Cultural Competency and Capability Frameworks

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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.


  • Kambarang Services to lead development of cultural competency frameworks

    WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) has appointed Kambarang Services to develop Cultural Competency and Capability Frameworks, including stakeholder consultation, as part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

    Due to be finalised in the first half of 2022, the frameworks, associated plans and toolkit will help WAPHA, its partners and commissioned services to develop and maintain the cultural competency of their staff and provide a safe environment for clients of diverse backgrounds, bodies and culture who access their services.

    Kambarang Services, led by Danny Ford, a Noongar man with significant public sector and consulting experience, including developing the WA Country Health Service Cultural Governance Framework, will oversee a team of experienced consultants.

    This will include members of three identified priority groups –Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples, LGBTIQ+ communities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

    WA Primary Health Alliance CEO, Learne Durrington, said the organisation was confident that consultation will provide great insights, in addition to regular feedback from three reference groups.

    “Given our vision of better health, together, we have a leadership role to advocate for safe, inclusive and culturally appropriate primary care services for people with diverse bodies, identities and experiences

    “We will be seeking input from our staff, people with lived experience, health professionals, service providers, peak bodies, the end result of which will support not only WAPHA but the wider primary health care sector.”

    Kambarang Lead Consultant, Danny Ford said the Kambarang Team is looking forward to working with WAPHA and the community in developing this very important initiative.

    Feedback gathered from the consultations, conducted in person or online, depending on the COVID-19 situation, will inform the development of the frameworks and associated documents.

    For more information and to provide feedback, contact susan.kay@wapha.org.au

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  • What does it take to provide culturally competent and safe health care services? We want to hear from you!

    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.

    Over the next 6-9 months the Cultural Competency and Capability Frameworks project team will be developing frameworks, implementation plans, commissioning guidelines, training and other support structures that guide our progress in cultural competence and capability over the next three years.

    To provide the optimal training and resources to support this important work, we want to hear your views, experiences and recommendations to build our cultural competency and capability to care for people with an increased risk of adverse health outcomes.

    The Cultural Competency and Capability Survey opened on 8 November 2021 and closes on 29 November 2021. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete and will be available on Primary Health Exchange https://phexchange.wapha.org.au/cultural-competency-capability-frameworks. All responses will remain confidential. Once the survey has closed, a report will be produced to inform the next steps of the project including conducting staff focus groups.

    For more information on the project please contact susan.kay@wapha.org.au

  • 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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