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Joint Media Release SANE and Thirrili Partnership

SANE and Thirrili are thrilled to announce a groundbreaking partnership to enhance support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, families, and communities affected by suicide or trauma. This collaboration will introduce a culturally governed and safe online postvention Yarning Space, designed to offer tailored support in a culturally sensitive manner.

Since 2014, SANE has developed online community forums for individuals with complex mental health issues and their carers, providing a space for peer-to-peer support and connection. Building on this expertise, SANE and Thirrili are co-designing a new platform that will offer a culturally safe and inclusive space specifically for First Nations people. This dedicated social and emotional wellbeing Yarning Space will enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to share their experiences, connect with others, and access culturally appropriate resources in a supportive online environment.

By combining SANE’s extensive experience in mental health support with Thirrili’s deep cultural understanding, this partnership aims to create a more inclusive and responsive support system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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Media Release – Thirrili Appoints new CEO

The Board of Directors of Thirrili Ltd are pleased to announce that Ms Kerry Colbung
(PSM) a proud Kokatha woman from South Australia has been appointed to the role of
Chief Executive Officer. Ms Colbung will take up this role on the 12th of June 2024.

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Media Release Funding Concerns

Thirrili express our deep concern and frustration over the ongoing lack of funding and support from the government for critical postvention and prevention initiatives.

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Poster

Thirrili Service poster A3

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Joint Statement Out of Home Care

Following the devastating loss of a 10-year-old Indigenous boy in state care, Thirrili, alongside other prominent Indigenous mental health organisations, have collaborated on a joint media statement. We urgently implore Federal and State Governments to prioritise investments in social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) and mental health support for Indigenous children.

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Membership Brochure

Our membership base supports us to be strong advocates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. You can make a positive contribution to reducing the traumatic impacts of suicide by becoming a member of Thirrili.

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March Quarterly Newsletter

In the March Quarterly Newsletter we bring you updates on the National Close the Gap Day, we welcome the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Ms. Katie Kiss and meet our Darwin-based NT Indigenous Suicide Postvention Advocate, Margaret.

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Model of Care PDF

Our model centres Country we are Country in the centre you can also see the person as Country. Country allows season storms, drought, desolation etc, it is strong and remains sometimes, beautifully and abundant and sometimes brutalised and abused. If we see ourselves the same way, we allow all the seasons storms, sunshine etc in our lives to move around us these things come and go, there is fluidity. But ourselves is grounded, connected and eternal all at the same time, just like Country.

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Thirrili Way PDF

The Thirrili Way is more than a strategic framework; it is a living testament to our commitment to culturally informed care, guided by the voices of lived experience and the strength of community. It’s a journey we undertake together, respecting the sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and honoring the trust they place in us. 

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Constitution PDF

The Principal Purpose of Thirrili is to contribute to the broader social wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are disadvantaged by reducing the high rates of suicide through designing, delivering and operating a critical response system to help affected individuals and their extended families cope with suicides and traumatic incidents in their community.

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Strategic Direction PDF

Thirrili is a proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that is led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing, being and doing. As an Aboriginal and Torres Islander Community Controlled Organisation, we recognise the strengths of our communities and our strong responsibility to support communities in the aftermath of suicide or unexpected fatal incidents.

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Thirrili Newsletter May 2022 – Volume 3 Issue 5

May is always a challenge in our communities. In ways it is a time for us to come together and support each other. It is the day of mourning, Sorry Day, the remembrance of all the loss and grief and suffering and the struggles to heal from the harm of colonisation. Sadly though, we are often drawn away from our community and asked to organise things for our mainstream friends to mark reconciliation week

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Thirrili Newsletter April 2022 – Volume 3 Issue 4

We’ve been out and about in community for most of this year, a welcome relief after the restrictions of COVID-19. Our practice is to do Rapid Antigen Tests before travelling, to ensure we don’t carry any risk of transmission of COVID-19 into the communities we work with. We are in a good rhythm of setting up our plans to visit communities and then ensure we follow up on commitments we have made.

