APS College of Community Psychologists

Latest News

Click on the links below to take you to the news item.  The latest news is at the top of the list.

The College of Community Psychologists National Committee is seeking contributions from members to be added to this news section.  Please email our Web Editor Neil Drew ([email protected]) with any news of members, events or indeed anything that you think will be of interest to College members.

Community psychologists are a very diverse group working in a wide range of interesting occupations throughout Australia and the world and engaged with their communities to make a positive difference.

So please let us know what you are doing so we can share it with the other members of the College.

Please enjoy the latest news.

EVENT Walking with African Australian towards educational excellence in Victoria (Posted 5/10/2018)

EVENT The Art of Community: using the power of art for social change (posted 5/10/2018)

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Director's Communique Dec 2017 (Posted 7/12/2107)

 The Australian Indigneous HealthInfoNet celebrates 20 years supporting workers in the Aboriginal and Torres Stratit Islander health sector (Posted 24.10.2017)

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet acquires Aboriginal art (Posted 24.10.2017)

Morton Deutsch dies aged 97

Press release from Suicide Prevention Australia (17/3/17)

Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status released (posted 16/3/17)

Student Conference Award call for nominations (posted 23/2/17)

Mattering and Community Change: a talk by Drs Isaac and Ora Prilleltensky (Posted 6/2/17)

The Lowitija Institute posted (6/2/17)


Morton Deutsch passes away aged 97

Morton Deutsch passed away recently at the age of 97. Here you can read his obituary in the New York Times.  Morton Deutsch was a pioneer in the social psychology of justice.


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Ensuring community voices are heard in national suicide prevention plan

16 March 2017, Hobart:  Suicide Prevention Australia today hosts an opportunity for the community sector and members of the public who have been personally impacted by suicide to contribute to the 2025 Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention.

Suicide is a complex social problem however too often it is simplified to being the result of mental illness. We must address the complexity of suicide as a serious public health issue and invest in a national plan that stays true to regional delivery and person-centred care coupled with national leadership and accountability. This national plan must be mandated by a National Suicide Prevention Act and success measured by a National Office for Suicide Prevention.

Suicide Prevention Australia CEO Sue Murray said of the State-based consultation, “We have seen unprecedented political support for suicide prevention in recent months, most notably consultation on the Fifth National Mental Health Plan. We want to ensure community sector voices across the country are heard when it comes to implementation of reforms.”

Head of Policy and Member Engagement, Stephen Holland, said of the work being undertaken, “This is too important to be a piece of paper that gets signed off and filed away in the halls of Government. We want to see the work done by SPA members and colleagues reflected in a national action plan that is sustainably funded. Thousands of lives depend on their voices being heard.”

Media Contact: Kim Borrowdale 02 9262 1130 [email protected]

Overview of the consultation process

In February 2017, a National Coalition for Suicide Prevention workshop, convened by Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA), initiated discussion on a 2025 framework for suicide prevention. This builds on the Government commitment in the Fifth National Mental Health Plan Consultation Draft 2016, “developing a whole-of-government national suicide prevention plan’’. Read the SPA submission re feedback on the Fifth Plan.

The discussion at the workshop outlined a proposed strategic framework to lead to a reduction in the national suicide rate in Australia. SPA is now developing this further through a series of statewide community sector consultations over the next three months. Consultation will involve the National Coalition for Suicide Prevention, SPA organisational and associate members, leading associations in mental health and suicide prevention, SPA’s national Lived Experience Network, the Federal Department of Health, Primary Health Networks, and leading researchers in the field.

We will also be sending out an online survey in April 2017 as part of the consultation process. 


About Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA)

SPA provides national leadership for the suicide prevention sector in Australia. SPA works collaboratively to develop a community that knows how to ask for help and how to give help.

As the lead agency of the National Suicide Prevention Coalition, we build and facilitate partnerships to change attitudes and harness the voices of professionals and those with lived experience of suicide attempts and suicide. www.suicidepreventionaust.org


Need help? Click here for a comprehensive list of crisis and support information.

Suicide Prevention Australia remembers those we have lost to suicide and acknowledges the suffering suicide brings when it touches our lives.  We are brought together by experience and are unified by hope.

Suicide Prevention Australia acknowledges the traditional owners of Country throughout Australia, and their continuing connections to land, sea and community.  We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to Elders both past and present.

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Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status.

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has released the latest edition of it's Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status.  The HealthInfoNet has published the Overview annually for over a decade.  It provides a succinct summary of a wide range of health conditions impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities throughout Australia. Please follow this link to learn more and to read the Overview.


Also, follow this link to read a brief article about the overview by the Director of the HealthInfoNet Professor Neil Drew - a proud community psychologist


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The College of Community Psychologists is seeking nominations for the Student Conference Award 2017.

This annual award normally takes place later in the year, but the College is calling for 2017 nominations within a very short timeframe to enable students to nominate for the Award to support attendance at the forthcoming Trans-Tasman Conference in April (see CPD and Events for further details). If the successful nominee has already registered, they will receive a refund prior to the conference. So we still encourage nominees to register at the early bird rate, which closes on Monday 6 March.

