issues.​

This year’s conference theme will be based upon the principles of we all have a role to play in healing wherein range of issues brought to the forefront by our communities will be examined and as such, will endeavour to heighten the need for Australian Government, Non-Government, Health and Community organisations to refocus on their duty of care to all Aboriginal Peoples.


The 2018 Indigenous Mental Health Conference aims to:

  • Provide an open and frank forum for discussions

  • Highlight inspiring initiatives, successes and challenges faced by mental health workers and Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander social and emotional wellbeing workers.

  • Lend support to individuals and groups working in the field of Indigenous Mental Health & Wellbeing

  • Help grow a network for the sharing of  information and resources  

  • Bring together both government and non-government agencies working in the field of Indigenous Health

  • Show that poor health is no longer tolerated or acceptable in today’s society

  • To bring together organisations as a united voice in closing the gap

  • Exchange information regarding the successes of community projects in the field of Indigenous Health in general

  • Reduce incidence of poor health at all levels within the community

  • Strategies for linking holistic policy with health interventions

  • Explore methods for improving accountability at all levels to ensure sustainable progress

  • Provides opportunity to network and meet face to face to exchange ideas, valuable information and successful programs in place in their communities.


Guidelines in Submitting Paper:
•    Papers should not contain offensive language and take into account cultural sensitivities of Australian first nation people.
•    Papers must treat the themes in a manner that contributes to further discussion of conference aims.
•    Conference papers must be presented in the finish format not less than 60 days prior to the event.
•    First round of calling for papers is now open with closing date will be on 28th February 2018; with a second, if required which closes on 30thMarch 2018
•    Papers MUST be submitted in Microsoft Word format.  Papers other than this format will NOT be considered.
•    Authors of papers presented at the conference will be formally notified of their acceptance in writing.
•    Registration fee of $650 will apply to all persons submitting papers payable within 7 days upon notification acceptance of papers.
•    Papers should explore ways in which the themes show up in the philosophy of the conference.
•    All papers must be presented in a positive and informative light.

To submit a Paper, you must register on the website portal and complete the online Submit-A-Paper form


This conference is blessed with the abundance of the highest calibre of Indigenous First Nations speakers. Click HERE to read each speaker's brief biography.




(PLEASE NOTE: This agenda may change without prior notice to ensure the smooth flow of conference proceedings on the day of the event.)

DAY 1 Wednesday (August 1, 2018)

8:30 AM          REGISTRATION & Master of Ceremony Announcements

9:00 AM          Welcome to Country by Aunty Jeanette Singleton, Chairperson, Yirrganydji Gurabana Aboriginal Corporation

9:15 AM          Traditional Cultural Performance by Luis Armando Otavalo, Kichuwa Musician, Native Spirits Flute Canada

9:30 AM          Welcome Address by Conference Hosts by IWC Bundaberg & Maari Ma Health Chief Executive Officers

9:45 AM          Formal Opening Keynote Address

10:30 AM        MORNING BREAK ~ Network with exhibitors and service providers


11:00 AM       COMBINED KEYNOTE  Cultural Nuances within the delivery of Chronic Disease solutions. How the Medical

Model is not working for Indigenous peoples? Bringing traditional communication back into the mix by Aunty Cheri

Yavu Kama Harathunian, Director/ Chaplain & Cultural Adviser, IWC Ltd Bundaberg QLD

11:45 AM        COMBINED KEYNOTE  Stop Craving Happiness by Iggy Tan, CEO & Happiness Coach, Rotary Matilda Bay WA

12:30 PM        LUNCH BREAK  ~ Network with exhibitors and service providers    


1:30 PM          COMBINED KEYNOTE   First Nations Suicide Intervention & Prevention Strategies by Dr. Joseph Stone,

Clinical Psychologist, Indigenous Development Specialists USA/NZ


2:15 PM          COMBINED KEYNOTE Trauma in Healthcare – First People's Issues & Solutions by Dr. Amber Logan,

Health & Clinical Psychologist, Indigenous Development Specialists NZ

3:00 PM          AFTERNOON TEA ~ Network with exhibitors and service providers    


3:30 PM          COMBINED KEYNOTE  Empowering Indigenous Communities: The Kapani Warriors Program by Dr Timothy

