Professor Juli Coffin

Professor Juli Coffin

Professor Juli Coffin with her horsesProfessor Juli Coffin is an Aboriginal researcher hailing from Western Australia, where she has deep ancestral ties to the Pilbara region, specifically Nyangumarta country. Born in Ngala, Western Australia, Juli has spent much of her life immersed in the rich cultural tapestry of the Pilbara. A proud mother of three, she embodies a profound commitment to her community and the advancement of Aboriginal health and education.

Juli’s academic journey is marked by excellence and dedication. She is a distinguished alumna of both Edith Cowan University in Western Australia and James Cook University in Queensland. Her educational pursuits have culminated in a Bachelor of Education, a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (with distinction), and a PhD distinguished by excellence. Throughout her studies, Juli has maintained a steadfast focus on Aboriginal languages and traditional ways of learning, seamlessly integrating these elements into her research and practice.

As a preeminent Aboriginal researcher, Juli Coffin has made significant contributions across a spectrum of critical areas, including cultural security, chronic diseases, nutrition, and health promotion. Her expertise extends to contextualizing bullying within Indigenous communities, reflecting her nuanced understanding of the intersectionality of health and socio-cultural factors. Colleagues and peers hold Juli in high esteem for her innovative and creative approaches to complex issues in Aboriginal health and education.

One of Juli’s most impactful endeavors is her groundbreaking work with the Yawardani Jan-ga program. As the driving force behind this initiative, Juli has pioneered an equine-assisted learning (EAL) program tailored to provide trauma-informed, culturally secure support to Aboriginal children and young people. Yawardani Jan-ga, meaning ‘horses helping’ in the Yawuru language, harnesses the therapeutic power of horses to promote healing, enhance social and emotional well-being, and foster leadership among Indigenous youth.

Based in Broome, with satellite hubs in Derby and Halls Creek, Yawardani Jan-ga stands as a testament to Juli’s unwavering dedication to addressing pressing issues within her community. The program, designed and operated by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people, represents a transformative approach to mental health and well-being support. Backed by esteemed institutions such as the Telethon Kids Institute and supported by governmental and philanthropic organizations, Yawardani Jan-ga is paving the way for innovative, community-led solutions to mental health challenges.

Juli Coffin’s remarkable achievements have not gone unnoticed. In 2021, she received the Minister’s Award for Outstanding Contribution at the Western Australian Mental Health Awards, recognizing her exemplary dedication to service and best practices. Additionally, her team’s efforts with Yawardani Jan-ga garnered accolades, winning the Youth Focus Innovation for Change category.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Juli remains deeply invested in her community’s welfare, advocating tirelessly for the well-being of Aboriginal children and young people. Her leadership and vision continue to inspire positive change, offering hope and empowerment to future generations.

As Juli Coffin continues to chart new frontiers in Aboriginal health and education, her unwavering commitment to cultural integrity, innovation, and community-driven solutions serves as a beacon of inspiration for all.

Are you interested in visiting us at Yawardani Jan-ga?

We offer 1 on 1 sessions for people in need, as well as programs tailored to schools and community groups. Get in touch with us to find out more.