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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Health and Wellbeing

The Australian Government is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of First Australians. This is one of our most important priorities.

We are working to reduce the health gap between non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians. To do this, we are adopting a strengths based approach to ensure policies and programs improve outcomes in physical and mental health, social and emotional wellbeing, disabilities, child health and aged care. Providing Indigenous children with a healthy start to life is fundamental to success in school and employment opportunities.

The centrality of culture is at the heart of how we shape our policies and programs.  Two key strategies which guide our approach include:

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan (2013-2023) is an evidence based policy framework designed to guide policies and programs to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health until 2023.

The National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing (2017-2023) sets out a comprehensive and culturally appropriate stepped care model that is equally applicable to both Indigenous specific and mainstream health services. This Framework is designed to complement the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan and contribute to the vision of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2012-2023.


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