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Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation

Category: Organisation
Date: 23 November 1995
Sub Category:Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) | Aboriginal Corporation
Place:Broken Hill
State/Country:New South Wales, Australia
Summary Information:
Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation ('Maari Ma') is a regional Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO). It is based in Broken Hill, and represents a region of western New South Wales including Tibooburra, White Cliffs, Wilcannia, Menindee, Ivanhoe, Pooncarie, Dareton, Balranald, Buston and Wentworth ('About Maari Ma').

Maari Ma was incorporated under the Aboriginal Councils and Associations Act 1976 (Cth) on 23 November 1995, under the name 'Far West Ward Aboriginal Health Service Aboriginal Corporation'; the organisation changed to its current name on 1 March 2000 (Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations).

Detailed Information:
History and objectives

Maari Ma arose from the initiatives of the Murdi Paaki ATSIC Regional Council ('About Maari Ma'). The primary objective for which Maari Ma was established was 'to improve the health and physical and mental well being of Aboriginals at the individual, family and community levels' (ORAC 2008 - 'Corporation New Objects and Rules' 2005).


Maari Ma is led 'by an all Aboriginal Board of Directors, democratically elected to represent 7 communities in our region: Broken Hill, Ivanhoe, Balranald, Menindee, Wilcannia, Wentworth Shires and Tibooburra from the unincorporated area. The board is deeply committed to providing a holistic approach to Aboriginal health that includes physical, emotional, spiritual, cultural and environmental dimensions.' ('About Maari Ma').

Partnership approach

Maari Ma works with government agencies that help fund and deliver services, and the communities that receive those services through the communities' participation in the planning and implementation of their health programs. ('About Maari Ma')

In particular, Maari Ma has partnerships with organisations including the Greater Western Area Health Service, The Fred Hollows Foundation, Mallee Family Care and NSW Health (see, eg, agreement links below). Its use of partnership and contractual arrangements with other health care providers, to provide a more mainstream service, has been seen as a possible model for the expansion of Indigenous health care provision elsewhere (see ABC 2006).

Maari Ma's Director, Richard Weston, has explained the organisation's approach to health services provision as follows: 'The Maari Ma model is really based on working with other people, and in fact ... that's what Maari Ma means. It's a Paakantyi word meaning "people working together". ... Maari Ma's taken a stance [that] ... we can't save all the Aboriginal health issues on our own. We work very, very well with other organisations. Some of ... the advantages of our model [of people working together] is that we take account of the roles that service providers have to reduce duplication. So Maari Ma isn't out there trying to compete to provide services that are already provided' (ABC 2004).

Related Entries

  • Partnership Agreement between The Fred Hollows Foundation and Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation - Signatory
  • Memorandum of Understanding between Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation and Mallee Family Care - Signatory

  • Glossary

    Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHOs) (Australia) | Aboriginal Corporation (Australia)

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