This small research project is part of a larger international project, the Revitalising Health For All project funded by the Teasdale-Corti Global Health Research Partnership Program. The CRC for Aboriginal Health coordinatined and co-funded the Australian arm of this study, which aimed to document and highlight the role of comprehensive primary health care (CPHC) in the 21st century.

The CRC for Aboriginal Health helped establish a regional steering committee to oversee the Australian research, which looked at the significant role that Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services play both in improving health outcomes and in addressing the social determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. The regional committee invited three Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to participate in the research.

This project (the Melbourne Site) specifically involves the participation of the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO). The other two projects were the Utopia site and the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress site

This project is a collaboration between the CRC for Aboriginal health, the VAHS and VACCHO and aimed to:

  • Conduct an historical analysis of comprehensive primary health care at the VAHS.
  • Understand the VAHS’s overall role in driving comprehensive primary heatlh care for Aboriginal people in Victoria.
  • Undertake a wider examination of the social determinants of health as part of comprehensive primary health care approaches.

The project used a mix of approaches, including an evidence gathering process that will encompass articles, reports, books, speeches, policy responses and other mediums such as artwork (e.g. the mural in the VAHS boardroom). Key informant interviews and focus groups were also conducted. This project ensured that Aboriginal people are the subject of their own experiences and information interpretation and translation, and therefore privileged Aboriginal knowledge and voice.

This project aimed to determine:

  • The key elements/characteristics of the VAHS’ approach to CPHC.
  • The significant factors that influenced the establishment, development and ongoing continuity of CPHC at the VAHS.
  • The benefits of establishing and delivering a CPHC program in Melbourne and the impact this has made on Indigenous people’s lives.
  • The means by which VAHS works individually and collaboratively to address the other broader issues that impact on Indigenous people’s health in Melbourne and Victoria.
  • Recognise the work that VAHS has done and does to improve the health and well-being of Indigenous people through CPHC.

It also aimed to deliver a context-specific contribution to the international research project ‘Revitalising Health for All: Learning from Comprehensive Primary Health Care Experiences’. The project started in March 2009 and was due for completion in March 2010.

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land across Australia and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.