Public Submissions on the Draft Implementation Plan for the Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Declaration

Invitation to make a public submission

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia (GDPSA) is inviting submissions on the draft Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Declaration Implementation Plan (the Implementation Plan). Submissions will open on 16 June 2022 and close on 15 July 2022.

There are two ways to make a submission:

  • Download the draft document here and email comments and feedback to This option is for people who want to get into the finer detail of the document.
  • Access a quick survey here. This option is for people who may not have lots of time and are happy to give feedback on the key actions within the Implementation Plan.

What has happened to date?

Development of the Implementation Plan was first supported by all Australian Governments in the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (2017) (the Fifth Plan).

The content of the Implementation Plan builds on a series of workshops held in 2018/19 and late 2021, across all jurisdictions in Australia with members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, service providers and government stakeholders.

In early-2022, the Implementation Plan was tested with community members, those with a lived experience of mental health and SEWB services, and GDPSA’s seven Cultural Councils and Collaborative Networks. This was undertaken using a similar approach to the workshops conducted in 2021, with a focus on engaging stakeholders in each jurisdiction.

These discussions have contributed to the development of the actions within the Draft Implementation Plan that we are seeking your comment on.

What will happen once the submissions have been received?

All submissions and feedback will be considered by GDPSA, the Expert Advisory Committee and the Governance Committee that are contributing to the development of the Implementation Plan (see below for further details on these groups below). GDSPA will then seek to finalise the Implementation Plan in partnership with the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments via National Cabinet later this year.


What is the Implementation Plan?

The Implementation Plan sets out a 10-year plan to implement the Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Declaration (the Declaration). The Declaration outlines 5 key themes to achieve the best possible mental health and SEWB system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It promotes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership across all parts of the Australian mental health system and outlines the need for the best of cultural and clinical approaches. Find out more about the Declaration here.

Who is involved in developing the Implementation Plan?

Guiding the development of the Implementation Plan is a National Governance Committee (the Governance Committee) that was appointed by the Board of GDPSA. Members of the Governance Committee include:

  • Professor Helen Milroy, Chair of GDPSA, and Professor in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation
  • Professor Tom Calma AO, Patron of GDPSA and Chancellor of the University of Canberra
  • Nicole Turner, NSW Rural Doctors Network
  • Monica Barolits, Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association
  • Vicki McKenna, Black Dog Institute
  • Dawn Casey, NACCHO
  • Dr Mark Wenitong, NACCHO.

In addition to the Governance Committee, GDPSA has convened an Expert Advisory Committee of key government officials across jurisdictions to provide input and guidance to the development of the Implementation Plan. This is composed of the following senior state and federal departmental officials and independent advisors to governments:

  • Catherine Lourey, NSW Mental Health Commissioner
  • Associate Professor John Allan, Executive Director of Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Branch in Queensland Health
  • Mark Roddam, First Assistant Secretary, Mental Health, Commonwealth Department of Health
  • Dr Nathan Gibson, WA Chief Psychiatrist
  • Pam Anders, Senior Executive Director, Mental Health and Wellbeing Transformation at Victorian Department of Health
  • Richard Aitken, representing Kimberley McDonald, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Dr Ruth Vine, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health.
  • Simon Cotterell, First Assistant Secretary, PHN Primary Care, Commonwealth Department of Health

GDPSA is also working with Impact Co. a consulting firm, to develop the Implementation Plan.

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia