AMSANT COAG Indigenous Chronic Disease Workforce Orientation report

 The Northern Territory Orientation was unique in the way it was developed because there was a process of community control and ownership right from the beginning and that was to ensure the content and all other contributing factors were responsive to the needs of the employer and in particular the ICD workers themselves.

Working through the ICD Workforce working group as well as consultations with the workers themselves the Orientation and program all came together in October 2011 with 2 days (26th and 27th) of learning, networking and sharing of stories and lessons learnt.

Due to the well functioning work relationships within the community controlled health sector in the Northern Territory, the challenges in recruitment and retention for all of the positions being rolled out in the NT which included the Smoking and Healthy Lifestyle workforce, and the ongoing desire to work collaboratively we felt it was important that we offered the Orientation to all host employers and their ICD workers and they willing accepted.


 A total of 18 NT ICDP Workers attended the 2 day Orientation.

 This group was made up of people from:

  • Alice Springs (Central Australian Aboriginal Congress)
  • Katherine (Katherine West Health Board)
  • Darwin (Danila Dilba Health Service)
  • General Practice Network NT (Darwin and Alice Springs)

The positions represented at the Orientation were:

  • Program Managers/Supervisors (4)
  • Regional Tobacco Coordinators
  • Tobacco Action Workers
  • Healthy Lifestyle Workers
  • Indigenous Outreach Workers
  • Family Support Workers (Danila Dilba)

Participants made strong comments in support of sharing of stories and jurisdictional reports and how valuable these sessions were to them. The sessions where resource development and innovative methods of health promotion were showcased were a favourite for the participants who could see how realistic these options were for them to access.

 Objectives Achieved

  1. Networking with NT and National service providers, educators and industry experts
  2. Participants were provided with and updated on current policies, legislation and strategies relevant to their roles
  3. Tools to identify stress and how to look after yourself and your SEWB in the workplace (retention tools)
  4. Background to Current Research activities relevant to Chronic Disease Management and how it is related to the development of their roles
  5. Increased knowledge of ACCHOs/SBOs
  6. Background to Closing the Gap Initiatives and where they fit in
  7.  Introduction to Health Systems in NT and National
  8.  Principals of Primary Health Care
  9. How much they really have achieved and how they can share what they have learnt
  10. The extreme scope of their roles, how they can work together and learn from each other
  11. How to run the Orientation better next time

This process has provided a great opportunity for key stakeholders to work in partnership to develop content that will not only benefit the organisations but the new COAG workforce and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.  The networking opportunities have been awesome and very fulfilling for the participants. The orientation has been a great experience for everyone and enabled people to feel a part of the ‘big picture’ and realise the importance of their job roles and the commitment and effort they are making towards ‘Closing the Gap’. 

For further infomation contact

Sharon Wallace

Indigenous Health Project Officer

AMSANT (Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT)

Moonta House, 43 Mitchell St, Darwin City NT

Ph: (08) 8944 6654  Fax: (08) 8981 4825

Mobile: 0419 996 514

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