White, Psychologist & Warrior Program Director, Tjintipit Psychological Services QLD

4:15 PM          COMBINED KEYNOTE  IWC’s delivery of a Holistic Model of Care: Addressing social determinants by Wayne

Mulvany, General Manager, IWC Ltd Bundaberg QLD

6:30 PM          Conference Networking Dinner Cruise Aboard the Spirit of Cairns (Departure Point @ Marlin Marina. Boarding Time is 6:00pm)

ICS is offering a Start of Financial year sale - 2 for the price of 1 Registration


DAY 2 Thursday (August 2, 2018)  



9:00 AM         COMBINED KEYNOTE Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations Are Leaders by Robert 'Bob' Davis, CEO & Justin Files, Manager - Community Services and Programs, Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation NSW

9:45 AM          COMBINED KEYNOTE  Social and Emotional Wellbeing in the digital age:  Identifying and using online resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by Samantha Wild, Coordinator, Queensland University of Technology  QLD

10:30 AM        MORNING TEA ~ Network with exhibitors and service providers    


11:00 AM        WORKSHOP Keeping Our Spirit Strong: The Deadly Thinking Program by Margaret Saunders, Deadly Thinking Program Trainer QLD


11:45 AM      WORKSHOP  Using online resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by Samantha Wild, Coordinator, Queensland University of Technology  QLD

12:30 PM        LUNCH BREAK ~ Network with exhibitors and service providers                      


1:30 PM          COMBINED KEYNOTE:  Effectiveness of cultural support in schools for early intervention of poor mental health of primary aged Aboriginal children by Ms Fiona Murray, Academic Indigenous Researcher, University of New England 


2:15 PM          COMBINED KEYNOTE:  Women’s Health in rural and remote communities by Jenni Toogood, Clinical Governance Manager & Cynthia George, Assistant Manager North Burnett IWC Ltd Bundaberg QLD

3:00 PM          AFTERNOON TEA   ~ Network with exhibitors and service providers  


3:30 PM         COMBINED KEYNOTE  Closing the sepsis gap for Indigenous patients: How do metropolitan and rural hospital cohorts compare by Dr John van Bockxmeer, District Medical Officer, Country Heath Service, WA & Dr Amith Shetty, Westmead Hospital Medical Director and WSLH Clinical Senior Lecturer NSW

4:15 PM         COMBINED YARNING PANEL by Elders, Guest Speakers & All Delegates 

5:00 PM         END OF CONFERENCE: Distribution of Conference Certificates of Attendance

ICS is offering a Start of Financial year sale - 2 for the price of 1 Registration

DAY 3 Friday (August 3, 2018)

For 2018, we offer new and exciting innovation for our conferences, Day 3 is devoted to professional development workshop or masterclass. As such, we have introduced several exciting networking and professional development innovations which is an extra cost for your chosen masterclass and comes with a course certificate. Day Three is optional so please make sure you complete your registration form with the masterclass included if you intend to attend. This year’s program features a strong selection of Leadership and Empowerment topics for workers in Indigenous Health sector and practitioners at every level of experience and expertise.


POST- CONFERENCE MASTERCLASS A: The Deadly Thinking Program by Margaret Saunders


Deadly Thinking is a social and emotional well-being and suicide prevention workshop designed by Indigenous people for Indigenous people to be delivered to remote Indigenous communities; natural helpers; Elders; ‘at risk’ individuals and ‘at risk’ groups. By taking a leadership role, attendees greatly extend the scope and sustainability of the program as well as the long-term effectiveness of protective strategies in the community. This workshop will teach you how core social and mental well-being issues are addressed in an open, respectful and comfortable forum.

Deadly Thinking Masterclass is strictly limited to 30 people only. Cost is $330 per person. So Book NOW


ICS is offering a Start of financial year Sale 2 for the price of 1 Registration



As they say, all work and no play, makes for a dull conference. So to overcome this, the conference secretary has organised a conference dinner to be held on the second night of the event. This dinner with give delegates the opportunity to further network whilst lets your hair down in an informal setting. The conference dinner will be at a cost of $150 per person for a three course meal. The conference dinner is additional to the conference fees and bookings must be made prior to the event.


