Cultural Competency and Capability Frameworks

WA Primary Health Alliance is working with communities, primary health care providers and partners across the health system in WA to ensure everyone has access to culturally competent and safe services.

View the frameworks

Cultural competency and equity and inclusion frameworks, implementation plans. and a commissioning guide and toolkit are currently in progress. 

The frameworks will focus on three priority groups:

  • Aboriginal people
  • LGBTIQA+ communities
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse communities

Please check below for regular updates on the project and consultation activities.

Phase One: Best practice review

Review relevant policy and guidance materials, national PHN activity, best practice recommendations and map WAPHA’s current activity

Phase two: Internal engagement

Staff survey/audit and focus groups to identify strengths of current process, areas for improvement and actions/tools needed to enable staff to implement the frameworks

Phase three: External engagement

Gather insights from community, peak bodies, member organisations and service providers to inform the Frameworks, Implementation Plans and Commissioning Guidelines.  Enrich our understanding of stakeholder expectations regarding WAPHA’s approach to cultural safety.

Phase Four: Development, design and publication of Framework documents

Development of the Aboriginal Cultural Competency and Capability Framework, LGBTIQA+ Equity and Inclusion Framework, Implementation Plans and Toolkits by Kambarang Services, with input from WAPHA teams and reference groups.  Development of Commissioning Guidelines and the Multicultural Cultural Competency Framework and associated documents by WAPHA, with input from reference groups.

Key Updates
Multicultural consultation summary released

We have released the Multicultural consultation summary following a series of consultations held with people from multicultural communities, commissioned service providers and GPs to inform the development of a Multicultural Competency and Capability Framework.

First two Frameworks launched

We have completed the first two of three foundational documents that will guide our journey towards cultural competency, diversity and inclusion, being the Aboriginal Cultural Competency and Capability Framework 2023-2025 and the LGBTIQA+ Equity and Inclusion Framework 2023-2025. A third Framework, focusing on multicultural communities, is under development, and we hope to launch it later this year.

Consultation on Multicultural Cultural Competency Framework underway

Work on the Multicultural Cultural Competency Framework has begun with consultations completed with general practitioners and our commissioned service providers. Further consultations with community members are taking place in March 2023. This work is being informed and supported by WAPHA’s internal working group and Multicultural Stakeholder Reference Group.  

Consultation summaries released - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and LGBTIQA+

We are pleased to release two summaries from the consultations which took place earlier this year.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultation Summary


LGBTIQA+ Consultation Summary

This is the next stage in our journey towards developing three Cultural Competency FrameworksAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Competency Framework, LGBTIQA+ Equity and Inclusion Competency Framework and Multicultural Cultural Competency Framework.

Earlier this year, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) engaged Kambarang Services to consult with LGBTIQA+ and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, commissioned service providers, peak groups and WAPHA staff.  

Consultations were conducted in person and online in Perth and regional areas of WA. This included engaging with more than 200 LGBTIQA+ community members and 120 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members.  

Everyone was asked what a safe service looks and feels like, what are the barriers, what makes a service culturally safe and how can WAPHA support services to become more culturally competent and safe for community members.

Aboriginal and LGBTIQA+ consultations completed! Drafting underway.

A heartfelt thank you to all of the community members and organisational representatives who took the time to provide insight & information during consultations with Aboriginal and LGBTIQA+ representatives.   Through surveys, workshops and 1:1 meetings, mostly facilitated by Kambarang and Prism Consulting, we have learned much and built connections that will assist us in our journey towards cultural safety within WAPHA itself and the services we commission.

We are well into the drafting process for our Aboriginal Cultural Competency and Capability Framework, LGBTIQA+ Equity and Inclusion Framework and Commissioning Guidelines, along with the Implementation Plans that support them.  There is much to consider, and some complex questions to wrestle with, but we are confident that with the determined effort of our staff, Reference Groups and partner organisations, we will see good progress over three-year life of the Plans.

Keep your eye on this page for updates, including publication of a consultation summary shortly, progress towards a Multicultural Framework and the anticipated launch of the Aboriginal and LGBTIQA+ Frameworks in Spring 2023.

