Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce

The Australian Government funds a range of programmes to build the capacity of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce and increase access to culturally-safe and appropriate health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Page last updated: 15 January 2016

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professional organisations

The Australian Government provides funding to the following organisations to provide advice and support for the health workforce they represent and participate in the development and implementation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce policy, priorities and programmes. These organisations also play a leading role in broader initiatives that assist in achieving the goal of closing the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Training opportunities for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce

The Australian Government funds scholarship programmes to:

  • encourage and assist students in health-related disciplines to complete their studies and join the health workforce; and
  • support health professionals with continuing professional development and postgraduate studies.

Health scholarships specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Other scholarships available

The 2015-16 Budget announced a new Health Workforce Scholarship Programme (HWSP). The HWSP will provide scholarships for medical, nursing, midwifery and allied health courses. Most of these scholarships will be provided with an obligation to work for a year in a rural, regional or remote area of Australia.

The new programme will commence 1 July 2016.

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

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Strategic Framework is a mechanism to assist planning, prioritisation, target setting, monitoring and reporting progress in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce capacity building. It focuses on partnerships and accountability between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and the Aboriginal community controlled health sectors.

The Framework is being reviewed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Working Group (ATSIHWWG). A revised Framework will be available in mid-2016.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework supports higher education providers to implement Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander curricula across their health professional training programmes. The Framework aims to prepare graduates across health professions to provide culturally-safe health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through the development of cultural capabilities during their undergraduate training.

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