Indigenous and Intercultural Health

Indigenous and Intercultural Health


ACCHS is an abbreviation that stands for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services. It is healthcare services primarily aimed at giving primary healthcare to the Aboriginal people. This is following a goal of easing their way of living. By primary healthcare, it means the health care given to a patient at first contact with a health system by a healthcare professional. An aboriginal person is an indigenous person. For instance in Australia, Aboriginal persons are the descendants of the groups that existed in Australia earlier before the British colonization. Maintaining their well-being and providing them with the primary healthcare is a matter of the whole community working together. This is because for an individual needs interaction with the community to realize the full potential and live like a human. This, in turn, leads to the improvements in the well-being of the entire community (Lovett, 2016).

Information says that there are over one hundred and fifty ACCHS across Australia. Some are multifunctional which have a significant number of health workers while others are small and rely on aboriginal health workers to provide services to the people. Most of the primary health care services are carried out by the nurses. The one hundred and fifty ACCHS provide service to about six hundred and forty-nine thousand and two hundred aboriginals which as per the total population of Australia, it is about 2.8M according to the census conducted in 2016.

Part A: population profile

Townsville Aboriginal and Islanders Health Services (TAIHS) is a non-governmental organization that is wholly managed by community information, provides controlled healthcare services which are community-based to native Townsville residents. Its location is in the suburb of Garbutt, in the Townsville council, Townsville state electorate and the federal state of Herbert (Lovett, 2016).
In Australian standard geographical classification, Townville is divided into three categories. They are Townsville north, which is classified as a remote Australia while the other two, Townville south and Townsville west are classified as outer regional Australia (Census: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, 2016). These are believed to have been the first residents of this land. However, when the Europeans came they assumed that nobody lived in this region because these people had not marked the land using fences and there were no boundaries (Traditional Landowners – Townsville City Council, 2015)

In 2016, the census report released by the Australian Bureau of statistics shows that Townville alone has over two hundred thousand five hundred and sixty-seven aboriginals summing up to 31% of the total aboriginals in Australia. All these people who obtain health care services from this facility have a range of needs. To curb this, TAIHS offers a wide range of services aimed at promoting health, medical and welfare of aboriginals in this area. These services are eye health programs, mental health for the mentally sick persons, child protection services which improve the well-being of the children born in the region which also includes maternal and child health services to ensure that both the mother and the child are of good health conditions (Census: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, 2016).

Medical clinic, dental health, immunization programs alcohol and other drugs services are just but a few of other services offered in this facility (Campbell, Hunt, Scrimgeour, Davey, & Jones, 2017). All these services improve the living welfare of the aboriginals living in this area. Since the facility is located in the suburb of a major city, these health services are not only limited to the Aboriginals and Torrent Strait Islanders.

Part B: The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service

Self-determination when it comes to an aboriginal and torrent strait islander people is a term that is used to mean that they take matters into their own hands. Most people mostly the non-Aboriginal people and the government are very fast to decide what they think is right for the indigenous groups. However, this wastes millions of dollars per year. Aboriginal people need freedom, support, knowledge, stable policies and financial responsibilities to be successful in the self-determination process. Among the Aboriginals, self-determination is important as it helps them maintain or improve their well-being which would otherwise deteriorate if left in the hands of the other categories of people. For instance involving themselves in the immunization programs will help them eradicate or stay immune of some deadly diseases, maternal and child health services will also enhance their survival rate and to lower the probability of their extinction (Campbell et al., 2017).

TAIHS was started in 1974, and it was the fourth ACCHS to be established in Australia. It was established as a part of the broader step for aboriginals to take part in delivering health care services in their communities. The general mission of Australian Aboriginal Health Services is to contribute to improving the health standards of Aboriginals and Torrent Strait Islanders’ people by assisting in reducing the gap by aiding the distribution and swapping of relevant, good knowledge. To do this, they are involved in many ways to help in realizing the mission. They are as undertaking research, disseminating relevant information among other ways (Our Services, 2016)

Every company or institution needs some principles and values that help it meet the required standards of working. TAIHS main principles are effective and efficient management, client self-determination, culturally appropriate service provision, protection and promotion of client rights, as well as non-discriminatory access to easy-going support. At the same time, it is driven forward by pre-set values which include maintaining a strong connection with the community. The community is also committed to being a fair and ethical business practice provider and also working within a satisfying work environment and working as a team with respect, integrity, and honesty. It is also driven by community aspiration, desires, and empowerment (Isaacs, Maybery & Gruis, 2012).

The services offered by this organization can be classified into many distinct categories. However, the main objective is to improve the well-being of the people. These services include health services which include medical services, chronic care management, and pathology only to mention but a few. Another category is the outreach and satellite clinics which bring the medical services closer to the people, wellness services which include counseling, mental health care services, and substance misuse services. Youth services, child and family support and accommodation serves are also offered here (Lovett, 2016).
Drugs and substance misuse programs help the people to improve their well-being. This is done by providing the participants with culturally appropriate settings where they can feel safe and secure in their recovery efforts. This way these people will recover and run away from this addiction and hence become useful members of their community (Isaacs et al., 2012).

Part C: Professional developments

Professional development activities are those activities aimed at increasing experiences processes and activities that impact positively on the development of a nurse’s health care profession. It is a long process that in most cases becomes a lifelong process as long as one remains in that career. This is because the sector is changing every day with the change and improvement in technology. Therefore it is of great importance as it helps a nurse practice effectively in this line of the ever-changing healthcare environment. Another importance is that professional standards are maintained or enhanced for quality and competent patient care provision (Isaacs et al., 2012).

Examples of nurse professional developments include formal education programs. These programs help a nurse improve their skills and knowledge on the recently developed technologies. Another example is attending workshops which these help nurses discuss the problems they encounter and how they apply solutions to these problems and finally clinical supervision which assist them in improving their skills. Other professional developments include journal clubs, mentorship programs, blended learning, preceptorship, sourcing information, and self-directed learning among many others (NMBI – NMBI Scope of Practice: Continuing professional development, 2015)


Aboriginal is a group of people who would have gone to extinction. Their self-determination which most people might take as a way of taking matters into their own hands has helped them live longer. This has also saved the Australian government a significant amount of money which might add up to millions of dollars if it were to dictate what is best for these people. There are a significant number of aboriginals, and there are also a large number of ACCHS some of which the aboriginals work in them. These ACCHS ensure that the lives of the aboriginals or the indigenous peoples are easier and improve their well-being. Nurses are on the higher note to make the lives of these indigenous people easier. However professional developments are essential for them to improve the quality of work the venture in.

Campbell, M. A., Hunt, J., Scrimgeour, D. J., Davey, M., & Jones, V. (2017). The contribution of Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Services to improving Aboriginal health: an evidence review. Australian Health Review. doi:10.1071/ah16149
Census: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. (2016). Retrieved from
Isaacs, A. N., Maybery, D., & Gruis, H. (2012). Mental health services for Aboriginal men: Mismatches and solutions. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 21(5), 400-408. doi:10.1111/j.1447-0349.2011.00809.x
Lovett, R. (2016). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community wellbeing: identified needs for statistical capacity. Indigenous Data Sovereignty. doi:10.22459/caepr38.11.2016.12
NMBI – NMBI Scope of Practice: Continuing professional development. (2015). Retrieved from
Our Services. (2016). Retrieved from
Townsville Aboriginal and Islanders Health Services (TAIHS) « Organisations « Key resources « Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet. (2014). Retrieved from
Traditional Landowners – Townsville City Council. (2015). Retrieved from

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