The Banksia Hill Detention Centre Project: Translaton of justice research into action

Ms Natalie Kippin1,3, Professor Carol Bower1, Hayley Passmore1,4, Professor Rhonda Marriott1,2, Clinical Associate Professor Raewyn Mutch1,4, Sharynne Hamilton1,4, Dr Rochelle Watkins1,4

1Telethon Kids Institute, Perth, Australia,

2Murdoch University Ngangk Yira Research Centre for Aboriginal Health and Social Equity, Perth, Australia,

3Curtin University, Perth, Australia,

4University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

Background: Justice-involved populations are at increased risk of compromised social and cultural determinants of health, resulting in them having reduced control over their health, wellbeing and integration. Our Banksia Hill Detention Centre (BHDC) project, a prevalence study of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and neurodevelopmental difficulties among sentenced youth in Western Australia, identified that ~9/10 young people had neurodevelopmental impairment in the severe range, and 1/3 young people had FASD. Moreover, we identified multiple system failures in supporting their health and wellbeing.

Body: The BHDC project identified unmet needs of young people in WA’s youth justice system and has a continuing impact on practice, policy and legislation across multiple sectors. To plan and influence a comprehensive approach to justice health, we are now drawing on health promotion frameworks to help map our research impacts and the considerable interest these impacts have generated. The audience of this presentation can expect to learn about our research translation of the BHDC project through the application of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion and consider how they can plan for impact in their own justice-related work and research.

Summary: All too often, translation of research is limited and the gap between research and policy and practice remains wide. Approaches that consider research translation at multiple levels, such as being guided by health promotion frameworks, are needed to move beyond simply documenting vulnerabilities of justice-involved populations, to undertaking coordinated actions that enable health and wellbeing, nurture desistance and ultimately sustain health and community safety.


Natalie Kippin is a certified practising speech pathologist with a background in health promotion. She has previously worked as a youth custodial officer in Western Australia. Natalie was the lead speech pathologist on the Telethon Kids Banksia Hill Detention Centre project which examined the prevalence of FASD among youth in detention. She is now undertaking a PhD to help translate this research, particularly relating to the language and communication skills of justice-involved young people.

Recent Comments
    Recent Comments