Keynote 2 – Wellbeing Theme
Presented by Professor Kerry Arabena
Director, Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit, Centre for Health and Society, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia
Connection to land, culture, spirituality, family, and community are important to the social and cultural wellbeing of an adolescent and their growth and development as thriving adults. It is also recognised that a person’s social and emotional wellbeing is encapsulated in a holistic view of health. These determinants are the primary responsibility of families and communities, however, in vulnerable populations; integrated models of service delivery that strengthen community resilience have lasting impacts, across adolescence, the life course and across generations.
Indigenous adolescents across the world are experiencing an increasing number of stressor events, contained within three important themes: ‘the denial of humanity, the denial of existence and the denial of identity’ (see Zubrick et al., 2005). In this presentation, Professor Kerry Arabena will promote key elements to address social and emotional needs of adolescents through the integration of educational and social services with an emphasis on health and social justice to illicit practical interventions both now and in future.
Professor Kerry Arabena has a Doctorate in Human Ecology and an extensive background in public health, administration, community development and research. Her work has made significant contributions across many states and territories in areas such as gender issues, social justice, human rights, access and equity, service provision, harm minimisation, and citizenship rights and responsibilities. Kerry is a descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait and current Chair for Indigenous Health and Director of the Indigenous Health Equity Unit at the University of Melbourne.
Kerry has represented Australia in international forums on HIV/AIDS, and climate change. Her professional experience has seen her recognised as an Australian of the Year Finalist in 2010, recipient of the prestigious JG Crawford Prize for Academic Excellence at Australian National University in 2011, and a nomination in The bulletin magazine’s ‘Smart 100 Australians’ Health and Medical Research Category, in 2004.