This audit would assess the effectiveness of the Department of Health’s administration of eye and ear health initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have high rates or middle ear infection and subsequent hearing loss, which can lead to disadvantage at school. In addition, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffer vision impairment and blindness at three times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians, which is a barrier to education and employment.

Under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program, $34.2 million is being provided to improve eye health and $95.3 million is being provided to improve ear and hearing health from 2018–19 to 2021–22. An audit of these initiatives would examine whether investment has been well targeted and effective in delivering outcomes, and has the potential to inform future investment decisions.