The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA) is a national peak workforce association committed to ensuring Australia’s health care system meets the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
We have been funded by the Australian Government since establishment in August 2009 to:
- promote the prevention and control of disease and other health conditions in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
- improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- address the impacts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage and
- address the under representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working within Australia’s health care system.
We achieve this by:
- delivering and collaborating on initiatives to promote, professionalise and expand the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heath Worker and Health Practitioner workforce
- recognising, addressing and promoting the social and cultural determinants of health
- establishing and maintaining networks, partnerships and alliances with key government agencies, other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, researchers, academic institutions, and other national health bodies
- participating in a range of key strategic initiatives to influence the design and delivery of policies, programs and services
- role modelling the benefits of community control and self-determination and
- implementing rights-based best practice principles and approaches.
A key part of our role involves directly supporting a national membership network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners. In this respect we
- support and promote policies to ensure the effective utilisation and professional integration of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioner workforce
- provide support, training and resources to improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of disease and chronic health conditions
- deliver professional development forums, conferences and symposiums
- liaise with regulators, training authorities and employers to ensure the recruitment and retention of a skilled and competent workforce and
- actively promote education and career pathways.