Rhetoric to reality: How the governance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers impacts chronic disease prevention and care in northern AustraliaBarriers and facilitators to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers engagement in chronic disease prevention and care in northern Australia
National and state-based health policy in Australia places Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers (A&TSIHW) at the centre of efforts to ‘close the gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health outcomes. Yet little is known about the governance of this cadre of health workers, or the influence that competing expectations of, or obligations to, health service employers, colleagues, communities, and culture can have on recruitment, retention and performance.
Using a qualitative design, informed by Indigenous research methodologies, this project will address this gap in knowledge by exploring the governance arrangements that shape the work practices of A&TSIHW in two government services in far North Queensland and the Northern Territory respectively. As the first systematic work relating to A&TSIHW governance the project aims to characterize both the formal and informal rules and norms that influence A&TSIHW roles, and develop new insights into the influence of different geographic, social and administrative structures on A&TSIHW performance. The outcomes are expected to support efforts to strengthen Indigenous