New ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention, intervention, postvention and aftercare program


A new program to help reduce suicide, and the impacts of suicide, within the ACT’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community will be delivered by a lead Aboriginal community-controlled organisation service provider, Thirrili Limited.

The program, which was an ACT Greens 2020 election commitment, will be delivered in partnership with the local postvention Way Back Support Service at Woden Community Service.

Minister for Mental Health Emma Davidson said that Thirrili has been appointed as the service delivery provider through a community-led commissioning process to ensure culturally appropriate support is provided through this service.  

“In the spirit of self-determination, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander integrated Suicide Prevention, Intervention, Postvention and Aftercare Service, is led by First Nations people for First Nations people,” Minister Davidson said.

“The service is deeply needed to prevent suicide and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT who are impacted by suicide. Thirrili will work closely with the ACT’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to ensure that the service meets their needs, support families, and build strength and resilience.”

Thirrili will initially focus on community engagement and seeking local cultural expertise about the ACT’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community’s mental health needs before commencing the service. The timing and details will be determined through initial and ongoing community consultation, service planning and in agreement with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Working Group.

The ACT Government has committed $1.28 million for this important service over its first two years.

Quotes attributable to Annette Vickery, Chief Executive Officer at Thirrili:

“Thirrili has two key focus areas, case support for individuals and families impacted by suicide to ensure they get access to appropriate services and supports in culturally safe ways and we build community resilience restoration plans, with communities to prevent future suicides. With this funding from the ACT Government, Thirrili will be able to strengthen and enhance service delivery in the ACT.”