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Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Dr Tracy Westerman AM

Managing Director, Indigenous Psychology Services

“I am a living example of how the power of education can level out the playing field and take you beyond any expectation others have of you, or that you have for yourself”

Dr Tracy Westerman AM

Dr Tracy Westerman AM is a proud Nyamal woman from the Pilbara region of Western Australia and a trailblazer in Aboriginal mental health, suicide prevention and cultural competency. She has long been considered a critical thought leader in this highly complex field. In 2003, she became the first Aboriginal person to complete a combined Masters & PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Dr Westerman is a widely sought-after keynote speaker having delivered to over 80 national conferences and internationally in Canada (2003); the USA (2004), Auckland (2006, 2007) and Wellington (2009). More than 40,000 individuals have attended her workshops arguably making her the most in demand trainer in Australia. She has developed multiple unique psychometric tests enabling the identification of Aboriginal people at suicide and mental health risk and which ensure measured and objective cultural competency improvements. Regularly sought out by all forms of media for her opinions Dr Westerman has also written significant Opinion Pieces published in many national newspapers and is published in academic journals.

She has appeared as an Expert Witness to multiple Government Inquiries and Royal Commissions. In 2018 she launched the Dr Tracy Westerman Indigenous Psychology Scholarship Program specifically to address the unacceptable rates of Indigenous child suicide by increasing the number of Indigenous Psychologists in our highest risk Indigenous communities. She launched the charity, The Westerman Jilya Institute for Indigenous Mental Health in 2020 to drive Indigenous mental health, suicide prevention best practice across Australia. In its first year, Jilya is supporting 26 Indigenous psychology students via private donations, fundraising, and government commitments. Her most notable awards include:

  • Order of Australia (AM), 2021
  • Telstra Women’s Business Award, Small Business Category Winner 2020
  • Australian of the Year (WA) 2018
  • Curtin University Lifetime Achievement Award 2018
  • Inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame 2018
  • 40 under 40 Business Leaders Strategic Alliance Award
  • Suicide Prevention Australia Award for Emerging Researcher 2006
  • Mark Liveris Award, Curtin University, Health Sciences for best Oral Presentation of PhD 2002

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