This framework is a renewal of the Cultural Respect Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2004-2009. It commits the Commonwealth Government and all states and territories to embedding cultural respect principles into their health systems; from developing policy and legislation, to how organisations are run, through to the planning and delivery of services. It will guide and underpin the delivery of quality, culturally safe, responsive health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and contribute to progress made towards achieving the Closing the Gap targets agreed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations need to be actively involved in the design, delivery and evaluation of health services, policies and programs, as well as driving health research priorities, policies, and projects.
- Effective partnerships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, governments, primary health care networks, and service providers underpin the development and delivery of culturally respectful services, and the detriments of health that need to be addressed.
- To ensure a safer and more accessible health system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the adverse effects of colonisation need to be acknowledged. Having a comprehensive understanding of our history provides the rationale as to why improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is important, and needs to be considered in all aspects of the design and delivery of health services.
- Currently, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are significantly under-represented in the health workforce. The development and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across all areas of health care has the potential to support improved services and health outcomes.
This framework was developed for the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Standing Committee (NATSIHSC).
Cultural Respect is defined as: “Recognition, protection and continued advancement of the inherent rights, cultures and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”