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Thirrili Newsletter March 2022 – Volume 3 Issue 3

March is the month where Closing the Gap is highlighted and those of us who work towards achieving those targets reaffirm our commitment to continue to do all we can to achieve equity in health outcomes for our mobs. I would say the most challenging area of this for Thirrili is accessing data. We have some arrangements with some organisations to share data and work together in a place-based way to address the impacts of suicide, but not as many as we would like to have.

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Thirrili Newsletter February 2022 – Volume 3 Issue 2

February was a time of great challenge as well as opportunity for Thirrili staff. After the success of the NSW roadshow in partnership with StandBy, both organisations agreed we should be planning community visits together where possible, and our regional staff will start meeting monthly to ensure we share in our planning activities, to support our partnership to continue to develop and thrive.

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Thirrili Newsletter January 2022 – Volume 3 Issue 1

As the new Chief Executive Officer at Thirrili, I would like to pay my respects to all Aboriginal community members who work with grief, loss and trauma, to the Traditional Owners of all homelands in Australia and to elders, past and present. I am ever grateful for the advice, support and guidance I receive from Elders, and I very conscious that we stand on the shoulders of giants of our communities, and I have a cultural responsibility to honour my ancestors and nurture future generations of Aboriginal communities.

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Thirrili Newsletter December 2021 – Volume 2 Issue 12

I would like to welcome our readers back. I hope you and your families are keeping safe and healthy in these challenging times, and I wish you a happy and fulfilled 2022. I am standing in for the CEO for now, until the Board appoints our next leader. You will know from our last issue, Jacqueline McGowan-Jones has been appointed the Commissioner for Children and Young People for Western Australia. We were sad to see Jac leave, but happy that she has accepted such a challenge, as we know she is more than equal to the task.

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Thirrili Newsletter November 2021 – Volume 2 Issue 11

As you are all aware, Thirrili has been funded until 2024 to deliver the Indigenous Suicide Postvention Service and we have been undertaking significant recruitment to several key roles in the organisation. This includes having recruited new Postvention Advocates in the NT and NSW – with positions still available in QLD, SA, NT, WA, NSW and Victoria. We have also recruited our new Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Ms Annette Vickery.

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Thirrili Newsletter October 2021 – Volume 2 Issue 10

We were delighted to be awarded the Indigenous Suicide Postvention Service tender in August this year. Our focus over the next 3 years will be to continue to respond to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and communities affected by suicide and other fatal traumatic incidents. Our Board will now commence work on reviewing our Strategic Plan for the next three years, with a view to releasing this in April 2022.

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Thirrili Newsletter September 2021 – Volume 2 Issue 9

Thirrili has now signed our new Contract with the National Indigenous Australians Agency, on behalf of the Australian Government, to deliver the Indigenous Suicide Postvention Service (Australia-wide) until June 2024. We are now recruiting for a broad range of positions across all jurisdictions to build and grow our team of dedicated, committed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.

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Thirrili Newsletter August 2021 – Volume 2 Issue 8

The year has not been easy: we had a number of short-term funding extensions which did impact our ability to attract and retain quality staff. We are now commencing a national recruitment campaign to fill a significant number of vacancies across the organisation, and I am looking forward to enhancing our capacity for supporting individuals, families and communities impacted by a loss to suicide or other fatal traumatic incident.

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Thirrili Newsletter July 2021 – Volume 2 Issue 7

Thirrili Ltd is very pleased to announce that we are now an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO). As an ACCO, Thirrili will remain controlled and led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The transition will allow us to continue to deliver services that build strength and empowerment in our families and communities.

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Thirrili Newsletter June 2021 – Volume 2 Issue 6

It is now a year since I commenced as the CEO of Thirrili Ltd, which has been an amazing, challenging and heartwarming experience. I am impressed every day by the work of our fabulous team who continue to provide culturally safe and responsive services to our families and communities bereaved by suicide and other fatal traumatic incidents.

