Aboriginal people continue to experience significant health
disadvantage, illustrated by a ten-year gap in average life
expectancy compared to non-Indigenous Australians – 11.5 years for
males and 9.7 years for females (AIHW
St John of God Health Care is committed to working with
Aboriginal people and communities to improve health and wellbeing
by operating services and partnering with other organisations.
Our Aboriginal health services place strong emphasis on
families, communities, children and youth.
Several of our divisions operate Social
Outreach and Advocacy Services which have specific aims to
improve health outcomes by walking alongside Aboriginal communities
to develop their capacity to manage better health outcomes.
Our current contribution to improving Aboriginal health outcomes
• South West Community Drug
Service Team: Operates services for Aboriginal people
with substance use issues across the southwest of Western
Australia, tailored specifically for men, women, young people and
Elders. The service is based in Bunbury and also seeks to improve
access to hospital care for Aboriginal people.
• Mental Health Outreach
Service, Warrnambool: One of the community-based
mental health services provided by St John of God Hospital,
Warrnambool works specifically with Aboriginal people, improving
access to mental health in a setting that is comfortable and free
• St John of God Hospital
Bendigo: Provides a regular diabetes and endocrine
specialist Indigenous clinic in collaboration with the
Bendigo and District
Aboriginal Cooperative. The Endocrinologist and Diabetes
Educator also travel to a monthly clinic at Swan Hill
and Horsham. The clinic was recently provided with a 'Felt
Man', which is an Indigenous resource to assist with Diabetes
education in indigenous communities.
• Murdoch Community Mental
Health: Social and emotional wellbeing family support
workers provide specific Indigenous support at South Lake Ottey
Family and Neighbourhood Centre, St Patrick's Community Service
Centre and City of Cockburn Youth Centre. Assistance and advocacy
ranges in age (from birth to elders) and from individuals to
• Horizon House
Broome: Providing long-term accommodation and support
for Aboriginal boys and young men who are in need of a stable home
in Broome, Western Australia.
As well as operating the above services, Social Outreach and Advocacy teams in Bunbury
and Murdoch have been instrumental as the lead agencies in the
South West Aboriginal Health Workers Forum and the Aboriginal
Women’s Health Forum (south metropolitan Perth) respectively.