Cultural Competency and Capability Frameworks

woman in denim jacket is is sitting on a green couch across from an out of focus person - depicts a therapy session

Given our vision of better health together, WA Primary Health Alliance is working with communities, primary health care providers and partners across the health system in WA to ensure everyone has access to culturally competent and safe services.

An organisational cultural competency framework, associated Aboriginal capability framework, implementation plans and a commissioning toolkit is currently in progress. The frameworks will focus on three priority groups:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • LGBTIQ+ communities; and
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities

Please check below for regular updates on the project and consultation activities.


Given our vision of better health together, WA Primary Health Alliance is working with communities, primary health care providers and partners across the health system in WA to ensure everyone has access to culturally competent and safe services.

An organisational cultural competency framework, associated Aboriginal capability framework, implementation plans and a commissioning toolkit is currently in progress. The frameworks will focus on three priority groups:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • LGBTIQ+ communities; and
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities

Please check below for regular updates on the project and consultation activities.


  • Australian Multicultural Health Collaborative to provide national voice for CALD Health

    FECCA AUSTRALIAN MULTICULTURAL HEALTH COLLABORATIVE TO PROVIDE NATIONAL VOICE FOR CALD HEALTH (FED)

    The Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA), the peak national body representing multicultural and ethnic communities, is facilitating the establishment of the 'Australian Multicultural Health Collaborative', a national voice to provide leadership and advice on policy, research, and practice to improve access and equity and achieve better health outcomes for Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Following engagement with key stakeholders, FECCA is now inviting feedback from healthcare providers, consumers, and researchers to inform the further development of the proposed Collaborative.

  • Cultural Competency on the Agenda for WAPHA

    In our quest to help those most at risk of poor health outcomes, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is committed to working with our partners and stakeholders across the health system to improve access to culturally competent and safe primary health care services.

    Through our strategic planning process, WAPHA identified the need for an organisation-wide mechanism to build capability and measure the performance of internal and commissioned activities to ensure cultural competency and safety for staff and people accessing WAPHA commissioned services.

    Cultural competency is defined by WAPHA as “a set of congruent behaviours, attitudes and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals to enable that system, agency or those professionals to work effectively in cross-cultural situations”.

    Development of a Cultural Competency Framework will provide WAPHA with an opportunity to reflect on current practice and identify areas for improvement that will result in better health and wellbeing outcomes for priority target groups.

    The Cultural Competency Framework will articulate the components of cultural competency that WAPHA commits to achieving and maintaining in the long term. It will include over-arching guiding principles governing cultural competency in relation to diverse cultural groups, with a particular focus on the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse, Intersex, Queer (LGBTIQ+) communities.

    Given the importance of Aboriginal culture, history of dispossession and trauma, current level of disadvantage, and WAPHA’s responsibility to commission culturally appropriate services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, the importance of developing a separate Aboriginal Cultural Capability Framework in collaboration with Aboriginal people and communities was recognised. The Aboriginal Cultural Capability Framework will complement the Cultural Competency Framework and draw on and inform WAPHA’s Aboriginal Health Strategy (currently in development).

    The Frameworks will be accompanied by a range of supporting materials including Implementation Plans and Commissioning Toolkits.

    The project and associated activities will be undertaken in stages, building on previous knowledge, experience and recent work done by colleagues and partners. Development of the Frameworks will align to WAPHA’s Strategic Plan, be informed by WAPHA’s Reconciliation Action Plan and Rainbow Tick Accreditation and support the future development of the WAPHA Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

    Development of the Frameworks will also include engagement with a range of stakeholders including all WAPHA staff, WAPHA advisory groups, partner agencies, commissioned service providers and consumers.

    Project update

    • To guide and oversight this strategic project, the WAPHA Cultural Competency Steering Group was convened in late May 2021 and meets monthly. Membership includes representatives from across the organisation and is supported by the Project Management Office. General Manager Strategy and Engagement is the Executive Sponsor for the project.

    • A communication plan and associated materials are currently being developed to support messaging with staff and stakeholders.

    • An internal staff survey is being prepared via the People and Culture Team to assess WAPHA’s current understanding of cultural competence and safety, and opportunities and challenges.

    • A restricted expression of interest to identify a consultant/s to support the development of the Frameworks and consultation with our stakeholders has been finalised.

    It is anticipated that the Frameworks, Implementation Plans, and Commissioning Toolkits will be completed by mid-2022 and incorporated into business-as-usual financial year 2022-2023.

    For more information, please contact Susan Kay (susan.kay@wapha.org.au).

    WA Primary Health Alliance acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Elders of this country. We recognise the significant importance of their cultural heritage, values and beliefs and how these contribute to the positive health and wellbeing of the whole community.

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