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Tuesday, 24 February 1981
Page: 80

(Question No. 241)

Senator Ryan asked the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice, on 5 December 1980:

(1) How many Aboriginal health workers are employed by the Commonwealth.

(2) How many of these have been specially trained in Aboriginal health.

(3) What positions do these health workers occupy; for example, how many doctors, nurses, et cetera.

(4) Where are these workers stationed.

Senator Peter Baume —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) The Commonwealth Government does not directly employ Aboriginal health workers but, through the Departments of Aboriginal Affairs and Health, makes grants in support of both State-administered Aboriginal health programs and independent Aboriginal medical services, which employed a total of 330 Aboriginal staff in a range of positions in 1978-79, the latest year for which figures are available.

(2) The training of Aboriginal health workers is conducted by State and Northern Territory Aboriginal health units and by Aboriginal Medical Services. Training is both by formal tuition and in-service training under the supervision of qualified staff.

(3) Aboriginal Staff Employed in Commonwealth-funded Aboriginal Health Programs, 1978-79

NSW Vic. Qld SA WA Tas. NT Total


2 1 8 . . 1 . . . . 12 Other health


61 16 81 48 64 . . 48 318

*includes Aboriginal Health Workers, aides and assistants, Aboriginal nurses' aides; dental nurses and assistants; counsellors, traditional healers and field officers.

(4) Aboriginal health workers are part of State Aboriginal health teams which cover most areas with significant populations of Aboriginals in each State. Commonwealth-funded Aboriginal Medical Services are located at:

New South Wales: Redfern, Kempsey

Victoria: Fitzroy, Bairnsdale, Shepparton

South Australia: Port Augusta, Adelaide, Pipalyatjara

Western Australia: Perth

Northern Territory: Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs, Utopia, Papunya

Queensland: Brisbane, Mackay, Townsville, Ipswich.