Community & Social Services
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Worker
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health workers provide health care for individuals, families and community groups.
What does an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Worker do?
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health workers provide assist with providing and arranging health care for individuals and families in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities, and teach people about behaviours that promote wellness. They develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities.
As an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health worker, you might:
- advise clients or community groups on issues related to improving general health, such as diet or exercise
- distribute flyers, brochures, or other informational or educational documents to inform members of a targeted community
- refer community members to needed health services
- maintain updated client records with plans, notes, appropriate forms, or related information
- attend community meetings or forums to understand community issues or build relationships with community members
- collect data and discuss health concerns with members of specific populations or communities.
Key skills and interests
To become an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health worker, you would need:
- good communication and negotiation skills
- good organisational skills
- cultural awareness and sensitivity
- the ability to work independently and as part of a team
- a service orientation, actively looking for ways to help people.
Working hours and conditions
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health workers generally work full time, although part time positions may be available. They may be required to work shifts or travel long distances to visit remote communities.
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health workers may work in hospitals, health clinics or other health services in metropolitan areas or in remote communities. They usually work in teams with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
How to become an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Worker?
Entry Level Education
To become an Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander health worker you usually have to complete a VET qualification in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander primary health care or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander primary health care practice. You may be able to study through distance education.
You can also become an Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander health worker through a traineeship in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice. Applicants must be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.
In order to use the title Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner, Aboriginal health practitioner or Torres Strait Islander health practitioner, you need to register with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia. Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander health workers who are not required by their employer to use one of these titles do not need to register with the board.
Employment opportunities for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health workers rose slightly in the past five years. Looking forward, employment for indigenous health workers is expected to grow strongly.
This is a very small occupation, so opportunities may be quite limited in some regions.