Aboriginal Community Control

The definition of ‘community control’ in the National Aboriginal Health Strategy (1989) is as follows:

“Community control is the local community having control of issues that directly affect their community. Implicit in this definition is the clear statement that Aboriginal people must determine and control the pace, shape and manner of change and decision-making at local, regional, state and national levels.”

Implicit in this definition is the clear statement that Aboriginal people must determine and control the pace, shape and manner of change and decision-making at [all] levels. Essentially, community control is the process through which the community determines the nature of the health and medical service, and is able to participate in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of those services.

Community control has been widely accepted as a key requirement in strategies to overcome Aboriginal health disadvantage. Implicit on this is the understanding that much of the morbidity and premature mortality experienced by Aboriginal people is not amenable to medical or other interventions imposed from outside the community.