Our Impact


      • 2021 Finalist in Australian Financial Review Higher Education Awards: Community Engagement
      • 2021 Special commendation for the Sustainable Healthcare Awards hosted by Bond University


ABC Northwest Queensland News: “Elders and doctors come together to create groundbreaking FASD diagnostic framework”. Featured article, September 2020.

Sector Leaders Magazine, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC): “I didn’t know: Is Gidgee Healing the first primary healthcare setting to establish an FASD screening and diagnostic service nationwide?” Featured article, October 2020

Australian Financial Review Higher Education: “Academia has a lot to learn from our First Nations communities”. Featured OpEd, November 2021 written by the Yapatjarrathati Team.

Community feedback

Aunty Joan Marshall, Kalkadoon, Alyawarre Elder

Working together is key. We’ve been just doing things the white man way. Our people have had no voice—we need our voice heard. That’s what we have with you guys, your team makes us feel valued and heard. You listen to us and you walk with us. We are all one. Your team has opened your heart up to us. We see each other as equal.

Aunty Karen West, Kalkadoon Elder

The Griffith team always go down and see the guys down in the camp, and that’s spot on, connecting with the community. It’s a fantastic program that has been very long in coming, but I think it is really good that the Griffith team go out and see our guys. That makes a difference.

Aunty Shirley Dawson, Eastern Aranda Nation Group

Art is a way of communicating information; it condenses all the information. If you are explaining something to the parents, they really don’t understand it until we incorporate the art and the story. Most of us learn by seeing it, and art helps us to see it. I didn’t really understand how or why we were assessing children until I did the art. It is a successful collaboration between Griffith Uni and Gidgee.

Ms Theresa McDonald, Aboriginal Health Worker, Gidgee Healing

I did the Tracking Cube, and the Dreamtime Story with a family last week, and they said that it was easy to understand. The community has definitely benefited from these assessments, they can now say, ‘hey this is what my child has’. One child moved from mainstream school, where they were really struggling, to special school. The child loves their special school, they love to go every day. As health workers, this gives us a better approach for assessing health, now we are catching everything, rather than missing information that could be beneficial.”

Dr Marjad Page, GP from Kambu Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Health

The community has responded with joy and happiness, as our project has listened to those before, listened to the community needs and wants, so that we can better look after—and care for—our children. Using First Nation ways, such as Dreamtime stories, art and heart, allows us to be able to present a unique but proper way of being culturally appropriate and sensitive to our families.

Ms Sarah Horton, Project Coordinator at Griffith University.

The innovation of this team lies in the strength and depth of the relationship that has been developed between the key parties. The cornerstone of this relationship is the importance of true dialogue. The Griffith team allows for each individual in our service, and our community to feel safe coming to a mutual space to share knowledge, ideas and experiences in order to create new understandings… The project belongs to all of us. Every person in our Project has a role, ‘a knowledge’ that they hold, and a story that is theirs to share— ‘You are you and I love you’. It’s in the name of the story that guides all of us.

Daniel Williamson, Queensland Health Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Branch

This is a project that was built from the ground up with the community, and that is an absolute rarity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. The most significant aspect was that it is a project that was not just with, but by, the community. Community really was the central driving force in identifying a lot of the priorities of the project. Again, that is something that doesn’t happen often. It is a good example of how you go about building a program or process that is truly ‘by the people for the people’.

Peter Binks, Vice-President Industry and External Engagement, Griffith University

This project represents the kind of purposeful, high-impact work that our university can be extremely proud of. In terms of importance and linkages into the community it is hard to go past this one.

Doug Shelton, Clinical Director – Women’s & Children’s Health Services, Gold Coast Health and Hospital Service

Children in rural and remote areas can not—in a timely or reasonable fashion—get services if they have FASD or any other complex neurodevelopmental presentation. The reason for this is that traditionally such services are provided by specialists. There are no specialists in the bush. The equity of service delivery required us to find another way. The other way is the Tracking Cube, which allows complex neurodevelopmental presentations to be assessed in primary care by non-specialist personnel in a timely fashion. Not only are their assessments completed close to their home, but this decreases the load on the specialist services and decreases the needs for children to travel vast distances to receive these services.”