Heart-IconAMSANT aims to improve the health of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory through promoting and extending the principle of local Aboriginal community control over primary health care services to Aboriginal people.

Our Vision

That Aboriginal people live longer, live better and live happier.

Our Mission

To improve the health of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory through promoting and extending the principle of local Aboriginal community control over primary health care services to Aboriginal people.

Our Role

AMSANT is the peak body for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in the Northern Territory and advocates for equity in health, focusing on supporting the provision of high quality comprehensive primary health care services for Aboriginal communities.

Principles of Aboriginal Community Controlled Primary Health Care

AMSANT is committed to the principles of Aboriginal community controlled primary health care as set out by the National Aboriginal Health Strategy (1989) as essential to improving the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The principles encompass:

  • an holistic view of health care which includes physical, social, spiritual and emotional health of people
  • capacity-building of community-controlled organisations and the community itself to support local and regional solutions or health outcomes
  • local community control and participation
  • partnering and collaborating across sectors, and
  • recognising the inter-relationship between good health and the social determinants of health.

Aboriginal Community Health Services (ACCHSs) must be incorporated bodies, with constitutions ensuring control by Aboriginal people under the principle of self-determination, and compulsory accountability processes, including annual general meetings open to all members of the relevant Aboriginal community and regularly elected management committees.

‘Community control’ ensures that people who are going to use health services are able to determine the nature of those services, and then participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of those services.

Our Objectives

The primary objects for which the Corporation is established are:

  • To promote the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory. Through strong advocacy, support the delivery of culturally appropriate health services for Aboriginal people and their communities.
  • To advocate and promote through our Member services, culturally safe research into causes and remedies of illness and ailments found within the Aboriginal population of the Northern Territory.
  • To continue to advocate for, and support, Aboriginal self-determination and to establish and grow the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector in the Northern Territory.
  • To alleviate the sickness, destitution, suffering and disadvantage, and to promote the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory.

To assist in achieving its primary objects, the Corporation will endeavour to:

  • Promote cultural awareness and integrity of Aboriginal Community Controlled comprehensive “primary health care”.
  • Serve as a peak body for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in the Northern Territory.
  • Drive the agenda and advocate for positive change to the status of the health of Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory.
  • To operate and maintain a gift fund to be known as ‘The AMSANT Indigenous Corporation Gift Fund’ in accordance with the requirements of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.
  • Respect the views and protect the rights and interests of its Members.

Our Governance

AMSANT currently operates under the Northern Territory Associations Incorporation Act; and will transition to the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) in 2015.

In accordance with the rules of AMSANT Incorporated, designated representatives of the members attend Annual General Meetings to elect eight representatives to form the Board of Directors. A minimum of four representatives are required to form a quorum for a meeting.

AMSANT’s CEO is appointed by the Board of Directors and the CEO approves the employment of AMSANT’s staff.

AMSANT Members

AMSANT Board

AMSANT CEO + Staff

Our Programs

Public Health – AMSANT’s Public Health Unit is a small dynamic team, comprising two public health medical officers (PHMO’s), two specialist Liaison Officers and a part-time support position providing clinical supervision for AOD (alcohol and other drugs) and SEWB (social and emotional wellbeing) worker.

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) – The aim of the NT CQI Strategy is to embed CQI across Aboriginal primary health care in the Northern Territory. The CQI Coordinators provide leadership and coordination to the CQI strategy team, participating in the NT AHKPI committees and reporting to the NT CQI steering committee.

eHealth – eHealth is the utilisation of information management technology to deliver health care and share information with other health care providers. NT ACCHSs have led Australia with eHealth having used electronic Clinical Information Systems (CIS/PIRS) for the last five to ten years and reporting to OATSIH on the NTAHKPIs for three to four years.

Workforce and Leadership Support (WALS) Unit – The WALS unit provides support and advice to our sector to: increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people AMSANT Strategic Plan 2015-2018 Approved by AMSANT Board 5th November 2015 8 working across all health professions; address the roles and development needs of health workforce groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners (ATSIHPs); improve the effectiveness of training, recruitment and retention measures, and strengthen health leadership amongst young Indigenous staff of member services.

Accreditation – AMSANT continues quality and accreditation support under the federally funded Expending Quality Health Services (EQHS-C) program. Support is given to eligible organisations to pursue and maintain accreditation through AMSANT’s Quality and Accreditation Officers.

Research Advocacy Policy Unit – The Research Advocacy Policy (RAP) Unit was designed to play a key role in managing relations with governments and non-governments stakeholders, working with the AMSANT board and as a part of the Senior Management Team, as well as coordinating research, policy and advocacy tasks for AMSANT.

Our Challenges

In seeking to carry out our work, AMSANT faces a number of challenges both internal and external.

Internally, a principal challenge is to balance the high expectations we place on our staff and the work we do against budgets that are invariably tight and subject to considerable change over time. That AMSANT consistently achieves excellence in our work that is recognised both within the NT and nationally reflects the strong sense of purpose, cohesion and peer support engendered amongst staff.

Nevertheless, a strong organisational culture matched to high achievement must also be underpinned by robust and accountable policy, business and management systems within a framework of continuous quality improvement. A key challenge is to ensure that we maintain excellence as an organisation, including through maintenance of our ISO 9001 accreditation, so that we can continue to grow and innovate as an organisation.

Externally, our principal challenge is to ensure that there remains bipartisan support from governments for the model of Aboriginal community controlled health services delivering comprehensive primary health care.

This challenges us to ensure that our key partnerships remain strong, principally the Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Forum, but also with other key stakeholders.

It also challenges us to ensure that we are able to demonstrate the outcomes of our service model in improving Aboriginal health through robust data collection, evaluation and research.