Applying Collective Impact to Wicked Problems in Aboriginal Health

Kylie Gwynne, Annette Cairnduff


Aboriginal people fare worse than other Australians in every measure of health including in a ten-year gap in life expectancy, infant mortality, cardiovascular disease, dental disease, mental health, chronic disease and maternal health. Despite sustained, whole of government effort, progress to improve Aboriginal health has been very slow. The collective impact tool may offer a solution. This paper provides examples of the application of collective impact, to address the significant gap in Aboriginal health and as a tool to enable community control. Three case studies in Aboriginal health demonstrate the stages and phases of collective impact to facilitate positive change.


Aboriginal health; collective impact; wicked problems; Indigenous; cardiovascular disease; allied health; oral health

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