Aboriginal Ways of Knowing, Being and Doing


30 June 2021 - 15 February 2022

Funding Amount:




Melbourne Macedon Ranges Yarra Moonee Valley Darebin Maribyrnong Hobsons Bay Wyndham Brimbank Moorabool Melton Hume Merri-bek


North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) commissioned the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) to improve collective understanding of Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing. The project aimed to show how these practices can be applied in local Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organisations, including NWMPHN.

VACCHO completed the following activities:

  • A literature review that explored Australian and comparative models overseas, and a review of Victorian practices.
  • Consultations with community and stakeholders including Aboriginal community controlled organisations.
  • A workshop with NWMPHN’s Reconciliation Action Plan working group to share insights and determine how Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing could best support the work of the organisation.
  • Development of practical tools for implementing Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing into practice.


Using the findings from the literature review and community consultations, VACCHO developed 4 tools for NWMPHN to use when considering building Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing into its work.

They include:

  • a summary of Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing, how they can be incorporated into practice and what should be considered when doing so
  • a summary of cultural safety principles, including a cultural continuum and how to support cultural safety within an organisation
  • a recruitment cycle tool that includes key questions and considerations
  • a tool incorporating best practice principles to support how and when to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in project activities.

NWMPHN will use these tools in its commissioning and operations, and to support implementation of its Reconciliation Action Plan.

Services involved