Workforce & Leadership Support Unit
AMSANT believes that a healthy and productive workforce leads to stronger Aboriginal people and communities.
The AMSANT Workforce & Leadership Support (W&LS) Unit is comprised of the following officers:
- The Workforce Issues Policy Officer, Erin Lewfatt, who is also the WALS Team Leader
- The Indigenous Health Project officer (IHPO), Sharon Wallace, who works to support the new COAG Indigenous Chronic Disease workforce of outreach workers, healthy lifestyle and tobacco workers
- The AHW Training Officer, Dawn Daly, who coordinates Good Medicine Better Health training for ATSIHPs and promotes other professional development programs for ATSIHPs
- An Aboriginal Leadership Program project officer (part time) which position is currently vacant. This officer conducts Leadership workshops for you Indigenous leaders within the sector and provides support through a leadership network
Together the WALS Unit personnel planned, delivered and reported on a successful Year of the Aboriginal Health Worker in 2011-12 and ran a successful AHW Summit in Darwin in May 2012.
The main objectives for the Workforce unit are as follows:
- Increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working across all health professions.
- Improve the clarity of roles, regulation and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners (ATSIHPs) as a key component of the health workforce, and improve vocational education and training sector support for ATSIHPs.
- Address the role and development needs of other health workforce groups contributing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health including the new COAG ICDP workforce of outreach, healthy lifestyle and tobacco action workers.
- Improve the effectiveness of training, recruitment and retention measures targeting both non-Indigenous Australians and Indigenous Australians health staff working in the Aboriginal primary health sector.
- Represent the issues and interests of AMSANT members at relevant meetings and forums in relation to workforce issues, particularly with regard to Aboriginal workforce.
- Strengthen health leadership amongst young Indigenous staff of member services.
The WALS team leader, Erin Lewfatt, reports regularly to the AMSANT Board and the NT Aboriginal Health Forum on strategic workforce activities and issues. She also hosts a network of senior ATSIHPS on the sector to maintain close connection with the membership on Aboriginal workforce issues and disseminate relevant information to the field.