Ninti's Chair Professor Tom Calma AO is one of Australia’s leading advocates for improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. He is a former Australian Human Rights Commissioner and is widely acknowledged as a driving force behind the Close the Gap campaign following his landmark 2005 Social Justice Report

Ninti works on a number of health projects.

The National Best Practice Unit Tackling Indigenous Smoking Initiative (NBPU TIS) – Australian Government Department of Health

Ninti manages the National Best Practice Unit of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program, which aims to reduce smoking as the most preventable cause of ill health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. With our expertise in collaborative partnerships and ability to reach specific demographics across Australia, the Department of Health commissioned Ninti to provide a range of tailored support for organisations funded under the program including:

  • accessing evidence-based research, information and resources on tobacco control
  • developing Action Plans
  • developing performance indicators and monitoring impact
  • accessing relevant training and networking opportunities

Partners involved in this 4-year $23 million project are the Health Research Institute at the University of Canberra and the Australian Indigenous HealthInfonet based at Edith Cowan University. For more information visit: or contact Eileen Van Iersel, Manager


Review of funding arrangements and service provider capability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and suicide prevention services and the Integrated Team Care (ITC) program

In October 2022, the Department of Health and Aged Care engaged Ninti One and First Nations Co. to review funding arrangements and service provider capability for mental health and suicide prevention and ITC services. The purpose of the review was to explore how the Australian Government can best align and give effect to the National Agreement on Closing the Gap Priority Reform 2.

By January 2023, the Project Team completed a literature review on funding models for First Nations health; consulted with peak organisations and Commonwealth, state and territory governments; reviewed historic funding and contract data from commissioning bodies (i.e. PHNs) and delivered an interim report.

By March 2023, the Project Team had met and consulted most commissioning bodies and held focus groups with 86 service providers. In June 2023, the Project Team held community consultations across 22 locations and yarned with over 200 community members. During July and August, a two-day co-design yarn was held in each state and territory. All participants and those who were not able to attend the yarns where then invited to participate in the online consultation.

In September 2023 a draft Final Report was presented to the Department of Health and Aged Care for feedback, with the Final Report due in October 2023. The Report will make recommendations for how the Australian Government can support the implementation of future funding delivery arrangements for the relevant health services.


Feasibility Study for the Remote and Rural Indigenous Allied Health Workforce Development Project (RIAHP) – Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA)

Ninti was contracted to undertake a feasibility study on behalf of IAHA in Tennant Creek and surrounds. The objective of the study was to:

  • document the current allied health workforce
  • identify gaps in the current allied health workforce
  • document what Aboriginal people living in Tennant Creek and surrounds determine as culturally safe and responsive delivery of health services.

Support for Intensive Family Support Services (IFSS) Evaluation Project – Social Compass

Ninti assisted Social Compass to evaluate the IFSS by providing senior Aboriginal Community Researchers to provide feedback/input on data collection tools and processes, including a semi-structured interview guide for families participating in IFSS, a participant information sheet for families, a consent process for families and instruction on how best to conduct interviews. Ninti then attended site visits with Social Compass researchers to support/conduct interviews with families across the communities of Yuendumu, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and Ntaria.

Trachoma Health Promotion Study – Newman’s Own Foundation Fund at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Trachoma is one of the major causes of preventable blindness in Australia, and we are the only developed country to have epidemic levels of the disease. It is found predominantly in remote and very remote communities. This project involved Ninti Aboriginal Community Researchers working with remote communities in the NT to run focus groups to discuss the importance of and response to messages about facial cleanliness and access to washing facilities in homes and other places in communities. This activity formed part of a broader trachoma project collaboration between Ninti and the Indigenous Eye Health (IEH) Unit at the University of Melbourne, which contributes to the goals of the National Trachoma Health Promotion Programme.

Reducing Smoking During Pregnancy: Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program (ANFPP) support – Abt Associates

The ANFPP is a nurse-led home visiting program that supports women pregnant with an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child. ANFPP mothers are offered support and guidance from early pregnancy into their baby’s infancy and toddlerhood. The ANFPP is an important early investment in the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in local communities.

Ninti worked with ANFPP to improve women’s knowledge and practice on smoking cessation to contribute to decreasing the prevalence of smoking by pregnant women and new mothers.

Client satisfaction survey for Central Australian Aboriginal Congress – Central Australian Aboriginal Congress

Ninti was contracted by Congress to conduct a minimum of 1,400 client satisfaction surveys at eight Congress health clinics in Alice Springs and surrounding remote communities. The information and data collected is helping Congress to analyse how it can deliver improved health services for Aboriginal people in Central Australia.