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Waakebiness Institute and Online
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  • July 9, 2024 from 1:00am to 3:00am
  • July 3, 2024 (all day)


Dr. Michael Doyle – Associate Professor University of Sydney, Australia

Join us for a light lunch 1 – 1:30 at Waakebiness Institute and a presentation 1:30 – 3 pm in person or via zoom.

Title: Working towards better programs for first nations Australians in prison

Abstract: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) Australians constitute 3.8% of the Australian population but make up 33% of the prison population. There are multiple overlapping contributing factors for this vast over-imprisonment, with the underlying factor being the ongoing effect of colonisation. More than two thirds of both First nations and settler individuals who are in prison have some form of substance use disorder. The support programs in prison have typically been developed using a western model and focus on treating the symptoms of substance use so as to reduce the likelihood of criminal offending after release from prison. This approach does not take into account the ongoing effect of colonisation, which includes ongoing intergenerational trauma as being the underlying cause of substance use by First Nations Australians.

The aim of this presentation is to outline past research in substance use patterns and treatment approaches in Australian prisons. It will conclude with a look at the development of a new innovative culturally-based social and emotional wellbeing program for First Nations Australians.

Dr Michael Doyle is a Bardi man. His homelands are located in the remote north-west of the Kimbereley region of Australia. Dr Doyle is an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney. His research focuses on supporting First Nations men involved in the criminal justice system.