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About AHCSA

The Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA) is a membership-based peak body with a leadership, watchdog, advocacy and sector support role, and a commitment to Aboriginal self-determination. It is the health voice for Aboriginal peoples across South Australia representing the expertise, needs and aspirations of Aboriginal communities at both state and national levels based on a holistic perspective of health. AHCSA is a collective term that includes both the membership and the Secretariat. The role of the Secretariat is to undertake the work that AHCSA directs them to do via its Board, on which all member organisations are represented.

Throughout the website the term Aboriginal is used in this context to include people who identify as Aboriginal, people who identify as Torres Strait Islander Peoples and people who identify as both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. It is also used interchangeably with the term Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

History

AHCSA began its life in 1981 as an incorporated health unit under the South Australian Health Commission Act and was known as the Aboriginal Health Organisation at that time. In 1999, AHCSA commissioned a review that recommended it be re-incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act, SA 1985, in order to increase its effectiveness and representation. This occurred in October 2001 and means that AHCSA is an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation in its own right. It is governed by a Governing Committee whose members represent Aboriginal Community Controlled Health and Substance Misuse Services throughout South Australia and until recently this included the Aboriginal Health Advisory Committees (AHACs).

AHCSA’s 33 year history includes:

  • 1981 AHCSA was incorporated health unit under the South Australian Health Commission Act.
  • 1999 AHCSA commissioned a review that recommended reincorporation under the Associations Incorporation Act, SA 1985, to increase effectiveness and representation.
  • 2001 AHCSA re-incorporated in October as an Aboriginal community controlled organisation governed by a Board of Directors whose members represent Aboriginal Community Controlled Health and Substance Misuse Services and Aboriginal Health Advisory Committees/Groups (AHACs/AHAGs) throughout South Australia.
  • 2011 AHCSA celebrated its 10th anniversary as an independent Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

Our role

AHCSA exists to redress the long-standing and ongoing inequity in access to mainstream health services and health and wellbeing status between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Equally, it honours and builds upon the resistance, tenacity and creativity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in developing and maintaining culturally relevant and accountable primary health care services for Aboriginal communities. AHCSA is committed to understanding, responding to and supporting the achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health needs and aspirations in South Australia. It promotes the self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Accreditation

Accreditation is an independent recognition that an organisation, service, program or activity meets the requirements of defined criteria or standards. Accreditation provides quality and performance assurance for owners, managers, staff, funding bodies and consumers and is a tool to measure and improve performance and outcomes.

Accreditation can help an organisation to:

  • Provide independent recognition that the organisation is committed to safety and quality
  • Foster a culture of quality
  • Provide consumers with confidence
  • Build a better, more efficient organisation with quality and performance assurance
  • Increase capability
  • Reduce risk
  • Provide a competitive advantage over organisations that are not accredited, and
  • Comply with regulatory requirements, where relevant.

AHCSA achieved its accreditation to the Quality Improvement Council (QIC) ‘Health and Community Services Standards, 6th Edition’ on the 6th February 2014.

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