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Thirrili Newsletter May 2021 – Volume 2 Issue 5

As many of you are aware, the National Indigenous Australians Agency has recently put out a tender for an Indigenous Suicide Postvention Service: this is the program that Thirrili Ltd currently delivers nationally and we will be applying for the tender to continue to deliver this critical program. We are pleased that the National Indigenous Australians Agency has recognised the critical need for, and has committed a further three years funding to, an Indigenous Postvention Service.

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Thirrili Newsletter April 2021 – Volume 2 Issue 4

I am very sad to report that our numbers of suicides have increased recently demonstrating how valuable and critically important it is to provide culturally responsive after suicide support services. Thirrili Board and Staff send our condolences to those experiencing loss, and we are thinking of you all during these difficult times. Our families and communities continue to experience grief, loss and trauma that is compounded as each loss occurs.

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Thirrili Newsletter March 2021 – Volume 2 Issue 3

I am very pleased to advise that our Thirrili team, and particularly the National Indigenous Postvention Service team, continues to grow and develop. During the week commencing 15 March, we held an all-staff conference in Adelaide. The conference focused on workshops to improve our practice and the way in which we work with families and communities, but also how we collaborate with other services to deliver quality supports for our Clients.

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Thirrili Newsletter Summer December 2020 – Issue 23

We were established to support families after the loss of a family member to suicide or other traumatic death. At our recent Annual General Meeting on 7 December, we marked the achievements of Thirrili for the 2019-20 financial year. Whilst thanking retiring Board members Mark Wenitong and Wayne Kinrade, we welcomed four new Board members: Janine Mohamed, Donna Murray, Daniel Morrison and Dr Summer May Finlay.

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Thirrili Newsletter November 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 22

Recently, the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) published the summative evaluation of the first three years (2017-2020) of development and implementation of the National Indigenous Crisis Response Service (NICRS).
Renamed the National Indigenous Postvention Service (NIPS) earlier this year—to better reflect the intent and operating model of the service — the program was found to be providing valuable postvention support to individuals and families who have recently experienced a suicide or other traumatic incident in their close family network.

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Thirrili Newsletter October 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 21

I am very pleased to share that a recent “audit” of our progress in strengthening both Thirrili as an organisation, and our work on the National Indigenous Postvention Service, shows we have achieved some wonderful things in the past few months.

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Thirrili Newsletter September 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 20

Since the advice of our extension of funding, we have continued to focus on recruitment to key positions. We have arranged to re -advertise our vacancies for National Indigenous Postvention Advocates – with a focus on filling critical vacancies in the Northern Territory.

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Thirrili Newsletter September 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 19

I am very pleased to advise that the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) has provided Thirrili with an extension of funding to 30 June 2021 to deliver the National indigenous Postvention Service. The extension will mean that our families and communities will continue to have access to the Service for the remainder of this financial year.

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Thirrili Newsletter September 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 18

Welcome to the 18th edition of our Newsletter I am sorry to report that we have seen an increase in suicides over the past two weeks – receiving notifications in Victoria, NSW, QLD, NT and SA. While these do not appear to be directly attributable to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the events are a very harsh reminder that quality, Indigenous-led postvention services are critical for our families and communities.

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Thirrili Newsletter August 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 17

I have now been in the CEO role for nine weeks and during this time I have been incredibly grateful for the support of the wonderful team at Thirrili. Each of our team members goes above and beyond on a daily basis, and there is never any doubting their commitment to help alleviate the complexity for our families and communities following a suicide or fatal critical incident.

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Thirrili Newsletter August 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 16

It is with great pleasure that I provide my first article for the Thirrili Newsletter. The Thirrili Board has been focused on some significant pieces of work in recent months, including the search for our new CEO.
Since joining Thirrili, Jacqueline has worked closely with the Board to support us in our work, including the development of our new Strategic Plan and actioning one of our key priorities – Board renewal.

