IPS has a strong reputation for the successful delivery of training across Australia and into remote and rural regions which would difficult to surpass. On average over 900 people attend an IPS training course throughout Australian annually. Nationally, IPS have been contracted by hundreds of separate organisations Australia wide to deliver our training programs. To date over 22,000 people have attended an IPS’ training course nationally since 2000. IPS attributes this demand to a number of important factors.

  • All trainings have been developed uniquely for Aboriginal people by Aboriginal people. The programs are based on over 10 years of research into Aboriginal mental health with many aspects of IPS’ work drawing both national and international recognition. The substantial science and cultural evidence base means that participants walk away with an increased ability to make sense of the very complex interface between mainstream and Aboriginal perspectives of mental health and wellbeing
  • The programs are delivered by facilitators who continue to work directly with Aboriginal people and communities in mental health service delivery. This provides authenticity to the delivery of the content and talks to its practical relevance with clients
  • The training programs undergo constant review and evaluation to ensure that IPS and our clients are at the forefront of Aboriginal mental health as new information becomes available

Participants come from a diverse range of backgrounds including psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, lawyers, health workers, nurses, teachers, mental health workers, social and emotional wellbeing workers, Aboriginal community members and so on.

    • For more information about IPS Training Programs please select from the links below


 Aboriginal Mental Health Training

Public Training

Dr Tracy Westerman, Managing Director of IPS offers her highly in demand training workshops training workshops as public trainings regularly across each state of Australia. These are delivered in capital cities and occasionally in major regional centres throughout Australia. These programs include:

  • Aboriginal Mental Health Assessment
  • Suicide Prevention in Aboriginal Communities
  • Cultural Competence in Working with Aboriginal People
  • Cultural Competence in Supervising Aboriginal people

Private Training

IPS is able to deliver their unique training programs for organisations who wish to have a greater ‘whole of organisation’ level of access to these programs. There are many advantages to contracting IPS to deliver their programs privately, not the least of which is that the whole organisation is able to benefit from a consistent cultural framework from which a ‘critical mass’ then exists to facilitate ongoing learning and implementation. The primary advantage however is that the training packages can also be tailored to meet the specific needs of your organisation. Due to the volume of training delivered by IPS each year they have demonstrated the ability to deliver programs across a wide range of needs as well as professions. Go to the Our Clients and Testimonials pages for more information.

How to organise a private training program
IPS is able to offer their private training programs with either Dr Tracy Westerman (who has very limited availability each year) or our range of IPS Consultants. We are able to provide a quote that includes all associated costs including airfares and accommodation where applicable. As Dr Westerman’s trainings are in high demand across Australia there is ordinarily an average waiting time of up to 6 months before she is able to deliver these workshops. IPS is able to deliver a range of different workshops and can tailor these to the particular needs of the organisation. Download the IPS Training Brochure for details on the programs that are available.

IPS Trainings are held over a minimum of 2 days however, we are able to indicate an exact timeframe depending upon the content that you require.

IPS strongly recommends that clients considering a private training also consider the addition of a Cultural Competency Intervention Program. This ensures the development of cultural competencies at a longer term level with your staff and at an Organisational level.

Please contact IPS for further information and to obtain a quote for its training program specifically for your organisation.


IPS will expand its capacity to increase access to the high level of demand for its Aboriginal mental health training and Aboriginal mental health cultural competency intervention programs via the launch of these programs in e-learning during 2017.

To register your interest please contact IPS.


 Cultural Competency Intervention Programs

Organisational Cultural Audits and Reviews

IPS has been engaged by a number of organisations to undertake “Cultural Audits”  of their organisational structure, service delivery models and importantly policies, procedures and client forms (e.g. Intake, Referral, Case Planning Forms). IPS is able to offer a number of services which greatly assist organisations who provide client directed services (health, education, mental health) to operate within the highest possible standards of cultural AND clinical (mainsteam) evidence based practice. IPS is able to provide the following key services:

      • Review and Development of Aboriginal specific mental health client policies,procedures and proformas
      • Development of Organisational Cultural Foundation Principles
      • Cultural Audit of Programs, Psychological Testing and Assessment Protocols
      • Review and development of Aboriginal Mental Health Service Delivery Models (including Operational and Strategic Plans)

These services are able to be provided to organisations as individual standalone services or in combination. An entire Organisational Cultural Audit and Intervention Program would involve this range of services in addition to a Cultural Competency Intervention Program. These services are is useful for organisations who are either: wishing to commence an Aboriginal mental health program, or wish to improve on current levels of access to their service by Aboriginal clients.

