Policy Principles on which to Base Improvements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health

Endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers’ Conference, 6 April 2010

Page last updated: 04 May 2010

  1. Good environmental health conditions are an essential requirement for maintaining and improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  2. Policy and services development and implementation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health must involve cross portfolio consultation and engagement, where appropriate, acknowledging that environmental health outcomes require co-ordinated input and support from many areas.
  3. Each Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community1 should benefit from the services of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health program.
  4. The employment of trained Indigenous environmental health practitioners, or access to an equivalent appropriate and skilled environmental health program, is the minimum essential prerequisite for communities to effectively manage their own environmental health conditions and to comply with their public health responsibilities.
  5. Indigenous environmental health practitioners should be adequately resourced and supported, and recompensed commensurate with their skills and experience.
  6. Training for Indigenous environmental health practitioners should be provided at a level consistent with the national Population Health Qualifications and competency standards including Indigenous Environmental Health qualifications and competencies.

1The term ‘community’ is used in these Principles to largely apply to geographically discrete communities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.