1F Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander


Dr Elaine Bennett,
Wednesday November 21 2018

Time: 1:30pm – 2:00pm

Room: Boardroom 2

1F Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Growing Strong Brains: – an interactive toolkit used in remote WA with Aboriginal families/communities


In 2014, Ngala produced a culturally appropriate and interactive resource to build early brain development knowledge and skills. This resource, Growing Strong Brains (GSB), was developed following consultation with more than 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families/service providers from across regional and metropolitan Western Australia.

The GSB toolkit is an interactive, culturally appropriate resource that promotes awareness and understanding of early brain development science pre-birth and in the early years of a child’s life. Adaptable to meet local needs, it fosters and reinforces learning within a culturally safe context. The implementation of the GSB toolkit project focused on: strong partnerships with service providers and local community groups; engagement and building relationships with local communities and families; service delivery at a grass root level; and building local champions and capacity to work with the GSB toolkit within communities.

During 2016 the Growing Strong Brains (GSB) toolkit was implemented and evaluated across the Goldfields region to pilot its effectiveness for increasing knowledge and understanding in local Aboriginal communities of early brain development. The results of the project indicated that overall Ngala achieved the objectives which have provided findings and recommendations for further support and implementation of the GSB toolkit in Western Australia.

Now in 2018, Ngala has further funding and is implementing the intervention in the Carnarvon community using a community-based participatory action research methodology.

The presentation will focus on how the toolkit was developed, evaluation findings and shared learnings to date, which have the potential to inform other culturally appropriate and effective collaborative interventions to achieve optimal outcomes for Aboriginal children and families.


Elaine is Director Research at Ngala, (parenting and early childhood services), not for profit organisation in Perth, WA. Over the past decade Elaine has developed and had oversight of the Ngala research agenda and has formed many strong relationships with University partners. Elaine’s key focus is on translational research.