National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program

We fund this program to provide culturally appropriate aged care to older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The service providers in this program deliver a mix of aged care services, mainly in rural and remote areas.

About the program

This program funds aged care services to:

  • meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • allow them to remain close to home and community.

Most of these services are in rural and remote areas.

Aged care service providers and organisations can apply for funding through grant rounds

To find out more about these services for yourself or an older person you care for, go to support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Why it is important

We want older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to feel culturally safe when they receive aged care.

This means we need aged care services that:

  • recognise, respect and support their unique cultural identity
  • meet their needs, wants and rights.

Our services

The program funds residential and home care services that are:

  • flexible
  • culturally appropriate
  • acceptable to and accessible by the community.

Most services under this program are in rural and remote areas.

How the program works

Service providers must:

  • deliver a mix of aged care services that meets community needs
  • follow policies and practices that support culturally appropriate care
  • help people to stay connected with their family and community
  • support individual interests, customs, beliefs and cultural backgrounds.

To give culturally appropriate care, providers may do various things like:

  • have buildings suited to cultural activities and ceremonies
  • provide access to bushland gardens
  • employ Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples to provide care
  • include the local community in aged care planning
  • respect cultural traditions, such as men’s and women’s business.

Read the program manual and the exit pathway to find out more.

Aged care reforms and changes

Aged care models will be improved as the reforms are implemented, the reforms will impact future all aged care programs, including the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care (NATSIFAC) Program.

Changes to the NATSIFAC Program will align with key reforms, such as the new Aged Care Act while ensuring service providers can continue to deliver flexible, culturally safe care to meet to the individual needs of First Nations Elders and local communities.

While we implement the aged care reforms, current NATSIFAC service providers will receive ongoing funding to 30 June 2025. This will ensure continuity of care and delivery of quality services. Funding arrangements beyond 30 June 2025 will need to reflect changes from the broader aged care reforms, including the new Age Care Act.

Fair Work Commission wage increases 

15% award wage increase

We are funding the Fair Work Commission’s decision on the Aged Care Work Value case. The commission decided on a 15% award wage increase for aged care workers covered by the:

  • Aged Care Award 2010
  • Nurses Award 2020
  • Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 (SCHADS).

NATSIFAC service providers received extra funding applied through a variation to their 2023–24 to 2024–25 grant funding agreements.

NATSIFAC service providers were offered these variations in the first quarter of 2023–24 and will be effective on 1 July 2023. The wage increase took effect from the employee’s first full pay period that started on or after 30 June 2023.

Find out more about the wage increase, or email for more information.

5.75% annual wage review

As part of its Annual Wage Review, the Fair Work Commission made a decision to increase the minimum award wage by 5.75%, effective 1 July 2023.

This funding supports the delivery of well-staffed and consistent, culturally safe care for residents, by helping residential care providers attract and retain a high-quality workforce to meet their 24/7 registered nurse and care minutes responsibilities. 

Residential providers funded under the NATSIFAC Program received this additional funding to maintain the alignment of subsidy pricing between mainstream and flexible residential care when accounting for the 5.75% increase in award wages.

The 5.75% increase has been applied to both the residential care daily rate and the care minute funding per day to account for the Fair Work Commission decision.

Aged Care Outbreak Management Supplement

As part of the country’s transition to living with COVID-19, the Australian Government has provided an interim level of COVID-19 support. 

Residential care providers funded under the NATSIFAC Program were eligible to receive the Aged Care Outbreak Management (ACOM) Supplement to contribute to:

  • outbreak-related management costs (such as personal protective equipment and RAT tests) 
  • additional staffing costs.

This helps NATSIFAC services to proactively plan for and manage outbreaks.  

The ACOM Supplement replaces the previous COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program.

NATSIFAC Providers received this funding through variations to existing funding agreements in the third quarter of 2023–24, to cover the period from 1 January to 31 December 2024.

After this time providers will be expected to manage the costs of COVID-19 outbreaks as part of their business-as-usual arrangements.

Find out more about Government support for providers and workers

How to apply for funding

We advertise funding rounds on Grant Connect. To get automatic emails about new grant listings, register as a Grant Connect user.

Find out more about the entry pathway into the program.

Who we work with

The Department of Health manages and develops policy for the program. We also organise grant rounds and funding for the program.

Funded aged care service providers deliver the services.


National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program contact

Email us if you’re an aged care service provider and have questions about the program.
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