Resources and information for students about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, culture and welfare

Students might find it helpful to access the following resources to understand specific issues while on their clinical placement in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health setting:

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
is a comprehensive and current internet resource that aims to inform practice and policy in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health by making research and other knowledge readily accessible.

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet includes a regularly updated Summary of Australian Indigenous Health that provides a plain language summary of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, with brief information about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, health problems and common risk factors.

Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) is the national peak body representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health professionals and students.

Provision of Allied Health Services to Australian Regional & Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities is a position paper published by Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH)The 2008 edition is currently under review.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) is an authority in comprehensive Aboriginal primary health care and the body that represents Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services throughout Australia

Reconciliation Australia provides a glimpse of how life looks from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and delivers an introduction to the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture and to the building of respectful relationships.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health is an Australian Government website that provides information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health programs and the work of the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH).

The Lowitja Institute is an innovative research body that brings together Aboriginal organisations, academic institutions and government agencies to facilitate collaborative, evidence-based research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Indigenous Observatory from The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare provides a repository of information on the health and welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  This site is a particularly useful for statistics and demographic information.

Rural Health Education Foundation YouTubeTM provides health education to rural and remote health professionals and their communities and has many videos exploring issues surrounding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples’ health.

Crossing the Line is an hour-long documentary with an accompanying Study Guide. The film offers a rare insight into the practical realities of providing Western medical services to Aboriginal communities and illustrates ways in which engagement can contribute to an improvement in the crisis in Aboriginal health today.  Often considered quite a confronting documentary, this film might be useful when combined with a thorough debriefing discussion. The DVD is available from university libraries for student borrowing.


Students could be encouraged to borrow these from their university library to use as a resource while on placement.  Alternatively, most universities provide library borrowing access to clinical supervisors.

  • Bond, C. (2005). A culture of ill health: public health or Aboriginality? Medical Journal of Australia, 183(1), 39-41.
  • Bond, C. (2009). Starting at strengths... an Indigenous early years intervention. Medical Journal of Australia, 191(3), 175-177.
  • Eckermann, A., Dowd, T., Chong, E., Nixon, L., Gray, R. and Johnson, S. (2010).  Binan Goonj: Bridging cultures in Aboriginal health. 3rd Edition. Chatswood: Elsevier. (There is also online access to free learning resources that supplement the content of the book)
  • Edwards T., Smith J., Smith R., and Elston J. (2007). Cultural Perspectives. In Smith, J (Ed.) Australia's Rural and Remote Health: A Social Justice Perspective. Croydon: Tertiary Press. (pp 48-72)
  • Taylor, K. and Guerin, P. (2010). Health care and Indigenous Australians: Cultural safety in practice. Melbourne: Palgrave Macmillan.




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