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Career pathways for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce: Northern Territory (NT) workplace case studies report

First Peoples employment Health practitioners Aboriginal community controlled organisations First Peoples health Northern Territory

The Northern Territory case studies spanned urban, regional, rural and remote regions and involved four Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO)s from East Arnhem, Darwin Urban, Katherine and Central Australia. The use of case studies was important to understand people’s experiences in the context of their workplaces and to hear different perspectives.

Key Findings:

  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce face racism, discrimination, inequality; community pressures & expectations, not being valued, culturally unsafe practices, and disadvantage in terms of the social determinants of health, trauma, and burnout as well as inadequate funding for job security, staffing ratios, & other workplace inequalities.
  • To improve the careers and career pathways for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce in the Northern Territory (NT), collaboration and commitment is needed across jurisdictions, sectors, professional groups and communities.
  • Health workforces have leadership and political roles to play in contributing to the futures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, with cultural safety practices to be embedded across all levels of organisations.

Many of the NT research themes were consistent with the national findings and proposed responses. However, there is a need to distinguish NT issues which can inform a regional plan for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce as well as knowledge translation activities.

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