History

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA) is the peak body for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners in Australia. It was established in 2009, following the Australian Government’s announcement of funding to strengthen the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce as part of its ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative.

NATSIHWA’s goal is to promote the ongoing recognition of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners as a vital and valued component of a strong professional Aboriginal health workforce to obtain better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

You will find Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners working in rural, regional, remote and urban locations. They are employed largely by the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector, other Aboriginal Medical Services, mainstream and private health services.

NATSIHWA compliments the other discipline-specific Indigenous health bodies such as the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA), Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) and Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses (CATSINaM). However, NATSIHWA is the ONLY organisation in Australia that has a prime focus on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners. Policy development, mentoring and support, education and professional development forums, and media activities are all critical components of the NATSIHWA’s role and responsibilities.

NATSIHWA is governed by a Board of nine Directors – one from each State and Territory and one from the Torres Strait Islands.