National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander - Health Workforce Strategic Framework - 2011–2015

This National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander - Health Workforce Strategic Framework - 2011–2015 (PDF) has been developed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Working Group (ATSIHWWG). Input was provided by key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and education stakeholders.

This Framework is an essential tool encompassing innovative elements of reform required to improve the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce over the period 2011–2015.

It will contribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce needs across all service delivery areas and also help address the Closing the Gap Statement of Intent goals and health equality targets. It is also informed by health workforce elements within the following National Partnership agreements:

  • Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes
  • Indigenous Early Childhood Development
  • Indigenous Economic Participation.

The Framework will embrace an aspirational target of 2.6 per cent1 of the Australian health workforce being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander by 2015. The aim is to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are strongly represented across all health disciplines and that representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the health workforce more than matches the proportional composition of the total population.

For this to occur, the expected impact of the Framework will be:

increased and improved recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the health sector

improved delivery of education and training of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to prepare them for work in the health sector and support ongoing professional development in the workplace

improved education and training of all health professionals to ensure they have the skills and understanding to provide health services that meet the needs and expectations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and effectively equip staff with appropriate cultural knowledge.

Achieving this will require effective resources and partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and relevant organisations. It will also require cooperative efforts at all levels of government and across the health service delivery and education sectors.

This Framework provides a mechanism to assist in planning, prioritisation, target setting, monitoring, and reporting of progress in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce capacity building.

ATSIHWWG is made up of the following organisations:

  • National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) – Co-Chair
  • Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) – Co-Chair
  • Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)
  • ACT Health
  • NSW Health Department
  • NT Health
  • Queensland Health
  • Department of Health, SA
  • Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania
  • Department of Health, Victoria
  • Department of Health, WA
  • National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA)
  • Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA)
  • Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA)
  • Congress of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Nurses (CATSIN)

(Sourced: Australian Government)