Revision of the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023

The Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-23 is now being revised, in partnership between the Department of Health and the Implementation Plan Working Group.

Page last updated: 21 November 2019

The Implementation Plan Advisory Group (IPAG) has established the Implementation Plan Working Group (IPWG) to work closely with the Department of Health to steer the policy direction of the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 (Implementation Plan) and to ensure that it is centred on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives. The IPWG comprises Indigenous health experts, including representatives from the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector (ACCHS).

The revised Implementation Plan will:

  • embed the social determinants of health and cultural determinants of health;
  • ensure alignment with relevant policies and priorities, including the Closing the Gap Refresh and ending avoidable blindness, avoidable deafness and rheumatic heart disease; and
  • simplify the goals and actions.
The development of the next Implementation Plan is being guided by the direction of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-23 and the Closing the Gap Refresh as the overarching policy framework (PDF 240 KB). The cultural determinants and social determinants of health will set the foundations for the next Implementation Plan, as guided by the Australian Government report My Life My Lead - Opportunities for strengthening approaches to the social determinants and cultural determinants of Indigenous health: Report on national consultations December 2017.

The Department of Health and the IPWG are currently undertaking targeted consultations on a proposed Implementation Plan framework structure (PDF 289 KB), which maintains the life course approach that is so integral for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health context. Within the proposed new structure, the social determinants and cultural determinants are foundational and reflected across the focus areas, through a life course lens. Under this proposed framework, it is intended that the activities will not be segmented and will address what is needed to enable positive health outcomes and experiences across each stage of life. Each focus area is interconnected, not only with one another, but with the entire Australian health system.

The proposed structure also emphasises that an effective, safe, responsive and accountable whole-of-health system is essential for supporting improved health outcomes across each stage of life. This reflects the important role that the entire Australian health system has across each focus area.

A partnering framework (PDF 161 KB) has been developed to represent the relevance of the policy framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, underscoring that culture is at the centre of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ lives and must be considered across all policies and programs.

This diagram also represents the impact of health system effectiveness and the social determinants of health on the personal health journey through entire life course.

Implementation Plan Working Group members

  • Ms Donna Murray (Chair) – Co-Chair of the Implementation Plan Advisory Group; Deputy Chair of the National Health Leadership Forum, Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Allied Health Australia
  • Professor Tom Calma AO (Deputy Chair) – National Co-ordinator, Tackling Indigenous Smoking, Department of Health
  • Ms Donna Ah Chee – Chief Executive Officer, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Corporation
  • Ms Dania Ahwang – Chief Executive Officer, Wuchopperen Health Service Ltd
  • Dr Chris Bourke – Strategic Programs Director, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association
  • Ms Tania Brown – Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council
  • Dr Sean Taylor – Adjunct Senior Research Fellow Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University
  • Dr Lucas de Toca – Assistant Secretary, Health Plan, Early Years and Engagement Branch, Indigenous Health Division, Department of Health

More information


The frequently asked questions page provides questions and answers regarding the next reiteration of the Implementation Plan.

For further information, please email health.implementation.plan@health.gov.au