National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2003-2013

Key Result Area Three (actions 54-61): A competent health workforce

To ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enjoy a healthy life equal to that of the general population that is enriched by a strong living culture, dignity and justice.

Page last updated: 30 August 2011


A competent health workforce with appropriate clinical, management, community development and cultural skills to address the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples supported by appropriate training, supply, recruitment and retention strategies

Reporting against these action items will largely occur through qualitative reporting against this Implementation Plan and quantitative reporting through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework.

Immediate Priority Actions (current year):
(Specific Strategies)

Lead Agency
(Contributing agencies)

54. Continue implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce National Strategic Framework 2002 through the:
  • Inclusion of Indigenous content in nursing and allied health curricula;
  • Continued medical curriculum development work with the Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand;
  • Expansion of existing workforce scholarship programs;
  • Funding of peak bodies to provide support and representation for their members and advice to Government;
  • Implementation of the 2007 Aboriginal Health Worker national qualifications, including recognition of existing workers competencies;
  • Continued support and development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Registered Training Organisation Network;
  • Development of a national Aboriginal Health Worker Association; and
  • Funding of the redevelopment and implementation of cultural safety training for staff within the health sector.

Education/ Career Choices/Pathways – see also KRA6

55. Improve education opportunities, career choices and pathways by:
  • Increasing access to career advice for high school students;
  • Providing opportunities for commencement of skills training in school;
  • Investigating mechanisms, such as through Local Community Partnerships, to provide support for those transitioning from high school/ college into employment/ vocational training and education/ further education.
  • Providing financial support to eligible students;
  • Investigating and implementing mechanisms for providing support (such as mentoring) to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people whilst undertaking training/further education.

Longer Term Priority Actions (current year and beyond):
(Specific Strategies)

Lead Agengy
(Contributing agencies)

56. Conduct a review of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce National Strategic Framework 2002 in 2008 to identify progress against strategies and future directions, and implement recommendations of the review. DoHA (DEST, DEWR)
57. In collaboration with DoHA and other agencies, as well as across all levels of government:
  • Investigate opportunities, such as through the ICC network, to support the flexible use of Shared Responsibility Agreements and Regional Partnership Agreements as a means of meeting local needs;
  • In partnership with key stakeholders, investigate cross-portfolio mechanisms for improving the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the health workforce.

see also actions 4, 28, 68, 76, 81, 93, 105, 117, 125 and 156.
58. Develop and implement recruitment and retention strategies to address staff shortages within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Services – see also KRA1 DoHA

Education/ Career Choices/Pathways – see also KRA6

59. Investigate industry-based opportunities to provide health training.

Population health and environmental health workforce

60. Develop and implement resources by the end of 2008 to support Australian Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and other population health educators to incorporate the competencies and qualifications of the Population Health section of the Health Training Package (HLT07) into their education and training programs. This includes the competencies and qualifications for
Indigenous Environmental Health Workers. – see also KRA5


Research and data

61. Further develop data and research to support policy development, planning and program evaluation in the area of workforce development. – see also KRA7

Employment options

refer to KRA6
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