This resource was developed to share the findings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led research undertaken during 2014 – 2019. The aim of the resource is to showcase the work of Aboriginal community controlled health organisations (ACCHOs) in practice in order to strengthen the ACCHO sector nationwide.

Key Findings:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are central to health service delivery within ACCHOs and are the unique characteristic that makes ACCHOs distinct from other primary health care services. Embedding culture within all elements of service delivery is key to creating a culturally safe and comprehensive primary health care service that is oriented to the needs of community.
  • The Commonwealth Government could support training organisations (including registered training organisations and universities) to develop and deliver regionalised courses which strengthen the capacity of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff working in ACCHOs.
  • ACCHOs understand the impact of historical trauma on their communities and work tirelessly to support clients with their social, emotional and cultural wellbeing, and to improve their life circumstances. ACCHOs do this to enable clients to make positive lifestyle choices relating to diet, exercise, and risk behaviours (e.g. smoking, alcohol).
  • The ACCHO sector requires long-term sustainable funding for culturally-centred training of the Aboriginal Health Practitioner workforce through an in-service traineeship model. This model ensures that graduates are equipped with both theoretical knowledge and practice-based skills in ACCHO ways of working.


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