Building Resilience and Belonging with First Nations Children and Young People

Building Resilience and Belonging with First Nations Children and Young People through Seasons for Growth is funded by the NSW Department of Education Student Wellbeing Innovation Fund. The project is a collaboration with MacKillop Family Services (MacKillop Seasons) and aims to enhance the cultural safety and relevance of Seasons for Growth and to capture the processes involved in adapting wellbeing programs for this purpose.

Schools offer a wide range of evidence-based wellbeing programs for children and young people. These include the Seasons for Growth suite of programs, which provide knowledge and skills to understand and adapt to experiences of change, loss and grief. Whilst Seasons for Growth has wide appeal, relevance and achieves excellent outcomes for participants, the processes involved in culturally enhancing the program’s learning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people participating alongside non-Indigenous peers are not well understood. 

In the second half of 2024, MacKillop Seasons will collaborate with five rural and regional communities to design culturally enriched activities and resources associated with each Seasons for Growth program session, and then pilot those resources and activities with primary and secondary school students in each community.  

The evaluation will collaborate with children, young people and local community members to:

  • learn about the critical cultural considerations and processes associated with adapting Seasons for Growth in each community;
  • identify outcomes from incorporating the cultural resources into the Seasons for Growth learning in participating communities; and
  • identify what learnings could inform future cultural adaptation of other evidence-based wellbeing programs in schools.

Evaluations of the Seasons suite of programs are available here.

Research team

Chief Investigators are Professor Anne Graham, Eliza Munro and Esmai Manahan.

Research Officers: Dr Meaghan Vosz; Julia Truscott.

Project contact: [email protected]

Project partners

MacKillop Family Services and Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University