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About the award

Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare recognises exceptional healthcare delivery through strong partnerships across NSW Health and external agencies.

This may include:

  • valuing and fostering respect for the expertise and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) and their staff
  • collaboration in designing and delivering services
  • sharing of resources
  • strong consultation and communication mechanisms
  • strategic collaboration or partnership in the development of the project
  • responsiveness to the local Aboriginal community's health needs, as identified by the local Aboriginal Health Organisation
  • capacity building and employment of Partnership Agreement or Aboriginal Health LHD Action for Aboriginal people
  • partnership with Aboriginal people and their communities in the design, implementation, evaluation and evidence building.

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Winner - Aboriginal Getting On Track In Time (GOT IT!)

South Western Sydney Local Health District

Transcript: Aboriginal Getting On Track In Time (GOT IT!)

The Aboriginal Got It! (AGI!) program is a cultural adaption of the mainstream state-wide program Got It!.

AGI! is designed and led by local Aboriginal people from the South West Sydney area.

The program involves the delivery of a 10-week therapeutic program to Aboriginal children (aged 3-9yrs) and their extended family members. It aims to improve the capacity of caregivers and schools (preschools and primary) to identify and respond to children’s social and emotional needs in a culturally responsive way. 

AGI! utilises a culturally adapted model of care that infuses Aboriginal traditional healing practices and ways of being with western clinical practices.

The program has been guided by a multi-stakeholder steering committee consisting of membership from the NSW Ministry of Health, SWSLHD Mental Health Executive, SWSLHD Aboriginal Health Unit, Department of Education, Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.

An Independent evaluation (Williamson et al., 2022) measured the feasibility, acceptability, and indicators of impact. Qualitative and quantitative findings showed that the cultural adaptions reflected the localised need and that the AGI! program had significant positive impacts on the emotional regulation of children, parenting practices, and responses of school staff to emotion-based behaviours.

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Finalist - Supporting Aboriginal communities through COVID-19

South Eastern Sydney Local Health District

Transcript: Supporting Aboriginal communities through COVID-19

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Health Unit (PHU) recognised the need to provide proactive support for the Aboriginal community, as well as meeting Future Health Outcome 3 objective – Close the Gap by prioritising care and programs for Aboriginal people.

The PHU worked with the Aboriginal Health Unit (AHU) to establish the Aboriginal Support Officer (ASO) service, providing information and cultural support for cases/close contacts. This included the establishment of a website, dedicated phone line, and email support, to link clients with social work, welfare and mental health support, and information on connecting to local Aboriginal services via virtual health.

With the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, the PHU worked with the AHU to conduct a needs analysis around vaccine concerns and preferences. An online survey was open to the community and more than 100 community members attended consultation forums across the district.

The survey captured information on how to make clinics culturally safe, appropriate, and accessible. Vaccination clinics for Aboriginal people were established in collaboration with partner organisations. Consequently, close to 1400 people were vaccinated across 21 clinics.

The PHU also assisted La Perouse Community Health Centre establish a COVID-19 testing service for their Aboriginal communities, through training and supply of rapid antigen test kits.

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Finalist - Aboriginal Health Hub: COVID-19 cultural crisis

Western Sydney Local Health District

Transcript: Aboriginal Health Hub: COVID-19 cultural crisis

Aboriginal Health Hub (AHH) has been on the Mt Druitt Hospital site for more than 20 years and has a very well-established relationship with the local community. The AHH delivers and houses most of the Aboriginal Health programs for Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD).

The AAH is the primary lead for Aboriginal Health Care in WSLHD and is committed to Closing the Gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across WSLHD, per the NSW Aboriginal Health Plan 2013- 2023. 

The project met its aims by addressing the paucity of culturally appropriate information and vaccinations, as well as providing support in a time-of-service scarcity due to the pandemic.  

The creation and distribution of culturally appropriate COVID-19 pamphlets, Essentials Kits, and face masks supported infection prevention efforts.

Additionally, the vaccination of more than 1250 Aboriginal people and their families plus children under 12 years was rolled out, as well as service providers promoting wellness across the community. 

The AHH was also able to meet the increase in demand for regular services in a time of scarcity, making it exemplary in NSW and interstate.

This project produced many benefits across multiple award categories as well as being in line with the NSW Health Strategic Plan including Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare, Keeping People Healthy (Including COVID-19), Patient Safety First, and Transforming Patient Experience.

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Current as at: Thursday 1 December 2022
Contact page owner: NSW Health