Please follow this link for instructions on how to apply.


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Mattering and Community Change: The role of wellness and fairness in leading a meaningful life

Victorian members were excited to welcome back to Melbourne in December Drs Isaac and Ora Prilleltensky from the University of Miami, for the International Behavioral Medicine Conference. Isaac was Research Professor at Victoria University about 10 years ago, and gave a presentation at APS which was able to be recorded along with his slides as a CPD opportunity for members.



Dr. Isaac Prilleltensky is Dean of the School of Education and Human Development and vice provost for Institutional Culture at the University of Miami. He was born in Argentina and has lived and worked also in Israel, Canada, Australia, and the United States. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Hebrew, and proficient in Italian. Isaac holds the inaugural Erwin and Barbara Mautner Chair in Community Well-Being. He has published 8 books and over 130 articles and chapters. His interests are in the promotion of well-being in individuals, organizations, and communities; and in the integration of wellness and fairness. He was recipient of the 2010 "Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research Award" of the Community Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association (APA), and of the 2014 “Lifetime Achievement Award in Prevention” by the division of Counseling Psychology of APA. He leads a research team that developed (https://www.funforwellness.com/fun/bin/landing) a research-based online platform to promote health and wellness using videos, games and humor. Isaac is a vegan, fitness aficionado, and humor writer. His most recent book is The Laughing Guide to Well-Being: Using Humor and Science to Become Happier and Healthier.


Dr. Ora Prilleltensky obtained her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Toronto. She is the former director of the major in Human and Social Development at the University of Miami and has taught various graduate and undergraduate courses. Ora has worked in a variety of clinical settings, including a child guidance clinic, a university counseling center and a rehabilitation hospital. Her research interests include Disability Studies and the promotion of well-being. She is the author of Motherhood and Disability: Children and Choices (Palgrave, 2004) and the co-author of Promoting Well-being: Linking Personal, Organizational and Community change (2006, John Wiley & Sons). She is co-author of the forthcoming book The Laughing Guide to Change with Isaac Prilleltensky. Ora is part of a research team developing online assessments and interventions to promote health and well-being (https://www.funforwellness.com/fun/bin/landing). Ora currently serves on Miami-Dade County’s Commission on Disability Issues. She is also on the board of Research and Reform for Children in Court.

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The Lowitja Institute International Indigenous health and Wellbeing Conference

The Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference was held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in November.  The Lowitja Institute has provided links to conference photographs as well as videos of ketnote addresses and much more.


The Conference also issued a call to action which is reproduced below with a link to download the full statement

Please follow the links below.




Download full statement HERE


Call to Action:
We call on everyone to ensure that we grow strong Indigenous children into strong and healthy adults able to reach the full potential of their lives. For this to happen, we must

  • Have a new and different way of working together
  • Enable Indigenous children to have cultural security and strong identity
  • Enable Indigenous children to have access to have culturally secure early childhood education
  • Enable Indigenous people to measure and monitor our progress
  • We call on all governments to fully implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • We call on all nations and their citizens to know the truth in relation to Indigenous peoples, and to act on that truth
  • We call on all governments to support the goals that have been identified by Indigenous peoples. This requires proper resourcing and long term commitment to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples
  • We call on governments to resource, to fund and to commit to Indigenous Institutions at all levels. Indigenous institutions need to lead the way in supporting Indigenous Peoples to achieve health and wellbeing
  • We call on all governments to establish cultural models of care, and for Indigenous peoples to define our own success and how we measure that success.
  • We call on all to protect the land to which we belong.  Only when the land is healed, can we achieve true health and wellbeing.

Photos, videos, presentations

Please note that copyright for all audio visual material produced by the conference is retained by the Lowitja Institute, with the exception of material such as presentations where copyright remains with the authors and are reproduced by the Lowitja Institute with permission.

If you need a print quality photo or wish to reproduce any of this material, please contact us by email at [email protected]

  • Presentations are being published HERE; we hope to complete this process early next week. Audio recordings will also be available in the coming weeks
  • Photos of the three conference days, the Welcoming Ceremony and the conference dinner are available HERE
  • VIdeos of the conference launch, speeches by Dr Lowitja O'Donoghue and the Hon Ken Wyatt, plus the five keynote addresses are available HERE
  • Conference day 1 video
  • Conference day 2 video
  • Conference day 3 video


website: www.lowitjaconf2016.org.au
email: [email protected]

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The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has been supporting those working in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander health sector for over 20 years

