A Program Co-designed with Aboriginal Stakeholders
DRUMBEAT, the world’s leading evidence-based therapeutic drumming program, has been achieving remarkable social outcomes across Australia and around the world. We have expanded this innovative program significantly by training professionals from other organisations to become Facilitators. This has resulted in a global community of over 7,000 Facilitators… and growing!
We are now co-designing a customised Indigenous DRUMBEAT Program with a wide range of Aboriginal stakeholders, thanks to funding from Healthway WA. Please scroll down this web page for more details about this exciting program.
True to the essence of this unique program, the logo has been designed by an Indigenous person. Gemma Reardon is a proud Whadjuk, Yued Noongar woman with roots to her Grandmother’s people, the Yawuru People of the Kimberley. She belongs to the Ryder Family from the Wheatbelt Town of Northam. The circle in the logo represents a drum and the dots represent the many connections created by the rhythms.
Latest Update: Our first Indigenous DRUMBEAT Facilitator Training was organised in Broome from March 15 to 18. This was in preparation for the Pilot 1 programs due to commence in April 2021. DRUMBEAT Master Trainer Geoff Parker facilitated four days of training for 17 participants from several organisations in Broome and Derby: Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service, St Mary’s College Broome, Milliya Rumurra Aboriginal Corporation (both residential & continued care programs), Broome Sobering Up Shelter, Broome Prison, and West Kimberley Prison.
The draft Indigenous DRUMBEAT manual was also received very positively and there was a lot of great discussion, laughter and music.
Indigenous DRUMBEAT Program Stakeholders
Boab Health • Aarnja • Broome Recovery Centre • Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service Team (KMHDS) Marnja Jarndu (Women’s Shelter) • KAMSC – Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service Department of Health • Department of Justice – West Kimberley Regional Youth Justice Department of Communities • Shire of Broome Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) • Agunya Broome Men’s Outreach – Change ’em Ways Team • Cyrenian House Anglicare • Broome Circle House • Milliya Rumurra Alcohol & Drug Rehabilitation Centre Headspace • Broome Regional Prison • West Kimberley Regional Prison St Mary’s College • Derby Youth Centre
University of Western Australia
Music has been an intrinsic aspect of Aboriginal culture for centuries.
Music has always been a powerful way to communicate meaningfully and to bring people together to address issues. While the DRUMBEAT community includes many Aboriginal Facilitators, we identified the need to develop a customised program that would be culturally sensitive and carefully adapted for indigenous communities.
In 2019, Healthway WA accepted our proposal to develop a customised Indigenous DRUMBEAT Program that would be co-designed with Aboriginal stakeholders. This project is now underway and progressing rapidly.
We are working with the Kimberley Child Safety Directors Group (CSDG) as a Project Management Committee across the Kimberley. We aim to provide overall project guidance and will provide regular updates in person in Broome and via video links to the group in other locations.
Our Community Working Group (CWG1) for the Broome and Derby pilots had 3 consultations between March and August 2020 – before COVID-19 border restrictions interrupted this process. The next round of consultations in October 2020 will involve 15 local service providers in the program development process.
Consultations external to the CWG1 have been held with:
The DRUMBEAT team and trainers to gain their advice about customising the program. These trainers have delivered
DRUMBEAT in Indigenous contexts and with Aboriginal people around Australia.
DRUMBEAT trained facilitators in the Kimberley that deliver to groups of Aboriginal young people.
DRUMBEAT facilitators around Australia who deliver in an Indigenous context.
Cultural Reference Group
We have established a Cultural Reference Group with Aboriginal representatives from agencies involved in this project. The first meeting was held on January 29, 2020 to develop cultural elements of the customisation. This group agreed on key principles to protect the integrity and Aboriginal ownership of the project and to promote capacity building and sustainability through the region for the long term. The 2 key principles are:
1. The trained program facilitators are required to self-determine the cultural protocols for their own communities – relying on their own spiritual guidance and accepting guidance relevant to elders and community members from that country where Indigenous DRUMBEAT is being delivered, as they deem appropriate.
2. The primary facilitator of Indigenous DRUMBEAT must be Indigenous. The co-facilitator can be non-Indigenous but cannot lead cultural discussions. This has been discussed with several key stakeholders with 100% support. This is intended to protect the cultural integrity of the program – being an Indigenous healing program for Aboriginal people, co-designed and delivered by Aboriginal people within their local communities.
We are very pleased that service providers participating in the CWG1 are very keen to deliver pilots in both Broome and Derby. Most of them would like to integrate the Indigenous DRUMBEAT Program into their ongoing service delivery.
In a positive development, we have revised our initial plan to send Aboriginal staff from one or two agencies down to Perth to be trained and return to Broome or Derby. We will now send a DRUMBEAT Master Trainer to Broome to train staff of organisations intending to deliver pilot programs. As a result, many more staff will have the opportunity to be trained and this strengthens the sustainability and capacity building aspects of this project.
Phase 1 Pilot Programs
We are currently working with the following service providers to deliver Phase 1 pilot programs in Broome and Derby:
St Mary’s School: Children 8-12 and Youth 13-17
Youth Justice/Corrective Services: Youth 13-17
West Kimberley Regional Prison: Adult Women and Adult Men (TBC)
Broome Prison: Adult Men’s Program
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS): Youth 13-17 (TBC)
Milliya Rumurra Aboriginal Family Residential Rehabilitation Service
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the timeline has been readjusted as follows:
Phase 1 pilots in Broome and Derby are scheduled to commence at the start of School Term 2 2020.
Phase 2 pilots are scheduled to commence at the second location in a minor regional town (TBC).
The final facilitator training program is scheduled to be delivered in Broome in March 2022.
All stakeholders involved in this project agree that it has tremendous potential to make a positive impact in Aboriginal communities.
For more information please contact the Project Manager Renee Hine via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08 9416 4444.