Applying Collective Impact to Wicked Problems in Aboriginal Health


  • Kylie Gwynne The University of Sydney
  • Annette Cairnduff Foundation for Young Australians



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


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.

Author Biographies

Kylie Gwynne, The University of Sydney

Kylie Gwynne has thirty years of experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of human services for vulnerable Australians. She has held senior leadership roles in service delivery, program development, system reform and public policy. Currently Director of Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, over the past four and a half years she has established a comprehensive program of research, service delivery, teaching, and service learning in rural and remote Aboriginal health.


Kylie Gwynne
Director, Poche Centre for Indigenous Health
The University of Sydney
Rm 223, Level 2, Edward Ford Building, A27
Telephone: +61 2 9036 6494 M 0448483348

Annette Cairnduff, Foundation for Young Australians

Annette Cairnduff has more than twenty five years experience leading innovative social impact and social justice strategy, policy and programs for positive social change working across the education, community and government sectors. Currently, at Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), she leads the design and delivery of the organisations strategy for research, evaluation and partnerships.


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