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Cultural Respect Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2004-2009

Category: Policy/Strategy
Binomial Name: Australian Commonwealth Government
Date: 2004
Date To: 2009
Sub Category:Policy/Strategy
Location:Australia
Subject Matter:Health and Community Services
URL: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/wcms/publishing.nsf/Content/health-oatsih-pubs-crf.htm
Summary Information:
The Cultural Respect Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2004-2009 (the 'Framework') was developed by a working group of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (SCATSIH) comprising representatives from the Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia.

The Framework aims to improve relationships between the health care system and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples by providing a tool in policy-making and service delivery for the use of Commonwealth and State governments.
Detailed Information:
Purpose

The purpose of the Framework is to influence the policies and practices of the Australian health care system towards improved cultural awareness and respect, thus bettering health outcomes for Indigenous Communities.

The Framework acknowledges that cultural respect is a cultural construct, which arises from 'beliefs about the nature of disease and the human body.' The goal of cultural respect is to 'uphold the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to maintain, protect and develop their culture and achieve equitable health outcomes' (Framework, 6-7).

The Framework conceptualises cultural respect across three main dimensions (inputs, outputs and outcomes). The various strategies identified across these dimensions are:
  • Knowledge and awareness;
  • Skilled practice and behaviour;
  • Strong (customer and community) relationships; and,
  • Equity of outcomes.
    In other words, cultural respect must not end at cross cultural knowledge and awareness training (input); rather, cultural knowledge and awareness should manifest in changed service delivery and tangible health outcomes for Indigenous people.

    Similarly, the Framework recognises the need to embed cultural respect throughout all levels of the health system in order to be effective. These levels include:
  • Corporate health governance;
  • Organisational; and,
  • Service delivery.


    Implementation

    The Framework is endorsed by AHMAC, the peak administrative body in the Australian health system. However, each jurisdiction will be responsible for implementing its own processes. AHMAC will have a role in overseing developments and providing leadership.
  • Outcomes:
    Two jurisdictions have developed their own policies in response to the National Framework:
  • Western Australia Health, Aboriginal Cultural Respect – Implementation Framework (2005).
  • South Australia Health, Aboriginal Cultural Respect Framework for South Australia.

    In addition, the Victorian Department of Human Services (DHS) has endorsed a plan, consistent with the Framework, giving approval to the ongoing provision of funds for cultural respect training aimed at departmental and sector staff. The Koorie Heritage Trust was engaged by the Department to develop a program to be offered 'as a priority to departmental and sector staff whose job brings them in regular contact with Aboriginal individuals and communities' (Victorian DHS Website).


  • Related Entries

    Organisation
  • Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council
  • Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Department of Human Services (Vic)
  • Policy/Strategy
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce National Strategic Framework (2002)
  • National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Aboriginal Cultural Respect - Implementation Framework (WA)
  • Aboriginal Cultural Respect Framework (SA)

  • References

    Resource
    Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council’s Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Working Party (March 2004) Cultural Respect Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2004-2009
    Victorian Department of Human Services (24 October 2007) Cultural Respect Training: Background Information
    South Australian Department of Health Aboriginal Cultural Respect Framework
    Western Australian Department of Health (2005) Aboriginal Cultural Respect - Implementation Framework

    Glossary

    Policy/Strategy

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