M ARNOLD-CHAMNEY 1, S BATEMAN 1,3, K OWEN 1, S Jesudason 1,3, S McDonald 1,3, O Pearson 2, N Sinclair 4, I Williamson  4, K O’Donnell K1, J Kelly 1

1University Of Adelaide, Kaurna Land, Australia, 2Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute, Kaurna Land, Australia, 3Central Northern Renal and Transplantation Service, Kaurna Land, Australia, 4AKction Reference Group co-lead, Aboriginal health consumer, Kaurna Land, Australia

Aim: The AKction – Aboriginal Kidney Care Together – Improving Outcomes Now project aims to enable Aboriginal kidney patients, their families, health professionals, health services, academics and researchers.to collaboratively improve the way kidney care is provided in South Australia

Background: Aboriginal people are over-represented in kidney care and have complex care needs.  There is increasing recognition of the importance of Aboriginal consumers’ active involvement in Health Service redesign.

Methods:This collaborative project involved community consultations, patient journey mapping, interviews, focus groups, strategy implementation workshops, yarning circles, artwork sessions and storytelling within urban, rural and remote locations to identify and respond to gaps in care. A strong Aboriginal community reference group worked alongside an enthusiastic research team, clinicians and key decision makers. Innovative and responsive models of kidney care were co-designed within and across health and support services to improve access to kidney care, dialysis and transplantation, enhancing wellbeing.

Results: This resulting evidence is informing local and state-wide renal services and systems change, including; the implementation of a renal dialysis chairs at Kanggawodli Aboriginal hostel in Adelaide; partnering with dental services. ; improving cultural safety and knowledge of staff and is also informing national renal Indigenous clinical guidelines. This important work will continue to transform kidney care through an Ideas Grant with Aboriginal patient experts positioned as Chief Investigators.

Conclusion: Aboriginal kidney patients and our families, and individual clinicians, have been advocating for improvements in kidney care as individuals, but with little success. AKction has become a catalyst for collective and meaningful health systems change.


I am a renal nurse by background and now work at the University of Adelaide as a lecturer within the Nursing School. I am currently completing a PhD titled “Enhancing cultural safety in Aboriginal kidney care – a participatory action research involving nurses and Aboriginal patients”.


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