Share your insights with us! Consultations now open

May 26 2022

In partnership with Kambarang Services, WAPHA invites you to share your insights to help us effectively lead improvements in cultural competency across the primary care sector. During May-June the following opportunities will be open:

  • Face to face events in Geraldton (17 May), Perth Metro (18 May),  Bunbury (31 May) and Kalgoorlie (2 June) – contact Jonathan Ford on 0425 373 459 to register and see additional details in the update below.
  • Online workshops for WAPHA Commissioned Service Providers (Thursday 2 June and Friday 3 June). Providers can register here to attend their preferred session.

There are also online surveys available for those who can’t make the in-person sessions:

  • Complete the LGBTIQA+ Consultation Survey here by COB Friday 3 June. You can also share this flyer with your networks.
  • Complete the WAPHA Commissioned Service Providers’ survey here
  • Complete the general community survey here
Community Consultations in May

10 May 2022

WA Primary Health Alliance wants to know what culturally safe health care looks like to Aboriginal people.

Kambarang Services are holding community consultation sessions in Geraldton, Perth and Bunbury to hear your thoughts. We hope you can join us. Details are below:


Date: 17  May 2022

Time: 9.30am to 11.30am

Where: Geraldton Multipurpose Function Centre, 31 Foreshore Drive

To register your interest to attend this session, or if you have any questions please contact Jonathan Ford on 0425 373 459.


Date: 18  May 2022

Time: 9.30am to 11.30am

Where: Geraldton Multipurpose Function Centre, 31 Foreshore Drive

To register your interest to attend this session, or if you have any questions please contact Jonathan Ford on 0425 373 459.


Date: 31  May 2022

Time: 10.00am to 12.00pm

Where: Dolphin Discovery Centre, Function Room B, 556 Koombana Drive Bunbury

To register your interest to attend this session, or if you have any questions please contact Jonathan Ford on 0425 373 459.


Date: 2 June 2022

Time: 10.00am to 12.00pm

Where: Maku Stadium

To register your interest to attend this session, or if you have any questions please contact Charmaine Champion on 0477 979 603 or Rose Walley on 0455 271 332.

If you are attending a consultation session, and are not being paid by an organisation to do so, you will be eligible for a $75 reimbursement for your time and contribution

Multicultural Framework established as a distinct project

10 May

After discussion with our new Multicultural Reference Group, WAPHA has decided to remove the Multicultural Framework from this project and establish it as a separate project with its own timeframe and resources. This is in recognition of the breadth of work required to provide genuine cultural responsiveness within the consultation process.

Thanks to the insights of our Reference Group we now recognise that genuine and effective consultation with culturally and liguistically diverse communities requires additional resourcing. We are excited to have entered a formal partnership with Embrace Multicultural Mental Health, who will work closely with us and our Reference Group over the next 12 months to embed cultural responsiveness in every aspect of our work. Kambarang’s partnership with WAPHA will now focus on Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples and LGBTIQA+ communities.

Kambarang Services to lead development of cultural competency frameworks

20 Jan 2022

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) has appointed Kambarang Services to develop Cultural Competency and Capability Frameworks, including stakeholder consultation, as part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Due to be finalised in the first half of 2022, the frameworks, associated plans and toolkit will help WAPHA, its partners and commissioned services to develop and maintain the cultural competency of their staff and provide a safe environment for clients of diverse backgrounds, bodies and culture who access their services.

Kambarang Services, led by Danny Ford, a Noongar man with significant public sector and consulting experience, including developing the WA Country Health Service Cultural Governance Framework, will oversee a team of experienced consultants.

This will include members of three identified priority groups –Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples, LGBTIQ+ communities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

WA Primary Health Alliance CEO, Learne Durrington, said the organisation was confident that consultation will provide great insights, in addition to regular feedback from three reference groups.

“Given our vision of better health, together, we have a leadership role to advocate for safe, inclusive and culturally appropriate primary care services for people with diverse bodies, identities and experiences

“We will be seeking input from our staff, people with lived experience, health professionals, service providers, peak bodies, the end result of which will support not only WAPHA but the wider primary health care sector.”

Kambarang Lead Consultant, Danny Ford said the Kambarang Team is looking forward to working with WAPHA and the community in developing this very important initiative.

Feedback gathered from the consultations, conducted in person or online, depending on the COVID-19 situation, will inform the development of the frameworks and associated documents.

For more information and to provide feedback, contact

What does it take to provide culturally competent and safe health care services? We want to hear from you!

