The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Protection AHPPC Sub-Committee

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Protection (NATSIHP) Sub-committee of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), replaces the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group on COVID-19.

Role

NATSIHP provides holistic and culturally safe advice on health protection matters for First Nations peoples and communities. NATSIHP’s focus is on communicable and chronic diseases, environmental health, and disaster management in primary health settings, and health issues related to COVID-19.

Actions include:

  • Ensuring appropriate responses to current and emerging health protection issues for First Nations peoples
  • Reducing data gaps and improving data use, ensuring adherence to First Nations data sovereignty principles
  • Ensuring robust First Nations shared decision making and partnerships
  • Ensuring health protection responses include culturally safe and effective communication strategies
  • Establishing First Nations led strategic and collaborative governance arrangements
  • Providing nationally agreed policy health protection policy advice to the AHPPC

The Australian Government established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group on COVID-19 (Advisory Group) in March 2020. The Advisory Group provided clinical expertise to advise and inform decisions on COVID-19 related health issues for First Nations peoples and communities.

On 17 October 2022, the Advisory Group became the NATSIHP Sub-committee of the AHPPC. NATSIHP’s remit has expanded beyond COVID-19, to include First Nations health protection matters and relevant health outcomes of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

Members

The NATSIHP co-chair are the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Department of Health and Aged Care.

NATSIHP members as at November 2022

Member

Role

Background and experience

Dr Lucas de Toca PSM

Co-chair

Department of Health and Aged Care, First Assistant Secretary, Vaccine Policy, Implementation and Primary Care Response Division

Dr Dawn Casey PSM FAHA

Co-chair

Deputy CEO, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

Dr Jason Agostino

Member

NACCHO

Dr John Boffa

Member

Representing NACCHO Member Services

Dr Jessica Leonard

Member

Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA)

Dr Julia Vnuk (job share)

Member

AHCSA, representing the CEO and Board 

Lauren Owen

Member

AHMRC

Dr Liz Moore

Member

Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT)

Damian Griffis

Member

First people's Disability Network

Jill Gallagher AO

Member

Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, (VACCHO)

Dr Maureen Davey

Member

Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation

Dr Ana Herceg

Member

Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services (WNAHCS), representing the CEO and Board

Dr Marianne Wood

Member

Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia, representing the CEO and Board

Dr Lorraine Anderson

Member

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service, representing NACCHO Member Services

Dr Katie Panaretto

Member

Queensland Health

Dr Sean Cowley

Member

Queensland Health

Dr Belinda Greenwood-Smith

Member

State/territory government representative, Northern Territory

Assoc. Prof. Bhavini Patel

Member

State/territory government representative, Northern Territory

Dr Pippa May

Member

State/territory government representative, Western Australia

Nicole McCartney

Member

State/territory government representative, Victoria

Belinda Fenney-Walch

Member

State/territory representative, Tasmania 

Dr Rhea Psereckis

Member

State/territory representative, Tasmania 

Kristy Crooks

Member

NSW Health, Hunter New England LHD

Yvonne Uren

Member

National Indigenous Australians Agency 

Melissa Connors

Member

Aboriginal Hostels Limited (ACT Govt.)

Frank Quinlan

Member

Royal Flying Doctor Service

Dr Revle Bangor-Jones

Member

Department of Health WA

Geraldine Wilson-Matenga

Member

Ministry of Health NSW

Dr Tara Smith

Member

Ministry of Health NSW

Haylene Grogan

Member

Department of Health QLD

Meetings

The group meets fortnightly, with ad hoc meetings scheduled as required.

Communiques

Communiques from NATSIHP

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group on COVID-19 – Communiques

Related committees or groups

Some NATSIHP members are also members on other AHPPC sub-committees:

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