The current opportunities to cross-reference this strategy’s primary workforce with new workforces arising from the health reform agenda, to lend extra support with STIs and BBVs—given the burden of disease in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community—are recognised.

Priority actions in workforce development

  • Map the workforce of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sexual health workers nationally and identify gaps, particularly in ACCHS.
  • Provide training for health service leaders and managers to develop and run organised, systematic STI programs incorporating opportunistic and targeted screening, health education and use of data to evaluate programs.
  • Improve the training, qualification and career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island sexual health workers and generalist Aboriginal Health Workers, by linking them to national competency standards, encompassing STI and BBVs and encompassing public health and epidemiology.
  • Increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island sexual health workers in jurisdictions where there are few.
  • Collaborate with new initiatives and other national strategies and programs to advocate for increased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sexual health workers positions in ACCHS and mainstream services.
  • Employ gender-specific workers, where necessary, using women’s and men’s health workers to offer a wide range of services.
  • Explore barriers to workforce development and approaches to addressing them.
  • Improve the effectiveness of training, recruitment and retention for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and non-indigenous staff in primary healthcare services.