25 Nov 2021

Given our vision of better health together, WA Primary Health Alliance is working with communities, primary health care providers and partners across the health system in WA to ensure everyone has access to culturally competent and safe services.

Over the next 6-9 months the Cultural Competency and Capability Frameworks project team will be developing frameworks, implementation plans, commissioning guidelines, training and other support structures that guide our progress in cultural competence and capability over the next three years.

To provide the optimal training and resources to support this important work, we want to hear your views, experiences and recommendations to build our cultural competency and capability to care for people with an increased risk of adverse health outcomes.

The Cultural Competency and Capability Survey opened on 8 November 2021 and closes on 29 November 2021. All responses will remain confidential. Once the survey has closed, a report will be produced to inform the next steps of the project including conducting staff focus groups.

For more information on the project please contact

Australian Multicultural Health Collaborative to provide national voice for the health of those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

05 Oct 2021

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA), the peak national body representing multicultural and ethnic communities, is facilitating the establishment of the ‘Australian Multicultural Health Collaborative’, a national voice to provide leadership and advice on policy, research, and practice to improve access and equity and achieve better health outcomes for Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Following engagement with key stakeholders, FECCA is now inviting feedback from healthcare providers, consumers, and researchers to inform the further development of the proposed Collaborative.

Cultural Competency on the Agenda for WAPHA

11 Aug 2021

In our quest to help those most at risk of poor health outcomes, WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is committed to working with our partners and stakeholders across the health system to improve access to culturally competent and safe primary health care services.

Through our strategic planning process, WAPHA identified the need for an organisation-wide mechanism to build capability and measure the performance of internal and commissioned activities to ensure cultural competency and safety for staff and people accessing WAPHA commissioned services.

Cultural competency is defined by WAPHA as “a set of congruent behaviours, attitudes and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals to enable that system, agency or those professionals to work effectively in cross-cultural situations”.

Development of a Cultural Competency Framework will provide WAPHA with an opportunity to reflect on current practice and identify areas for improvement that will result in better health and wellbeing outcomes for priority target groups.

The Cultural Competency Framework will articulate the components of cultural competency that WAPHA commits to achieving and maintaining in the long term. It will include over-arching guiding principles governing cultural competency in relation to diverse cultural groups, with a particular focus on the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse, Intersex, Queer (LGBTIQ+) communities.

Given the importance of Aboriginal culture, history of dispossession and trauma, current level of disadvantage, and WAPHA’s responsibility to commission culturally appropriate services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, the importance of developing a separate Aboriginal Cultural Capability Framework in collaboration with Aboriginal people and communities was recognised. The Aboriginal Cultural Capability Framework will complement the Cultural Competency Framework and draw on and inform WAPHA’s Aboriginal Health Strategy (currently in development).

The Frameworks will be accompanied by a range of supporting materials including Implementation Plans and Commissioning Toolkits.

The project and associated activities will be undertaken in stages, building on previous knowledge, experience and recent work done by colleagues and partners. Development of the Frameworks will align to WAPHA’s Strategic Plan, be informed by WAPHA’s Reconciliation Action Plan and Rainbow Tick Accreditation and support the future development of the WAPHA Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

Development of the Frameworks will also include engagement with a range of stakeholders including all WAPHA staff, WAPHA advisory groups, partner agencies, commissioned service providers and consumers.

Project update

  • To guide and oversight this strategic project, the WAPHA Cultural Competency Steering Group was convened in late May 2021 and meets monthly. Membership includes representatives from across the organisation and is supported by the Project Management Office. General Manager Strategy and Engagement is the Executive Sponsor for the project.
  • A communication plan and associated materials are currently being developed to support messaging with staff and stakeholders.
  • An internal staff survey is being prepared via the People and Culture Team to assess WAPHA’s current understanding of cultural competence and safety, and opportunities and challenges.
  • A restricted expression of interest to identify a consultant/s to support the development of the Frameworks and consultation with our stakeholders has been finalised.

It is anticipated that the Frameworks, Implementation Plans, and Commissioning Toolkits will be completed by mid-2022 and incorporated into business-as-usual financial year 2022-2023.

For more information, please contact Susan Kay ( link)).

WA Primary Health Alliance acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Elders of this country. We recognise the significant importance of their cultural heritage, values and beliefs and how these contribute to the positive health and wellbeing of the whole community.

Supporting Information


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