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First Nations Health Worker Traineeship (FNHWT) program launches at AHCSA

07 March 2024

Students of AHCSA’s first cohort of the First Nations Health Worker Traineeship in Australia were overjoyed to attend a program launch today with the Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health, Federal Senator Malarndirri McCarthy. Launched on behalf of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) the First Nations Health Worker Traineeship will provide up to 500 First Nations people to study to become either an Aboriginal Health Worker or an Aboriginal Health Practitioner by 2027.

AHCSA is the first community controlled organisation to start delivering the program. Training will be delivered by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Registered Training Organisations (ACCHRTOs) across Australia, with trainees ideally employed by Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) while they study.

Representatives from the Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisations across the nation and members of the Aboriginal community came together at the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA) offices on Kaurna Country, Adelaide to see this 500-place nation-wide initiative be undertaken.

In 2008 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) committed to "closing the gap" and overcoming the entrenched inequality between the life outcomes of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. The Closing the Gap Agreement represents a commitment for governments to share decision-making with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The program, which was first introduced by the Albanese Government in the budget of 22/23, is part of the Australian Labor Party’s (ALP) election commitments for health through the $314.8 million Strengthening First Nations Health measure. The $54.3 million First Nations Health Worker Traineeship (FNHWT) program will increase the number of First Nations healthcare workers and practitioners across the healthcare system and is an innovative program for all Aboriginal communities to help close the gap on Aboriginal health.

Students will be supported by a NACCHO-designed holistic traineeship framework to ensure cultural safety.



AHCSA Acting CEO Patrick Moriarty commented,

Since 2004 AHCSA has facilitated nationally-recognised Primary Health and Research qualifications for its member services and its broader National Aboriginal Health Service network as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

AHCSA empowers and supports Aboriginal Community Controlled Health organisations (including its twelve members across the State) to develop and strengthen capacity through advocacy, communication, knowledge and leadership resulting in the holistic contribution to the health, wellbeing and cultural strengthening of our Aboriginal communities in South Australia

We are proud to have been the host venue for the launch of an initiative as significant as the First Nations Health Worker Traineeship (FNHWT) program, and we are proud to have been joined today by a number of our former and current trainee health care workers.


Our health. Our choice. Our way.


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Image credits: NACCHO