About the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce

We want to support health services that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel comfortable using. We work to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in the health workforce, and to educate the broader health workforce on providing culturally safe care.

Increasing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in the health workforce is increasing. However, greater increases are needed so the following percentages will match:

  • percentage of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander staff working in the health workforce
  • percentage of the Australian working-age population who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.   

Our National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan 2021–2031 (National Workforce Plan) commits to this goal. It includes strategies to attract, recruit and retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across all roles and locations within the health sector.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has statistics on the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health workforce.

Health workers and health practitioners

Job roles in health that are specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner.

For details on what these roles involve, see the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners.

Health workers

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers have completed a Certificate II or higher in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care.

Health practitioners

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners have:

ATSIHPBA works with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) to regulate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners.

You can check if a person is registered by searching the national register

Partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

A key principle for increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce participation is respectful and effective partnerships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, government and non-government sectors.

Together with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce and communities, we:

Last updated: 
18 August 2021

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