The EHPA Aboriginal Health Special Interest Group is a recently formed group committed to improving knowledge and understanding of factors affecting Aboriginal Health through:

  • Improving levels of awareness among public health professionals of issues facing the Aboriginal population
  • The development of resources and guidelines to assist public health professionals engage with their local Aboriginal communities
  • The establishment and strengthening of partnerships with key stakeholders and providing representation  on working groups addressing Aboriginal health
  • Advocating for improved health outcomes for Aboriginal communities at various levels of government

Members of the Aboriginal Health SIG represent a cross section of municipalities in Victoria.


The Aboriginal Health SIG has been working and liaising with various aboriginal communities and elders in order to obtain a better understanding of cultural issues pertaining to such communities and how some of these cultural differences may in fact be contributing to some of the poor health outcomes that have been so broadly documented over the years.

Whilst we have been able to have a number of excellent speakers present to our various Conferences, including Dr Tom Calma who was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2013, it has also been apparent that generally there is a relatively low level of knowledge amongst our members of aboriginal culture and conventions.  As environmental health practitioners, our knowledge of the communities with which we deal is of vital importance in terms of achieving improved health outcomes for such cultural groups.  The SIG has recognised this and identified the delivery of such training as its highest priority for 2013/14.

In recent times, we have been able to identify an RTO, the Koorie Heritage Trust that delivers such cultural awareness training for organisations such as ours.  The training is quite comprehensive and delivered in a highly interactive, workshop style and setting over 1 full day.  Topics include but are not limited to;

  • Definitions of aboriginality
  • Aboriginal identity, language, relationships to land, dreaming and lore
  • Impact of law, major government legislation and policies, missions and reserves
  • Statistics, aboriginality V urbanisation, aboriginality within contemporary society, population trends
  • Overview of aboriginal community structures
  • Developing partnerships and protocols

In order to conduct this session, we will need a minimum of 20 participants with a maximum being capped at 25 in order to preserve the interactive nature of the training.  Therefore I am seeking an expression of interest from you and/or any of your staff, which will guide us in terms of our preparations in delivering such a program.  The cost of the program is $250 for EHPA Members and $320 for non EHPA Members, which includes lunch and morning and afternoon tea.   Cultural Awareness training expression of interest

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