Conference Networking Dinner Cruise - Waterside Dining


​                                                  A Cairns Dinner Cruise is the perfect way, to end a perfect day in paradise. Boarding our sailing catamaran at the Marlin Marina,                                                          you’ll enjoy an evening of calm water cruising on Trinity Inlet, taking in the sights and sounds of this tropical port city and its                                                                surrounding mangroves, as they transition from day to night. Every journey begins with bubbles, as all good dinner cruises should.                                                    With your glasses charged, stroll the interior or exterior decks and admire the view as the sky transforms from blue to red to                                                               orange and finally a silky black, filled with thousands of sparkling stars. Your journey takes you deep into the heart of Trinity Inlet                                                       and across the waterfront precinct of Cairns, from the Cruise Liner Terminal to the Esplanade. The water is calm, the weather mild and the night is yours to enjoy, with entertainment and a delicious  3 Course Buffet Dinner  featuring some of the region’s best produce, including seafood. The luxurious Spirit of Cairns sailing catamaran is fully licensed, selling a range of beverages, including tropical cocktails. This is the ultimate in waterside dining.

When Do We Go

The Spirit of Cairns dinner cruise departs Marlin Marina at 6.30pm and returns at 9pm. Check-in and boarding is at the boat, moored at Marlin Marina, between 6pm. A complimentary drink is served on arrival and the bar is open for you to relax on board prior to departure. The conference dinner cruise is scheduled for Thursday evening (night of 2nd day).

What Will You See / Do

Enjoy a fantastic evening of calm water cruising with entertainment, delicious 3 course buffet meal and fabulous views, including sunset over the rainforest-clad mountains (depending on the time of year). Starting at Marlin Marina, Spirit of Cairns takes you on a journey deep into the interior of Trinity Inlet and its winding tributaries. Keep your eyes peeled, you might even see a crocodile. The cruise passes along Cairns’ waterfront and Esplanade precinct, delivering panoramic views of the twinkling night lights of this port city.

What Do You Need To Bring / Wear

​Yourself and your smile, for a great evening ahead. Tropical cocktail attire is suggested, with a light jacket for the winter months. Footwear is mandatory, with suitable shoes for boating recommended. Although it’s a calm water cruise, you will find it more comfortable moving around the boat in flat rubber soled shoes. Don’t forget to bring a little cash, EFTPOS or credit card for your bar purchases.

Highlights & Inclusions

  • A 2.5 hour calm water sunset / evening cruise

  • Luxurious air-conditioned vessel

  • Large outdoor decks

  • Complimentary glass of sparkling wine, beer or soft drink on arrival

  • Delicious hot and cold 3 course buffet, featuring fresh seafood and local produce

  • Live Music by some of Cairns’ best musicians



(Register early to get a discount!) Please note that registrations are set out in an affordable way for organisations which changes on a monthly basis. Hence, the earlier you register the more savings for your organization. Registration fees include all day access to the event, available conference papers, daily lunch and refreshments, for registered delegates only. Fees do not include travel costs or accommodation. Registration fees must be received within 7 DAYS of from being issued an invoice. Otherwise, bookings will not be considered.  To register, please click on the registration page and complete the form or you can also request for a conference brochure and the registration form to be sent to you by email at

To register, please click here to go to registration page.

 ICS is offering a Start of financial year Sale 2 for the price of 1 Registration




The event secretary has come up with some great ideas on how to save money for you and your organisation.


1. ACCOMMODATION: We have negotiated a special room rate for delegates at the Shangri-La Hotel - contact us if you wish to avail for this special rate.


2. TRAVEL: We have engaged Helloworld (formerly Harvey World Travel) Hervey Bay to negotiate with all the relevant airlines for special or discounted airfare rates.


3. CONCESSION: A special rate for university students is being offered for a flat rate of $650​



This conference offers a unique opportunity to attend two conferences at the same time, whilst only having the expense of one event.  We are acutely aware of limited funds in our organisation’s budget, this year’s Indigenous Health Conference and International Indigenous Health Conference are both being held on the same dates, at the same location and venue and as such, enables us to offer a rare opportunity to our delegates to attend and participate in keynotes or workshops of the adjacent conference.


