There are many individuals and organisations that I would like to thank. Firstly the Commonwealth Government and Northern Territory Mental Health Service who provided the funding and the position respectively. Dr Tony Williams, who recently retired from the position of Director of the NSW Institute of Psychiatry, as my principal supervisor, gave much appreciated encouragement and advice and gave his time generously. Dr Bruce Boman and Professor Scott Henderson, as additional supervisors, were very helpful especially with giving me direction for this dissertation. Dr Prosper Abusah, Senior Psychiatrist at Alice Springs, was instrumental in providing support for me as a trainee. Dr Leon Petchkovsky, Dr Dave Dillon and all of the Alice Springs and Barkly mental health team made me feel very welcome and were a pleasure to work with. I am grateful to Ms Susan Glennon (Program Manager for Mental Health Services) for help with the myriad administrative tasks that surround the Senior Registrar post.
Ms Suellen Cattanach deserves special thanks for her tireless efforts as the Remote Mental Health Nurse, which made my job so rewarding during the long and often difficult trips ‘out bush’. Mr John Jungarai, Mrs Maisie Nangala and Mr Doug Walker, as Aboriginal Mental Health Workers, did their best to keep me culturally sensitive in my work. I am also indebted to my predecessor, Dr Guy Windsor, for his thorough handover and encouragement.
I would also like to thank: Ms Leanne Walsh and Ms Margo Sismey for their hurculean typing efforts; the librarians of Alice Springs Hospital library for their literature search and the translators of the Institute of Aboriginal Development.
Finally, thank you to the Aboriginal communities of Central Australia who allowed me access to their lands and people, and to the individuals therein who kindly gave consent for their photographs to be used in this dissertation.