Environmental health - Public Health

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Aboriginal environmental health

The Northern Territory has the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.

There are health disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Territorians, especially in relation to infectious and chronic diseases, child health and life expectancy.

Poor environmental health conditions are a major contributing factor to the high rates of infectious disease, especially among young children.

Repeated infections during infancy and early childhood have been found to impact not only on children’s health in the short term but also contribute to chronic disease in adulthood.


The Public Health Unit works with Aboriginal communities to ensure compliance with food and public and environmental health regulations.

The program works to assist in improving:

  • water supply management
  • waste water management
  • waste management
  • animal management
  • dust control
  • hygiene promotion
  • housing health hardware maintenance promotion
  • infectious disease control
  • and exposure to environmental elements know to impact on human health.

The program follows principles of community development and health promotion to enable Aboriginal Territorians to improve their own health.

Environmental health grants

The Indigenous environmental health grants program assists community based organisations to improve environmental health conditions for Aboriginal communities.

Contact the public health directorate about grant programs and applications by email publichealthdirectorate.doh@nt.gov.au.

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Last updated: 07 June 2022

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