School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
Medical and Health Sciences
Dr Janya Mccalman, Dr Roxanne Bainbridge
Doctor of Philosophy

ResearchGate: Alexandra van Beek

Research Details

Thesis Name

Investigating the Impact of the Resilience Study, an Indigenous Student Mentoring Project

Thesis Abstract

This project aims to investigate the impact of the Resilience Study, a multicomponent mentoring intervention intended to enhance the resilience of remote-living Indigenous students compelled to attend boarding school for their secondary education. Improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples is proving to be a "wicked problem": a complex, multilevel, chaotic process. It requires consideration of tangible practicalities such as geographical locations, financial resources and technological capabilities, but also intangible human factors such as experience, values, and power. Improving Indigenous health outcomes is further hampered by lingering colonisation issues such as discrimination and devaluing of Indigenous ways of knowing and doing. With statistics showing a very high burden of mental health issues for Indigenous Australians, increasing understanding of the impact of Indigenous mental healthcare initiatives such as the Resilience Study, is needed to improve how research is conducted and implemented in this field.

Why my research is important/Impacts

Having to transition from Indigenous remote communities to urban Western schools just as they are moving into puberty, the Indigenous students at the heart of this project face a challenging journey. It is hoped that by improving our understanding of how the Resilience Study project has impacted the various stakeholders involved in this project, project benefits can be maximised for these students, making their journey somewhat easier. On a broader level, by giving Indigenous narratives centre stage in the investigation, the PhD project aspires to find better ways of conducting, sharing and implementing mental health research and programmes with Indigenous people, thereby ultimately helping to improve their mental health outcomes.


RTP Stipend scholarship