As such if you are an exhibitor at either of the two conferences, this will enable you to reach twice the audience for twice the impact, whilst only having the cost of one booth.  It also gives an added savings on travel and accommodation, and allowing the participants a greater variety of choice of sessions and topics.




As an employee we are asked to present valid reasons why we should attend. Listed below are valid points that can be raised with your employer to justify your attendance.


  • Staff attending conferences regularly tends to become long term employees,

  • An event such as this adds to the positive moral of staff,

  • Conferences are a great way of providing ongoing training,

  • Provides the opportunity to further enhance the organisation knowledge base,

  • The opportunity for saving organisations money because of the shortness of the event,

  • Allows delegates to showcase the organisation nationally and internationally,

  • May provide organisations with new ideas,

  • Gives organisations a showcase and voice at a national level,

  • Provide an opportunity to evaluate various programs,

  • Because this event is conducted over a short period, staff are only absent for a minor amount of time.



The Shangri-La Hotel

Ideally located in the heart of Cairns, the Shangri-La Hotel overlooks Marlin Marina, Trinity Bay and the lush green mountains of Cairns. The hotel is just ten minutes' drive from Cairns International Airport, and a short stroll to the Esplanade Lagoon and Cairns' premier dining precinct. The hotel offers airy, modern accommodations with elegant furniture and spectacular views.

Cairns is truly a destination to impress every one. From the moment you fly in over lush tropical green rainforest and aqua blue reefs of the great, you know you are truly in a special part of the world.  Shangri-La Hotel is the most prestigious 5-star hotel and is perfectly located in the heart of Cairns, just moments from the city’s best shopping, dining and cafes. Within a few minutes’ walk is Cairns Esplanade and swimming lagoon, Pier Shopping Plaza, Cairns Central Shopping Centre and train station and an excellent selection of shops and restaurants. 

You can choose from a range of accommodation and suites in The Shangri-La Hotel, proud to be the flagship hotel of the area, renowned for holding memorable indoor and outdoor events of any size. With over 3,000 square metres of function space, the possibilities are endless. Dine in Restaurant or even unwind in the Day Spa. With the latest wireless technology, Shangri-La Hotel Hotel Australia will keep you perfectly connected during your holiday accommodation in Cairns.​


 ICS is offering a start of financial year two (2) for the price of 1 registration! 

One of the prohibitive factors in attending a conference is the airfare component. Our company strives in making our event a lesser burden on the individual or organisation by negotiating competitive and affordable travel packages. When asking for a quote through Helloworld Travel (Hervey Bay) you must pick:

Airfares & Accommodation

Helloworld Travel (Hervey Bay) can be contacted on 07 41281900 Toll free 1800 688993   


Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) also recognises that some NGO’s or other agencies will need to seek additional funding to attend, therefore Helloworld Travel (Hervey Bay) quotation can be made out to either pay ASAP or to take into account the time that is required to obtain funding. Further advantage to using Hello World Travel for your airfares is that if something goes wrong, you have greater access to your travel agent if required.


If you are an international guest or speaker, please note that citizens of some countries require visas before entering Australia. To obtain an Australian Visa, you may require a letter of invite from the conference secretariat.  To obtain the letter of invitation, the guest must have registered for the conference and paid the required conference cost. This is refundable if visas are not approve, you should allow a minimum of 60 days for visa processing at the nearest Australian Embassy.  Please note, processing visa documents in some countries may take longer, depending on your country of origin. Visas can be obtained online by searching the Australian Government website and accessing the Department Of Immigration and border protection site. For your convenience we have added the link to our website, which is



Flexible sponsorship packages are available. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) will be of further assistance in tailoring your sponsorship arrangement. Please phone us on +61455776668 or send us your expression of interest by e-Mail:






Indigenous Conference Services (Australia)

Postal Address: 8 Kiwi Court Pt Vernon Queensland 4655 Australia



Phone: 0741942803  | Mobile: 0455776668




Please note this website is new and is still under construction......

Time to Conference

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