APS and Stolen Generations Victoria - Partners in healing

Stolen Generations Victoria (SGV), together with the Australian Psychological Society, is developing an innovative project called Partnerships in Healing. The plan is to engage non-Aboriginal counsellors in a program that will provide counselling services to members of the Stolen Generations. SGV have consulted with their members across Victoria about their counselling needs, and in particular explored the issue of engaging the services of non-Aboriginal counsellors, given the acute shortage of qualified Aboriginal psychologists, social workers and other counsellors in Victoria. What has become important is the provision of choice for Stolen Generation members in who they can see to assist them in their healing journey. 

The proposed partnerships would involve a two-way exchange between the non-Aboriginal counsellors and Bringing Them Home support workers. The counsellor will provide counselling to the Stolen Generations member and offer debriefing and support to the Bringing Them Home worker, while the Bringing Them Home worker will offer cultural support, knowledge and understanding to the non Aboriginal counsellor. 

SGV will provide initial cultural competency training to those non-Aboriginal counsellors who they consider have the required attributes and experience to become involved in this project, and will facilitate ongoing opportunities to further discuss and develop these competencies as the project progresses. Two Aboriginal psychologists who are members of APS and AIPA have agreed to support the initial intake of counsellors by providing mentoring support and cultural clarification.

APS psychologists who would like further details of this innovative project can contact Heather Gridley, APS Manager of Public Interest at h.gridley@psychology.org.au  or 03 8662 3327. 


Psychological knowledge and practice across all specialisations has much to offer to address the disadvantage experienced by our nation’s first people, who represent 2.4% of the Australian population. 

In addition to increasing the number of Indigenous psychologists, we need to help non-Indigenous psychologists to better understand the issues Indigenous people face every day, as well as the strengths that can be utilised. We need to work with indigenous Australians and be trained by them to ensure that we know what those issues are, and how they can be addressed in the most effective, appropriate and socially just ways. 

The Public Interest team is working with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Psychology Interest Group, and with representatives of other areas such as science, training and standards, professional development and professional practice to enhance psychologists’ cultural competence and to promote Indigenous health, safety and wellbeing across urban, rural and remote communities.

News / media releases


Other resources 

Forgotten Australians: Supporting survivors of childhood institutional care in Australia

The Alliance for Forgotten Australians has released a booklet for mental health professionals titled Forgotten Australians: Supporting survivors of childhood
institutional care in Australia
. Many of these survivors include indigenous children.

To obtain a copy of the booklet and for more information please visit:

Also see: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Psychology Interest Group