body bg


Aboriginal Health Worker Status in South Australia

  • Year: 2001
  • Author: Dollard, Joanne; Strewart, Terry; Fuller, Jeffrey; Blue, Ian
  • Journal Name: Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal
  • Journal Number: Vol. 25, No. 1
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: South Australia

In 1999, the South Australian Centre for Rural and Remote Health reviewed the status, support arrangements and training needs of Aboriginal health workers (AHWs) in South Australia for the South Australian Aboriginal Health Partnership. This article presents the findings relating to the status or standing of AHWs. Major issues relating to status and suggestions to improve it were identified by Aboriginal health workers and other stakeholders through a survey (N=74), interviews, focus groups and public submissions. Approximately one third of AHWs surveyed were dissatisfied with their status: however, those under the age of forty were more likely to be dissatisfied. Major issues included: a lack of recognition as a professional, inequality compared with other health professionals, a lack of recognition of the Aboriginal health worker role, differences in pay, and differences in qualifications required for appointment between employers. Some suggestions to improve status were improved recognition, education and training, improved pay, professional registration, annual state conferences, a career structure reflecting specialisation, and the formation of a professional association. It is concluded that the issues influencing AHW status such as registration and the establishment of a professional association needs to be fully understood by AHWs if they are to improve their overall status.

Related Items

Are we making education count in remote Australian communities or just counting education?

For quite some time the achievements of students in remote Australian schools have been lamented....

The impact of crime prevention on Aboriginal communities

This research reviews current literature on crime prevention policies and programs which have a...

Red dirt thinking on power, pedagogy and paradigms: Reframing the dialogue in remote education

Recent debates in Australia, largely led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island academics over the...

Share this with your friends

Footer Logo

Contact Us

Level 2, 53 Blackall Street
Barton ACT 2600
Telephone: 02 6260 3733
or email us