Split Three Atoms and Report Tomorrow: the funding relationship between Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and Government Departments

Author: Kim O'Donnell

O'Donnell, Kim, 2015 Split Three Atoms and Report Tomorrow: the funding relationship between Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and Government Departments, Flinders University, School of Medicine

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Abstract

Problems of fragmentation and complexity in the funding provided to Aboriginal community controlled health organisations are well known; as is the burden of excessive detailed reporting requirements. This study explored the funding relationship between staff of an Aboriginal community controlled health organisation and government staff, focusing on their understanding of their accountability to each other, and the extent to which the funding contracts provide the basis for partnership. A mutual lack of trust was found, coexisting with goodwill on both sides. This pattern mirrors the national relations between Australia’s First Peoples and other Australians. Distrust is perpetuated when there is a lack of agreed understanding about purpose and function of Aboriginal community controlled health organisations – arising from history, effects of colonisation, systemic racism and commonwealth bureaucratic restrictions. A new approach focused on better health outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples, and focussing on the building of respectful relationships, is needed.

Keywords: Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, funding relationship, trust, accountability, government
Subject: Public Health thesis

Thesis type: Professional Doctorate
Completed: 2015
School: School of Medicine
Supervisor: Prof Colin MacDougall