Many Indigenous people fail to present for health care until they are chronically ill, but there is little research on how health care architecture in hospitals and health clinics may act as a barrier to Indigenous people presenting for early treatment or follow-up care. In this project, we engage with healthcare architects, health service administrators, medical personnel, and Indigenous end-users to explore the role that health care settings such as waiting rooms and wards have on health care utilisation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The project considers the influence of healthcare architecture and the behaviours of Indigenous people across a range of buildings and services in regional and remote Australia.


  • Understand how design in healthcare settings affects Indigenous people’s perceptions of services and health care utilisation
  • Develop methods and designs to identify and advance the architectural changes required to improve health care access for Indigenous people


  • Best practice designs for culturally-supportive health settings

Project team

  • Professor Paul Memmott - Project leader
  • Professor Michele Haynes
  • Dr Timothy O'Rourke
  • Dr Bernard Baffour

Project details

Duration: January 2016 - December 2019

Partners: UQ School of Architecture, Australian Research Council

Funding: Australian Research Council Discovery Projects Scheme

Contact: Professor Paul Memmott (

ISSR reference ISSR020987