In mid 2006 funding was provided by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH) through the Northern Rivers General Practice Network (NRGPN), for a scoping study to explore the need for a community controlled Aboriginal Health Service in Ballina.

Following this, funding was provided in the 2007/2008 financial year for the establishment of a comprehensive primary health care service to improve the health status of Aboriginal people in Ballina and surrounding communities. The NRGPN was identified as the auspice agency for the service with the intention that it would work with the local community to establish an independent community controlled Aboriginal Health Service.

The development of the service was guided by a community based Steering Committee. The Steering Committee appointed a Service Coordinator and a Practice Manager. Doctors, a Nurse, Aboriginal Health Worker and Receptionist were subsequently appointed.

Bullinah Aboriginal Health Service opened its doors on 17 March 2008, in rented accommodation at 120 Tamar Street, Ballina.

During the following 12 months, the service expanded to provide the following:

  • 4 part-time GPs
  • 2 Nurses
  • 1 male Aboriginal Health Worker
  • Counsellor
  • Dietician / Nutritionist
  • Podiatrist
  • Paediatrician
  • Vision and Hearing Health


In February 2009, ACHIEVE Outcomes Australia Pty Ltd was contracted to work with the Steering Committee, staff and the community to develop this Strategic Plan to guide the development of the service over the following three years.

Download the Bullinah Strategic Plan – Jan 2010