Ms Leilani Darwin

Leilani Darwin

Leilani is an Aboriginal woman who has been touched on a personal level many times by suicide and mental illness. She is a Quandamooka woman, whose ancestral home is Stradbroke Island. Through her own lived experience and work within the sector, Leilani is a powerful advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led, culturally informed practices within mainstream services.

In 2016, Leilani was the recipient of the LiFE Award for Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention across Australia. Then again in 2016 she accepted an invitation to join the Queensland Suicide Prevention Taskforce for a three-year appointment. In 2017, Leilani was the proud recipient of the QLD Mental Health week Jude Bugeja Peer Experience award for devoting her professional life to assisting other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to have access to the mental health supports.

She has been published in several journals on topics such as youth suicide prevention and Aboriginal lived experience. Her recent work has included developing and creating key documents under the leadership of Professor Pat Dudgeon from University of Western Australia and LifeSpan with the Black Dog Institute for Primary Health Networks on:

  • Implementing Cultural Governance
  • Lived Experience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Implementing Indigenous systems approach to suicide prevention

Leilani also sits on several working committees and advisory boards at the National and State level where she advocates for greater inclusion of those with lived experience alongside the need for cultural leadership, self-determination and culturally safe services and policy reform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


The Australian Eating Disorders Research and Translation Centre is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the National Leadership in Mental Health program.