Western Australian Aboriginal Health

Ethics Committee


The Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (WAAHEC) is 1 of 3 Aboriginal specific Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and is recognised and registered with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) the peak ethics body in Australian Health and Ethics Committee (AHEC).


The WAAHEC was established to promote and support quality research that will be reflective of the needs of the community, as there was concerns with the increased research being conducted in Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. The WAAHEC’s objectives are to effectively monitor ethically sound, culturally appropriate, determine priorities to the research and ensure the benefits to Aboriginal people.


Please Note: Terminology used in WAAHEC Applications should read Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander people / communities

Steps for proposal development and Ethics approval

Preliminary community consultation: find out what the priorities of the community / organisation are;

Develop your proposal with the communities / organisations based on their priorities

Obtain letters of support from appropriate community members and/or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs)

Submit your proposal to WAAHEC

(Ensure you have allowed enough time on your timeline for your research to go through the Ethics process, and allow extra time if not approved)

After receiving WAAHEC’s approval, ensure you have gained other necessary approvals from other Ethics committees)

Members of the WAAHEC meet for 6 meetings per annum & [Out of Session] as required, WAAHEC meetings are usually held at the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA), 450 Beaufort Street, Highgate WA 6003 dates & times varies although all proposed meeting dates *may be subject to change, and can be found on the AHCWA Website.


The committee have a partnerships with a few Sub – committee’s / Planning forums you are required to demonstrate appropriate consultation and follow the regions necessary processes and gain approval prior to WAAHEC:

Kimberley Aboriginal Health Planning Forum
For more information please follow this link: https://kahpf.org.au/research-subcommittee

Kimberley Region
Pilbara Region

Pilbara Aboriginal Health Planning Forum
A copy of the research application form can be obtained by emailing: pahpf@puntukurnu.com

Metro Region

Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service Aboriginal Corporation Research Sub – committee

For further information email research@dyhs.org.au or Ph. 08 9421 3888.

For contact details relating to the Yamatji Aboriginal Health Planning Forum, Goldfields Aboriginal Health Planning Forum, Wheatbelt Aboriginal Health Planning Forum, Southwest Aboriginal Health Planning Forum and Greater Southern Aboriginal Health Planning Forum please email - ethics@ahcwa.org

All required forms to submit your Application can be downloaded here:

All information documents can be downloaded here:

WAAHEC Application Submission Process


All researchers are required to submit electronic copies of their ethics applications as follows:


PDF format for all submissions; New Applications, Progress Reports, Amendments, Responses, Annual Reports, Final Reports & Publications Application Forms are signed by Chief Investigator and all associated documents


Once completed all applications need to be submitted by COB 5pm of the submission date.


Please Note: If you submit your application after the deadline your application will not be considered until the next meeting.

If you would like any further information please contact the Ethics Officer on phone (08) 9227 1631 or email ethics@ahcwa.org *AHCWA do not provide letters of support to any projects, consultation with each region and or / member service is required.


Meeting and Document Submission Dates

(Meeting dates are subject to change)

Document submission 

due dates








meeting dates







Dates committee is unavailable

AHCWA State Sector Conference
23 - 26 March 2021

8 - 15 November 2020

Please download and read the document regarding COVID-19 in reference to WAAHEC HERE