Dr Tracy Westerman

tracy westermanDr Tracy Westerman is a proud Njamal woman from the Pilbara region of Western Australia. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology). She is a recognised world leader in the Aboriginal mental health, cultural competency and suicide prevention fields achieving national and international recognition for her work.

Dr Westerman is a widely sought after keynote speaker having delivered to over 40 invited national conferences and internationally in Canada (2003); the USA (2004), Auckland (2006 & 2007) and Wellington (2009). In 2005 the Canadian government sent a delegation to Australia to explore Dr Westerman’s innovative approaches to Aboriginal suicide prevention and mental health resulting in recommendations that the same approach be adopted for Canadian Aboriginal people (Nunuvut Taskforce, 2006).

She was then recognised by Canadian Health, 2009 for her "substantial contribution" to the field of Aboriginal youth mental health & has been cited in numerous government reports citing her innovative work in Aboriginal mental health, cultural competency and suicide prevention. She has been invited as an  expert witness to numerous Parliamentary Enquires throughout Australia including the recent WA Parliamentary Enquiry into Aboriginal Suicide Prevention, the NSW Parliamentary Enquiry into the Bowraville Murders to name a few.

Dr Westerman has developed SEVEN unique Aboriginal mental health related psychological tests, unique Aboriginal mental health assessment models and training packages. She delivers her training programs to an average 1,000 participants across Australia annually. To date, she has personally trained over 22,000 individuals across Australia since 2000 which arguably makes her one of the most in demand trainers in Australia.

Her combined body of work places her at the forefront of Aboriginal mental health service delivery. Her most notable awards include:

  • The NAIDOC National Scholar of the Year (2002)
  • The Vice Chancellors Award for her PhD research
  • The Mark Liveris Award, Curtin University, Health Sciences for best Oral Presentation of PhD
  • The National Health & Medical Research Council Post Doctoral Fellowship to investigate ADHD in Aboriginal people, and,
  • The Suicide Prevention Australia Award for Emerging Researcher (2006)
  • 40 under 40 WA Business Awards recognising Dr Westerman as one of the best business people in WA under 40 - "Strategic Alliance Award"