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Thirrili Newsletter July 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 15

I am reminded daily of the importance of having Thirrili and the National Indigenous Postvention Service available to support our families and communities when they are experiencing grief, loss and trauma. Worldwide, Australia ranks 64th for suicide rates, however the Indigenous Australian population ranks 12th.

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Thirrili Newsletter July 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 14

This is your last chance to share our current vacancies – or to apply – with Thirrili. We are seeking National Indigenous Postvention Advocates (NIPAs) in all States and Territories and need your help to ensure we get applications from quality candidates.

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Thirrili Newsletter July 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 13

I have said before that I am honoured to have taken on the CEO role with Thirrili and one of the most gratifying and inspirational aspects is the team who work tirelessly to support our Clients – and those in the ‘backroom’ doing critical work to ensure we can provide quality, timely and Indigenous specific cultural support to families and communities during their time of grief and loss.

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Thirrili Newsletter June 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 12

This is the start of my third week with Thirrili Ltd, and while experiencing loads of challenges, I am pleased to say Thirrili continues to grow and develop our people, our work, and our connections.
We have just advertised National Indigenous Postvention Advocate (NIPA) positions for Queensland, NSW/ACT, South Australia, Victoria/Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

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Thirrili Newsletter June 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 11

I am honoured to have been chosen by the Board to lead Thirrili through the next phases of their growth. My own family has been touched by suicide and I firmly believe that Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders need a postvention service that understands the cultural context in which we work.

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Thirrili Newsletter June 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 10

While restrictions continue to ease and ‘normality’ has almost returned in some parts of the country, it is important that we understand that infections are still occurring. For the sake of our most vulnerable in particular, please follow the directions of the relevant Chief Health Officer or equivalent from each jurisdiction. Click below to keep informed about respective State and Territory information and from the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA).

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Thirrili Newsletter June 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 9

In the past few days the Thirrili Board have agreed to a name change for our flagship program. Formerly the National Indigenous Critical Response Service (NICRS), the program will now be known as the National Indigenous Postvention Service (NIPS).

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Thirrili Newsletter June 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 8

In the last few days, the Board has completed their extensive recruitment process and have announced the appointment of an ongoing Chief Executive Officer!
The new CEO— Jacqueline McGowan – Jones — has an impressive CV that bodes well for Thirrili’s future.

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Thirrili Newsletter May 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 7

A lot has happened since my last column and I’m pleased to say that we are on the verge of appointing an ongoing Chief Executive Officer! We were extremely delighted— but by no means surprised — by the quality of candidates who applied for the role.

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Thirrili Newsletter May 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 6

The Mental Health Commission released its National Mental Health Pandemic Plan on Friday 15 May 2020. The Plan recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are likely to be at high risk for both physical and psychological complications from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Thirrili Newsletter May 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 5

This week we are introducing Kaytlin Kelly, a Tjuparn/ Willman woman from Western Australia. While her mother’s country is located in the goldfields and her father’s country is part of the south west region, Kaytlin was born and raised in Port Hedland and has lived in Perth, Canberra and Melbourne!

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Thirrili Newsletter May 2020 – Volume 1 Issues 4

Hi all! Welcome to the fourth edition of our newsletter. Our aim in producing this publication is to not only keep you informed about what we are doing, but also to share important information from other organisations that might not otherwise reach your inbox. On occasion, we may simply be amplifying a message that has been delivered elsewhere.

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Thirrili Newsletter April 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 3

Last week we told you about new funding from the South Australian Government to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around the issues of COVID-19. We are excited that April Barry has now been appointed and has ‘hit the ground running’. April is a very proud Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara woman from the APY Lands. Her large family, the Ken family, are traditional owners from the lands and include many renowned and award- winning artists.

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Thirrili Newsletter April 2020 – Volume 1 Issue 2

When a CEO leaves an organisation, it can strike fear into every employee and concern for each board member and stakeholder. For staff members, there will be questions such as “will there be a role for me in the future?” For Board, the focus will be on getting the best possible replacement to take the organisation to the next stage of its development.

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