The NSW Aboriginal Mental Health and Well Being Policy 2006-2010 established the Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program, which is NSW Health’s framework for strengthening the Aboriginal mental health workforce.

Learn about the program by reading 'Yarnin Together', a program update published in March 2015 and December 2015. There are four components of the Program:

Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Training Program

This program provides permanent full-time NSW Health trainee positions for Aboriginal people. The trainees undergo supervised workplace training and clinical placements over three years, while concurrently completing a bachelor’s degree.


For further information about the Program please contact Tom Brideson, Statewide Coordinator, Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program, on (02) 6369 8891 or email; or the MHDAO Senior Policy Officer on (02) 9391 9728 or email

Aboriginal Clinical Leadership Program

The Aboriginal Clinical Leadership Program establishes Clinical Leaders in Aboriginal mental health in a number of Local Health Districts. Aboriginal Clinical Leaders play a vital role in supporting the rapidly emerging Aboriginal mental health workforce, including trainees; promoting mental health service use by Aboriginal people; and assisting services to provide culturally appropriate care to Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

Aboriginal people often first access mental health services through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS), also known as Aboriginal Medical Services. NSW Health provides funding for the employment of a number of Aboriginal Mental Health Worker positions in ACCHS across NSW as well as providing funds to the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AHMRC) to employ a Statewide Coordinator for Aboriginal Mental Health in ACCHS. The Statewide Coordinator links together and advises the AHMRC, several ACCHS across NSW, and the NSW Aboriginal Health Partnership.

For further information about ACCHS or AHMRC Aboriginal mental health positions please contact Ann Baker, Statewide Coordinator for Mental Health at AHMRC on (02) 9212 4777 or email

Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Forum

The Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Forum is a partnership event organised by a local health district and the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council and funded by the Ministry of Health Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Offoce of NSW Health.  The forum is an information sharing and networking opportunity for Aboriginal mental health workers. The 2014 Forum was hosted by Mid North Coast Local Health District on 5-6 March 2014 in Coffs Harbour.

The 2014 Forum Program, Evaluation Report and Forum Presentations are now available. The next Forum, hosted by Hunter New England LHD, will be held on 22-23 June 2016 in the Hunter Valley.  The call for abstracts is now open, until 12 February 2016. 

Inquiries about content of submissions, contact Bronwyn Rose, Forum Convenor. 

Inquiries about the submission form and all other aspects of the Forum, please contact Samantha Cornwall, Conference Manager.

Stepping Up is an online recruitment resource which has been specifically developed by the Ministry of Health to support Aboriginal people interested in a career in public health to start their health journey and to support managers recruiting to jobs.


Page Updated: Friday 18 December 2015