Coomealla Health Aboriginal Corporation


Strengthening our Young People through DRUMBEAT


Far-West New South Wales



Funding Dates

November 2018 - December 2019

The issue 

The Far-West of NSW experiences some troubling statistics, with high incidences of domestic violence, assault, theft, break and enter, alcohol and drug use, and poor mental health. 

This is compounded by the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents are twice as likely to experience mental health problems compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Given these environmental factors, there is a need to support children in far-west NSW to help them learn about and develop healthy relationships and experience social and emotional learning, to equip them with resilience and self-awareness. 

The project 

Holyoake DRUMBEAT (Discovering Relationships Using Music, Beliefs, Emotions, Attitudes and Thoughts) program is targeted at 12-25 year old's in the communities of Balranald and Wentworth Shires. 

This evidence-based, 10-session group program combines music, psychology and neurobiology to help address the factors contributing to the level of exclusion and accompanying health risks faced by younger members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Twenty-four djembe drums will be purchased as an ongoing resource for the community, along with the training of 20 local staff to deliver the program, which includes; core rhythms, discussions, games, improvisation and performance to facilitate learning about relationships, harmony, identity, community, emotions and teamwork.

The impact

The project will achieve generations of stronger, healthier youth and adults as DRUMBEAT becomes a part of ongoing service delivery locally. This will be achieved by improving mental wellbeing, reducing distress, improved self-regulation and increased social and emotional learning.