The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Model of Care

Courtesy Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia

The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Model of Care is modelled and underpinned by eight fundamental dimensions pivotal to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal People and their Communities.

These dimensions we refer to as the foundations /cornerstones for Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing. A disconnection from any of the eight dimensions can cause an individual to experience an imbalance in their overall health and wellbeing, not only from a medical point of view, but also an Aboriginal and cultural point of view.

KAMS acknowledge the importance of timely, accessible, affordable, acceptable and appropriate health care for Aboriginal People/Communities, that is strongly aligned and connected to Country and Cultural Heritage, and recognises the integral role that family and community play to the overall physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of an Aboriginal person and community.

Content on this page has been adapted from material developed and supplied by the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Council of Western Australia:

ACCHS Model of Care – Definition of Care Poster (pdf)

ACCHS Model of Care Flyer (pdf)

The Person

  • I am Aboriginal, a traditional owner of this country, descendant from a proud people.
  • I am culture and culture is me, I am country and country is me, I am the bush and the bush is me, I am the river and the river is me.
  • My family is me and we are one, we are Community.

The Physical Realm

  • The Physical realm refers to the capacity for physical health and development.
  • It is the human biological wellness of one’s self; mind, body and spirit.
  • For Aboriginal people physical well-being is intertwined with the spiritual, emotional and family dimensions.
  • Our physical being supports our essence and shelters us from the external environment.

The Spiritual Realm

  • The Spiritual realm is identified as being the most essential requirement for health, as it provides the capacity for faith and wider communication.
  • Health is related to unseen and unspoken energies.
  • The spiritual essence of a person is their life force.
  • This determines us as individuals and as a collective, who and what we are, where we have come from and where we are going.

The Family Realm

  • The family realm is the prime support system providing care not only physically but also culturally, spiritually and emotionally.
  • For Aboriginal people, family is about the extended relationships rather than the nuclear family concept, and the capacity to belong and be a part of a wider social network support system.
  • Family provides us the strength to be who we are and links us to our ancestors, our ties with the past, present and future.
  • Understanding the importance of family and how family can contribute and assist in the healing process of Aboriginal people is vital and important to the holistic wellbeing of Aboriginal people.

The Emotional Realm

  • The capacity to communicate, to think, feel and acknowledge that the mind and body are inseparable.
  • Thoughts, feelings and emotions are integral components of the body and soul.
  • How we see ourselves in the universe, our interaction with that which is uniquely Aboriginal and the perception that others have of us.

The Community

  • On country and connection with country.
  • Culture heritage.
  • Lore and culture, the sustainability of traditional customs, practices, values and beliefs.
  • Social networks and support systems, family and community.
  • A sense of belonging, a place to stand.
  • Self determination, leadership and empowerment.
  • Authority and control.

The Culture

  • Aboriginal culture is the oldest living culture in this world, it is complex and diverse dating back 50,000 – 65,000 years.
  • Culture is an Aboriginal persons awakening, it is the window to ones soul.
  • It depicts who a person is, guides their behaviours and how they live their lives.
  • It encompasses values, beliefs, customs and practices that are integral to the health and wellbeing of an Aboriginal person.
  • Culture is to be respected.

The Language

  • The Aboriginal language is diverse with over 290 – 363 difference language groups/dialects.
  • The importance to communicate, understand and engage effectively.
  • Understanding that Aboriginal language is a vital part of culture and heritage.

The Country

  • I am intrinsically linked to the land and country through my birth, lineage, culture and identity.
  • Aboriginal lore and spirituality are heavily intertwined with the land and being on country.
  • A disconnection from country, culture and family contributes to a unhealthy state of mind, body and soul.