Taking a Long-Term Approach: The Family Wellbeing Program in Yarrabah

  • Komla Tsey


Researchers can become deeply committed to their interventions and to their research communities. This kind of long-term, sustained relationship between researchers and the people with whom they work is useful in communities where historical trauma or entrenched social disadvantage is evident and solutions will not be found quickly. Researchers cannot expect to unravel or alter, in the course of a 6-month or a 3-year grant period, social or health conditions that have been developing for years (or in some cases, centuries). A sustained research relationship can also lead to a degree of trust and flexibility that cannot be achieved in short-term projects. A research project that is less rigid and more open to change is somewhat messier to manage but also likely to be more responsive to changes in needs and communities. My association with the Aboriginal Family Wellbeing program has been a long one, as has my association with the community of Yarrabah. In this chapter, I use examples from my Family Wellbeing work in Yarrabah to demonstrate how a long-term approach has enabled us to achieve a critical mass of targeted groups to help address complex issues, such as transgenerational trauma and the associated issues of drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and suicide.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Komla Tsey
    • 1
  1. 1.James Cook UniversityCairnsAustralia

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