21 August 2023

Aboriginal immunisation

WA Health is committed to improving vaccination rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Data from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) (external site) shows that Aboriginal children in WA are receiving their vaccinations later and have overall lower immunisation rates compared to non-Aboriginal children, particularly in the 12-15 months and 24-27 months age groups. This leaves them vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases.

Hepatitis immunisations

Free hepatitis B vaccines are provided for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 20 years of age who are non-immune.

Read the hepatitis B vaccination program for Aboriginal adults – Frequently Asked Questions.

For further information, immunisation providers should refer to the WA Immunisation Schedule for eligibility and guidelines for the provision of these vaccines.

WA Aboriginal Immunisation Network (WA AIN)

Aboriginal immunisation is a priority of the Communicable Disease Control Directorate (CDCD) Immunisation Program. The WA Aboriginal Immunisation Network (WA AIN) was established to facilitate a systemwide approach to improve Aboriginal immunisation rates across Western Australia. Staff from both government and non-government organisations working in Aboriginal immunisation currently make up the network.

The WA AIN aims to bring together individuals and organisations committed to improving immunisation coverage rates in the Aboriginal community. Therefore, any person with a vested interest in improving Aboriginal health, specifically relating to immunisation are encouraged to join the network.

The CDCD Immunisation Program is secretariat to the AIN. To contact the network, please email AIN@health.wa.gov.au.


6-monthly workshops (forums) are held to share current activities and collaborate on a work plan for future activities and priorities. It is an opportunity for all those working in Aboriginal immunisation to share information on current projects and develop future ideas to achieve better immunisation coverage in the WA Aboriginal community.

The most recent workshop was held on Wednesday 25 August 2021. A report arising from this workshop covers the areas of work currently undertaken as well as strategies to overcome key barriers. For a copy of this summary report, please email AIN@health.wa.gov.au.

Funding opportunities

The Communicable Disease Control Directorate (CDCD) Immunisation Program strives to protect our diverse WA community by providing leadership, supporting collaboration, and developing evidence-based strategies for immunisation.

A grant stream will be created by the CDCD Immunisation Program to fund culturally-appropriate and trauma-informed initiatives to increase access to health care and improve the health of Aboriginal people, specifically as it is related to immunisation. Aboriginal-led projects and community organisations are highly encouraged to apply. This is designed such that initiatives grow and lead sustainable activities.

Interested parties can apply for two types of grant opportunities:

Grant Description
Community services grants Services that provide support to sustain and nurture the functioning of individuals and groups, to address physical, social and economic disadvantage, maximise their potential, and to enhance community wellbeing.
Commercial grants Any grant outside the scope of Community Services Grants e.g. research funding, scholarships.

For further funding information and assistance, please contact the CDCD Immunisation Program on (08) 9222 2486 or email AIN@health.wa.gov.au.

Aboriginal immunisation artwork

Kooya frog artwork by John Walley

Local Noongar Artist John Walley created a unique visual identifier for the community to identify Aboriginal immunisation and its significance.

A Kooya was selected as frogs live in clean water holes and thrive under those conditions. Kooya’s story is ‘a Journey from kura, yeye and boorda wen’ (past, present and future through health). After clean water, vaccination is the most effective public health intervention.

Last reviewed: 01-12-2022
Produced by

Communicable Disease Control Directorate