   (http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/ ).  Its iconic website uses artwork as part of its commitment to ensuring that the HealthInfoNet is located authentically in the intercultural space.  All artwork is ethically sourced with appropriate remuneration and recognition of the artists who so generously allow their art to be displayed.  Decisions on how the artwork is represented on the site are carefully thought through to ensure that any ‘slices’ maintain the integrity of the work and this process is discussed with all artists.  In 2018 the HealthInfoNet will transition its site to a responsive design to enable it to be viewed and used much more easily on all mobile platforms such as tablets and smartphones.  ‘This is an important step forward for the HealthInfoNet that will enable it to engage more fully with new generations of users who have high expectations about how they access information to support their everyday work’, said Director Professor Neil Drew, a proud APS Fellow and longstanding member of the College of Community Psychologists.  The latest acquisitions are from the catalogue of Aboriginal artist Melanie Louise Robinson of MLR Aboriginal Art.  The works will be used to illustrate key section of the responsively designed resource. ‘I have purchased a piece titled Communities coming together to live as one.  When I saw the exquisite work and the simple and evocative title I couldn’t resist it and know that my fellow travellers in the College of Community Psychologists will also appreciate the sentiment’. Said Neil.



Communities coming together to live as one

Melanie Louise Robinson

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Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet celebrates 20th anniversary

In September, the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet officially celebrated its 20th birthday. Established in 1997 by former GP and public health specialist, Professor Neil Thomson, the widely used web resource continues to provide high quality, evidenced based knowledge and information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health to the health sector.

Speaking at the official 20 year anniversary event held at Parliament House in Canberra on the 13th September, The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Minister for Indigenous Health said “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are the real winners from the HealthInfoNet, as it plays an important role in closing the gap in Indigenous health.”  Guests also included Warren Snowdon, Shadow Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health, members of the HealthInfoNet advisory board, Edith Cowan University Executive team representatives, partner organisations, consultants, representatives from the Australian Government Department of Health (core funder) and peak bodies and organisations based in Canberra.   

To commemorate the 20th anniversary, a painting was commissioned to tell the story of the history of the HealthInfoNet and its relationships and connections across the country. Minister Wyatt unveiled the artwork by Professor Mick Adams, a well-known Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artist, researcher and academic. In addition a short film of the 20 year history and a series of timelines were also produced.  http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/about/about-us-info/our-history

HealthInfoNet Director, Professor Neil Drew said of the milestone birthday, ‘This is an historic achievement for a resource that is unique in the world. That the vision of one man over 20 years ago not only continues but is flourishing is testament to Professor Thomson’s vision and to the ongoing support of many thousands of supporters, partners and users throughout Australia. Over the last year we had 3 million page views, 1 million sessions and just under 800,000 users. With a user satisfaction rate of 97% and portals dedicated to the workforce, the HealthInfoNet remains a vital part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health infrastructure’.  



Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet 20th anniversary commemorative painting

Artist Dr Uncle Mick Adams Senior Research Fellow Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
The painting represents what the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet is about. It features the Gecko as the main character. The light blue circles and dark blue whirls are the health portals. The dots leading into the bigger circle are our partners where members act as technical advisors on the Advisory Board. The multitude within the artistic framework represents people, staff, country, programs etc.


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Walking with African Australians towards educational excellence in Victoria

Tuesday October 16th 6.00- 8.30pm

Metro West, 138 Nicholson St Footscray

Community psychologists are sick of hearing sensationalist, negative stories in the news about African Australians.  So we are bringing you genuinely sensational positive stories from African Australians instead!   

Please show your support and join with members of African Australian communities to hear their stories of success, experiences within the education system and their positive contributions to Victoria. 

Community leaders and parents from African communities will share their perspectives on current challenges and opportunities. Young community leader Nyaluelit Kuoth will explore the reality of being a young African Australian in 2018. Bronwen Heathfield, Area Executive Director South Western Victoria Region will overview secondary school initiatives that support and welcome African Australian students and their families.

This participatory forum will provide members of African Australian communities, other educators, Community and Educational psychologists and professionals to find new ways of working together to foster educational excellence.

Please share this with anyone who is interested in education, community building and challenging the biased public narrative about African Australians in Victoria.

Cost: Free for African Australian community members; $10 for Professionals

Contact: Ebony Simon [email protected]   (03) 9353 5811

Proudly supported by VICSEG New Futures and Victoria University

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The Art of Community:  Using the power of art for social change

Tuesday December 4th 6.30 - 8.00pm

Metro West, 138 Nicholson St Footscray

Community psychologists have often worked with artists to challenge norms, inspire social movements and advance social change. Art has the power to seep into the nooks and crannies of people's awareness where evidence and logic have little influence. 

Join us as three First Nation artists Neika Lehman, Todd Fernando and Maddee Clark discuss how they have used art as a powerful tool to challenge systems, structures, gendered norms and colonised worldviews.  Their work has included visual art, writing and magazine production and has appeared in Overland, Next Wave Festival, NITV, Artlink, and the collection Colouring the Rainbow: Black Queer and Trans Perspectives.

Stay on for the Community Psychologists' End of Year drinks after the event.

Please pass this onto artists and anyone who is interested in finding creative ways of challenging the status quo and developing new possibilities.

Cost: Free for First Nation community members;

$25 full price; $20 concession

Tickets available here:  

Facebook event

Contact: Annie Belcher [email protected]

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