Ngangk Yira Institute for Change

Our Research Pillars

Authentic and Culturally Informed Research

Ngangk Yira focuses on translational research that is led by Aboriginal people who share a deep commitment to bring about meaningful change.

Maternal and Child Health

We believe that healthy mothers supported by Elders’ wisdom combined with culturally safe services optimises infant and child outcomes. This includes developing resources which promote Aboriginal voices and detail lived experience.

Protecting cultural heritage: Ngangk Waangening: Mothers’ Stories was published in 2021 creating an important cultural legacy for current and future Aboriginal families. Twelve Elder and Senior women’s birth stories are featured together with carefully crafted learning opportunities which direct health professional’s knowledge and awareness of Aboriginal cultural birthing practices with the aim of promoting culturally safe birth experiences for all Aboriginal women.

Linking mental health and child development outcomes: Our deep examination of the causal associations between mental health and child development outcomes is shaping when and how to address Aboriginal parent’s mental health problems prior to birth and developmental outcomes during the early years.

Creating a more equitable and culturally safe maternity care system: We have developed models of care and clinical ‘tools’ which Aboriginal women feel confident and safe using, reducing fragmentation and facilitating better communication between Aboriginal women, their families and communities and health service providers.

Ngangk Yira works closely with the WA government, contributing high level expertise to projects and initiatives which seek to ensure Aboriginal women have access to culturally safe maternity care.

Ngangk Waangening: Mothers’ Stories authors and co-editors at the launch of the book August 2021

Image above: Ngangk Waangening: Mothers’ Stories authors and co-editors at the launch of the book August 2021


Family Empowerment and Resilience

We know supporting young people, parents and families optimises personal and community resilience, self-determination and nurtures future community leaders.

Changing current practice: Baby Coming You Ready? is positively changing perinatal clinical practice through a culturally designed rubric which engages Aboriginal women and health practitioners in joint problem solving and strengths-based care planning via a comprehensive ‘record’ of each woman’s individual circumstances, strengths and concerns.

Promoting inclusivity: Understanding what Aboriginal young people need to maintain their resilience and social and emotional wellbeing is the basis of developing effective and culturally appropriate programs and services. Our research has analysed the cultural needs young Aboriginal people identify as crucial to facilitating their future desires. 

Culturally responsive measures: We are developing assessment tools which Aboriginal people can confidently and effectively use to report their individual circumstances, providing a pathway to services and supports which meet the needs of individuals, families and communities.


Healthy Families and Healthy Communities

Sustaining mothers, fathers, and Elders social and emotional wellbeing assures healthy families and communities. The below is evidence.

Promoting self-determination: We are helping enable self-determined futures by facilitating access to culturally safe education and healthcare and social support systems which acknowledge the strength of Aboriginal cultural life and centrality of culture to Aboriginal families and communities social and emotional wellbeing.

Maintaining data sovereignty: We support individual rights to freely participate in research activities and ensure control of personal data use over time. This includes the right to withdraw samples and data from research projects, requiring processes which accommodate Aboriginal people’s individual and collective data sovereignty.

Growing strong children: Our projects are paving the pathway to literacy which starts in the early years and builds on cultural learnings developed in each child’s home and community as a means of closing the gap between two cultural spheres of influence on children’s futures.

Our cultural governance

Pro Vice Chancellor
Ngangk Yira Institute

Kaadaninny Advisory Council

Elders Council

Cultural Engagement Lead

Ngangk Yira Institute Advisory Board

Aboriginal Community Advisory Groups
(for specific projects within the Research Pillars)


Help the Ngangk Yira Institute for Change to improve the lives of Aboriginal people

Learn more