Policy & Projects – Social and Emotional
Wellbeing Policy Partnership

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia is a member of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations (Coalition of Peaks). Together with all Australian governments and the Australian Local Government Association, the Coalition of Peaks signed the National Agreement on Closing the Gap (National Agreement) on 27 July 2020.
The National Agreement has been built around what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people said is important to improve our lives. It includes four Priority Reforms to change the way governments work with our people, new government accountability measures, and shared monitoring and implementation arrangements.

Priority Reform One is about formal partnerships and shared decision-making, with parties to the National Agreement committing to building and strengthening structures that empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to share decision-making authority with governments to accelerate policy and place-based progress against Closing the Gap.

The Social and Emotional Wellbeing Policy Partnership

Policy partnerships under the National Agreement bring all jurisdictions together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parties to share decision-making. They are not roundtables or advisory groups; they are an opportunity to work in partnership to achieve the outcomes outlined in the National Agreement.

Policy partnerships report to the Joint Council on Closing the Gap on the recommendations made, implementation, and their progress as a partnership overall. As such, policy partnerships meet at least four times per year, where Parties will deliberate and progress agreed actions.

All Parties are jointly responsible for:

  • Developing a joined-up approach to the policy area including:
    • Identifying opportunities to work more effectively across government
    • Reducing gaps and duplication
  • Improving outcomes
  • Agreeing the priorities and work plan for the partnership
  • Conducting and commissioning research and studies, analysing data and information, preparing reports
  • Developing recommendations for action
  • Tracking and reporting on progress.

Policy partnerships will also develop linkages across other partnerships to share insights, particularly if there is cross-over in the policy areas.

The focus of the SEWB Policy Partnership is to improve social and emotional wellbeing; improve mental health; and reduce suicide rates. It aims to develop a ‘joined-up approach’ and focus on shared goals.

The primary function of the SEWB Policy Partnership is to make recommendations to the Joint Council on Closing the Gap to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people achieve the highest attainable standard of social and emotional wellbeing, improve mental health outcomes and reduce suicide rates (Outcome 14 of the National Agreement).

The SEWB Policy Partnership will approach social and emotional wellbeing in a broad and holistic way. It will look at factors including:

  • prevention
  • protective factors
  • mental health
  • suicide prevention
  • support after suicide.

Professor Pat Dudgeon, one of our Board Directors, is the Co-Chair of the SEWB Policy Partnership, alongside Dr Liz Develin, Deputy Secretary, Department of Health and Aged Care.

Read More

Meeting 1 Communique, 30-31 March 2023 Download PDF

Meeting 2 Communique, 3 August 2023 Download PDF

Meeting 3 Communique, 9 November 2023 Download PDF

Meeting 4 Communique, 14 March 2024
Download PDF