Our History

2014 AHCWA Board Members


  • In 2015, AHCWA developed a RAP (2015-2017).  AHCWA developed the RAP because as the peak body of 23 ACCHSs across the State, AHCWA wanted to be at the forefront and advocate for our 23 ACCHSs to show our people and communities that we respect other cultures throughout Western Australia.


  • The Champion of our RAP is Sharon Bushby, who was instrumental in the process and need for AHCWA to take the lead to implement our RAP on behalf of our 23 ACCHSs.


  • The following AHCWA staff members were involved in our original RAP working group: Sharon Bushby, Kristy Monaghan, Robyn Withnell, Jo Kennedy, Ronda Clarke, Natasha Gillespie, Harley Richards, the Board of Directors and AHCWA staff.


  • In 2018, AHCWA updated the RAP and it is currently scheduled for design in 2019.


  • The following AHCWA staff members are involved in the 2018-2020 RAP working group: Donna Schildbach, Daniel Vujcich, Kristy Monaghan, Ronda Clarke, Natasha Gillespie, Keisha Calyun, Lachlan Rodenburg, Clara Titus, the Board of Directors, Executive Management Team and AHCWA staff.

Our Journey So Far

For Aboriginal people, accessing culturally appropriate healthcare services has long been a significant challenge.


The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) model acknowledges the importance of timely, accessible, affordable, acceptable and appropriate health care for Aboriginal people and their communities, that is strongly aligned and connected to Country and Cultural Heritage, and recognises the integral role that family and community play to the overall physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of an Aboriginal person and community.

In 1973, the first ACCHS was established, originally known as the Perth Aboriginal Medical Service (PAMS), and later renamed the Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service Aboriginal Corporation (DYHSAC) followed by the Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (BRAMS).

Today there are 23 ACCHS across the State, providing holistic and culturally appropriate primary health care services to Aboriginal people, families and communities.


Each ACCHS provides services that do not just focus on the physical wellbeing of an individual, but the social, emotional and cultural wellbeing of the whole community in which they belong.


In the mid 1990’s, a small group of ACCHS decided there was a need for a united voice to raise the health needs of all Aboriginal people living throughout WA. The West Australian Aboriginal Medical Services Inc. (WAAMS) was created and received initial funding provided by the Perth Aboriginal Medical Service (now known as DYHSAC) in East Perth, before becoming the Western Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (WAACCHO) in 1997.

WAACCHO was established as the peak State organisation representing Aboriginal Health Services across WA – to advocate on behalf of Aboriginal people for better health services delivered by Aboriginal people.

WAACCHO was replaced with the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA) in May 2005.  

AHCWA exists today because we have the belief, passion, respect and commitment for improving the health and wellbeing for Aboriginal people and their communities.

Governed by an Aboriginal Board with representatives from across all regions of WA, the Board Members of AHCWA utilise their integrity, trust and commitment to apply their skills and experience to lead AHCWA on its path to the development of improved Aboriginal Health.


We are one voice represented and heard at all levels, advocating the aims and aspirations of the Aboriginal people and their communities across WA.