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CRCATSIH Program: Healthy Communities and Settings

Program leaders: Alwin Chong / Komla Tsey
Program manager: Luella Monson-Wilbraham

Goal: An improved understanding of the determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health through the development and use of tools that more accurately measure enabling environments to improve the health and wellbeing of Australia’s First Peoples.

What’s the program about?

‘Healthy Communities and Settings’ is focused on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to develop wellbeing and resilience.

The Program 2 research agenda is built on the work of the Social Determinants of Health program at our predecessor organisation, the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health. A body of work has accumulated that suggests the conventional indicators used in mainstream social determinants research are not necessarily appropriate for use when tracking health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

The program will develop knowledge, and evaluate tools and resources to give communities a stronger capacity to address the underlying social determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.


Improvements in individual health are more likely to be sustained over the long term when the social and physical environment is positive and supportive. Some of the broader social and environmental factors identified as important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health include:

  • intergenerational trauma
  • the impact of racism
  • relationship to land
  • connectedness to community and family
  • self-determination and community control
  • identity.


The outputs of Program 2 will be useful to primary care practitioners, public health practitioners, managers and policy makers from:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations
  • other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations 
  • other primary health services 
  • local governments
  • the education sector
  • corrections, law and justice sectors  


Active projects

Completed projects

Created: 03 May 2012 - Updated: 23 March 2015