Dr Westerman's Keynote Presentations

  • Westerman, T.G. (2002).  Mental Health Promotion and what it means for Aboriginal People.  Mental Health Symposium, Perth
  • Westerman, T.G. (2002).  Women’s Refuge Conference of WA, Inc.  Working with Aboriginal Youth and Children:  A community development approach to the prevention of suicide in the Derby region
  • Westerman, T.G. (2002).  Assessment of Aboriginal People: how do we measure the success of intervention programs with Aboriginal people?  Auseinet Forum, Adelaide
  • Westerman, T.G. (2002).  Women’s Refuge Conference of WA Inc.  Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah.  Aboriginal Children and Domestic and Family Violence: An analysis of the nature of violence in Aboriginal communities and the psychological impacts on Aboriginal children
  • Westerman, T.G. (2003).  Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference.  Co-occurrence of Disorders in Aboriginal populations:  how does this affect diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.  Darwin
  • Westerman, T.G. (2003).  Unchartered Territory Conference, Darwin, Northern Territory.  “A Model of Best Practice for Aboriginal Suicide Prevention.  Preliminary Results from work in Western Australia
  • Westerman, T.G. (2003).  Why is it important to have specialist mental health services for Aboriginal people?  Pilbara and Kimberley Regional Education Conference – students with special needs. Karratha
  • Westerman, T.G. (2004).  Making a Difference Conference. What is effective with Aboriginal people – ways forward.  Alice  Springs
  • Westerman, T.G. (2004).  Models of Intervention:incorporating traditional with westernized models of service delivery.  Armidale, NSW
  • Westerman, T.G. (2005).  Ethnic Child Care Resource Unit. Aboriginal families and the emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal children, Perth, WA
  • Westerman, T.G. (2005).  The Northern Territory Australian Psychological Society Branch Conference, Darwin. The parameters of culturally derived psychological and mental health assessment of Aboriginal people: where does the differential diagnosis come into play?
  • Westerman, T.G. (2005).  Aboriginal Child Behaviour Management – how to make the most of cultural strengths in the classroom. Association of Independent Schools. Broome, WA
  • Westerman, T.G. (2006).  Association of Independent Schools of WA & Catholic Education Office Child Protection Conference. Aboriginal Family Violence: Demystifying Culture from Abuse. Fremantle, WA
  • Westerman, T.G. (2006).  Mater Community Youth Mental Health Services Conference. The Assessment of Attachment Disorders in Aboriginal People: does culture play a role? Brisbane, QLD
  • Muuji Forum (2007).  Self- care and Worker Burnout. How to address compassion fatigue in the helping profession, Canberra, ACT
  • Westerman, T.G. (2007). Effective Practice in Indigenous Suicide: What impacts can be made by adopting a unique cultural approach,  Suicide Prevention Australia, Sydney, NSW
  • Westerman, T.G. (2007).  The value of unique service provision for Aboriginal Australians – the benefits of starting from scratch. Psychology and Indigenous Australians: Effective Teaching and Practice Conference, Adelaide
  • Westerman, T.G. (2007).  Developing and validating services and programs from within the Aboriginal culture - the origins of Indigenous Psychological Services and impacts. Making Waves 33rd International Conference of the ACMHN, Cairns
  • Westerman, T.G. (2008).  Psychometric Assessment of Aboriginal People: validation of tests and getting it right. The Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit, Melbourne
  • Westerman, T.G. (2009).  Culturally competent forensic mental health assessment: where are we at? Australian Institute of Criminology, Sydney
  • Westerman, T.G. (2009). Development of sustainable and effective models of mental health service delivery: taking an evidence based approach. Australian Community Support Organisation Conference, Melbourne
  • Westerman, T.G. (2009).  Unique Aboriginal mental health service provision – what are the benefits and what has been achieved? Western Australian Country Health Service, Kalgoorlie, WA
  • Westerman, T.G. (2010).  Aboriginal Parenting Differences and how to recognize the value in terms of effective intervention and prevention. QEC Early Parenting Program 6th Annual Conference.  Melbourne
  • Westerman, T.G. (2012).Cultural Competence in Aboriginal Mental Health: the predictors of best practice and the research of IPS in determining the predictors. Western Australian Drug and Alcohol Conference, Perth, Western Australia
  • Westerman, T.G. (2012).  A culturally competent mental health workforce: the work of IPS in delivering best practice workforce development programs across Australia, Western Regional Alcohol and Drug Dual Diagnosis Conference, Warnambool, Victoria

Dr Westerman's International Keynote Presentations

  • Westerman, T.G. (2003).  How do we as Indigenous People Prevent Suicide – models of best practice and intervention.  Iqualuit, Nunavut Province, Canada
  • Westerman, T.G. (2003).  How do we as Indigenous People Prevent Suicide – models of best practice and intervention.  Iqualuit, Nunavut Province, Canada
  • Westerman, T.G. (2003). Therapeutic Interventions with Aboriginal clients.  Nome, Alaska, USA
  • Westerman, T.G. (2003).  Workshop Presentation:.  How do we as Indigenous People Prevent Suicide – models of best practice and intervention.  Nome, Alasksa, USA
  • Westerman, T.G. (2006).  Can Psychology services meet the needs of Indigenous people? The Australian Psychological Society and New Zealand Psychological Society Combined Conference, Auckland
  • Westerman, T.G. (2007).  The value of unique service provision for Aboriginal Australians – the benefits of starting from scratch. Two Nations, Ten Cultures? Combined APSAD & Cutting Edge Addiction Conference, Auckland NZ
  • Westerman, T.G. (2009).  Is best practice really elusive when working with Indigenous people? Wellington,  New Zealand, September