About Us

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) is a living embodiment of the aspirations of Aboriginal communities and their struggle for self-determination.

NACCHO is the national peak body representing over 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) across the country on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues. It has a history stretching back to a meeting in Albury in 1974.

In 1997, the Federal Government funded NACCHO to establish a Secretariat in Canberra which greatly increased the capacity of Aboriginal Peoples involved in ACCHSs to participate in national health policy development.

An Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service is a primary health care service initiated and operated by the local Aboriginal community to deliver holistic, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate health care to the community which controls it, through a locally elected Board of Management.

Aboriginal communities operate over 150 ACCHSs in urban, regional and remote Australia. They range from large multi-functional services employing several medical practitioners and providing a wide range of services, to small services which rely on Aboriginal Health Workers and/or nurses to provide the bulk of primary care services, often with a preventive, health education focus. The services form a network, but each is autonomous and independent both of one another and of government.

The integrated primary health care model adopted by ACCHSs is in keeping with the philosophy of Aboriginal community control and the holistic view of health. Addressing the ill health of Aboriginal people can only be achieved by local Aboriginal people controlling health care delivery.

Local Aboriginal community control in health is essential to the definition of Aboriginal holistic health and allows Aboriginal communities to determine their own affairs, protocols and procedures. NACCHO represents local Aboriginal community control at a national level to ensure that Aboriginal people have greater access to effective health care across Australia. NACCHO provides a coordinated holistic response from the community sector, advocating for culturally respectful and needs based approaches to improving health and wellbeing outcomes through ACCHSs.

NACCHO’s work is focused on: 

• Promoting, developing and expanding the provision of health and wellbeing services through local ACCHSs.

• Liaison with organisations and governments within both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community on health and wellbeing policy and planning issues.

• Representation and advocacy relating to health service delivery, health information, research, public health, health financing and health programs.

• Fostering cooperative partnerships and working relationships with agencies that respect Aboriginal community control and holistic concepts of health and wellbeing. The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) is a living embodiment of the aspirations of Aboriginal communities and their struggle for self-determination. NACCHO is the national peak body representing over 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) across the country on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues.

It has a history stretching back to a meeting in Albury in 1974 (see history of NACCHO)