Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy – Statement of Intent

The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) is a single, nation-wide scheme for registered health practitioners. The scheme ensures that all regulated health professionals are registered against consistent, high quality, national professional standards and can practise across state and territory borders without having to re-register in each jurisdiction.

This is a statement of intent – between the 15 national health practitioner boards (the National Boards), the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), accreditation authorities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector leaders and organisations.

We share a joint commitment to the following vision and values:

Vision

Patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is the norm. We recognise that:

  • patient safety includes the inextricably linked elements of clinical and cultural safety, and
  • this link must be defined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Values

  • commitment, accountability, shared priorities, collaboration and high-level participation
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership and voices in the National Scheme
  • reciprocity, which is two-way learning and the benefit of our work and outcomes, and
  • self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Cultural safety

Cultural safety is defined here as the individual and institutional knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies needed to deliver optimal health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

We acknowledge that there is currently no nationally agreed definition of cultural safety.

Our intent

We will work together to achieve equity in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians to close the gap by 2031.

We share a commitment to ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have access to health services that are culturally safe and free from racism so that they can enjoy a healthy life, equal to that of other Australians, enriched by a strong living culture, dignity and justice. We also commit to ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are actively leading the design, delivery and control of health services. We commit, using our leadership and influence, to realising our vision including through our application of the National Law1 to ensure:

  • a culturally safe health workforce supported by nationally consistent standards, codes and guidelines across all professions in the National Scheme
  • using our leadership and influence to achieve reciprocal goals
  • increased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s participation in the registered health workforce
  • greater access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to culturally safe services of health professions regulated under the National Scheme, and
  • increased participation across all levels of the National Scheme.

We are:

Dr Kali Hayward President, Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association Dr Joanna Flynn AM Chair, Medical Board of Australia Dr Kristin Grace Chair, Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia
Ms Tania Dalton Chair, The Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association Mr Mark Marcenko Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia Conjoint Associate Professor Deborah Cockrell President, Australian Dental Council
Mr Ben Gorrie President, Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia Associate Professor Jillian Sewell AM President, Australian Medical Council
Ms Nicole Turner Chairperson, Indigenous Allied Health Australia Ms Julie Brayshaw Chair, Occupational Therapy Board of Australia Professor Marilyn Baird Chair, Medical Radiation Practice Accreditation Committee
Ms Pat Anderson AO Chairperson, The Lowitja Institute Mr Ian Bluntish Chair, Optometry Board of Australia Ms Ann Kinnear Chair, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council
Mr John Singer Chairman, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Dr Nikole Grbin Chair, Osteopathy Board of Australia Associate Professor Lynne Adamson Chair, Occupational Therapy Council (Australia and New Zealand) Ltd
Ms Josslyn Tully Chairperson, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association Associate Professor Stephen Gough ASM Chair, Paramedicine Board of Australia Associate Professor Peter Hendicott Chair, Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand
Mr Michael Gorton AM Chair, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Management Committee Mr William (Bill) Kelly Chair, Pharmacy Board of Australia Mr Brett Vaughan Chairperson, Australasian Osteopathic Accreditation Council
Ms Renee Owen Chair, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia Dr Charles Flynn Chair, Physiotherapy Board of Australia Associate Professor Sue Kirsa President, Australian Pharmacy Council
Professor Charlie Xue Chair, Chinese Medicine Board of Australia Ms Catherine Loughry Chair, Podiatry Board of Australia Associate Professor Shane Patman Chair, Australian Physiotherapy Council
Dr Wayne Minter AM Chair, Chiropractic Board of Australia Professor Brin Grenyer Chair, Psychology Board of Australia Dr Rolf Scharfbillig Chairperson, Australian and New Zealand Podiatry Accreditation Council
Dr John Lockwood AM Chair, Dental Board of Australia Adjunct Professor Elaine Duffy Chair, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Accreditation Committee Professor Caroline Hunt Chair, Australian Psychology Accreditation Council
Dr Meeuwis Boelen Chair, Chinese Medicine Accreditation Committee


1 Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).

 
 
Page reviewed 4/07/2018