Aboriginal Health

Aboriginal Health

Many Aboriginal people in Tasmania enjoy good health and wellbeing, but as a group, Aboriginal people in Tasmania are more likely to experience poor health than the general population.

Aboriginal people in Tasmania survived near-extinction in the 1800s. With survival came loss of land, loss of freedom to practice ancient culture and traditional lifestyles, marginalisation from Australian society and trauma across generations.

These impacts continue to affect the social, economic, physical and psychological health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people today.

For this reason, Aboriginal people in Tasmania are a priority group for our efforts in protecting and improving population health.

Aboriginal Cultural Respect in Health Services

Aboriginal Cultural Respect - project update December 2018

About the Cultural Respect Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2016–2026 – in under three minutes

Providing culturally-respectful healthcare is a vital step towards improving health for Aboriginal people.

Providing culturally respectful services helps:

  • ensure Aboriginal people access the health services they need when they need them and feel safe doing so
  • close the gap in health outcomes between the general population and Aboriginal people
  • improve the effectiveness and efficiency of health services.

We are working with Aboriginal organisations and health services across Tasmania to develop a Tasmanian Implementation Plan for the Cultural Respect Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2016–2026.

This will facilitate a coordinated, statewide focus on improving Aboriginal cultural respect across Tasmania’s health services.

Our first step was to talk to Aboriginal people about their experiences using government and other health services in Tasmania, and the most important changes to make.

Our findings are described in the:

Improving Aboriginal cultural awareness in the workplace

The Department of Health Aboriginal Cultural Awareness e-learning module is freely available for staff working in Tasmanian Government health and human services and the non-government /community sector health and human services.

This module helps improve Aboriginal cultural awareness in services and organisations.

It was developed in partnership with Aboriginal people in Tasmania.

Access the DHHS Aboriginal Cultural Awareness E-learning Module

For community sector and non-government organisations:

  1. Visit https://dhhs.sproutlabs.com.au
  2. Create a username and password (if you don’t already have one)
  3. Go to ‘Students & Volunteers’
  4. Scroll to ‘Aboriginal Cultural Awareness.’

For DoH and THS staff:

  1. Visit THEO at https://theo.dhhs.tas.gov.au/login/index.php
  2. Login with your current THS/DHHS network username and password
  3. Go to ‘DHHS | Public Health Services’
  4. Choose ‘Aboriginal Cultural Awareness’.

Related information

Resetting the relationship with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community

In 2016, the Department of Premier and Cabinet developed the Reset Agenda, identifying five priorities to reset the relationship with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community. Many of these have a direct influence on Aboriginal health.

Ida West Aboriginal Health Scholarship


Tasmanian Clinical Education Network: Aboriginal Health Services Tasmania – virtual tours

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (second edition)

November 2018