Tools and Outcomes for Delivering Culturally Responsive Allied Health Care

Miss Natalie  Kneubuhler1, Miss Maddison Adams1

1The Institute For Urban Indigenous Health, Windsor, Australia

Maddison Adams is a proud Wulli Wulli woman from Brisbane. She completed her Bachelor of Health Science (Podiatry) at Queensland University of Technology in 2015. Maddison started working at the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) after competing some of her clinical placement at IUIH in her final year. Maddison thoroughly enjoys working with community and within a multidisciplinary team. Maddison has shown commitment to Indigenous Health through engagement with Indigenous Allied Health Australia and events within her community. Maddison is committed to working collaboratively with community and other health care professionals to provide holistic and culturally responsive care.

The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) was established in 2009 by the four Community Controlled Health Services in South East Queensland (SEQ) to provide comprehensive healthcare to Australia’s largest and fastest growing Indigenous population. Comprehensive care for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population requires input from numerous health professionals. Traditionally, health services are accessed through contract arrangements with private providers and/or through the mainstream public health system. This tends to fragment care, no matter how great the individual health service provider is. The IUIH aims to increase access to allied health services through an integrated and coordinated service delivery model for urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health services.

The IUIH approach to allied health service delivery allows for an ongoing service mapping process to ensure that community health priority areas are met with holistic and responsive allied health services. Each allied health discipline is underpinned by clinical governance frameworks and tools to guide culturally responsive practice. The IUIH employs over 70 allied health clinicians from nine disciplines and delivers services into a number of settings including, primary healthcare clinics, schools and kindergartens. Over the last seven years, our data has shown increases in access to allied health services which has contributed to positive health outcomes for our clients.

The IUIH allied health team utilises an interdisciplinary model which is instrumental in providing meaningful and culturally responsive health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. This presentation will provide practical examples of the implementation of this collaborative, client focused and inter-professional system of care. Our connections are built on genuine relationships, understanding of roles and inter-professional team practices. Having an outcome driven approach to care assists with integrating the team into the broader primary health care network and connecting clients with a one-stop shop.


Natalie Kneubuhler is a Kuku Yalanji woman from Far North Queensland. She completed her Occupational Therapy degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2016. In January 2017, Natalie was employed as an Occupational Therapist at The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, where she works with both adults and children in the community. Natalie takes a holistic approach to health care, a key part of occupational therapy practice that aligns with the Aboriginal view of health. Natalie is passionate about educating students and other health professionals about the importance of culturally responsive care.

NAHC Conferences

2007, Hobart (7th NAHC)

2009, Canberra (8th NAHC)

2012, Canberra (9th NAHC)

2013, Brisbane (10th NAHC)

2015, Melbourne (11th NAHC)

2017, Sydney (12th NAHC)

2019, Brisbane (13th NAHC)

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