Aboriginal Australians today still have poorer health and poorer access to health care, social services and education than other Australians. This, as well as the history of dispossession and exclusion, helps to explain the life expectancy gap of 17 years between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Despite the enormous impacts of European colonisation on Aboriginal ways of life, Aboriginal people have survived and their culture is alive and strong today.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are at a marked disadvantage compared to other Australians and the gap has not decreased over the past decade or more. The Closing the Gap strategy aims to reduce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage with respect to life expectancy, child mortality, access to early childhood education, educational achievement and employment outcomes.

The Closing the Gap program will assist in the aim to increase the uptake of mainstream health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, by way of Cultural Education, to increase cultural safety within these services, to better address health needs.

Western Victoria Primary Health Network supports the work of the following organisations and seeks to facilitate collaborative projects to build resources and partnerships across sectors.

Western Victoria Primary Health Network recognises that Aboriginal people attend other general practices in the area. We are committed to supporting all practices in their endeavours to provide high quality, integrated care for Aboriginal people through:

  • Practice visits
  • Cultural education
  • Workshops with a focus on creating cultural safety
  • Support through email, telephone and this website
  • Supporting general practice with the self-identification process
  • Supporting GPs and general practice staff to access Cultural Education Training
  • Cultural audits for general practice
  • Information and resources regarding local activities.

Indigenous Health Consultants 

Gail Harradine     Wimmera Grampians     Ph. 4310 5102
Belinda Payne  Great South Coast Ph. 5564 5825
Bonnie Chew  Ballarat Goldfields Ph. 5304 5619
Janice Lane until permanent appointment made Geelong Otway Ph. 5222 0800