What is an ACCHO?
An ACCHO 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.
ACCHOs understand the position and role they play in supporting their local Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander communities to live better lives. The ACCHO approach has evolved out of an inherited responsibility to provide flexible and responsive services that are tailored to the needs of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. ACCHOs provide many services over and above their funded activities to ensure their community members gain the services they need.
In line with their holistic health approach ACCHOS support the social, emotional, physical and cultural wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, families and communities.
What is the history of ACCHOs?
The first ACCHO was established for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Redfern in 1971. This was in response to experiences of racism in mainstream health services and an unmet need for culturally safe and accessible primary health care. A national umbrella organisation, the National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organisation, was first established in 1976 and became the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation in 1992. To read more about the history of the ACCHO sector, see Our Story.
There are now more than 140 ACCHOs across Australia with peak representative organisations across all states and territories.
Find your nearest ACCHO with the NACCHO members and affiliates map, or Contact NACCHO for more information.