Indigenous health

ANZCA acknowledges the traditional custodians of the country throughout Australia and recognises their unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land, waters and seas and their rich contribution to society. We pay our respects to ancestors and Elders, past and present.

ANZCA acknowledges and respects Māori as the Tangata Whenua of Aotearoa and is committed to upholding the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, fostering the college’s relationship with Māori, supporting Māori fellows and trainees, and striving to improve the health of Māori.


The Indigenous Health Committee (IHC) is responsible for the college's portfolios in Indigenous health in Australia and New Zealand. Under the direction of the committee, ANZCA has undertaken a number of initiatives in an effort to:

  • Improve clinical safety.

  • Improve cultural safety.

  • Attract and support indigenous trainees and specialists.

  • Advocate for indigenous health.

Contact details -


Indigenous health strategy  

Throughout 2017 and early 2018 ANZCA’s Indigenous Health Committee developed a college-wide Indigenous Health Strategy. As a binational college, ANZCA’s Indigenous health strategy targets health inequity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in both Australia and New Zealand.

ANZCA has considered where it is best placed to have influence, together with the concept of health equity and the principles of Australia’s commitment to Closing the Gap and New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi. From this, the college identified four pillars to frame its work towards health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia, and Māori in New Zealand – governance, partnerships, workforce and advocacy.

ANZCA Indigenous Health Strategy 2018-2022

Evolving ANZCA’s strategy towards Indigenous health: background paper 
The background paper to ANZCA’s Indigenous health strategy presents a comprehensive summary of background research across a number of areas. It examines inequitable health outcomes for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and Māori and differences in the experience of healthcare. The paper also explains the broader policy context, such as government commitments to Closing the Gap in Australia, and to the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand.

What we're doing to create a culturally safe environment for Indigenous patients

Dr Dash Newington is an ANZCA advanced trainee at Lady Cilento Hospital. She recently presented at the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (NACCHO) on her journey and the ANZCA Indigenous Health strategy. In this video, she talks about ANZCA’s practice of creating a culturally safe environment for Indigenous Australian patients.



Library Guides collate recommended resources, such as library databases, journals, books, web pages and other useful links, for finding information that is most relevant to your area of study. The Indigenous health section of library guides contains a number of Indigenous resources that are useful for practice, research, CPD and program planning.  

Acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia
Maori of Aotearoa New Zealand 

This guide provides ANZCA staff and members with information on recognising the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional custodians of the land at official college meetings and events in Australia and the Māori as the Tangata Whenua of Aotearoa.

Access the guide here

Cultural Safety 

Professional Document 
PS62 Statement on Cultural Competence
PS62 Statement on Cultural Competence Background Paper

Intercultural competency online learning
This intercultural competency resource is designed for practitioners in Australia and New Zealand, to assist you to view cultural perspectives in workplace interactions - including your own as well as the perspectives of patients, colleagues and team members.
Completion of this activity by ANZCA Fellows may accrue continuing professional development points under the knowledge and skills category.
Intercultural competency is available through Networks.

Indigenous health podcasts 
This series has been developed by ANZCA Fellows to provide an introduction to working with indigenous patients. There are nine podcasts available covering topics that range from communication and asking about indigenous status to culture shock and traditional parenting.  

Access our podcasts here

Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) Cultural Safety Toolkit
AIDA has compiled a toolkit of relevant resources that range from comprehensive eLearning modules, to policy documents, national campaigns and broader contextual information.

Network for Indigenous Health and Cultural Education
Nicheportal, the Network for Indigenous Cultural and Health Education Portal, provides links to educational and learning resources in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and cultural competency, for medical specialists caring for indigenous communities. It includes both a searchable database of activities, resources or case studies, and a free discussion forum to encourage the exchange of knowledge, expertise and information.

Visit the portal here.


Indigenous teaching and learning cases 

The teaching and learning cases have been developed for use in conjunction with the 2013 curriculum.

Four cases (7, 8a, 8b, 9) have been specifically developed to support case-based discussions involving indigenous Australian and Maori patients. 

7 question only version
7 facilitator version

8b question only version
8b facilitator version

8a question only version
8a facilitator version

question only version
9 facilitator version



Emerging Leaders conference
The Emerging Leaders Conference brings together new fellows from a diverse range of backgrounds, and offers three days of dynamic content presented by anaesthesia and pain medicine leaders. 

An annual position for an Indigenous new fellow to attend the Emerging Leaders Conference, upon the nomination of the Indigenous Health Committee was established in 2018.

Sponsored place at the ANZCA Annual Scientific Meeting
ANZCA offers Australian Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and New Zealand Māori senior medical students and junior doctors with an interest in anaesthesia an opportunity to attend the ANZCA Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM).

2020 applications now open (applications close Monday February 24, 2020)
Application form


Exam trainee courses
ANZCA regional offices run trainee courses throughout the year designed to assist and prepare trainees for the primary and final written and oral exams. The ANZCA Indigenous health committee offers financial support to Indigenous trainees for the registration of these courses. 

For further information please see the ANZCA Indigenous trainee courses support guidelines 
Application form 

ANZCA Indigenous prevocational doctor advice service
ANZCA is developing a list of ANZCA fellows and trainees who can provide advice and tips to prospective Indigenous trainees about a career in anaesthesia or pain medicine. Further information on this initiative can be found here.

If you are an Indigneous medical student or junior doctor who would like to be put in touch with an anaesthetist or speialist pain medicine physician in your area to dicsuss a possible career in anaesthesia or pain medicine please email 


ANZCA supports the following conferences through trade booths, workshops and presentations.

Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA) Conference
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Members’ Conference
Te ORA Hui-A-Tau

Partnering for Good Health and Wellbeing for Indigenous Australians 
In May 2017 The Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges singed a partnership agreement with the Australian Government to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies and service providers to reduce the current gap in health outcomes and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.

Further information can be found here 

ANZCA Bulletin Articles 
ANZCA drives new Indigenous Health Strategy – September 2018


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