Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clinical Network

The Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clinical Network (previously referred to as the First Nations Clinical Network) has been established to be a driving force for strong and sustained engagement across the Queensland health sectors. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples knowledge and practice will enable clinicians, consumers and managers to make a positive difference to health outcomes and improve life expectancy for our people.

The Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clinical Network will enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to develop their own strategies, to better reflect their interests, values, vision and concerns, and to increase their ownership and accountability of their health experiences and outcomes.

The role of the network

  • provide leadership cultural and clinical expertise to drive system wide best practice through the identification, adoption and promotion of best practices and clinical/cultural policy
  • Share and support the development and implementation and replication of best practice approaches across the health system
  • Advocate for best practice clinical policy in matters related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • Provide advice to Hospital and Health Services and Queensland Health on clinical quality and the safety implications of policy, planning and funding decisions.

Current priorities

  • Establishment of a First Nations Quality Assurance Committee
  • Ryans’ Rule – First Nations awareness campaign and culturally appropriate training for staff
  • Cultural Safety Toolkit

Principle functions of the network

  • Provide clinician leadership and strategic advice to drive system wide best practice and the provision of culturally safe care through the adoption of best practices and clinical policy to improve health outcomes and experiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Queensland.
  • Partner and work collaboratively with consumers, hospital and health services, the Department of Health, other clinical networks, and external organisations to identify opportunities for collaboration and to engage clinicians and consumers in systemic improvements.
  • Develop standards, protocols, policies, guidelines, and clinical indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for Statewide use.
  • Make recommendations on initiatives such as Statewide plans, service improvement initiatives, clinical policy, clinical research, and digital platforms relevant to the delivery of healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Develop, promote and integrate clinical research activities and teaching opportunities throughout the health sector in Queensland, embedding cultural determinants of health whilst addressing discrimination, institutional racism, and driving improvements across the health system in Queensland to improve outcomes with, for and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Develop an open and supportive environment for clinicians and consumers in relation to sharing knowledge and enhancing cultural safety to support the delivery of health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland.
  • Identify and drive initiatives to improve the quality, safety, and effectiveness of healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland to:
    • Promote equitable healthcare access
    • Influence and address the economic, cultural, and social determinants of health inequities

The network does not:

  • Provide advice on industrial matters
  • Advocate for individual clinicians
  • Lobby on behalf of professional bodies or organisations
  • Provide advice on operational health service matters within HHSs.

Network activities will align with the National Agreement on Closing the Gap (2020) and Queensland Governments Statement of Commitment to reframe the relationship (2019) in sharing decision making in design and delivery of policy and services.


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Dr Mark Wenitong

Dr Mark Wenitong was born in Queensland and is both Kubi Kubi Aboriginal and South Sea Islander with a background in lab pathology. Prior to medicine he studied at the CDC in Atlanta and has studied more recently at Johns Hopkins in International Indigenous health. He has been mostly in PHC generally, both in Queensland and Northern Territory and also policy and research. His background also includes sexual health as well as public health, men’s health, and is an Adjunct Professor at QUT (Nutrition exercise sciences). He is also very interested in research translation and has the part time role of Director of RKT at the Lowitja Institute in Melbourne. He was a founding member of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association and has been a member of the National Health and Medical Research Committee, Australian Institute of Tropical health and Medicine Advisory Board amongst other Boards and committees.

Dr Alicia Veasey

Dr Alicia Veasey is a Torres Strait Islander woman who, prior to medicine, was a paediatric nurse. She is currently in her final year of a Fellowship in Obstetrics & Gynaecology with a subspeciality interest in Paediatric & Adolescent Gynaecology. Dr Veasey has completed a Master of Health Management and Master of Public Health. She is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative on the Queensland Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Network and a member of RANZCOG’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s health and RAP committee. She has previously been Director for the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association, a founding member of Health Workforce Australia’s Future Health Leaders Council, and a delegate at the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.

Steering Committee

Last updated: 10 March 2023