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How one Indigenous woman from the remote Pilbara transformed psychology


A powerful memoir that explores how one Indigenous woman from the remote Pilbara transformed psychology.

(Trade paperback)
Ships on 3/09/2024

From humble beginnings in the remote Pilbara, psychologist and Nyamal woman Tracy Westerman has redefined what’s possible at every turn. Despite neither of her parents progressing past primary school, and never having met a psychologist before attending university, Tracy went on to become the first Aboriginal person in Australia to complete a PhD in Clinical Psychology, rising to become one of the country’s foremost psychologists. Against significant odds, she commenced her own private business to challenge the way the mental health profession responds to cultural difference, and recently established a charitable foundation and scholarship program to mentor Indigenous people from our highest-risk communities to become psychologists.

In this ground-breaking memoir, Tracy draws on client stories of trauma, heartbreak, hope and connection from her years of practice, offering a no-holds-barred reflection on how the monocultural, one-size-fits-all approach to psychology is failing Aboriginal people and how she’s healing those wounds. Jilya is a story of drive and determination, of what it takes to create change when the odds are stacked against you. Above all, it is a story of one woman’s love for her people.

Tracy Westerman

Tracy Westerman

Tracy Westerman is a proud Nyamal woman from the Pilbara region of Western Australia. She has a PhD in Psychology and is the owner and founder of Indigenous Psychological Services. She is a recognised world leader in Aboriginal mental health, cultural competency and suicide prevention, achieving national and international recognition for her work. She has received many awards including an Order of Australia, Telstra Women’s Business Award Winner (WA) and Australian of the Year (WA).