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Working with Aboriginal People


Working with Aboriginal People

Introduction to the Mooditj program


Overview and purpose

The purpose of the Mooditj program is to help build strong young Aboriginal people who can make positive and informed choices about their relationships and sexual health.

The program is designed to be run for Aboriginal young people from the ages of 10 to 14 years by local community people.

The program covers a range of issues including identity, building respectful relationships, understanding and expressing feelings, speaking up respectfully, identifying goals and staying on track. After this solid start, the program covers puberty and caring for your body, sexual rights and consent, thinking about being a young parent, and contraception and STI prevention. These issues are important for all young people, and Mooditj can also be used with non-Aboriginal young people.


The Mooditj program has been developed by SHQ (previously known as Family Planning or FPWA) in collaboration with many Aboriginal people and services across WA. Mooditj (or moorditj) is a Noongar word for good or solid.

The Mooditj program was launched in 2004, after a two year development process. It continues to evolve as a result of ongoing consultation and feedback.

The ideas for what is included in the Mooditj program, and how to teach about these topics, came from the community. Aboriginal people wanted a positive program, building on the strengths of the young people, their families and communities. They also wanted people to understand and experience Mooditj before running the program with their young people, so the Mooditj manual is only available to people who have attended Mooditj Leader Training.

Program outline

The Mooditj program has ten sessions altogether. The beginning of the manual contains some useful information to think about before you start. Then each session describes what the purpose of the session is, how to run the activities, and what resources you will need.

Mooditj was originally intended as an out-of-school program. It can be run after school or on the weekend, like a youth group, or on a camp. Mooditj has also been run very successfully in schools, either with whole classes or groups of Aboriginal students. The length of the sessions has been reduced to one hour to make it easier to fit into busy schedules. Sessions 1 to 5 (or 6) can be run as a stand-alone program, followed by the rest of the sessions later if possible.

Session Aims
1.      The beginning The young people will have increased self-esteem and feel safe, respected and keen to be involved in the Mooditj group.
2.      Relationships The young people will have increased understanding of how respect and care for each other is important in growing strong positive relationships.
3.      Feelings The young people will be more aware of their feelings and better able to handle strong feelings in safe and positive ways.
4.      Speaking out The young people will be more confident to speak up for themselves in respectful and safe ways.
5.      Goals and dreams The young people will have increased understanding of the value of goals, and be better able to set realistic goals and overcome barriers that get in the way.
6.      Puberty The young people will have increased knowledge of the changes that happen during puberty, to help them feel more confident and comfortable in themselves and more understanding of others.
7.      Being a young Mum or Dad The young people will be more aware of the reality of being a young parent and the challenges for both families involved.
8.      Talking sex The young people will be more confident to make decisions about sexual activities that are right for them and that respect their partner.
9.      Safer sex and contraception The young people will have the knowledge to protect themselves and their partners from STIs and pregnancy.
10.  What now? The young people will review what they have learnt, celebrate their achievement and leave Mooditj with increased confidence in themselves and their ability to make positive and informed choices.


SHQ offers a range of professional services including testing and treatment of STIs, contraception information and supply, unplanned pregnancy, cervical screening, STI drop-in clinics and counselling.