Aboriginal Mental Health Cultural Competency Programs

IPS has been at the forefront of research, development and delivery of Aboriginal mental health cultural competency intervention programs (CCIPs) since 1998. The origins of this are the PhD research of Dr Tracy Westerman, Managing Director of IPS (Westerman, 2003) which resulted in the development of the Aboriginal Mental Health Cultural Competency Test (CCP). The CCP determined that those who are ‘culturally competent’ in Aboriginal mental health practice consistently have skills across five key areas:

      1. cultural knowledge including local knowledge, general knowledge, application of cultural knowledge and mental health specific knowledge;
      2. skills & abilities which includes the ability to apply mainstream mental health training in a manner which is effective with Aboriginal clients;
      3. attitudes and beliefs which is about the desire and motivation of practitioners to be ‘culturally competent’;
      4. resources and links into the local community, and finally,
      5. organisational cultural competency.

General Cultural Competency Programs

IPS has branched out to provide General Cultural Competency Intervention Programs which focus upon the development of culturally competent organisations. These programs can be specifically tailored to the cultural needs of organisations and are ideal for agencies wish to improve their ability to increase their number of Aboriginal employees by having recruitment processes that are culturally appropriate; to develop mechanisms which present their organisation as culturally appropriate, and finally ensure that Aboriginal people have a strong career pathway in the organisation.

There are 2 programs which are included in the General Cultural Competency Intervention Programs including:

      • General Cultural Competency Program for Supervisors and Managers of Aboriginal people (includes Aboriginal Supervisors and Managers); and
      • Cultural Support Program for Aboriginal Employees.

There are a range of services that are available for organisations under the General Cultural Competency Programs including:

      • Defining Organisational Cultural Competency and Cultural Needs of Aboriginal Employees
      • Delivering Cultural Competency Intervention Training Programs for non-Aboriginal staff and Retention Programs for Aboriginal staff
      • Undertaking a cultural audit/review of programs, policies, procedures
      • Assisting with the design and development of organisational structure and service delivery models


Community Intervention Programs

Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Programs

Dr Westerman’s PhD research focused upon whether the risk factors associated with suicidal behaviour and protective factors that moderated suicidal risk were different for Aboriginal compared with non-Aboriginal people. It expanded to issues such as depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug use as well as the development of a number of unique Aboriginal mental health assessment models and finally, the development and validation of the world’s first UNIQUE psychological test for Aboriginal youth at risk of suicide (the Westerman Aboriginal Symptom Checklist – Youth: WASC-Y) resulting in a number of important FIRSTS including:

      • The development of population level risk and protective factors known to increase and moderate the risk of suicidal behaviours in Aboriginal people. This enables practitioners to develop case planning and treatment intervention based upon these differences
      • The development of UNIQUE mental health and suicide intervention programs – with the content able to be designed around the different risk indicators and protective factors evident for Aboriginal people
      • The ability to screen Aboriginal youth for EARLY stages of risk and proactively address this risk prior to youth developing entrenched suicidal behaviours
      • The development, delivery and evaluation of a Whole of Aboriginal Community Suicide Intervention Program into 16 distinct Aboriginal communities across WA, NT, VIC and NSW.
      • The development of 3 training packages for Aboriginal community; service providers and Aboriginal youth
      • Demonstrated evidence base of success in the delivery of suicide intervention programs into these communities. All programs are evaluated at pre and post-intervention across all three groups.

Aboriginal Mental Health Intervention Programs

IPS has been involved in service delivery to remote, regional and urban Aboriginal communities who tend to come to attention as a result of having a number of critical incidents or events which have resulted in the development of associated issues such as depression, suicidal behaviours, trauma responses, violence, substance useage and anxiety. The involvement of IPS has often been the result of service deficiencies either through a lack of resources either in terms of volume of services relative to need or very real struggles that existing services have in being able to deliver services in a culturally competent manner.
IPS’ highly successful model includes the following phases:

      • Cultural Mapping/Desktop Research Phase.
      • Analysis of Needs Phase. This involves concurrent services to Community and Service Providers.