Learning the Tiwi way to community control what is community control for the Tiwi people, and how do they wish to implement a community controlled health service?

  • Gregory James Rickard

    Student thesis: Professional Doctorate - CDU


    Providing access to appropriate services for Indigenous people delivered by the Aboriginal Community Control Health sector has been the argument and rhetoric in Australia for the past four decades, but over this period the health inequalities between Indigenous and non- Indigenous Australians have increased. The causes of this health inequality have been cited as policy failure in addition to the continuing structural disadvantage of Indigenous people.

    I used anthropological and organisational analysis methodologies to analyse and gain a greater understanding of the cultural and social elements that enabled or prevented the Tiwi Health Advisory Committee (THAC) from moving towards the community control of their health service.

    What is evident from this research is that a structured and supportive framework of health development is needed over the long-term, a framework that fully engages with the THAC and the Tiwi people. I identified six areas for development within this supportive framework: the integration of contemporary Tiwi culture into the emerging health organisation; the role of Indigenous governance in community control; the function of Tiwi leadership in selfdetermination; the role of mentoring in building capacity; the stewardship of governments and stakeholders as key enablers to community control; and the facilitation of an “enabling framework” that is focussed on individual and community self-determination.

    From this research, I also found that interventions that did not adequately engage with the Tiwi people or address local needs had the potential for greater individual and community dysfunction and social break down. I concluded that there was a need for significant change in the way governments and stakeholders work with the THAC and the Tiwi people, with a focus on the development of dual capacities and competencies.
    Date of Award2009
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorKate Senior (Supervisor)

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