01 Jul 2022
Today marks 10 years since the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board was formed providing its practitioners with national registration.
Ten years ago, a total of 280 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners were registered with the newly established Board and registered to practise across Australia. As at March 2022, the profession has grown to 859 registered practitioners.
National registration allows practitioners to work anywhere in Australia. Practitioners only need to apply for initial registration once and must renew their registration every year to stay registered.
Before joining the National Scheme in 2012, there was only registration in the Northern Territory. No other state or territory provided regulation or registration for these practitioners.
National regulation means all practitioners are now on an online public register which enables consumers to check that their practitioner is registered, having met mandatory registration standards and other requirements. All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners’ regulatory history is now also managed by a single entity, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra), which works in partnership with the Board to protect the public.
Board Chair, Renee Owen, has been with the Board since its inception.
‘I am so proud of the work that has been done to not only establish the Board but see the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner profession develop over the past 10 years.
‘National registration has helped the broader health workforce and the public begin to recognise the pivotal role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners play in addressing our national health priorities to improve the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This is of benefit to us all.
Peter Pangquee was the Board’s inaugural Chair and, prior to that, led the Northern Territory board for 11 years.
Remembering the early days of national regulation, Mr Pangquee said: ‘Nothing great comes easily and we certainly had our challenges, but we knew it was such an important move for the profession and the public. I am very proud of the work that was done then and over the past ten years to boost the profile of the profession and the work Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners do for, and in, their communities.
‘It was an exciting moment for the profession, and I am so proud to have been part of it,’ Mr Pangquee said.