The Support Systems for Indigenous Primary Health Care Services Project aimed to develop knowledge about how to support the corporate functions of Aboriginal community controlled health organisations and therefore to contribute to improving the viability and sustainability of ACCHOs across Australia.

This project was identified as a priority project by the Board of the CRC in Aboriginal Health after consultation with ACCHOs and the sector. One of three such projects in the CRCAH’s Comprehensive Primary Health Care, Health Systems and Workforce Program, the project was led by Professor Ian Anderson from the University of Melbourne and conducted by Ms Kate Silburn (La Trobe University) and Mr Alister Thorpe (The University of Melbourne).

For an update on this project go to the Taking Care of Business webpage.

The project aimed to improve the viability and sustainability of ACCHOs as corporate entities through:

  • Identifying the range of corporate functions for which ACCHOs require external support;
  • Developing a ‘typology of services’ as this relates to organisational capacity, context and requirements for meeting corporate support needs;
  • Identifying access to and adequacy of existing support systems (for a range of service ‘typologies’); and
  • Describing potential external support structures/frameworks required for provision of adequate support (according to service ‘typology’).

Phase 1

  • Project Steering Group
  • Literature review – building capacity in core corporate function areas
  • Web search – the kinds of support available
  • Limited national consultation (ACCHOs, peak bodies, government)
    • support needs
    • factors influencing support needs
    • the kinds of support services have access to
  • Development of discussion paper
  • National roundtable (November 2008)
    • Check and elaborate on findings
    • Seek advice on next stage

Phase 2 – Case Studies

In the second phase of the project the Steering Group identified several Aboriginal Health Services or groups of services with corporate support systems in place. These services were invited to be included as one of the case studies as part of our project.

A second national workshop was held in June 2010 to discuss the findings and begin developing recommendations.

The final report was completed in July 2011. A summary report, case studies and a web tool is now available.

Related resources:

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.